Electronic grey literature

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Magnuson, M. L. (October, 2007). Electronic Women’s Studies Grey Literature at Academic Libraries. Paper presented at the Student Research Roundtable session at the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Convention, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Electronic grey literature

  1. 1. Electronic Grey Literature in Women’s Studies Collections at Academic Libraries<br />Marta L. Magnuson<br />magnuson@uwm.edu<br />WLA Student Research Roundtable October 2007<br />
  2. 2. What is Grey Literature?<br />“literature which is not readily available through normal bookselling channels, and therefore difficult to identify and obtain”<br />Would include unpublished conference presentations, theses and dissertations, technical and research reports, trade literature, datasets, government publications, bulletins, newsletters, pamphlets, diaries, and zines.<br />(Auger, 1998)<br />
  3. 3. Why is this important?<br />Grey literature is an important outlet for women’s writing.<br />Grey literature is often more difficult to collect and catalog.<br />Electronic resources are becoming more widely used – often times even more than the print collection. <br />Not much is written about grey literature as it relates to women’s writing.<br />
  4. 4. Research Question<br /> How successfully is electronic grey literature being incorporated into Women’s Studies collections at academic libraries?<br />
  5. 5. Sub questions <br />How is grey literature described and dealt with in the collection development plan? <br />How are Women’s Studies materials described and dealt with in the collection development plan? <br />What types of Women’s Studies electronic grey literature are popular at American academic libraries? <br />What specific subjects are popular in electronic Women’s Studies collections at American academic libraries? <br />
  6. 6. Sample<br />Four American academic libraries whose university has a graduate Women’s Studies program were randomly selected:<br />Small Private University is a small, private university with theological, liberal arts and professional colleges. Offers Master’s in Women's Studies and also a concentration for Ph.D.<br />Regional Public University is a large regional public university with over 100 bachelor, master, and doctoral programs in liberal arts, science, and professional areas. Offers Master’s in Women's Studies.<br />Large Public University is a large public research university with over 300 bachelor, master, and doctoral programs in liberal arts, science, and professional areas. Offers Ph.D. in Gender Studies.<br />Medium Private University is a medium-sized private university with two liberal arts colleges and professional and graduate schools in arts and sciences, business, law, medicine, and theology. Offers Ph.D. in Women's Studies<br />
  7. 7. Methodology<br />Document analysis was done on the collection development plans and electronic grey literature holdings at each library<br />
  8. 8. Methodology for Collection Development Plans<br />Three specific areas were analyzed in the collection development plans: <br />how grey literature is described and collected at the library<br />how Women’s Studies materials are described and collected at the library<br />how electronic resources are described and collected at the library<br />
  9. 9. Findings for Collection Policy<br />None of the four collection development plans analyzed mentioned specifically the terms “grey literature” or “grey material”.<br />The two universities with theological colleges mentioned historical “primary materials” related to their religious denomination. <br />Three out of the four collection development plans mention the collection of women specific materials either through a separate collection plan or in the collection plan for the whole library. <br />All four collection development plans specifically mention the selection of electronic materials such as periodicals and databases.<br />
  10. 10. Methodology For Electronic Resources<br />Two specific areas were analyzed: <br />The types of specific Women’s Studies electronic grey literature materials that are available online from the library <br /> The specific Women’s Studies topics that have grey literature available<br />
  11. 11. Women’s Studies Database Topics with Grey Literature<br />
  12. 12. Women’s Studies Website Topics with Grey Literature<br />
  13. 13. Women’s Studies Digital Collections Topics with Grey Literature<br />
  14. 14. Total Electronic Women’s Studies Resources<br />
  15. 15. Conclusions<br />All of the libraries had various types of electronic grey literature in their Women’s Studies collections. <br />Popular topics for Women’s Studies grey literature varied depending on what type of resource it came from. <br />Databases and websites were the most popular types of electronic grey material available. <br />Grey material in these collections was not separated from the other electronic materials but rather a part of the whole collection; another tool for researchers to use along with other information resources. <br />
  16. 16. References<br />Auger, C.P. (1998). Information sources in grey literature (4th ed.). London: Bowker-Saur.<br />

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