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Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Guide

Guide to library resources and techniques relevant to the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health program.

Grey Literature Basics

What is it? 

Information "produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." (source)

It includes: Reports, preprints, working documents, research papers, theses and dissertations, clinical trials, bibliographies, newsletters, patents, statistical documents, white papers, pamphlets, informal communication (e.g., blogs, podcasts, email), and more.

When do I use it? 

Anytime you're researching. Relying only on scholarly literature tends to center whiteness because white supremacy is embedded throughout the research process: "Most editors are white and/or from Western nations, and 66-80% of peer reviewers are also white." Learn more about researching through an anti-racism lens.

How do I find it? 

How do I evaluate it?


Learn more about conducting research through an anti-racism lens.


Data is an important part of research because it can provide evidence that an intervention does or doesn't work, that a community is or isn't receiving sufficient support, and more. Data and statistics can be manipulated to justify almost any opinion, so you must evaluate the collection methods, purpose, and more to ensure you understand the data and are using the data appropriately.

General Data Resources

Data that Encompasses Multiple Parts of the Food System

Data Related to Nutrition

Data Related to Economics

Data Related to Agriculture and Food Supply

Data Related to Food Waste

Data related to Climate Change and the Environment

Food Policy

Deep Web Searching

The Deep Web, also known as the Invisible Web, is a portion of the web not reached by standard search engines, such as Google and Bing. Less than 10% of the web is indexed by search engines, with the remaining 90% of web content called the Deep Web. It is estimated to be 2-500x bigger than the visible web. 

Here are some general resources to search the Deep Web:

Institutional Repositories

An Institutional Repository is a virtual space where a university or research institute collects and preserves its research and findings. Information in Repositories is considered grey literature since these resources are not traditionally published.

  • ResearchWorks
    University of Washington's digital repository of articles, technical reports, dissertations, datasets, images, and other file types produced at UW by faculty and researchers.
  • OpenDOAR
    Directory of open access repositories

Reports, Theses & Dissertations, Clinical Trials

Reports and Research:


Clinical Trials

  • CenterWatch
    Global source for clinical trials information, offering news, analysis, study grants, career opportunities, and trial listings to professionals and patients
    Registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world
  • EU Clinical Trials Register
    Registered clinical trials in the European Union 
  • ISRCTN Register
    Registered randomized controlled trials and other studies to assess the efficacy of health care interventions around the world 

Policy & Legislation

Public Health & Research Services Librarian


We welcome your feedback and recommendations!