Grey literature searches with Webometric Analyst

You can use search engines to find grey literature that cites or mentions academic publications with a simple query. The query should include citation details for your document as well as filetype:pdf at the end to ensure that all matches are pdf files, plus a duplicate query ending in filetype:doc to match Word cocuments. This uses the belief that the grey literature is typically published online in PDF or Microsoft Word documents.

If you have a file of academic publications from the Web of Science or Scopus then Webometric Analyst can make the queries for you using the Make Grey literature searches for a set of Scopus/WoS journal articles or books menu item in the Make Searches menu in the classic interface (see below).

Here is an example file of grey literature searches made with the above button. There are two queries, separated by |, as shown below.

Milard "The social circles behind scientific references" "Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology" 2014 filetype:doc| Milard "The social circles behind scientific references" "Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology" 2014 filetype:pdf


Some books or documents will be rejected - these will have identical queries - the same author, title and year - so cannot be reliably used. The number is reported in the finishing dialog box (see above).

Once you have made your file, the quickest way to run the searches through Bing is to automatically submit them with Webometric Analyst. To do this, restart Webometric Analyst, select the Web Impact Report from the Wizard, enter your Microsfoft Cognitive Services key and wait for it to finish.

The main results are the lists of URLs matching each query. These are also in the long results file. Lists of matching pages will be in the URLs section of the mini-website created by Webometric Analyst. The URLs may need to be manually filtered to remove false matches, such as bibliographies, adverts and self-citations.

Papers using this as their main method:

Wilkinson, D., Sud, P., & Thelwall, M. (2014). Substance without citation: Evaluating the online impact of grey literatureScientometrics, 98(2), 797-806.