Research Article

Grey Literature: Use, Creation, and Citation Habits of Faculty Researchers across Disciplines

  • Kristen Cooper (University Of Minnesota)
  • Wanda Marsolek (University Of Minnesota)
  • Amy Riegelman (University Of Minnesota)
  • Shannon Farrell (University Of Minnesota)
  • Julie Kelly (University Of Minnesota)


INTRODUCTION Grey literature is ephemeral, and the level to which it is created, used, and cited by faculty, graduate students, and other researchers is not well understood. METHODS This electronic survey was distributed to a sample (57%) of the faculty across a wide variety of disciplines with the only criteria based on tenure and tenure-track faculty at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, a large R1 institution. RESULTS Faculty across disciplines both use and create grey literature for several reasons, including its far more rapid publication process. DISCUSSION Many faculty in a wide variety of disciplines are using and creating grey literature. The survey illustrates the different types of grey literature that are being used and for what purpose. Other topics, such as how faculty are finding grey literature (via Google Scholar and professional contacts), whether they are citing it, and which types they create (e.g., conference papers, preprints, technical reports) are also discussed. CONCLUSION As a result of this survey, librarians can provide support for faculty who use and create grey literature in all disciplines and advocate for and promote grey literature to faculty. With more scholars participating in systematic reviews of grey literature, librarians will need to be more cognizant of where and how it may be discovered.

Keywords: grey literature creation, grey literature use, academic research, faculty perceptions, discoverability

How to Cite:

Cooper, K. & Marsolek, W. & Riegelman, A. & Farrell, S. & Kelly, J., (2019) “Grey Literature: Use, Creation, and Citation Habits of Faculty Researchers across Disciplines”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 7(1). doi:

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Published on
18 Dec 2019
Peer Reviewed