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Public Policy

A guide to major reference works, scholarly article databases and data sources in Public Policy.

Canadian Documents

Parliamentary Documents


American Documents

International Documents

Grey Literature

What is Grey Literature?

  • Grey literature is information produced outside traditional publications (such as scholarly journals). It includes reports, policy briefs and reports, white papers, working papers, government documents, speeches, etc... 
  • Although not published in traditional media, grey literature can help you find some "behind the scene" information about how policies and decisions came to be.
  • Given that they are not usually "officially" published, they can be tricky to find. Use the tips below to find grey literature.

Google Advanced Search

You can use a Google advanced search to look for working papers, internal documents, and white papers particularly from international organizations.

Search for "working papers" and specify the URL of the website you want to search (ex:


Library Databases

  • Open Grey: European grey literature. It covers Science, Technology, Biomedical Science, Economics, Social Science and Humanities

Boolean Operators: AND, OR & NOT

AND: Combines two concepts, both will be represented in the results.

  • Lowers the numbers of results

  • Ex: Canada AND policy

OR: Joins two concepts or synonyms

  • Increases the number of results

  • Ex: policy OR governance

NOT: Removes the results that include the word that follows it

  • Lowers the numbers of results

  • Ex: North America NOT United States

* truncation or wildcard: Place at the end of the root of a word and all the words with a different ending will be represented in the results

  • Use instead of plurals / can also replace a letter

  • Increases the number of results

  • Ex: Wom*n = will show results with woman and women. Canad* will show Canada, Canadian, canadien, canadienne, etc…

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