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GreyWorks 2010 Transparency Governs the Grey Landscape. MODULE THREE: Demand-side Grey Literature. Measures Demand-side Citations References Website logs User statistics Links Etcetera. Farace – General. Applications and Uses Examples: Problem solving Decision making

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greyworks 2010 transparency governs the grey landscape
GreyWorks 2010Transparency Governs the Grey Landscape


Demand-side Grey Literature



  • Citations
  • References
  • Website logs
  • User statistics
  • Links
  • Etcetera

Farace –


Applications and Uses


  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Policy development
  • Scholarly communication
  • Research and innovation
  • Product enhancement
  • Technology transfer
  • Etcetera

Farace –


grey literature usage
Grey Literature Usage
  • Respondents were asked to name 2 documents used in the last month that were important to their work.
      • Participants provided document titles and sources which we then located.
      • 59% of documents listed were Grey Literature.
      • Many thought they could find all Grey Literature via traditional online services.

Liddy et al., GL6 - Usage

on usage statistics
On usage statistics
  • The big silence.
  • Confirms the DRIVER study 2007:
  • 70% of the repositories do log the statistical data on access but analysis and interpretation « in development » or « problematic ».
  • No public access to statistics but in some cases, information to authors (CCSD).

Schopfel et al., GL10 – Usage Stats

advantages of including grey in a literature review
Advantages of including ‘grey’ in a literature review
  • Access to wider variety of information
  • Reduces publication bias
  • Contain more local information- important for planning
  • Contain process information- important for policy makers

Knight et al., GL6 - Use

advantages of including grey in a literature review7
Advantages of including ‘grey’ in a literature review
  • Reports not published in peer reviewed journals (e.g. UN, WHO, HTA)
  • Access to new research
  • World Wide Web (4-6 Billion web pages)
  • Contain valuable and unique information, which is not found elsewhere

Knight et al., GL6 - Use

  • The identification of relevant studies in the grey literature and their inclusion in systematic reviews can be particularly time-consuming and difficult.
  • However, the inclusion of grey literature in systematic reviews will help to overcome some of the problems of publication bias and evidence for process and context
  • Aberdeen University is taking forward the development of the tools which can be used to review the grey literature in terms of best available evidence and evaluation mechanisms

Knight et al., GL6 - Use

96 6 use grey information

Karst Information Portal




96.6% Use Grey Information


Theses/ Dissertations +



  • To the statement,
  • “Grey literature is a very important source of information to karst researchers …”
    • 70.9 % agree

Chavez et al., GL8 - Use

Top Four Grey Information Sources


preservation access

Karst Information Portal


Preservation & Access

Most Difficult Grey Information Types to Access

Where do you archive the grey information that you produce?

Personal Archiving Space

No Formal Archiving


Chavez et al., GL8 - Preservation



96.6% Use Grey Information n=58

86.2% Proceedings

82.8% Trip/Cave Reports

81.0% Theses/Dissertations & Maps

89.3% Produce Grey Information n=56

80.8% Proceedings

76.9% Trip/Cave Reports

65.4% Images & Speeches/Invited Talked

Chavez et al.,

GL9 – Use and Production


KIP & Grey Literature

A core function of KIP is to facilitate access to grey literature such as:

Audience for KIP:

  • Geologists & geographers
  • Land managers & land planners
  • Maps
  • Insurance companies & home buyers
  • Measurements of cave notes
  • Biologists & cave enthusiasts
  • Notes on subterranean wildlife

Chavez et al.,

GL9 – Access and Use


Analysis of GL in the changing context (2)


Why is it important to raise the profile of GL?

Because grey literature is still useful…

GL is more likely to:

  • report negative results
  • discuss studies that concluded prematurely
  • offer a much more comprehensive picture of the state of knowledge for any topic

De Castro et al., GL8 - Use

what feature is important in a hep information system
What feature is important in a HEP information system?



