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Unlocking Grey Literature

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Diane Bell City, University of London, Aliss masterclass August 2018

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Unlocking Grey Literature

  1. 1. Unlocking grey literature Diane Bell Research Librarian City, University of London Presentation at ALISS event, Aston University, 2018.
  2. 2. What we will cover today ■What is grey literature? ■Why use grey literature? ■Search engines/ open access repositories. ■Finding theses and dissertations. ■Social sciences / government publications. ■Opportunity for hands on practice. www.city.ac.uk/library
  3. 3. Grey literature Library guide https://libguides.city.ac.uk/grey
  4. 4. What is grey literature? ■ Grey literature is semi or unpublished information not produced by commercial publishers. For example research reports, working papers, conference proceedings, theses, preprints, white papers, government, academic, business and industry reports (University of Leeds). Examples at: GreyNet.org ■ There is some debate about how to define it and what it includes. ■ May be open access but some grey literature as not published by mainstream publishers can be hard to track down. ■ It has not necessarily been peer-reviewed so you may wish to evaluate the quality of it. ■ Search engines and interfaces may vary in quality and performance.
  5. 5. Why use grey literature? ■Some material such as research reports may only be available as grey literature. ■ Source of preliminary data (e.g. statistics). ■ Quickly produced and disseminated. ■ Could include qualitative information such as viewpoints of individuals such as patients. ■ More likely to be industry or sector focussed. ■ Balanced viewpoint? – may include negative results ■Can offer coverage of special interest topics and expand your literature search. ■May be open access and international.
  6. 6. Some search engines for grey literature ■ BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine- the Advanced Search allows you to search for specific types of grey literature. ■ Google Scholar and Google are useful for locating some reports, technical papers, conference proceedings and working papers. ■ Open Grey- Provides open access to 700,000 bibliographical references of grey literature (papers) produced in Europe. It includes documents from the fields of science, technology, biomedical science, economics, social science and humanities. (Not up to date). ■ Grey Literature Report Public health topics (up to Jan 2017). ■ Online subscription databases such as Web of Science and Scopus allow you to refine or limit your searches to look for specific types of grey literature, such as conference proceedings.
  7. 7. Some search tips ■ AND combines search terms so that each result you retrieve will contain all the keywords you have entered in no particular order. ■ OR retrieves documents where either keyword appears. For example, teenagers or adolescents. OR is used to broaden results. ■ NOT excludes terms. Each search result will exclude any of the terms which follow the word Not. For example, education NOT technology finds results that contain the keyword Education but not technology. ■ “…..” searches for an exact phrase. ■ Wildcard (? #) Use the wildcard to replace a single character in the word (eg. organi?ation, wom#n). ■ Truncation (* $) replaces multiple characters at the end of the word eg. psycholog* ■ Word order?
  8. 8. BASE advanced search
  9. 9. BASE search: Social care and dementia (also links to Google Scholar)
  10. 10. Finding theses & dissertations ■ Library catalogues such as COPAC. ■ Harvesters such as OpenDOAR and CORE have access to international subject-based and institutional repositories. There is a list of international repositories SHERPA search (beta) for UK open access repositories. ■ British Library EThOS Online e-theses service, some available to download. ■ DART- Europe E-theses Portal www.dart-europe.eu/ Access to European research theses. ■ Humanities Commons dissertations and other materials. ■ Proquest Dissertations & Theses (subscription resource).
  11. 11. City Research Online – new interface
  12. 12. Examples of free social sciences resources ■Health Sciences has many sources. ■Social Sciences ■Popline contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of population, family planning and related reproductive health and development literature. ■Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Abstracts, working papers and articles relating to social science research. Examples of other free subject repositories include RePEc, arXiv or PubMed Central. ■Social Care Online The UK’s largest database of information and research on all aspects of social care and social work. ■PsycBITE is a database that catalogues studies of cognitive, behavioural and other treatments for psychological problems and issues.
  13. 13. SSRN – paper statistics & downloads Related journals and papers.
  14. 14. Government publications ■The following resources provide information produced by the UK government www.gov.uk and its agencies. Information available includes governmental publications, policy documents, consultations and announcements. ■Publications example Social care ■Policies example Health and social care. ■Consultations (open and closed) example Network Rail ■Announcements example Higher Education.
  15. 15. Other sources ■ Mailing lists – JISCMail Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities. ■ Blogs (search Google and add keyword blogs). ■ Zetoc Conference search. ■ Conference archives may contain papers or presentations eg. LILAC Conference ■ Follow academics and hashtags on Twitter. ■ Figshare is a web-based interface designed for academic research data management and research data dissemination.
  16. 16. Conclusion ■With the vast expansion of electronic information, it is much easier to locate materials that are not commercially published. ■It is certainly worth looking at these sources when conducting research / literature reviews as they are often free, open access and international. ■This might also mean that what is considered as ‘grey literature’ is less defined and clear as the use of sources such as electronic theses had become much more common.
  17. 17. Activity 1 ■Take a look at some of the different resources on the grey literature Library guide https://libguides.city.ac.uk/grey and try some searches of your choice on them. ■How easy do you find them to use? ■What do you think of the interfaces, searching and content? ■Did you find any useful information? ■What are your top 3 resources?
  18. 18. Activity 2 ■Go to the Grey literature library guide http://libguides.city.ac.uk/grey ■Choose a topic. Think of some concepts, keywords and synonym terms for the topic. ■ Identify some limits for your search. ■ Consider the types of documents you require eg. theses, reports, articles, data, blogs. ■ Publication dates eg. in the last 5 years. ■ Geographical location ( eg. UK, international). ■ Choose which sources to use (See Grey literature page above for some ideas). ■Try some searches.
  19. 19. Thank you, any questions? ■Diane Bell diane.bell.2@city.ac.uk ■@dianelouisebell

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