November 22nd, 2011 by Philip Swan
Gray literature is information that has not been published or is not easily accessible if published. Using gray literature is different than using academic or main stream publications: it is not peer reviewed, it usually has not been fact checked by someone other than the author, but it can provide another voice to the larger discussion.
The Hunter College Libraries databases provide several opportunities to find examples of gray literature:
Google Scholar is a great place to read unpublished papers given at academic conferences or articles written by academic authors which have yet to be published in a journal. This is often research that has been recently conducted and is being put before the academic community for critique and comment.
Lexis/Nexis allows you to research news stories on blogs. Blogs definitely count as gray literature since they are unpublished, unedited, and not peer reviewed. When you click on the link, look to the left where it says “Search the News” and in the drop down menu for “By Source Type” choose Blogs.
Another place to look for articles that, while published, are largely outside of the mainstream or academic press are the databases Alt-Press Watch, Ethnic News Watch, and Gender Watch. All three of these databases have articles from community based publications with a small readership which looks to these sources for news and information that the mainstream press does not provide.