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Grey literature management in Iranian medical science libraries

Abbas Doulani (Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran)
Nasim Ansari (Student Research Committee, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran)
Seyedeh Zahra Mirezati (Student Research Committee, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran)
Mohammad Karim Saberi (Department of Medical Library and Information Sciences, School of Paramedicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran)

Collection and Curation

ISSN: 2514-9326

Article publication date: 27 June 2020

Issue publication date: 16 July 2021




The aim of this study is to identify the status of managing gray literature (GL) in medical science libraries in terms of three dimensions, collection development, organization and dissemination.


In this survey study, a structured questionnaire was used. The questionnaire consisted of 30 questions and consisted of six sections (demographic characteristics, the use of the term GL, types of GL, collection development, organization and dissemination). In total, 50 librarians from 15 medical science libraries participated in this study. The questionnaires were distributed manually to librarians by visiting libraries. All the librarians filled in the questionnaires. It should be noted that descriptive statistics and Excel and SPSS software were used for data analysis.


The results of using the term GL showed that 68 per cent of librarians use the source name itself. Most GL in libraries were theses (94 per cent). Moreover, a review of the status of GL collection showed that 60 per cent of libraries had written instructions for providing these resources. A total of 62 per cent of librarians stated that there is a GL selection committee in their library and the librarian is the most important member of the collection department. A total of 40 per cent of libraries were weeding GL. The most common way of obtaining GL was through deposition. The analysis of the status of GL organization indicated that 80 per cent of libraries had GL organization. A total of 90 per cent of libraries had digitized GL, and that librarians played a large role in organizing such resources. Evaluation of the dissemination of GL showed that all libraries have enabled users to access GL. In most libraries, users were only allowed to use GL in the library, and it was not possible to copy GL. Students and faculty members were the most important users of GL. Informing through the library website and the parent organization was the most important way of informing about these resources.


GL is one of the most important resources in medical and non-medical academic libraries. In this study, for the first time, the status of GL management in Iranian libraries of medical sciences was investigated. The results of this study can be useful for policymakers and managers of medical and non-medical libraries.



This study was funded by the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences (No. 9809126703).


Doulani, A., Ansari, N., Mirezati, S.Z. and Saberi, M.K. (2021), "Grey literature management in Iranian medical science libraries", Collection and Curation, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 112-121.



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