Military Doctrine: A Reference Handbook

By Bert Chapman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Grey Literature: Dissertations,
Theses, Technical Reports,
Think Tanks, and Conference
Proceedings

A significant literary corpus for conducting military doctrine research is grey literature. There are many ways to define grey literature and the roles it plays in scholarly literature and research libraries collection development policies.1 Grey literature normally refers to literature not found in conventional formats such as books, journal articles, government or military documents, or through the print indexes or electronic databases normally used to find conventional scholarly research literature. This chapter will examine literature on military doctrine as appearing in doctoral dissertations, masters’ theses, technical reports, and conference proceedings.

Most of this literature will not be freely available on the Internet. Effective access to these information resources will best be provided in academic research libraries that have purchased often expensive commercial databases that provide access to these resources. Descriptions of these databases will be provided later in this chapter. Besides including overviews of these grey literature resource types, this chapter will also include bibliographic citations and annotations for representative samplings of grey literature in these particular genres.


Dissertations and Theses

Doctoral dissertations and masters’ theses represent written documentation of their authors’ intellectual mastery of various subjects, as well as the successful defense of their findings in oral examinations conducted by their thesis and dissertation supervisors in the process of obtaining their degrees. Writing a thesis or dissertation is an intellectually and physically demanding process that helps enhance the knowledge of intellectual disciplines and branches within these disciplines. A significant body of literature exists on the role of doctoral dissertations in the academic research process.2

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