Skip to Main Content

Climatology & Climate Change: Grey Literature

What is grey literature?

Grey literature consists of reports by government, non-profit, or for-profit organizations outside of the academic publishing industry. Grey literature can be a valuable and credible resource for your research, but has usually not undergone peer-review to scrutinize the science behind the report. 

Examples include: Government reports, conference proceedings, white papers, market research reports, newsletters and/or bulletins, dissertations, policy statements


Why use grey literature?

  • Your research is a topic that governments spend time and money understanding, such as land management or infrastructure.

  • Your research needs the point of view of local, state, or national governments. 

  • You want a more practical rather than academic viewpoint. 

  • The publication is focused on a local issue you want to study, such as a dissertation about the ecosystem of a local park. 

  • The document may be the only timely information available.

How do I find grey literature?


  • Use the UW Libraries Search for your term(s) and then use the "Resource Type" filter on the left side of the results list to limit the results to "Government Documents," "Conference Proceedings," "Dissertations & Theses," and any other examples of grey literature you see. 

  • Use a search engine and limit your search by domain by typing domain: .gov at the end of your search terms. 

  • Use a specialized search engine like or

UW Libraries Search

UW Libraries Search

UW Libraries Search logo  

Advanced Search | FAQ | Known Issues