Grey literature definition

Grey literature is

Information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

Luxembourg, 1997 – Expanded in New York, 2004

Grey literature comprises a wide range of documents, specifically for example thesis, reports (technical, research, annual, etc.), conference materials (proceedings, posters, etc.), trade literature, educational materials and much more. For more information visit our document typology page.

Other definitions of the grey literature

So called Luxembourg definition is the best known and it is most commonly used definition of grey literature. We provide you a short (and definitielly not complete) list of other definitions here.

Grey literature has been defined as, “that which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers.”. (New frontiers in grey literature: Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature: GL’99 proceedings;1999 Oct 4-5; Washington, D.C. Amsterdam: GreyNet; 1999.)

Grey literature refers to publications issued by government, academia, business, and industry, in both print and electronic formats, but not controlled by commercial publishing interests, and where papers, theses, government documents, bulletins, fact sheets, conference proceedings and other publications distributed free, available by subscription, or for sale comprises grey literature. (Weintraub, I. (2000) The role of grey literature in the sciences.)

“Grey literature, also known as fugitive, hidden, invisible content, in the deep web or hard to identify, find, acquire and access, has some parallels in learning how to determine what is actually transpiring in these examples of virtual worlds.”. (Ferry, Kristine et al. Virtual Reality and Establishing a Presence in Second Life: New Forms of Grey Literature?)

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