Grey Literature

The term Grey Literature describes documents and information sources of good quality, which are published for non-commercial reasons. They are often published and distributed by government agencies or departments, non-governmental organisations, academic research centres, or similar organisations.

It can be harder to locate grey literature compared to information published in books or academic journals.

Grey literature: index and alternative sources and resources

Provided by UKHSA. This index of grey literature and alternative sources and resources has been compiled to help librarians and researchers, particularly in Public Health, to find resources that fall into the catergory of Grey Literature and flag up alternative sources for queries not easily resolved by the clinical/medical database model. Includes grey literature sources, official sites and statistics and other useful links.

North Grey Literature Collection

The North Grey Literature Collection (funded by Health Education England and delivered by Stockport Foundation NHS Trust), holds the hard copy grey literature collection of the former North West Grey Literature Service. It is collecting an increasing range of electronic Grey Literature, and this site contains a Grey Literature Knowledge Database to help you find health related grey literature.

Grey Matters

Grey Matters is a practical tool for searching health related grey literature, produced by CADTH — the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.  This grey literature checklist is intended for librarians; information specialists; and researchers who are producing systematic reviews, HTAs, drug assessments, or economic evaluations, to ensure the retrieval of all relevant health technology assessment (HTA), government, and evidence-based agency reports that may not be indexed in bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE


Grey Literature - University of Leeds Library

A grey literature resource guide from University of Leeds library, describing the different types of grey literature, suggesting a number of search tools and resources you can use to find this sort of information and giving some tips on how to search effectively for this hard-to-find material.

If you need help using any of these resources please contact your local library.


An OpenAthens account gives all NHS staff and learners access to a wide range of online resources. 

“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.” (The Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature: Prague 2010)