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Created & maintained by the Reference Department at the Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve University as an archive of resources.

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Grey Literature

Gray or grey literature has long been considered the proverbial needle in the haystack. It is commonly defined as any documentary material that is not commercially published and is typically composed of technical reports, working papers, business documents, and conference proceedings. The greatest challenges involved with these items are the process of identification, since there is limited indexing, and acquisition, since availability is usually marred with uncertainty. Added to this is the absence of editorial control, raising questions about authenticity and reliability. Yet despite these considerations, gray literature is continually referenced in scholarly articles and dissertations and therefore remains an issue that academic librarians must contend with.
-- Gray literature: Resources for locating unpublished research, Brian Matthews, C&RL News, March 2004; Vol. 65, No. 3

Here is a list of some well known sites for the Sci/Tech area.
+ DTIC's Public STINET (Scientific and Technical Information Network)
+ GrayLIT Network, from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information
+ The University of Maryland's Virtual Technical Reports Center, basically a large alphabetical list of links to institutions that make "full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports" available on the Web
+ Corporate technical report servers, such as those from HP Labs, IBM and Microsoft
+ ZDNet's White Paper Directory, offering IT-oriented content
+ Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library
+ The New York Academy of Medicine's bimontly Gray Literature Report provides pointers to new content in the field of public health.

In the social sciences see -
+ Social Science Research Network
+ Working Papers of Political Science, which maintains links to academic political science department working paper sites (and provides a search engine)
+ RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), which offers content from 53 different countries
+ Education-line, "a freely accessible database of the full text of conference papers, working papers and electronic literature which supports educational research, policy and practice," from the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds (UK)
+ The various Electronic Theses and Dissertation collections that comprise the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
+ A particular favorite of mine: the Faculty Research Working Paper Series at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government

Above information from the Resource Shelf, Shirl Kennedy, Feb. 2006

Posted by Catherine Wells on April 10, 2006 09:45 AM
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