Answered By: Theresa Bell
Last Updated: Nov 02, 2018     Views: 22681

Grey literature is a category of resources that includes technical or research reports by government agencies, research institutes, organizations or companies, or associations. This type of literature includes (but is not limited to):

  • white papers
  • working papers
  • policy briefs
  • reports (Royal Roads University, 2015, What is grey literature?)

For more information, please visit Grey Literature: What Is It?

See below for four sample references to reports, and for more information on and examples of references to technical or research reports, refer to pages 205 and 206 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010).

Author, A. A. (date). Title of report: Subtitle of report (Report No. xxx). Retrieved from URL

  • If the report doesn't have a report number, leave that information out of the reference.

Authored Report from an Agency Website

BC Hydro. (2013). Environmental impact statement executive summary.  Retrieved from Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website:

  • “For reports retrieved online, identify the publisher as part of the retrieval statement unless the publisher has been identified as the author: Retrieved from Agency name website: http://www.xxxx” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 205). 
  • In-text citation: (BC Hydro, 2013, p. X)

Authored Report from a Governmental Department

Environment Canada. (2011). Best practices for capturing, transporting and caring for relocated Canada geese (Catalogue no.: CW66-293/4-2011E-PDF). Retrieved from

Report from a Private Organization, Available on Organization Website (e.g., annual report)

Imperial Oil Limited. (2006). Energy leadership: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retrieved from

  • In-text citation: (Imperial Oil Limited, 2006, p. X)

United Nations Report

United Nations Development Programme. (2014). Human development report 2014: Sustaining human progress: Reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience. Retrieved from

  • First in-text citation: (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2014, p. X)
  • Subsequent in-text citations: (UNDP, 2014, p. X)


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

Royal Roads University. (2015). Grey literature: What is it? Retrieved from