Skip to Main Content

Earth Science: Gray Literature

Earth Science / Geology Information Resources


Welcome to the Gray Literature LibGuide!

Check out the tabs below to learn: 

  • What is Gray Literature?
  • How to find Gray Literature.
  • Recommended Gray Literature Gateways. 

Grey Literature

Gray Literature refers to research (usually unpublished) and may include research reports, government reports, evaluations, theses, dissertations, webcasts, poster sessions, presentations, conference proceedings, PowerPoint Presentations, etc.

For more information about gray literature, try IL Toolkit-Finding Information: Gray literature.

Forms of Gray Literature

  • Technical reports
  • Pre-Prints
  • Fact Sheets
  • Standards
  • Patents
  • Working papers
  • Committee reports
  • Business documents
  • Newsletters
  • Government documents
  • Technical documentation (e.g., space shuttle)
  • Conference proceedings
  • White papers
  • Symposia
  • Bulletins
  • Unpublished works

Gray literature is an important source of information. Though not scholarly, it is produced by researchers and practitioners in the field.  It can often be produced more quickly, have greater flexibility, and be more detailed than other types of literature.

How do I find Gray Literature?

  • Search the Gray Literature Gateways listed in the next tab
  • Search the corporation, institution, or agency that is most likely to produce the type of information you are looking for.
  • For online searches include terms to target grey literature such as: report, "think tank", "white paper", policy, statistics.
  • Search Free Databases.
  • Search library catalogs at large scientific institutions or Worldcat.
  • Search Google Scholar to target academic research.
  • Consult with a librarian.

Gray Literature Gateways