Grey Literature can sometimes be difficult to identify when using research databases. Often, you can look at the document type to see if it a government report or a dissertation, but identifying other types of grey literature can be tricky.
One common issue is to have citations or abstracts for spoken or poster presentations to show up in your list of results even when "Peer-Reviewed Journals" is selected. Upon first look, these can look like research articles, but are often not attached to a digital object.
This can be extremely frustrating when you are searching for peer-reviewed journal articles on a particular topic and you locate a resource which you think could be ideal, only to find that it doesn't exist in any accessible sense.
Here are some methods to identify grey literature records in the databases
Journal title: Poster session and Presentation abstracts are frequently posted in "special issues" of academic journals. These special issues often titled "conference proceedings."
Article title: Also look out for a specific date or date range mentioned in the title, which suggests a presentation at a conference rather than an article.
If you locate grey literature and it is relevant to your topic, you might wish to include it in your resources, depending on the assignment. If you are putting together a literature review, using grey literature is very much recommended.
However, sometimes you may locate a citation or abstract for a resource that looks like it could be very helpful, but it doesn't have anything attached to it. While this can be frustrating, there are ways to pursue similar resources.