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Title: Evaluating the future for grey literature
Author: Thorpe, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 8705
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores the underlying principles behind the two divergent views relating to a grey literature crisis. It achieves this by presenting a review of the current mechanisms of grey literature production. It acknowledges how methodological and epistemological considerations, supersede any ratification of a coherent disciplinary ontology. Furthermore, by characterising a selected historiography of the archaeological field experience, and exposing the conceptual thinking behind the idea of past as record, it reinforces the prioritisation of record production, over historical enquiry. Through a critical assessment of the optimised field-interventions undertaken in the commercial sector, this prioritisation exposes a series of indicative limitations – first, and foremost pertaining to the viability of the end-product (i.e. the grey literature) of such endeavours. The study utilises the isolatable geopolitical context of England, however, the methodology developed herein, can and should be applied to wider UK contexts as future research. Turning attention to the efforts made to challenge the concept of a grey literature crisis, a subsequent review is undertaken of current perceptions regarding the use-value of grey literature. This is achieved in the context of characterising examples of their selection-for-use within nine synthetic projects. The findings indicate how much faith is placed upon the transformative process of synthesis, to educe data of sufficiently comparable format and standard to facilitate a more up-to-date and better informed narrative. The research then extends the project characterisation by analysing the ways in which the perceived use-value of grey literature is realised. The analysis is able to qualify and quantify how grey literature resources are prioritised within the project narratives, with the findings indicating much variability amongst the projects studied. By establishing a working appreciation of the use of grey literature, as a research-resource, the thesis further considers how an understanding of this use may inform and improve guidance relating to its production, and presents these ideas as a series of working observations and recommendations for further study.
Supervisor: Johnston, Robert ; Jackson, Caroline ; Barrett, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available