Information Services

Grey literature

Sources of literature which may be considered unpublished, or non-standard academic literature, e.g. theses and technical reports. In addition, reports from government or organisations working in your field of interest which may be of the right standard for your work but which are not commercially published.

Clinical trials' information sources


Conference Proceedings:

If not found in your database(s) of choice, use Web of Science Core Collections which includes Conference Proceedings Citation Indexes.

Web of Science Core Collection

Access information:

Access on and off campus.

  Russian Science Citation Index is not presently included in the Web of Science.

Citations and abstracts to millions of journal articles and conference proceedings from all subjects. Cited reference searching, Impact Factors, h-indexes and email alerts available.


Arts & Humanities (1975 onwards), Science and Social Sciences Citation Indexes (both 1900 onwards), Conference Proceedings in Science and Social Science & Humanities (both 1990 onwards).

Also: Book Citation Indexes in Science and Social Sciences & Humanities (both 2005 onwards), Current Chemical Reactions (1986 onwards), Emerging Sources Citation Index (2015 onwards), Current Chemical Reactions (1985 onwards), Index Chemicus (1993 onwards).

Change "Search in:" to use: BIOSIS Citation Index (1926 onwards), Current Contents Connect (1998 onwards), Data Citation Index (1990 onwards), Derwent Innovations Index (1966 onwards), KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980 onwards), Medline (1950 onwards), PrePrint Citation Index (1991 onwards), ProQuest Dissertatoins & Theses Citation Index (1637 onwards), SciELO Citation Index (2002 onwards), Zoological Record (1864 onwards).


Publisher userguide

Finding articles which have in their reference lists a work you found useful ('cited reference searching'):

Cited Reference Searching (pdf)


Journal Citation Reports (JCR): 

Journal Impact Factors and other measures on JCR (pdf)


Grey Literature labelled resources:

Grey Literature Report 1999-2016 no longer functions.

Many of the bibliographic references to grey literature publications in health services research and selected urban health topics can be found using the Advanced Search feature of the Library catalogue for The New York Academy of Medicine's. Limit the search to Grey Literature.

The New York Academic of Medicine Library: Collections and resources

OpenGrey was archived in 2021.

The bibliographical records for European grey literature of all disciplines are available but from the data archive, DANS EASY and they have to be downloaded in XML and CSV format with an accompanying ReadMe text file and a document on MySQL.

OpenGrey data archive download service

Overton is a key resource


Access information:

Access on and off campus - see registration guidance in Notes below.


Use your University of Edinburgh email address to create a personal account via The Library's institutional subscription:

Future access can then be direct from


A large searchable index of policy documents, guidelines, think tank publications and working papers from sources that are typically difficult to find in one place. Documents are parsed to find references, people and key concepts in relevant news stories, academic research, think tank output and other policy literature.  Full-text indexing can lead to discovery of additional citations.


Over 11 million full-text policy documents and grey literature from 32,000 organisations in 188 countries


Policy Commons is a key resource

Access Information:

Access on and off campus.


Difficult to find publications in one place, built around a directory of over 21,000 policy organisations. Provides access to 2.4 million books, articles, working papers, reports, policy briefs, data sets, tables, charts, media, case studies, and statistical publications from organisations including inter-governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, think-tanks and other research centres.

The search interface also enables searching for tables within reports.

Registered users can receive alerts of material added to the database.


Health and Medicine related:


INVOLVE Libraries: public involvement in research

Access information: Freely available
Description: Publications and other literature on public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.
Additional information: INVOLVE is part of, and funded by, the National Institute for Health Research.


PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews

Access information: Freely available

Protocol details for systematic reviews relevant to health and social care, welfare, public health, education, crime, justice, and international development, where there is a health related outcome.

Systematic review protocols on PROSPERO can include any type of any study design. Reviews of reviews and reviews of methodological issues that contain at least one outcome of direct patient or clinical relevance are also accepted.

Additional information: Produced by CRD and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).



Social Care Online (1980-2022)

Access information: Free access on and off-campus.
Description: UK social care academic literature but also legislation, government documents, practice and guidance, research briefings and UK grey (informally-published) literature, reports. Produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).
Additional Information:

No updates after December 2022 and the site will close in January 2024.

Social Care Online’s bibliographic data will be subsumed in the subscription-based abstracting and indexing database, Social Policy & Practice.



