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Grey literature for health

Guide to locating and evaluating grey literature in the health sciences.

Grey literature refers to research that is unpublished or has been published in non-commercial form. Much grey literature is now freely available on many websites. However it is only selectively indexed in health databases.

Examples of grey literature are:

  • conference papers/conference proceedings
  • theses
  • clinical trials
  • guidelines
  • newsletters
  • pamphlets
  • reports
  • fact sheets, bulletins
  • government documents
  • surveys
  • interviews
  • informal communication (e.g. blogs, podcasts, email)

In health sciences grey literature is vital for developing a more complete view of research on a particular topic or for producing systematic reviews.