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Human Services

A guide of library resources for students and faculty of human services at the University of Northern Colorado.
Gray Literature

Gray literature basically refers to the wealth of information sources that are not published through traditional publishing houses. This basically includes any information source that is not a book, journal, magazine, or newspaper.

Gray Literature includes materials that are generally

  • not published commercially and/or
  • not generally accessible and
  • can include ephemera
An Official Definition

According to the Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature, the definition is as follows:

"Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by libraries and institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers; i.e., where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body" (for more information see Towards a Prague Definition of Grey Literature - PDF).

Examples of Gray Literature
 
  • Abstract
  • Anatomical model
  • Annual report
  • Answer key
  • Apparatus and data file
  • Artifact
  • Audio file
  • Blog comment
  • Blog post
  • Blu-ray disc
  • Blueprint
  • Book review
  • Brochure
  • CD recording
  • Conference presentation
  • Committee report
  • Computer software
  • Data file
  • Database record
  • Dataset
  • Demographic map
  • DVD
  • Electronic mailing list comment
  • Email
  • Facebook page
  • Facebook post
  • Fact sheet
  • Grant
  • Guidelines
  • Leaflet
  • Lecture notes
  • Letter to the editor
  • Manual
  • Manuscript
  • Measurement instrument
  • Memo
  • Mission statement
  • Mobile application software
  • Motion picture
  • mp3 file
  • mp4 file
  • Newsletter
  • Online forum comment
  • Organizational standards
  • Painting
  • Patent
  • Photograph
  • Physiological specimens
  • Podcast
  • Podcast transcript
  • Policy documents
  • Policy statements
  • Post-print
  • Poster
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Practice guidelines
  • Preprint
  • Press release
  • Prezi presentation
  • Product catalog
  • Program
  • Questionnaire
  • Research notes
  • Research proposal
  • Scientific protocol
  • Sculpture
  • Speech
  • Syllabus
  • Tape recording
  • Television series episode
  • Television series webisode
  • Topographic map
  • Transcript
  • Tweet
  • Twitter update
  • Video file