Virtual Health Library

Access information: Freely available
Description: Specialised, especially non-English language, databases for health research in South America. Also research from the Caribbean. MEDLINE may be searched by default.
Coverage: Includes LILACS and MEDCARIB



Official Publications:


Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: PAIS (originally, the Public Affairs Information Service) was established in 1914. There are two databases created from the files: PAIS International and PAIS Archive. This resource covers issues in the public debate through selective coverage of a wide variety of international sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more. PAIS International is the current file covering 1972 to present. Topics covered include: Economic conditions, Education, Energy resources and policy, Government, Health conditions, Human rights, International Relations, Labor conditions and policy, Politics, Social conditions, Civil rights movement. PAIS Archive is a retrospective conversion of the PAIS Annual Cumulated Bulletin, volumes 1-62, published 1915-1976.


ProQuest Congressional

Access information:

Access on or off campus. The Library's subscription to this resource expires 31 July 2024.


ProQuest Congressional offers a comprehensive collection of congressional documents from 1789 to the present. This primary source collection offers you an opportunity to understand the present by comparing today’s events and opinions with trends and patterns throughout our nation’s history. The Library has access to the following collections through ProQuest Congressional:

  • Congressional Basic.
  • Congressional Hearings Digital Collection Historical Archive, Parts A-C (1824-2010).
  • Congressional House and Senate Unpublished Hearings, Parts A-C (1973-1992).
  • Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection, Parts A-D (1789-2009).
  • Congressional Research Digital Collection Historical Archive, Parts A-B (1830-2010).
  • Digital U.S. Bills and Resolutions, 1789-2013.
  • Executive Branch Documents, Parts 1-6 (1789-1952).
  • Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations, 1789-Present.
  • U.S. Serial Set 1 Digital Collection, 1789-1969.
  • U.S. Serial Set 2 Digital Collection, Parts A-D (1970-2010).
  • U.S. Serial Set  Maps Digital Collection Complete.
Coverage: 1789 - present.




Regional journal collections

may have academic articles you cannot find in the abstracting and indexing databases listed with the databases for your subject:

Access information: Freely available
Description: Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal. Specialises in science and technology, open access, research journals. Includes peer reviewed titles, published by more than 500 institutions from twenty two Ibero-American countries. 



SciELO Citation Index via Web of Science

Access information:

Freely available.

Access to SciELO Citation Index require a University Login.


Open access collections of peer reviewed academic journals, published by institutions from Ibero-American countries and South Africa.

The SciELO Citation Index via Web of Science provides another method of searching for the content on the SciELO platform - against each search result, there is a button which will link you out to the full text on the SciELO platform.


Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: Full-text of technical papers, material specifications, standards, books and journals available for download, covering all fields related to mobility engineering – e.g.  aerospace, automotive industries, design engineering, energy sources, fluids, fuels, propulsion, safety engineering, tests and testing, transportation, etc. Includes the SAE Cybersecurity Knowledge Hub for information related to the cyber-physical security of end to end product design, risk mitigation, training and standards.  




Theses databases


Large, often international, organisations

may produce reports you can use:

Economist Intelligence Unit Country Reports Archive

Access Access on and off campus. The Library's subscription to this resource expires 31 July 2024.
Description Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Reports Archive provides detailed coverage of political, economic, and commercial developments covering all countries from 1952 to 1995. Comprehensive quarterly overviews allow researchers to gain a thorough understanding of an event, policy, or development. In addition to the highly regarded, impartial insight from EIU researchers, each report contains tables with detailed country-level statistics downloadable to Excel.
Coverage 1952-1995.


King's Fund Publications

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: London based King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation which undertakes, amongst other things, original research into the assessment of health policies. Some of its publications are freely available online.


UNESCO Documents and Publications

Access information: Freely available
Description: Education, social and natural science, culture and communication database of bibliographic records which also provides access to the full text of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) documents, publications, periodicals.
Coverage: From 1945.
Additional information: UNESCO thesaurus


Access information: Freely available
Description: For global economic policies. Using Documents & Reports (previously known as World Development Sources (WDS)) search and a browse the full-text of 27,000 World Bank publications:
  Analytic & Advisory (in-depth background, strategic priorities, and direction for lending activities).
  Project Documents (loan documents released to the public according to the project cycle; Publications & Research (Formal publications, working papers & informal series from departments around the Bank).
  The Data & Research section provides access to statistics and research output, including: research briefs, policy research reports, World Bank economic classification of countries, Global Economic Prospects online.


World Health Organization (WHO) Institutional Repository (IRIS)

Access information: Freely available
Description: Search the entire collection of WHO publications. Access to online publications in full where available.
Additional information:

WHO's Regional Offices' web pages have links to full-text of their publications, their library services and information listed under health topics:


Related Information:

Grey literature subject guide