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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Grey Literature in Health Research

Sometimes, published journal articles and books don't fully cover the scope of your topic, and you need to expand your search to include other resource types. Consider grey literature!

Time-Saving Tools

We could all use a little help gathering & organizing references!

Helpful Tips

These sites also offer helpful information on gray literature searching:

How should I evaluate what I find?

Just as we must evaluate peer-reviewed literature, grey literature should also be considered critically. Since editors and peer reviewers may not have appraised or evaluated the information, you should be especially careful about the content you find.

One helpful checklist developed specifically for grey literature by Jess Tyndall at Flinders University: AACODS:

  • Authority: Identify who is responsible for the intellectual content.
  • Accuracy: Is the information presented accurate?
  • Coverage: Are the item's content coverage clearly stated?
  • Objectivity: It is important to identify bias, particularly if it is unstated or unacknowledged.
  • Date: For the item to inform your research, it needs to have a date that confirms relevance.
  • Significance: This is a value judgment of the item, in the context of the relevant research area.