MacDonald, B. H., Cordes, R. E., & Wells, P. G. (2004). Grey literature in the life of GESAMP, an international marine scientific advisory body. Publishing Research Quarterly, 20,1, 25-41.
GESAMP, an international marine scientific advisory group sponsored by several UN bodies, has published significant reports on marine pollution and marine environmental protection since it was established in 1969. GESAMP serves as an exceptionally good organization to test for access to and uses of grey literature. Although thoroughly reviewed and refereed, many of GESAMP’s publications fit within the internationally accepted definition of grey literature. Since grey literature can be difficult to identify and locate, are GESAMP’s publications ever used? Through an analysis of its publications this paper shows that even when an organization relies on grey literature as its primary means of output, the publications can receive extensive use. Nevertheless, problems of identification and access remain, and these are not fully addressed by digital publication. Many of these problems could be minimized by following recommendations included in the paper.