Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 01–05 | Cite as

Continuing problems with gray literature*

  • Flor Lacanilao


Frequent gatherings, such as those on coastal management, have resulted in increased production of gray literature like conference proceedings and institutional reports, which are published without adequate peer review. In developing countries like those in southeast Asia, manuals and other publications used in workshops and training programs seldom use peer-reviewed references. Among papers sampled, those in conference proceedings have lower percentages of citations to peer-reviewed journals, whether or not the proceedings are issued as books or journal supplements. From three proceedings and one institutional report with a total of 37 papers and an average of 22 cited references per paper, citations to gray literature averaged 92 percent of total citations. This poor quality of the reference lists decrease the credibility of a paper. Scientific conferences should be designed to reverse the production and use of gray literature by limiting the scope of the proceedings to invited reviews, with other presentations appearing only as abstracts to encourage their ultimate publication in peer-reviewed journals. A conference book of reviews by respected scientists will then support incorporation of scientific information into policy and management decisions for more effective coastal management.

conference proceedings coastal management peer review refereed journal reference citation southeast Asia 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flor Lacanilao
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of the PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines

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