High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine

Editorial Board
Issue 12

 HEP Libraries Webzine
Issue 12 / March 2006

Electronic Grey Literature in Accelerator Science and Its Allied Subjects : Selected Web Resources for Scientists and Engineers

P. Rajendiran(*)




Grey literature Web resources in the field of accelerator science and its allied subjects are collected for the scientists and engineers of RRCAT (Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology). For definition purposes the different types of grey literature are described. The Web resources collected and compiled in this article (with an overview and link for each) specifically focus on technical reports, preprints or e-prints, which meet the main information needs of RRCAT users.


grey literature, electronic grey literature, Web resources

1. Introduction

An accelerator is a device (machine) used to produce high-energy, high-speed beams of charged particles such as electrons, protons, or heavy ions for research in high-energy and nuclear physics, synchrotron radiation research, medical therapies, and some industrial applications. Particle accelerators come in two basic designs: linear (linac) and circular (synchrotron) [1]. The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), at Indore in India has two synchrotron radiation sources, the Indus-1 and Indus-2, which are national facilities for Indian researchers [2]. Scientists and engineers working in these fields face difficulties in finding current and relevant literature, especially that which is brought out in grey literature form. To help satisfy the information needs of our users, we provide access to selected Web resources such as those compiled below.

Grey (or gray) literature is work not published commercially, that is literature published outside the widely available journals and books, and is the one other primary information source that scientists and engineers frequently reference in their scholarly publications. It encompasses documents written to inform funding bodies about research results, to support grant applications, to inform other members of a research community, to present preliminary results at conferences and meetings, to present student and doctorial research findings and many other types of publication. Such material is often disseminated quickly and in limited copies, before or without the formal publication process. These publications are not controlled by commercial vendors, and publishing is not the primary business activity of the individuals or the organizations concerned. The availability of grey literature largely depends on the policy of the generating institution. The literature may not be peer reviewed nor even an official source of information, but these documents are often significant for research and development in many subject areas. Commonly grey literature has poor availability, poor bibliographic information and control, non-professional layout and format, and a short life-span with regards relevancy. These factors can make it difficult for libraries to identify and acquire the items.

2. Definition

There are a number of definitions for grey literature (GL) which is sometimes called non-conventional literature (NCL). One that is widely accepted is from the Grey Literature Network Service. This states that grey literature is "That which is produced on all levels of government, academics [sic], business and industry in electronic and print formats, not controlled by commercial publishing [sic] i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body" [3]. This was formulated at the 3rd International Conference on Grey Literature, GL'97, and is referred to as the Luxembourg Convention definition; it was officially updated at GL6 in New York 2004.

Scientific grey literature exists in many different forms such as technical reports, pre-prints, fact sheets, standards, patents, working papers, committee reports, business documents, newsletters, government documents, conference proceedings, white papers, symposia, bulletins, theses, dissertations and others. However, not all examples of these types of documents are necessarily grey literature because they are sometimes published by commercial publishers.

3. Purpose

The purpose of compiling these grey literature Web resources is as follows:

1. To familiarize the scientists and engineers working in the field of accelerator science and its allied subjects with some of the relevant grey literature Web resources that are available through the World Wide Web.

2. To assist in the retrieval of grey literature documents. Many institutions that produce grey literature have ceased distribution of hard copies due to changes in policy brought about by the continuing cost of production and postage. The publications have moved online and so this resource will serve as a tool to locate, maximize the access and increase the visibility of grey literature available on the Web.

3. To bridge the gap between existing library resources and current literature because the library's resources in this discipline are old and no longer adequate.

4. Grey Literature Web Resources

The collected Web resources have been divided into four different categories: institutional archives and repositories; speciality search portals and databases; e-print archives and other resources; directory of institutional links.

The parts of the resource descriptions enclosed in quotation marks are taken from the respective Web site, except where indicated.

The list is not intended to be comprehensive but it does include many useful resources.

4.1 Institutional Archives and Repositories

This section focuses on sites containing details of the literature produced by a single institution. It includes access to a variety of materials produced by scholars such as e-prints, technical reports, theses and dissertations, data sets, and others.

4.1.1 ALS - The Advanced Light Source - ALS Publications

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a division of Berkeley Laboratory. It is "a national user facility that generates intense light for scientific and technological research. As one of the world's brightest sources of ultraviolet and soft x-ray beams, and the world's first third-generation synchrotron light source in its energy range, the ALS makes previously impossible studies possible. The facility welcomes researchers from universities, industries, and government laboratories around the world."
Access: http://www-als.lbl.gov/als/publications/genpubs.html

4.1.2 CERN (The European Laboratory for High Energy Physics) Document Server (CDS)

CDS contains over "800,000 bibliographic records, including 360,000 full text documents, of interest to people working in particle physics and related areas. [It] covers preprints, articles, books, journals, photographs, and much more".
Access: http://cds.cern.ch/

4.1.3 DESY - Deutsche Elektronen-Synchrotron

DESY technical reports, preprints, theses, proceedings and other publications can be searched through the DESY library Web site.
Access: http://www-library.desy.de/preprints.html


"ELETTRA is a national laboratory located in Basovizza in the outskirts of Trieste. Its mandate is a scientific service to the Italian and international research communities, based on the development and open use of light produced by synchrotron and Free Electron Lasers (FEL) sources."
Access: http://www.elettra.trieste.it/science/publications.html

4.1.5 ESRF Publications and Scientific Documentation

"The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), located in Grenoble - France, is a joint facility supported and shared by 18 European countries.

