Digital Library Seminar Series: 2005-05-13


Grey Literature in Scholarly Communication: Current Thinking from Libraries & Publishers

Speaker 1

Jim Neal

Affiliation 1

Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University

Speaker 2

Kate Wittenberg

Affiliation 2

Director, Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC), Columbia University


Grey literature has often been seen as peripheral to libraries, but in the digital age, it is becoming increasingly important to scholarship. The role of grey literature in scholarly communication has taken on new significance in recent years for a variety of reasons. In many fields, this form of communication often represents scholarship at its earliest stage, before it has been formally peer-reviewed, published, and/or placed under copyright.

  • What is the role and importance of grey literature for scholarly publishers, libraries creating institutional repositories, and scholars thinking about how to disseminate their newest work, and what models have been developed (discipline-based electronic resources, institutional repositories, for example) and should be created in the future for the dissemination of this genre of scholarly material?
  • What issues are raised with grey literature regarding questions of open access, library/publisher collaboration, and the development of editorial and technology infrastructure to enhance its usefulness through new forms of peer review, functionality, and user interface?
  • Do these trends present an opportunity for a refreshed recognition, a redefinition, a renaissance in the nature, role and impact of grey literature?
  • Do these developments offer opportunities for new collaborations among scholars, publishers and librarians to create innovative models of scholarly, educational and cultural communication?

In this discussion we will explore these questions from the perspective of a librarian and publisher and will propose some new models for the future of this form of scholarship.






11:00 AM-12:30 PM


203 Butler Library, Morningside Heights Campus, Columbia University


PowerPoint [33 KB]