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Percentage of Grey/Gray Literature By Field/Discipline (Albert Henderson) ERCELAA@CTRVAX.VANDERBILT.EDU 02 May 2003 13:22 UTC

Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 15:47:01 -0400
From: Albert Henderson <>
Subject: Percentage of Grey/Gray Literature By Field/Discipline
Sender: Albert Henderson <>

The American Psychological Association's Project on
Scientific Information Exchange tracked much research
submitted as conference papers that never appeared in
the archival literature. Garvey & Griffith summarize:
"Two thirds of the technical reports produced in 1962
had not achieved journal publication by 1965, and,
apparently, the contents of the vast majority of
these reports were never submitted for journal
SCIENCE 1979 P. 136)

It has been a long time since I read the original
reports, but I believe the APA profject limited its
observation to academic work. In 'psychology,' there
is considerable grey literature that is not academic
in origin.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes,

Albert Henderson

-------------Forwarded Message-----------------

From:   Gerry Mckiernan <gerrymck@IASTATE.EDU>
Date:   5/1/2003  2:06 PM
RE:     Percentage of Grey/Gray Literature By Field/Discipline

      Percentage of Grey/Gray Literature By Field/Discipline

 I am greatly interested in  studies that have calculated the
relative percentage of a discipline's literature that is considered
grey/gray literature.

A fabricated example:
Overall the literature of agronomy is 40% gray/grey literature

[ ]

"M. C. Debachere has written that it is easier to describe, rather
than define grey literature. Collectively the term covers an extensive
range of materials that cannot be found easily through conventional
channels such as publishers, "but which is frequently original and
usually recent" (Debachere 1995,94). Peter Hirtle in Broadsides vs.
Grey Literature defines it as:

The quasi-printed reports, unpublished but circulated papers,
unpublished proceedings of conferences, printed programs from conferences,
and the other non-unique material which seems to constitute the bulk of
our modern manuscript collections (Hirtle 1991)."

[ ]

  To such an amorphous list, one may also wish to add Web/Internet
resources, most notably e-prints (of course).

NOTE:  I am *particularly* interested in the Gray/Grey Literature of

 [I've just begun a literature review but thought I'd also tap The Wisdom
of the Web as well]

  As Always, Any and All contributions, suggestions, comments, queries,
questions, basketball coaches, or Cosmic Insights are Most Welcome.


Gerry McKiernan
Gray/Grey Librarian
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011