Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Integrated Workflow for Publications and Datasets: Grey Literature

This guide outlines the different stages involved in the Integrated Workflow for research publications and datasets.

What is grey literature?

The term ‘grey literature’ is used to refer to a wide variety of different outputs that are produced outside of predominant publication and distribution channels, and which are not often well-represented in indexing databases, such as Scopus or Web of Science. One widely adopted definition of ‘grey literature’ is

“information produced on all levels of government, academia, 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.” (Schnopfel, J., 2010).

Examples of grey literature can include (but are not limited to):

  • blog posts
  • working papers
  • technical papers
  • reports
  • instructional materials
  • briefing papers
  • newsletters
  • pamphlets
  • patents
  • policy position papers
  • dissertations and PhD theses
  • white papers

Schnopfel J. Towards a Prague definition of grey literature. Presented at: Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature: Transparency in Grey Literature. Grey Tech Approaches to High Tech Issues. Prague, 6-7 Dec 2010, Czech Republic. pp.11-26.  

Should I deposit my grey literature outputs in Pure?

We encourage all Strathclyde authors to deposit grey literature that they have produced in Pure. Our institutional repository, Strathprints, contains a wide variety of grey literature produced by colleagues across the University, including in the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre, The Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) and The Children’s and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ). Analysis of usage statistics has shown that grey literature is among the most used deposits in Strathprints, demonstrating the global reach and impact that this material can have. As grey literature tends not to be published or indexed elsewhere, repositories such as Strathprints play a vital role in raising the discoverability of such content.

Can I obtain a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for grey literature that I have produced?

Yes, the Open Access team can help you to obtain a DOI for grey literature that you have produced or contributed to.  A DOI is a unique, persistent identifier that can be created to ensure that your work is discoverable over time, thereby preventing any “link not found” errors. DOIs are one example of a persistent identifier (PID), which is a long-lasting reference to a digital resource. Another example of a PID is an ORCID ID, which is used to identify an individual researcher. PIDs such as DOIs and ORCID are key to facilitating the discoverability of scholarly resources.

The Open Access team can ‘mint’ a DOI for grey literature, of which you are the author or a contributor. Please email the Open Access team ( at the earliest opportunity to request this service. To be eligible for a DOI to be minted, the output should not already have a DOI, Strathprints should be the primary publication point for the output, and the output should not be subject to a permanent embargo.

Once the Open Access team have minted a DOI for your grey literature output, this will link, or ‘resolve’, to the Strathprints URL and will be displayed in the metadata for that output (see example screenshot, below).

DOI integrated in Strathprints item metadata

Contact us                                Electronic Library Services                              Library Home