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Home Tutorials Gray Literature Section 4: Gray Literature Resources

Section 4: Gray Literature Resources

Click on each sub-topic to view list of gray literature resources. Click the sub-topic again to collapse the list.

Technical Reports

General purpose

National Technical Information Service "Largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information."
TRAIL: Technical Report Archive and Image Library Search U.S. government technical reports issued primarily prior to 1975 and digitized by the TRAIL Working Groups.
Defense Technical Information Center Central resource for DoD and government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information.

Agriculture and Earth Sciences

Agricola National Agriculture Library
National Service Center for Environmental Publications Provides access to over 6,000 technical and public information documents.
Natural Resources Conservation Service: Soils Part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, an effort to deliver science-based soil information.
Agricultural Research Service The U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency.
CRIS: Current Research Information Systems Provides documentation and reporting for ongoing agricultural, food science, human nutrition, and forestry research, education and extension activities.

Energy and environment

Department of Energy Data Explorer Scientific research data - such as computer simulations, numeric data files, figures and plots, interactive maps, multimedia, and scientific images.
Endangered Species Database Access federal register documents, recovery & conservation plans and other documents.
Energy Technology Data Exchange: World Energy Base "Collection of over 4,658,000 literature references and more than 447,000 full text documents not typically available through conventional sources"
Environmental Protection Agency: Models, Methods and Databases Includes EPA developed models for environmental decision making, sources of measurement methodology, and databases for scientists, risk assessors and resource managers.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: ADAMS Public Documents "Repository of official agency records for publicly available regulatory guides, NUREG-series reports, inspection reports, Commission documents, correspondence, and other regulatory and technical documents"
Science Accelerator Federated searching of ten energy databases.

Science and engineering

Army Corps of Engineers Publications A repository for official USACE engineering regulations, circulars, manuals and other documents.
DRYAD Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences.
NASA Technical Reports Server NASA's current and historical technical literature and engineering results (aerospace).
World Wide Science Global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals, multiple languages and research across all of the sciences.

Research Reports

Social sciences

Social Science Research Network Composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences.
tDAR: The Digital Archeology Record "International digital repository for the digital records of archaeological investigations."
ERIC: Education Resources Information Center "Indexes grey literature and books from hundreds of organizations producing education-related material."
Gallup Research Reports Reports cover a range of issues including education, the environment, quality of life issues, migration and more.
ETS: Educational Testing Service All of their research, reports, and more are available online - and are about education, assessment and testing.
Political Research Online Repository of papers delivered at professional conferences, and emerging political science scholarship. PROL accepts pre-print scholarship and research for review and comment.

Arts and humanities

Natural Endowment for the Arts: Research "Comprehensive accounts of trends and findings about artistic disciplines, arts employment, arts participation"
Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology "International database of bibliographic records for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines."
Arts Research Reports Americans for the Arts conducts extensive research on all aspects of the arts and culture industry.
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive "World's first interactive digital archive of policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States."

Health Sciences

General resources

New York Academy of Medicine: Gray Literature Report They actively collect gray literature and the database is very easy to search.
Centre for Reviews and Dessimation (U.K.) Search several databases for economic evaluations, technology assessments and systematic reviews.
TRIP A search engine for evidence-based clinical information.

Clinical practice guidelines

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) can be found both in the journal and gray literatures. Some databases, such as PubMed, allow you to search for or filter a search to just guidelines. You can also locate CPGs using more general sites for health-related information, such as the TRIP Database
National Guideline Clearinghouse Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US.
TOP: Toward Optimized Practice Alberta Medical Association, Canada
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement ICSI offers guidelines on best practices to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage health care conditions and diseases.

Clinical trials

Clinical trial registries are helpful for locating trials that haven't been published elsewhere. You can also locate results, protocols and contact information in these registries. If you are interested in a specific drug or device, it is a good idea to check the drug or manufacturer web site as well to make sure you have not missed anything. Registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world.
metaRegister of Controlled Trials (Current Controlled Trials) Collects records from a number of trials registries with a focus on the UK.
WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Trial information from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China, India, Korea, Cuba, Germany, Iran, Japan, Pan African, Sri Lanka, and The Netherlands

Drug and Medical Device Information

Drugs@FDA FDA/Center for drug evaluation and research
MedWatch FDA safety information and adverse event reporting program
Medical Device Database List of available FDA medical device databases
F.D.A. Advisory Committees  
Health Services and Sciences Research Resources Contains information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software used in health services research.