"The ESRF Newsletter, published twice a year, reflects ongoing scientific and technical developments at the ESRF. The Highlights [publications] present a concise overview of scientific and technical progress made at the ESRF [which] is published annually. The Annual Report gives a brief overview of the overall activity of the ESRF Divisions. It includes a list of publications as well as Users' Reports.

"These publications and others including proceedings of events at the ESRF can be accessed."
Access: http://www.esrf.fr/UsersAndScience/Publications/

4.1.6 JAERI - Technical Publications by JAERI staff

"This includes references published as JAERI (Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute) [and] technical reports and papers published in journals written by JAERI Staff. JAERI technical reports are provided [in] full-text by PDF format."
Access: http://jolisf.tokai.jaeri.go.jp/jstaff/html/index.html

4.1.7 KISS (KEK: High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, Information Service System) for Preprints.

"This is a WWW interface to KISS (KEK Information Service System) for Preprints including technical reports. You can search KEK publications and [other] preprints stored in the KEK library from 1972 (preprints published after 1960 [are] stored). The image data of the preprints can be displayed, too."
Access: http://www-lib.kek.jp/KISS/kiss_prepri.html

4.1.8 MAX-lab, Lund University

"National Electron Accelerator Laboratory for Synchrotron Radiation Research, Nuclear Physics and Accelerator Physics. MAX-lab is a Swedish national laboratory which supports three distinct research areas: accelerator physics, research based on the use of synchrotron radiation, and nuclear physics using energetic electrons."
Access: http://www.maxlab.lu.se/

4.1.9 SLAC Document Server - Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

"Electronic versions of all recent SLAC Pubs (PUB) and Reports (R) are available on the Web in PDF and/or PostScript. Some Technical Notes (TN) and Working Papers (WP), as well as some terminated series such as Accelerator Physics Notes (AP) and Translation (Trans) preprints published since 1962, are also available."
Access: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/fastfind.html

4.1.10 Spring-8 Publications

"SPring-8, which is the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility, provides the most powerful synchrotron radiation currently available. SPring-8's ultra-brilliant synchrotron radiation gives researchers exciting opportunities for advanced research in materials science, spectroscopic analysis, earth science, life science, environmental science, industrial applications and so forth."
Access: http://www.spring8.or.jp/e/publication-e.html

4.1.11 SRS Daresbury Laboratory

"The Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) is a world class facility dedicated to the exploitation of Synchrotron Radiation (SR) for fundamental and applied research."
Access: http://www.srs.ac.uk/srs/reports_archive.html

4.2 Speciality Search Portals and Databases

This section covers services that are not related to one institute and which allow searches across literature in wide general subject fields. Some of the databases offer only the bibliographic data of items, others offer free full-text, and in some the full-text is available to purchase.

4.2.1 Energy Citations Database

"Energy Citations Database (1948 - Present). The Energy Citations Database (ECD) is designed and developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) with the science-attentive citizen in mind. Its creation is consistent with OSTI's objective to provide easier and faster access to the Department's scientific and technical information. Energy Citations is publicly available without charge to users.

"Energy Citations contains bibliographic records for energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The Database provides access to DOE publicly available citations from 1948 through the present, with continued growth through regular updates.

"Energy Citations includes bibliographic records of literature in disciplines of interest to DOE such as chemistry, physics, materials, environmental science, geology, engineering, mathematics, climatology, oceanography, computer science and related disciplines. It includes citations to report literature, conference papers, journal articles, books, dissertations, and patents."
Access: http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/

4.2.2 GrayLIT Network - A Science Portal of Technical Reports

"The GrayLIT Network makes the gray literature of U.S. Federal Agencies easily accessible over the Internet. It taps into the search engines of distributed grey literature collections, enabling the user to find information without first having to know the sponsoring agency.

"The GrayLIT Network is the world's most comprehensive portal to Federal grey literature. By offering a mode of communication for this hard-to-find class of literature, the GrayLIT Network enables convenient access by the American public to government information.

