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Grey literature in Australian education


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Presentation by Dr Gerald White, Principal Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research, at the Where is the evidence conference, National Library of Australia, 10 October 2012

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Grey literature in Australian education

  1. 1. Grey literature in Australian education Dr Gerald White (Gerry) Principal Research FellowDigital Education Research Network
  2. 2. ARC research grant Grey Literature, policy innovation and access to knowledge: realising the value of informal publishingUniversities Chief InvestigatorsSwinburne University (Administration) Professor Julian Thomas- Institute for Social Research Professor John HoughtonVictoria University Key InformantPartner Organisations Dr Gerald White• Eidos Institute• Australian Council for Research Associates Educational Research Amanda Lawrence• National Library Australia Dr Paul Weldon• National and State Libraries Australasia
  3. 3. Overview• Grey literature• My EdNA story• Things changed• Information abundance• Lost information• Integrators/curators• The Tyndall framework
  4. 4. Grey literature Definitions 1997, 2004Traditionally• Non-commercial• Published (semi)• Non-publishing bodies .... but Today • Electronic information (ephemeral) • Openly accessible eg OER • Current • Quality variable
  5. 5. My StoryEducation Network Australia
  6. 6. EdNA’s life1. Antecedent OLTC (1993-1997)2. EdNA development commenced 19953. Life 1997-2011 (14 years)Collaboration• 8 State departments schools (65%)• Catholic education (23%)• Independent education (12%)• 8 Training departments AICTEC• 38 Universities• Commonwealth education• Agencies – technology & resources
  7. 7. EdNA usageResource database (search and browse)Total database items = 41,368, ( 39,694 resources, 871 events, 803 news items)Resource items accessible by distributed search = excess of 3 million digital resourcesMemberships (Shared Information Services)35,349 members have self-registered with any edna registered service via single sign on(i.e. Groups, Lists administration, or any combination)23,205 edna Groups (Moodle) members14,729 members123,928 edna List email subscribersGroups (EdNA Groups)Groups member growth over 2 year period Jan 2007-December 2008 = 113%Growth in number of communities for same period = 100%Growth in single sign-on (i.e. all member services) for same period = 127%Growth in email List subscribers for same period = 65%.(, 2009b, pp. 19-20)
  8. 8. Why?1. Share information • (mostly open and • Curriculum documents grey literature) • Reports • Lesson plans2. Re-use resources to • Implementation strategies avoid duplication • Research • Newsletters • (mostly grey • Policy literature) statements • Annual reports3. Collaborate nationally • White papers • ....... • (on how to handle grey literature)
  9. 9. Things changed 96% 9-16 year olds access the internet often using mobile devices (60%) ACMA. (2011). Communications report 2010–11 series: Report 3—The emerging mobile telecommunications service market in Australia. ACMA: Canberra, Australia. Retrieved December 20, 2011, from D/pc=PC_410225.
  10. 10. ChangedTextbook to Apps
  11. 11. Changed - eBooksJohnson, D. (2011). Are we asking the wrong question about e-books? In The Blue Skunk Blog. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from
  12. 12. Education and abundance 3.5 million Australians Annual budget ~ $80 bn
  13. 13. Abundance – blogs informally published NM Incite. (2012). Number of blogs tracked by NM Incite. Retrieved march 14, 2012, from
  14. 14. Abundance • Information is more accessible • More written information • More published • Increase in grey literature • Information overloadEducation has a problem with anabundance of information much ofwhich becomes lost or inaccessible
  15. 15. Lost information Lost Why? Not archivedConference papers Technical reportsDissertations MemorandaNewsletters Meeting minutesResearch projects SpeechesPolicy statements StatisticsAnnual reports DirectoriesWorking papers Programs & projectsWhite papers MemorandaBulletins GuidelinesFact sheets SurveysBlogs Bibliographies
  16. 16. Integrators/CuratorsDigital Education Research Network (DERN) • Research reviews • Research news • Research briefs • Research database • Archives • Email alerts
  17. 17. Tyndall framework ... to systematically build a search schema for a discipline ACCODSGovtreports Open resourcesBlogs • Authority • AccuracyResearch Nationalreports • Coverage bodies • Objectivity Projects • Date International Conferences • Significance bodies Newsletters Tyndall, J. (2008). How low can you go?: Toward a hierarchy of grey literature. Retrieved September 8, 2012, from
  18. 18. Where have we been?• Grey literature• My EdNA story• Things changed• Information abundance• Lost information• Integrators/curators• The Tyndall frameworkBorn digital
  19. 19. Gerry White Principal Research Fellow Education Research Network