Gentil, GL9 – User Demands

  • What did we learn?
    • Community-driven systems answer the needs of the community.
    • Listen to the users – they know what they want!
    • Increased importance of a diversifying grey literature…
  • Full analysis still in progress – more coming soon!
  • What’s next:
    • Create a single information service for the entire community
    • Include new features
    • Survey your users!


GL9 – User Needs

evidence based practice 5 essential steps in ebp
Evidence Based Practice5 Essential Steps in EBP
  • Convert information needs into answerable questions
  • Track down best evidence to answer questions
  • Critically appraise evidence performance for its validity and usefulness
  • Apply results of the appraisal in clinical practice
  • Evaluate performance and outcomes

Gelfand, GL7 –

Evidence based Practice

hierarchy of evidence
Hierarchy of Evidence
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systemic Review
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Cohort Studies
  • Case Control Studies
  • Case Series / Reports
  • Basic Laboratory & Animal Research

Gelfand, GL7 –

Evidence based Practice


Table 8. Expressions used by respondents to describe their experience in GL, ranking by frequency

  • Adjective Frequency
  • Interesting 16
  • Stimulating 10
  • Tiring 8
  • Useful 7
  • Demanding 4
  • Formative 3
  • Frustrating 3
  • Complex 2
  • Comprehensive 2

Di Cesare et al., GL8 - Users


Comparative Data

Survey Data 2004 with a control population from the Author Survey 2005

Farace et al., GL7 –



Getting to the R&D Results

  • The Surface Web is accessible to popular search engines such as Google.
  • But less than 1% of government R&D results are currently accessible to crawlers.

Slide compliments of Walt Warnick

Carroll, GL8 - Access

what is missing
What is missing?
  • Governmental reports
  • Funding body reports
  • Subject population materials


GL10 – Access (Development Studies)

possible reasons for lack of disclosure
Possible reasons for lack of disclosure
  • Competition for funding dollars
  • Confidentiality of client records
  • Fear of reprisal
  • Lack of expertise in web programming


GL10 – Access (Development Studies)

web access to grey literature
Web access to grey literature


GL9 – Access

access to full text
Access to full text

Schopfel et al.,

GL10 – Access (full-text)

freedom of information
Freedom of Information
  • Mandatory FOI publication schemes provide an inventory of grey content
  • Police work requires well-organised records and this should permit retrieval in response to enquiries from the public
  • FOI enquiries received are in addition to high volumes of press enquiries
  • FOI enquiries have produced some ‘unwilling’ revelations from police, but also some information that is less revealing.

Sturges et al.,

GL9 – Access and Retrieval

some preliminary results
Some preliminary results


  • Decrease of supply requests
  • Open access: CNRC serials
  • Open access: institutional repository
  • Integrated, partnership-based approach
  • Change of acquisition policy?

Boukacem et al., GL7 – Document Delivery

some preliminary results30
Some preliminary results


  • Decrease of supply requests
  • Open access: CNRS strategic policy
  • Open access: institutional repository, portals
  • Open access: LARA, e-publishing, conferences
  • Change of acquisition policy?

Boukacem et al., GL7 – Document Delivery

  • Search engines for grey literature are being widely deployed and represent a central information service in scholarly communication
  • Institutional repositories gain momentum and become dominant over disciplinary repositories
  • Standardized frameworks for distributed and federated document processing have been established

Vesely et al., (CERN)

GL5 - Repository


(14) GL Collections are beter managed by centralized repositories…

The Document Level

Boekhorst et al., GL6 – Repositories

more definitions
More Definitions

Institutional Repositories

Set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institutions and its community members.”