"The Department of Energy (DOE) provides public access to this research tool through GPO Access in partnership with the Government Printing Office. Federal Agencies participating in this project are DOD/DTIC, DOE, EPA, and NASA."
Access: http://www.osti.gov/greylit/

4.2.3 National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

"The NTIS site is a comprehensive resource for federally funded scientific, engineering, and business-related information. The database provides some full-text access and indexes over two million publications back to 1990." [4]
Access: http://www.ntis.gov/search/

4.2.4 OAIster

"OAIster is a project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service. [Its] goal is to create a collection of freely available, previously difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources that are easily searchable by anyone."
Access: http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/o/oaister/

4.2.5 Public STINET

"The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)'s Scientific and Technical Information Network (STINET) Service helps the DoD [Department of Defense] community access pertinent scientific and technical information to meet mission needs effectively."
Access: http://stinet.dtic.mil/

4.2.6 SPIRES HEP Search - High-Energy Physics Literature Database

"SPIRES is managed and maintained by the SLAC library, in cooperation with DESY, FNAL, Kyoto, Durham U, IHEP, KEK, and the HEP community." Search for high-energy physics related articles, including journal papers, preprints, e-prints, technical reports, conference papers and theses.
Access: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/hep/

4.3 E-print archives and Other Resources

This section is for worldwide, full-text literature in narrow scholarly disciplines.

4.3.1 ArXiv.org e-Print archive

"arXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantative biology. The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. arXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. arXiv is also partially funded by the National Science Foundation."
Access: http://arxiv.org/

4.3.2 Joint Accelerator Conferences Website - JACoW

"Joint Accelerator Conference Website for the Asian, European and American Particle Accelerator Conferences and the CYCLOTRONS, DIPAC, FEL, ICALEPCS, ICAP, ICFA ABDW, LINAC and RuPAC conferences. This site has been set up and is maintained by the editorial boards of the various conferences and is mirrored for the convenience of our users".
Access: http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/accelconf/

4.4 Directories of Institutional Links

This section covers Web directories of institutions carrying out similar research and developmental work in the field of accelerator science and its allied subjects. From the directory resource the user can directly visit the specific institution's homepage and publications sites.

4.4.1 DMOZ open directory

"[The 'Accelerator'] category is designed for sites providing information on specific accelerator operating facilities (not Research Centers or Experiments). It will also include links for education, publications and news, software, and equipment and service providers."
Access: http://dmoz.org/Science/Physics/Particle/Research_Centers/Accelerators/
and the subdivision of this category: http://dmoz.org/Science/Physics/Particle/Research_Centers/Accelerators/Synchrotrons/

4.4.2 Online Particle Physics Information

"This annotated list provides a highly selective set of online resources that are useful to the particle physics community. It describes each Web site so that efficient choices can be made amongst many sites which may appear similar."
Access: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/library/pdg/

4.4.3 Particle Accelerators Around the World

Links to the Web sites of particle accelerator institutions sorted by location or by accelerator type.
Access: http://www-elsa.physik.uni-bonn.de/accelerator_list.html

4.4.4 Synchrotron Light Sources of the World

List of Synchrotron Light Sources compiled by The Advanced Light Source.
Access: http://www-als.lbl.gov/als/synchrotron_sources.html

4.4.5 The Virtual Technical Reports Center

"EPrints, Preprints, and Technical Reports on the Web. [...] The Institutions listed here provide either full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web. This site contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds. Some metasites are listed by subject categories, as well as by institution. This site will be updated monthly."
Access: http://www.lib.umd.edu/ENGIN/TechReports/Virtual-TechReports.html

4.4.6 The World of Synchrotron Radiation

SR facilities around the world.
Access: http://srs.dl.ac.uk/SRWORLD/

5. Conclusion

As mentioned previously, this list is not comprehensive but the resources are helpful for tracking the literature in this discipline. Issues concerning authenticity, data integrity, source reliability and context are obviously left to the user to ascertain. Some, but not all, of the same literature indexed in the above resources can be located via search engines like Google and Yahoo. For more complex and potentially accurate searches across the literature, the specialized resources offer greater power than these general search engines. For these two reasons, it is useful to highlight these resources to RRCAT users.

The Web resources compiled above were last accessed in November 2005.


[1]. SLAC Virtual Visitor Center.
URL: < http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/Default.htm>

[2]. Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology: Accelerator Activity.
URL: < http://www.cat.ernet.in/technology/accel/index.html>

[3]. Siegel,Gretta E. "Capturing Academic Grey Literature - Starting at Home". GL5 Session One - Models for Academic Grey, Part I: Specific Approaches.
URL: < http://www.greynet.org/images/GL5-Siegel.pdf>

[4]. Mathews, Brian S. "Gray literature: Resources for locating unpublished research". College & Research Libraries News. 65(3): 2004.
URL: < http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2004/march04/greylit.htm>

Weintraub, Irwin., "The Role of Grey Literature in the Sciences". ACCESS Brooklyn College Library and AIT E-Zine. 10. 2000.
URL: < http://library.brooklyn.cuny.edu/access/greyliter.htm>

Author Details

Scientific Officer/C (Library)
Department of Atomic Energy
Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology
Post C.A.T.
Indore. PIN: 452 013. INDIA
Email: praj@cat.ernet.in ; prajendiran@gmail.com

For citation purposes:

P.Rajendiran, "Electronic Grey Literature in Accelerator Science and Its Allied Subjects : Selected Web Resources for Scientists and Engineers ", High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine, issue 12, February 2006
URL: http://library.web.cern.ch/library/Webzine/12/papers/3/

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Last modified:  30 March 2006