What is grey literature?

Grey literature is a catch-all term for any information not produced or distributed by commercial or academic publishing bodies. It therefore includes a wide range of information types including, but not limited to, research summaries, case studies, white papers (policy documents) and conference proceedings.

Inadequate preservation and discoverability of grey literature have been identified as a great hindrance to evidence-based decision-making across multiple disciplines; research papers alone are often not enough to fully inform real-world applications that must consider location-specific natural and cultural history, policy and society. The same frustrations are voiced by researchers and practitioners in the field of ecology where there is an evident ‘gap’ between research and practice.

AER aims to bridge this gap by serving as an applied ecological database for both journal-published research and grey literature. All resources in AER are permanently archived, given a citable identifier and made discoverable through tagged keywords, topics and other metadata.

What do we accept?

In short – anything.

Any materials that relate to the management of ecological resources are welcomed on AER whether they be new or confirmed discoveries, failed or successful project reports, legal information or data that have relevance at local, regional, national or international scale.

How does grey literature get on AER?

AER member organisations can archiving and preserve their information as part of their membership benefits. Visit the membership page to find out how your organisation can become a member of AER and discover the benefits different membership tiers can provide.

Once a member organisation uploads their documents, the in-house editorial office perform routine checks before transferring the documents to CABI where they are permanently archived and indexed.

Once fully processed, grey literature will become searchable on AER along with research articles and other types of information. All uploaded documents will be displayed with relevant metadata including the member organisation name, logo, contact details, names of authors and an abstract or summary.

The current AER website is under development and the full searchable database will launch later this year. Your organisation however can become a member now, and upload documents to be ready and searchable at launch. Visit our membership page to find out more or enquire about membership.