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Paper Topic Selection and Development Guide: Developing an Argument through Grey Literature

This guide is designed to help law students select and research a topic for their upper level writing requirement.

Due to the explosion of open access materials, a diligent researcher's job has grown increasingly more complicated.  In an attempt to simplify the search for grey literature and other relevant content, the University of Michigan developed OAIster.

OAIster searches many file types, including statistical datasets, from many repositories, policy sites, and research publications not commercially published. Click on the link below to access the site.

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature, also known as the grey or hidden web, is information that is not searchable or accessible through conventional search engines or subject directories and is not generally produced by commercial publishing organizations. It can include publications issued by government, industry, business and academia occurring in databases and intranets. The development of electronic scholarly publishing such as e-print archives has led to increased access to this type of information. Preserving Access to Digital Information, available at

Grey literature includes:

  • Commercially Unpublished Works or Preprints
  • United States Government Reports and Other Documents
  • Reports from Think Tanks and Other Public Interest Organizations
  • Professional Association Publications