Grey literature and development: The non-governmental organization in action

Lynne M Rudasill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditionally, the non-governmental organization working in the area of development has been viewed as a trusted source for research and information on specific topics and populations. With the advent of the World Wide Web, many of these organizations are working to make their expertise available to a large number of users. This preliminary study surveys non-governmental organizations working in several areas of health-related activity to ascertain what types of information they are making available on the Web. What types of grey literature are being made available electronically by these organizations? What resources are being used to disseminate this literature? In addition to reviewing the types of information extant on these sites, we will compare a sample of the contents of the websites to the WorldCat database to see what is, and is not, part of the traditional dissemination system. This preliminary study is part of a larger survey that looks at the electronic production, collection, and dissemination of information by non-governmental organizations in developing and developed nations. Resources such as press/news releases, reports, books, bulletins, and journals are calculated for each organization at individual websites. It is expected that the World Wide Web now serves the purpose of the traditional vertical file in which print copies of non-governmental organization materials used to be placed. It is also assumed that the materials on the Web serve only as the tip of the iceberg as far as the production of information by the non-governmental organization. The impact this might have on the organization's ability to serve as a point of expertise in policy decisions is explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalGrey Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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