Since there are two accepted spellings, to locate information on grey/gray literature in general, you might need to look for either grey OR gray literature.
Because the genre of Grey Literature encompasses an almost infinite number of topics in a wide range of formats, there is no uniform search strategy that will be effective across all subject areas.
Quick Tip: Start broad, then narrow your focus as appropriate with filters for the type of resource you need, like dissertations, reports, etc. If you are in Google or Google Scholar try utilizing search terms for the type of resource you need, for example:
1. Isolate keywords from your topic.
2. Narrow your search results to include all of your keywords using AND.
"United States" AND cultural competence AND health care
3. Expand your search using OR to find like terms.
"United States" AND "cultural competence" AND ("health care" OR healthcare)
Combining search terms with AND:
A search for "United States" yields 314,000 results results
A search for cultural competence yields 1,700 results
A search for cultural competence AND "United States" yields 429 results
Combining search terms with OR:
A search for "health care" yields 263,000 results
A search for healthcare yields 170,000 results
A search for "health care" OR healthcare yields 317,000 results
A search for caregiver yields 13,300 results
A search for caregiver NOT family yields 6,700 results
Use Quotation Marks to:
This shows the search engine that you want the terms to be found together. The search will look for exactly what you place in the quotation marks, so be sure there are no mistakes.
A search for United States yields over 500,000 results
A search for "United States" yields about 300,000 results
Use Truncation to:
Search engines match your exact terms to results; they will not automatically find an alternate version of it. Truncation tells the search to match the root of your term and gives it freedom to find whatever endings it can.
A search for cultural yields 36,000 results
A search for cultur* yields over 95,000 results
1. denoting a system of algebraic notation used to represent logical propositions, especially in computing and electronics.
What does that mean for you?
If you are having a hard time finding what you need, use the Boolean Operators outlined here to more efficiently search databases.
No matter where you are searching - the catalog, Google Scholar, a database you will want to use Boolearn Operators to refine your search to your specifications.
We are indebted to the Butler University Library's And/Or/Not box and to the Sarah Lawrence Create a Search Using Commands box for some of the content displayed here.