Health statistics and data sets

National Center for Health Statistics U.S. principal health statistics agency. Includes statistics by topic, surveys, publications and data sets. Collects high value health data together and allows you to search or browse for datasets by topic.
CDC Data and Statistics Provides access to data and statistics by topic and other CDC tools and resources related to data collection and statistics.
Health and Medical Care Archive Data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Preserves and disseminates data collected by selected research projects funded by the Foundation and facilitates secondary analyses of the data.
HCUPnet Allows querying of data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization.

Reports and policy

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Good place to find research about patient safety, medical errors, healthcare quality and cost.
NIH: RePORTER Who NIH is funding and the products and patents resulting from that funding.
World Health Oganization Reports and guidelines about global health topics.


Databases that contain gray literature

Copper Technical Reference Library - 1965-current (ProQuest) Encompasses all aspects of copper, its alloys and compounds. This database gathers information from academic journals, conferences and trade literature
COS Conference Papers Index (ProQuest) Provides citations to papers and poster sessions presented at major scientific meetings around the world. Subject emphasis in the life sciences, environmental sciences and the aquatic sciences.
Dissertations & Theses (ProQuest) This database is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1861 to the present day and offering full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997.
e-Answers (ADEC, ACE, CSREES-USDA) Extension Service publications from U.S. Land Grant universities. A publically available searchable database with links to full text. Covers a broad spectrum of agricultural topics.
Earthquake Engineering Abstracts - 1971-current (ProQuest) Draws from academic and trade journals, conferences and books to provide articles on earthquake's effects on buildings and other structures, geological formations and how seismic and tsunamic phenomena relate.
FDsys: Federal Digital System (GPO) GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) Composed of homeland security related documents collected from a wide variety of sources. These include federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies.
IEEE Xplore (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Contains conference proceedings
Inspec (EBSCO) Engineering conference proceedings
Mechanical & Transportation Engineering Abstracts - 1966-current (ProQuest) Currently includes over 6.2M records from periodicals, conference papers, trade journals, magazines, books, patents and technical reports. It covers all mechanical engineering and transportation engineering aspects from aerospace to automotive.
METADEX - 1966-current (ProQuest) Comprehensive materials science research currently includes millions of records from periodicals, conference papers, trade journals, magazines, books, patents and technical reports. Materials covered include steels, metals, alloys, compounds and metal matrix composites.
ProceedingsFirst - Proceedings (OCLC) Index of worldwide conference proceedings. Covers every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Centre. Contains in each record a list of the papers presented at each conference.
PsycEXTRA (EBSCO) Bibliographic and full-text companion to the scholarly PsycINFO database. The document types include technical, annual and government reports, conference papers, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, consumer brochures and more.


Interdisciplinary pre-prints Open access to 828,282 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics. Managed by Cornell University.
Cogprints Self-archived papers in any area of psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, many areas of computer science, philosophy, biology, as well as physical, social and mathematical sciences that are pertinent to the study of cognition. Free registration required.
E-Print Network A searchable gateway to over 13,750 websites and databases worldwide. Covers topics including physics, materials, chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, nuclear medicine. From the Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information and

Economics pre-prints

RePEc Collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 75 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related sciences.

Life sciences pre-prints

Nature Precedings Free online service enabling researchers in the life sciences to rapidly share, discuss and cite preliminary (unpublished) findings. Provided by Nature Publishing Group - unfortunately stopped accepting new papers in 2012.
PubMed Central Free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine including pre-prints.
Organic Eprints Open access archive for papers related to research in organic agriculture.
Netprints Clinical medicine and health sciences.

Mathematics pre-prints

Institute for Mathematical Sciences Pre-Print Server From 1990 to the present: differential geometry, topology, dynamics, complex analysis, differential equations, algebra and representation theory, and mathematical physics.
Conservation Laws Pre-Print Server "Papers on new and recent results concerning conservation laws and related equations. The main focus is on mathematical analysis and numerical methods, but papers concerning applications are also welcome."

Physics pre-prints

CERN Document Server Search over 650,000 records in particle physics and related areas including preprints, articles, books, journals, photographs and much more.
INSPIRE: High-Energy Physics Database Search more than 500,000 high-energy physics records including journal papers, preprints, eprints, technical reports, conference papers, and thesis from SLAC at Stanford.

Psychology pre-prints

History and Theory of Psychology E-Prints A free service to the community of scholarly historians and theoreticians of psychology with the goal of promoting the rapid dissemination of new work in the field
Behavioral and Brain Sciences Particularly significant and controversial pieces of work are published from researchers in any area of psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology or cognitive science, together with 10-25 commentaries on each article from specialists within and across these disciplines, plus the author's response to them.
Last updated: 7/23/2015