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UHBW Library and Information Services: Grey Literature

Library website for UHBW

What is Grey Literature

“There are many definitions of grey literature, but it is usually taken to mean literature that is not formally published in sources such as books or journal articles.”  Cochrane Handbook v.5 - Part 2, section 

Why Search for Grey Literature

Grey literature: An important resource in systematic reviews

Searching and synthesising ‘grey literature’ and ‘grey information’ in public health: critical reflections on three case studies

Grey literature methodologies for including in systematic reviews

Recommended Resources

Where to find Grey Literature

Appraising Grey LiteratureThe AACODS checklist is designed to enable evaluation and critical appraisal of grey literature.

Grey Literature

 A short introduction to the use of grey literature in evidence-based medicine.Click the image to see the presentation.

AllTrials: Withholding results costs lives

"The results of a 1980 clinical trial on heart drug Lorcainide were not published until a decade later. Doctors didn't know that more people died in the trial who were given Lorcainide than who were taking the placebo. It has been estimated that over 100,000 people died avoidably because they were prescribed drugs in the same class. Read about how the researchers were able to get the results of the study published:"

Recomended Resources

National Grey Literature Collection'sThe National Grey Literature Collection holds the hard copy grey literature collection of the former North Grey Literature Service. It is collecting an increasing range of electronic Grey Literature. The collection is funded by the Health Education England and delivered by Stockport Foundation NHS Trust.

Grey Matters: A Practical Tool for Searching Health-related Grey LiteratureCanadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) free online resource for grey literature searching. This checklist is intended for librarians; information specialists; and researchers who are producing systematic reviews, HTAs, drug assessments, or economic evaluations.

Examples of Grey Literature

  • Practice Guidelines
  • Newsletters and Bulletins
  • Research and Technical Reports
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Government Documents
  • Standards and Patents
  • Clinical Trials on ongoing research registries
  • Blogs, emails, List-serves
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Statistics and Statistical Publications

Where to find Grey Literature

Web Search Tools

TRIP Database A clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.

MEDNAR (All Cats are Grey) Mednar (  A free, medically-focused deep web search engine providing a search of authoritative public and deep web resources, returning the most relevant results to one easily navigable page. 

MEDNAR (USA) A free, medically-focused deep web search engine.


Institutional Repositories

CORE : Aggregates open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide

OpenDoar  Direcory of academic open access repositories

Oaister -  From OCLC, uses Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.

BASE -  Provides access to more than 100 million documents from more than 5,000 sources.


Formal Bibliographic Databases

NICE Evidence Search

PROQUEST - PILOTS Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress

Cochrane Library

HMIC - library catalogues of the King's Fund and DH. Lots of UK Health Policy,Circulars, Think Tank material etc.


Library Catalogues

COPAC Brings together the catalogues of c.90 major UK and Irish libraries

British Library


eTHOS - UK’s national thesis service which aims to maximise the visibility and availability of the UK’s
doctoral research theses.

Global ETD Search - Search the 4,872,302 electronic theses and dissertations contained inthe NDLTD archive

OATD - Open Access Theses and Dissertations Advanced research and scholarship. Theses and dissertations,
free to find, free to use.

DART-Europe E-theses Portal -  A partnership of research libraries and library consortia working together to improve access to European research theses.

Websites & Bulletins

King's Fund The King's Fund's Information and Knowledge Services provide a unique and free source of information on health and social care policy and management

Nuffield Trust Provides evidence-based research and policy analysis.

The Health Foundation are available to download. Hard copies of many publications can also be ordered free of charge.

NESTA Original research and influential policy work in the field of innovation