The ‘Impact Opportunity’ for Academic Libraries through Grey Literature

Danny Kingsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a new role for academic libraries as part of a wider ‘research practice’ activity for research institutions, incorporating support, training and expertise in relation to scholarly communication and research impact. The role libraries hold within research institutions is changing as the world shifts towards a digital and increasingly open future. This requires a rethink of the types of services and skill sets that are appropriate for an academic library to encompass. The increased focus of institutions and funders on the societal impact of research offers an opportunity for academic libraries to further integrate their work into the open research agenda. Libraries can draw on what is now over a decade of experience introducing open access, institutional repositories and research data management service to their academic communities to inform the development of impact services. An immediate service that libraries can offer is assisting with the identification of, and sometimes deposit into the institutional repository of, works that are sitting outside the peer reviewed literature–grey literature. This material needs to be collected for the purposes of demonstrating outcomes and pathways to impact. This paper describes the need to consider item classifications within digital repositories. If this new service is considered an option into the future, libraries themselves and potentially research offices will need to look not just at workflows but also item classifications within systems to ensure they encompass this broader collection of works.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalSerials Librarian
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • academic libraries
  • gray literature
  • grey literature
  • Impact
  • open research
  • open scholarship
  • research data management
  • research funding
  • research libraries
  • skill sets


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