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Grey literature refers to "information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing, ie. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." (International Conference on Grey Literature, 1997)
Grey literature is valuable for gaining a more complete perspective on an issue than what is presented in academic journals and textbooks.
Examples of grey literature include, but are not limited to:
Grey literature searches are difficult to conduct, since anybody can produce grey literature. Google, Google Scholar, and general grey literature databases can provide a good starting point, but there are many ways to find relevant material.
Some search strategy suggestions:
Sources: Blackhall & Ker. Inj Prev. Oct 2007; 13(5): 359. Finding studies for inclusion in systematic reviews of interventions for injury prevention – the importance of grey and unpublished literature; University of British Columbia Finding the Hard to Finds: Searching for Grey (Gray) Literature 2010.
After you've located material that may be useful, remember to make sure that it is credible and up to date. Check for:
Source: University of Pennsylvania Grey Lit guide.
Many organizations maintain their own library collections and provide search tools on their websites (e.g. CAMH).