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Grey Literature for Health Sciences: Getting Started

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Grey literature consists of documents produced by government, academic, business or organizations "where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." (Greynet)

Examples include annual reports, conference proceedings, technical reports, theses, white papers, and even informal communication such as blogs, emails, or social media posts.

Why Use Grey Literature?

Grey literature can be a valuable addition to your research for a number of reasons:

  • It may help offset the impact of publication bias, which is a type of reporting bias. Research has shown that studies with positive, significant results are published more often, and in journals with higher impact factors. Research based exclusively on published literature may be incomplete or misleading. Lister Hill Library
  • It helps introduce alternative perspectives that may not be represented in the standard literature.
  • It may provide better coverage of emerging research areas.
  • It may be more current than standard literature, as it may bypass the standard delays between research and publication.

Research Help - Vancouver

Woodward Library 
University of British Columbia

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Mathew Vis-Dunbar
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Reichwald Health Sciences Centre 212 | 250.807.8254

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Erin Menzies
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