Skip to Main Content

Today's hours:

See all library hours »

  • Ask a Librarian
  • FAQ


News Sources

Data & Statistics

Grey Literature (reports, policy papers, etc.)

Google strategies for government information and grey literature

Many federal, state, and international government documents, along with information from IGOs/NGOs and other sources of grey literature, are available online--but it can be difficult to locate these sources in a typical Google keyword search. Try these tips to hone in on what you need: 

  • Use the site: search, along with keywords, to view sources from a top-level domain (.gov, .edu, .org), a website (,,, or a section of a website (
    • "special education"
  • Use a broad site: search (e.g., of a top-level domain like .gov or .org, or of a website like when you're not sure if there's particular agency, group, etc. that is focused on your topic. This can be a good way to see if there's a specific office within the U.S. Department of Education that is concerned with, say, HBCUs. (There is! It's the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and it's based in the Dept. of Ed.'s Office of the Secretary.) 
  • File types (e.g., PDF) are often quite helpful. Think about policy papers, reports, meeting minutes, etc.; many of these end up on websites as PDF documents. You can add filetype: to your search to further drill down into your results. 
    • "special education" site: filetype:pdf