The prevalence of informal publishing or grey literature in education appears to have increased as digital technologies have become main-stream, educators have become more proficient and policies have moved increasingly towards supporting its use. In addition, the take up of social networking technologies and innovative methods of digital publishing have encouraged educators to produce, distribute and share content and commentary. Grey literature may make a substantial contribution to education even though issues such as credibility, access and a lack of standards can pose problems for producers and users. This paper begins by providing a context for the discussion of grey literature within the broader policy and education environment in Australia. An overview of grey literature as it appears in education in Australia introducing evidence of its usage, dissemination and application in Australian education then follows. Evidence about the access, dissemination and use of grey literature is drawn from an examination of the characteristics of a leading social networking and digital publishing service that was used by educators in schools, training institutes and teacher education faculties. This evidence is discussed in the context of influential national, state and institutional policies that address the use of digital technologies in education. As the take up of digital technologies in education increases, there is an expectation that the access to, dissemination of and use of digital publishing by and for educators will increase and have an impact on online professional learning and awareness of education research and practices.
Authored by Gerald White, Julian Thomas, Paul Weldon, Amanda Lawrence, Helen Galatis and Jess Tyndall.