The Grey Lit Café

Why we need to talk about silver literature

November 29, 2023 Anthony Haynes Season 5 Episode 50
The Grey Lit Café
Why we need to talk about silver literature
Show Notes

Anthony Haynes writes: I've long fought for a greater appreciation of forms of serious communication, other than just books and journal papers - forms such as reports, white papers, presentations, and blogs.

But it's difficult because the collective term for such forms is 'grey [or 'grey'] literature', which is a term likely to enthuse anyone.

'Grey' too easily evokes dullness and drabness.

So the term won't do. Instead, I propose 'silver literature' - a term that does more justice to the sense that such works are valuable. Silver literature constitutes a vault of huge value.

Why, even those users of research who continue to assert that peer-reviewed journal papers represent a 'gold standard' of scientific communication must surely acknowledge that.

Here, then, to mark our 50th episode is a proposal: speak not of grey lit, but of silver lit.


Further listening

If you enjoyed listening to this episode, you might find the following of interest:


Thomas Gray, 'Elegy written in a  country churchyard'


  • Sound production: Bart Hallmark
  • Music: from Handel's Water Music, courtesy of the United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra
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