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Towards effective management of grey literature for higher education, research and national development

Francisca N. Okoroma (Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address issues in grey literature (GL) management and to proffer solutions to the problems. The specific aims are: to identify the categories of grey materials stocked, and the method of acquisition; to examine the method of GL management and the degree of access in Illinois state libraries; and also to identify the challenges/solutions to the problems associated with GL management and access.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted in Illinois state, USA in 2010, using an online questionnaire posted to various listservs used by 118 academic libraries in Illinois, including those of the Consortia of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois and the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries. The online survey questionnaire was designed to identify the categories of grey materials stocked by libraries, the method of acquisition and organization, the degree of access and the challenges/solutions to the problems associated with GL management and access. Simple frequencies and percentage were used in data analyses.

Findings

The study identified various categories of grey stocked, including: theses and dissertations, faculty works, conference proceedings, research reports, in‐house publications of associations, government documents and translations. The study diagnosed various challenges in the organization and dissemination of GL, and solutions to the challenges in order to ensure optimal access and utilization of grey materials.

Practical implications

The implication of this work is that institutional and subject repositories are needed in order to aggregate these useful resources into globally accessible databases, where the resources will be rediscovered through international catalogues such as online computer library center and major web search engines such as Google. The end result will showcase the value of these resources to the public for greater access and utilization.

Originality/value

The knowledge gained will help to more effectively manage and harness the current and factual contents of grey materials, for quality education, research and national advancement. The paper will be of benefit to libraries, librarians, educationists, researchers and decision makers globally.

Keywords

Citation

Okoroma, F.N. (2011), "Towards effective management of grey literature for higher education, research and national development", Library Review, Vol. 60 No. 9, pp. 789-802. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531111176808

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited