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Earth Science Writing: Scholarly v. Grey Literature

Scholarly vs. Grey Literature

What is Scholarly writing?

Scholarly writing is developed based on the scientific method or established qualitative methods that use evidence to develop conclusions. It uses previous literature to develop theories and hypotheses while taking care to cite the appropriate authors and tools that are used.

Grey literature can be defined in two ways.

1) Grey can mean that it is not readily discoverable based on a traditional search engine search. It could be data or publications that are only accessible through a specific search tool on an ornganization's website, not included in search engine results. Some raw government data is only discoverable through specific search engines on agency websites and not a "Google" like search engine.

2) Grey can also mean scientifc or research related conversations with experts, or between colleagues that lead to scholarly developments. Some of this information could be emails, blog posts, wikis, etc. These are rather informal. Or, more formally, grey can be editorial discussions where one scientist responds to a trend or the work of another. These are not necessarily peer reviewed or traditional journal articles, but that does not mean that they do not have value to the scientific community or to research in that area.

Publication Cycles