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Environmental Science: Finding Government Policies & Reports

These guides provide an introduction to key resources available for Environmental Science. The Library has a wide range of both electronic and print materials including books, databases and journals.

Finding government policies & reports


Government policies and reports are a kind of "grey literature". Grey literature is a catch-all name that refers to anything that has not been formally published. 

Grey Literature can be harder to find than books or journal articles. Oftentimes, the best place to search for grey literature is through a google search. Have a look below for some top tips and tricks on searching google.

You can also search for grey literature in some of our databases:

Google advanced search


Google's Advanced Search makes it easy to find grey literature.

For example, we want to find Australian government reports on volunteers in the palliative care sector


  1. Type the keywords palliative care and volunteers into the search bar
  2. In site or domain, type in (this limits results to only Australian Government sources)
  3. Under file type, choose PDF (most reports by governments and organisations are PDF)
  4. Then select search


TIP: If you don't find what you want in Google try another option such as specialised databases.

Additional Google Searching Tips

In the site or domain field, you can also narrow your results to:

  • .org for organisation sources
  • .edu for educational sources

By putting .au after the site or domain (e.g. your search will only return Australian educational sources.

Evaluating grey literature


Most grey literature is not peer-reviewed and should be evaluated for quality.

To evaluate a piece of grey literature – you can use the C.R.A.P. Test.

The C.R.A.P Test


C.R.A.P. stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority and Purpose