Pisa Declaration on Policy Development for Grey Literature Resources

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The Pisa Delcaration on Grey Literature was developed at a forum held in Pisa, Italy in May 2014 and has now been made public with a call for signatories to show their support. Read the full text here or click here to sign the declaration.



Pisa Declaration on Policy Development for Grey Literature Resources



A wealth of knowledge and information is produced by organizations, governments and industry, covering a wide range of subject areas and professional fields, not controlled by commercial publishing. These publications, data and other materials known as grey literature, are an essential resource in scholarly communication, research, and policy making for business, industry, professional practice, and civil society. Grey literature is recognized as a key source of evidence, argument, innovation, and understanding in many disciplines including science, engineering, health, social sciences, education, the arts and humanities.

Grey literature document types in print or electronic formats include among others: research and technical reports, briefings and reviews, evaluations, working papers, conference papers, theses, and multimedia content, representing an important and valuable part of research and information.

In order to realize the benefits of research and information for scholarship, government, civil society, education and the economy, We, the signatories to this declaration, call for increased recognition of grey literature’s role and value by governments, academics and all stakeholders, particularly its importance for open access to research, open science, innovation, evidence-based policy, and knowledge transfer.

To achieve the full benefits of grey literature for local, national and global communities we call for and encourage the following:


1. Greater commitment to open access by governments and organizations.

2. Greater cooperation and coordination among organizations engaged in the production, use, collection and management of grey literature.

3. The use of persistent identifiers and open metadata standards for grey literature.


4. New forms of recognition and reward for quality grey literature materials by governments, universities and other institutions.

5. Improved standards in the production and bibliographic control of grey literature.

6. Development and implementation of interoperable standards in the management of grey literature.

7. Development of good practice guides for the production, dissemination, and evaluation of grey literature.


8. Changes to legal deposit and copyright law that enhance the capacities of libraries, collecting services and educational institutions and programs to collect and provide access to grey literature, particularly non-commercial public interest materials.

9. Addressing legal obstacles to the dissemination of grey literature.

10. Further strides in licensing grey content for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.


11. Identifying available funding for research involving grey literature.

12. Increased support for collection development and long term preservation of grey literature.

13. Increased investment in infrastructure and new technologies for accessing and using print and digital grey literature.


14. Strategies to tackle link rot and enhance the stability and accessibility of online content.

15. Systems for linking data and other non-textual content to their grey literature publications together with interoperability standards for sharing grey literature.