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Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Resources for research in conflict resolution, peace operations, armed conflict, and human security.

Searching Grey Literature Databases

Grey literature is research of a scholarly nature produced by specialists with expert opinions, but not published through traditional presses (journals, books, etc). Grey literature include think tank reports, conference proceedings, and government reports. It is particularly helpful when conducting research on recent events. 

Strategies for Finding Grey Literature

Before you start first consider what types of organizations conduct research on your topic. If you aren't sure - or a number of organizations might investigate your topic - then using grey literature databases are a helpful alterative.

Use broad language to locate grey literature. When searching databases like Proquest you narrow and focus your search to limit your results. You do the opposite for grey literature searches.

Evaluating Grey Literature

Grey literature should be evaluated using the same standards as traditionally published materials. The following evaluation checklist was specifically created for grey literature to help judge the quality of the material.

  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Coverage
  • Objectivity
  • Date
  • Significance

A printable checklist is available for download at http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/jspui/bitstream/2328/3326/4/AACODS_Checklist.pdf