The use of grey literature in historical journals and historical research: A bibliometric and qualitative approach
Blaaij, Cees de (ZEBI)
GreyNet, Grey Literature Network Service
- Publisher: Amsterdam : TextRelease, 2008
05B - Information science, librarianship | Open Access Journals | Historical scholarship | Printed journals
Grey literature is generally accepted as an important part of scholarly communication especially in the "hard" sciences. Since little is known about the use and nature of grey literature in the humanities and specifically in the discipline of history, a systematic analysis was done to characterize the bibliographic references appearing in ten core history journals. Methods: references from all research articles published in ten core history journals in 2005 were analyzed – five printed and five Open Access history journals - to determine the portion of references from grey literature. The Open Access history journals are free available on the internet. The references were analyzed and categorized according to the type of publication. The uses of grey literature in printed versus Open Access versions were compared. It will be shown that grey literature as a primary source will be less important than in STM journals. Surprisingly the role of grey literature is of significance in Open Access history journals. The printed history journals show opposed results. Supplementary to grey literature is the development of the format of grey literature as aggregated historical datasets. These datasets are electronically available and will have an important influence on historical research if historians will get more confident in using these sources.
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