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CMN 456: Propaganda and Persuasion (UNH Durham)

Resources and strategies to support case-study assignment in Prof. Jennifer Borda's class.

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature is material of a scholarly nature produced outside the usual publication channels such as peer-reviewed journals; it is generally not commercially published (Example). Grey literature can include

Finding Grey Literature

Grey literature can be harder to identify and find because it often isn't formally published or indexed in the databases used to find scholarly literature.

Other strategies to help identify grey literature include:

  • search online - for example, limit Google searches to organization sites by including 'site:.org' (no quotes) in the search
  • check lists of references in books or articles
  • identify likely producers of grey literature (think tanks, government agencies, NGOs, etc.)
    • Look for Resources, Publications, Reports, Data or similar categories on agency or organization websites
  • identify experts in the topic and check their CVs for their publications, reports, conference talks, etc.

Nonprofit organizations may have ideological perspectives or may be nonpartisan. It's useful to review the About Us section of the organization's website and look for other views about the organization in order to place their work in context and better evaluate the authority and credibility of their work.

Specialized News Sources

Online publishing allows greater opportunities for specialized news sources to reach interested audiences. As with other types of sources, checking information about these sources helps in determining whether the articles on these sites are credible.