Skip to Main Content

Nursing: Grey Literature

This guide contains resources and guidance to help students studying Nursing.

What is grey literature?


The term grey literature refers to published and unpublished research, such as reports, government documents, and presentations which you can find simply through Google!

Grey literature is often the best source of up-to-date research as you don’t have to wait for it to go through the publication process. Grey literature usually is not found on the library website or in databases.

Grey literature does not go through the same peer-review process as journal articles. However, it can still be a reliable resource for you to use. Just make sure that you evaluate grey literature before using it.



Grey Literature is a valuable resource for all health students, from government and non-government organisation (NGO) reports to guidelines and statistics. They often contain an overview of an issue as it applies to a specific region, state, country or even worldwide.


Government reports

NGO reports

You can also try searching other NGOs or Organisations that are specific to diseases and conditions you are researching, such as DiabetesAustralia.

Searching Google

Grey literature can be hard to find, sometimes the best thing to do is try a Google search, You may not find exactly what you are looking for, but it can help you get a little bit closer.

Try searching for your keywords along with OR

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.