Grey Literature

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature consists of studies produced by the government, industry, or other organizations in the form of reports or working papers which do not appear in commercial journals.  Grey literature is usually not indexed in standard databases and can be difficult to find.  Grey literature should be consulted to reduce the risk of publication bias in the results of a systematic review.

Some examples of grey literature:

  • reports
  • clinical trial data
  • conference proceedings
  • committee reports
  • data sets
  • dissertations
  • factsheets
  • policy documents
  • standards
     

Locating Grey Literature

ClinicalTrials.gov
Registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world

Dissertations and Theses (database from ProQuest)
Contains records for more than 2 million doctoral dissertations and master's theses.
Extensive coverage of North American graduate schools, with coverage of some European universities beginning in 1989. Includes bibliographic records of dissertations written in the UK and Ireland from 1716, with full abstracts, for titles from 1986.  Searches in Dissertations and Theses are librarian mediated at MCW Libraries via an online vendor.  Charges are passed along to the requestor.  (This database is also available for individual searching at the Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University.  For access to area academic libraries see the information on the Cooperative Access Program.) 

ProceedingsFirst (database from ProQuest)
Indexes every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Center from 1993 to date.  Searches in ProceedingsFirst are librarian mediated at MCW Libraries via an online vendor.  Charges are passed along to the requestor.  (This database is also available for individual searching at the Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University.  For access to area academic libraries see the information on the Cooperative Access Program.)

Grey Literature Report - New York Academy of Medicine Library
A bimonthly publication of the New York Academy of Medicine alerting readers to new grey literature publications in health services research and selected public health topics.

GreySource
Provides examples of grey literature to the average net-user and in so doing profiles organizations responsible for its production and/or processing.

MedlinePlus Organization Directory
A collection of organizations providing health information.  Also arranged by topic.

OpenGrey
Search for grey literature from Europe

Contact authors of key articles
May provide access to unpublished work

Hand Search Journals of Interest
Review tables of contents in order to ensure no important studies were overlooked

References from key articles
May contain pertinent articles that were missed during the original search

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