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Grey Literature

The below video provides an introduction to Grey Literature.

Why is Grey Literature important?

Grey literature is an essential consideration in systematic and thorough searching for a range of reasons, including:

"... the inclusion of grey literature in meta-analyses has been shown to change the results
of whether interventions are considered effective or not" 
 (McAuley, et al. 2000)


Grey literature reduces publication bias -- where studies with significant results are overrepresented in scholarly publications -- by providing a broader perspective. For this reason, it is particularly important to consider grey literature when:

  • Developing or reviewing a clinical guideline
  • Conducting a systematic review or meta-analysis

Grey literature also tends to be more current than traditional research and is a good source of raw data - expanding the primary information available for your research.

A number of authoritative sources recommend searching for grey literature.

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