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Social Work: Grey Literature

What is Grey Literature?

In the context of Social Work scholarly research, grey literature is not formally or traditionally published and it is not usually subject to the process of peer-review. Examples of grey literature can include:

  • Policy documents
  • Association publications
  • Theses and dissertations

There are many places to search for grey literature. This page directs you to some of those places.

Public Policy Databases


Canadian government and non-governmental public policy documents.

International Public Policy @ EBSCOhost

Selected EBSCOhost databases for International Public Policy.

International Public Policy @ ProQuest

Selected ProQuest databases for International Public Policy.

Conference Board of Canada e-Library

Research reports on public policy, economics and management.

Social Policy & Advocacy Websites

Caledon Institute of Social Policy Archive

This social policy think tank no longer operates, but its collection of social policy research is available online through the Maytree Foundation.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

An independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

Canadian Council on Social Development

A not-for-profit organization that partners and collaborates with all sectors (not-for-profit, philanthropic, government and business) and communities to advance solutions to today’s toughest social challenges.

Canadian Policy Research Networks

Socio-economic policy think tank.

Canadian Social Research Links

A virtual resource centre for Canadian social program information. Updated regularly with news from other sites.

Charity Village

A non-profit directory.

The Council of Canadians

A social action organization.

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards

A non-profit, national, independent organization that seeks to contribute to a better understanding of trends in and determinants of productivity, living standards and economic and social well-being through research.

Institute for Social Research (York University)

Houses the largest university-based survey research centre in Canada.

Canadian Think Tanks (McGill University)

Document that provides an A-Z list of Canadian Think Tanks.

Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal

Provides access to research on Canadian child welfare programs and policies.

Government Documents

Visit the Government Information Subject Guide for more resources and to connect with the Government Information Librarian, Hélène LeBlanc.

Canadian Research Index

Citations to monographs and annual publications from Canadian government and institutional resources.

PAIS Index (limit search to "PT = government document")

International index to various types of publications on public/social policy and social sciences. Includes PAIS Archive.

Google Advanced Search

Combine search terms, limit results by region, search by file type (e.g. pdf), or search by domain such as

Association & Government Websites

Theses & Dissertations

Theses and Dissertations are major research projects conducted by senior university students, usually graduate students, as a degree requirement. Visit the Theses and Dissertations Subject Guide to find more resources.

Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest)

International database with full text and/or abstracts for doctoral dissertations and selected master's theses.

Scholars Commons @ Laurier

Online collection of the intellectual, creative, and scholarly output of the Wilfrid Laurier University community.

Evaluating Sources

You need to critically evaluate all types of sources to determine how appropriate they are for your research. This applies to grey literature sources in particular because they are produced outside formal or traditional publication channels.



Page Owner: Meredith Fischer

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Last Updated: January 25, 2024 2:42pm