Gelfand, GL6 - Repositories

faculty benefits
Faculty Benefits
  • Diminished Isolation
  • Shared Purpose & Cooperation
  • Increased Curricular Circulation
  • Fresh Approach to One's Discipline
  • Increased Satisfaction with Students' Learning

Gelfand, GL6 - Repositories

selective repository benefits
Selective Repository Benefits
  • Free to contribute for all UC affiliates
  • Promising alternative
  • Increased visibility
  • Usage reports
  • eMail notification
  • Permanence
  • Global accessibility
  • Ability to upload associated content

Gelfand, GL6 - Repositories

long standing and ongoing issues
Long Standing and Ongoing Issues
  • Transcience of grey literature
  • Maturation of the repository
  • Timely publishing
  • Access
  • Standards
  • Multiple formats

Gelfand, GL6 - Repositories

institutional repositories challenges
Institutional Repositories: Challenges
  • Difficult to convince researchers of benefits of institutional repositories
    • Consequent lack of interest in depositing materials, even if they will be managed by others
  • Will take further evaluation to determine if institutional repositories reach full potential
  • For now, coverage of grey literature in institutional repositories is encouraging

Banks, GL7 - Repositories

importance of grey lit from public health ngos
Importance of Grey Lit from Public Health NGOs
  • NGOs and their information products are key to public health in developing countries
  • Grey lit from NGOs is often difficult to find

Pakistan Healthcare Facilities

Crowe et al.,

GL7 – Repository (NGO Publications)

possible solution repository
Possible Solution: Repository
  • Digital collection that captures and preserves the intellectual output of an institution, agency or organization
  • Benefits
    • Data collection and coordination
    • Could support the building of health capacity in developing countries
    • Knowledge management tool for NGOs

Crowe et al., GL7 - Repository

  • Grey lit from NGOs is a vital component of public health and medical care information, particularly in developing countries
  • Public health NGOs would benefit

by having one or more repositories

of grey literature

  • Relevant repository models exist
  • There are significant barriers and challenges
  • There are significant benefits to public health research community and to people world-wide

Crowe et al., GL7 - Repository

role of the institutional repository
Role of the institutional repository
  • The IR is a support for integration
    • A central point within the organisation for literature and data
    • Stores multiple manifestations for the different parts of the process
    • Brings clarity to work and version relationships
    • GL can be recorded and retrieved according to accurate and up to date personnel, project and business unit structure
  • IR integrated as part of the institutional memory

Lambert et al., GL7 - Repository

a little less grey
A Little Less Grey?

1990: 67% of health sciences journals cite grey literature

Alberani V, De Castro Pietrangeli P, Mazza AM. The use of grey literature in health sciences: a preliminary survey. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990 Oct;78(4):358-63.

2004: 85% of health policy journal articles cite grey literature

2004: 61% of think tank reports cite journal articles

Dunn, GL6 - Citations


Triangle of Stakeholders

Schopfel et al., GL6 - Citations


Grey versus Commercial

A Comparison of Standard and Hyperlinked Citations

Schopfel et al., GL6 - Citations


Language of Cited Documents and Citing Authors

Schopfel et al., GL6 - Citations


Top Five “Types of Publications”

Schopfel et al., GL6 - Citations


Guidelines for GL Citations

  • General
  • All conference papers should contain references
  • Standardization should be maintained among the citations provided
  • The more complete and accurate a citation, the more guarantee of a paper´s content and subsequent review


  • Endnotes are preferred and should be numbered
  • Hyperlink need the accompanying name of resource and date;a simple URL is not acceptable
  • If the citation is to a corporate author, the acronym takes precedence
  • If the document type is known, it should be stated at the close of a citation
  • If a citation is revised and refers to an edited and/or abridged work,the original (re)source should also be mentioned.

Schopfel et al., GL6 - Citations

citations to gomc publications gulf of maine council on the marine environment
Citations to GOMC PublicationsGulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

MacDonald et al.,

GL8 - Citations


MacDonald et al.,

GL8 - Citations


visibility of GL both as cited and citing documents

  • GL is evidently part of core papers
  • possibility of reconstructing the document life-cycle: from GL to conventional literature

Google Scholar

Citation analysis

Differences between GL and conventional literature tend to disappear ….

Citation counts, citations over time, immediacy impact, self-citations

  • Highly cited GL receives more citations by GL documents and viceversa
  • GL receives a higher number of citations in the first 5 years
  • Language

Some typical characteristics of GL can be still noticed

Di Cesare et al., GL9 - Citations