Discussion about grey literature is not new. However, numerous questions may arise if the discussion includes a relation between modern literature and grey literature.
Literature means an artistic expression of thoughts filled with feelings and imagination. Modern literature implies expanding traditional thoughts and the inclusion of a new dimension of reality, imagination, and feelings.
On the other hand, grey literature describes producing information maintaining different formats. These include research reports, blogs, government reports and documents, policy statements, survey results, etc. That means grey literature doesn’t follow the traditional publishing process that includes academic or commercial publishing and distribution channels.
In most cases, materials in the shape of grey literature are produced by organizations. The materials are usually made public in electronic and print formats by these organizations, either government or private. Moreover, publishing doesn’t always appear as the sole criteria to produce the content that belongs to grey literature.
Now, the million-dollar question is whether modern literature sometimes embraces grey literature as its essential part. There is no doubt that the format of the so-long traditional literature is no more the only choice of the readers. The days of epic drama or novels are gradually fading. Readers are now approaching to embrace new formats according to their needs.
Nowadays, many publishing agencies choose to produce books, even research reports, analyses, etc. These research books are now considered an essential part of college and university studies. Even the studies and reviews of literature in the said institutions include valuable research papers. One common feature of these books is they don’t always follow the same old artistic expression to produce the content.
Another vital feature of research books is they record actual findings that emerged from the research areas. There is minimal space for imagination. Earlier, mainstream commercial publishers usually preferred to avoid publishing these books. One big reason behind this was their profit-related publishing strategy. However, with the advent of online publishing and the increase of the research documents’ demand, they are now leaning towards producing these contents.
One criterion of literature is readers’ preference. The above said new kind of documents is covering the needs of readers. In a word, these appear as research literature devoid of the old traditional format of expression.
Another essential criterion of literature is the style of writing and the mode of expression that remain alive in the readers’ minds for a long time. They even set the trend for the next generation. The same logic applies to the grey literature in modern times.
However, opposite opinions are visible too. One such view indicates that books comprising literature’s actual identity have to pass through the essential editorial review process. The process includes a draft version and in-depth scrutiny before publishing. But, research documents don’t always involve any rigorous editorial process. Yes, they do pass through checking for producing accurate information. Also, modifications often take place in them even after publishing. This criterion applies to the government reports, documents, survey results, and many others. Although, traditional literary books don’t follow this feature.
So one thing is evident that grey literature is an inseparable part of the study. In modern times, no one can deny its necessity. When the discussion involves modern literature, then one ultimate criterion to define it is the readers’ need. Frankly, the need for grey literature is the need of the hour, and its integration into modern literature is also the need of the time.