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Grey literature archiving pattern in open access (OA) repositories with special emphasis on Indian OA repositories

B.S. Shivaram (CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India)
B.S. Biradar (Department of Library and Information Science, Kuvempu University, Shimoga, India)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 4 December 2018

Issue publication date: 15 May 2019



This paper aims to examine the grey literature archiving pattern at open-access repositories with special reference to Indian open-access repositories.


The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) was used to collect data from different document types archived by open-access repositories across the world. Data were collected by advanced search and browse features available at the BASE on document types, the number of repositories by country wise and Indian academic and research repositories. Data were tabulated using MS Excel for further analysis.


Findings indicated that open-access repositories across the world are primarily archiving reviewed literature. Grey literature is archived more at European and North American repositories compared to rest of the world. Reports, theses, dissertations and data sets are the major grey document types archived. In India, a significant contributor to the BASE index with 146 open-access sources, reviewed literature is the largest archived document types, and grey literature is above world average due to the presence of theses and dissertations at repositories of academic institutions.


Grey literature is considered as valuable sources of information for research and development. The study enables to get insights about the amount of grey content archived at open-access repositories. These findings can further be used to investigate the reasons/technology limitations for the lesser volume of grey content in repositories. Furthermore, this study helps to better understand the grey literature archiving pattern and need for corrective measures based on the success stories of repositories of Europe and North America.



Shivaram, B.S. and Biradar, B.S. (2019), "Grey literature archiving pattern in open access (OA) repositories with special emphasis on Indian OA repositories", The Electronic Library, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 95-107.



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