Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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Grey literature

core definition

Grey literature is material of all sorts that is not available through normal published procedures.

explanatory context

Grey literature is material that is often useful in social research but is not published widely and not fully in the public domain. It may be documents with a limited circulation, including minutes of meetings, newsletters, educational handouts, lectures, letters or manuscripts that have not been formally published.

analytical review

GreyNet International (1992–2017) state:

Grey Literature is a field in library and information science that deals with the production, distribution, and access to multiple document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business, and organization in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

associated issues


related areas

See also

Researching the Real World Section


GreyNet International, 1992–2017, Home page: Grey Literature Network Service , available at , accessed 22 December 2016, still available 3 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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