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Taming grey content for Policy Commons

Sep 15, 2022 | Articles, Press Releases

The definition of grey literature is the unpublished, non-commercial, hard-to-find information that organisations such as professional associations, research institutes, think tanks and government departments produce. Welcome to Policy Commons, home to 3.4 million pages of grey literature, essential to policy research.

Policy Commons is a one-stop online discovery service for fact-based, objective quality research and information from the world’s leading think tanks, policy experts, NGOs and more. In partnership with Coherent Digital, it is one of the largest grey literature repositories globally. In the words of Coherent Digital, ‘Our mission is to tame wild content.’

Sabinet is the African distributor of Policy Commons, and it fits in with our mission to make credible information more accessible. “Policy Commons makes content findable, which is no mean feat when you are searching for content from 3.2 million publications,” says Sanet Vos, Sabinet’s Head of Product. “You can upload content, which becomes available within minutes of beginning your search. The reports include working papers, policy briefs, data sources, and media drawn from a directory of more than 24 500 IGOs, NGOs, think tanks and research centres. It includes over one million pages of premium content from leading publishers as well as content that has been restored from organisations that have disappeared,” she explains. We are proud to be associated with this excellent concept.

“It is all about the systems’ advanced search tools, combined with reliably sourced information. Major search engines index the content and link it to library discovery services. Policy Commons ensures content interrogation, trends analysis and the identification of new research and policy partners. You can cite and download tables, as well as create and share reading lists within your organisation, using Policy Commons You can stay up to date with customisable alerts on what matters and receive emails highlighting new materials as they are added to the database,” says Vos.

Policy Commons offer access to over 100 000 preserved documents from just over 500 organisations which have disappeared – making elusive entities visible. In addition, users have access to over 500 000 pieces of premium, licensed content from several think tanks and other organisations. Any information found on Policy Commons is authentic and based on policy and research reports.”

Policy Commons provides limited open resources following free registration. There are different membership options available, giving access to unique search and content integration tools. All materials have a permanent ID and organisation-level MARC records. A MARC record is composed of three elements: the record structure, the content designation, and the data content of the record. Users also have access to a growing collection of community uploads, enriched with metadata, and can submit their policy materials within minutes.

Contact Sabinet for a free trial.