Grey literature is any report, theses, conference proceeding, technical specification, standards, guidelines, bibliography, or other documentation that is not published commercially. Grey literature is generally produced by governments and their agencies, think tanks, not-for-profit organizations, associations, etc. It can also be produced by researchers and academics, but is not published in journals or monographs.
There are many important documents, particularly in regards to policy and social issues, which are not published in a traditional format. Conference proceedings, best practice guidelines, and early reports on clinical trials and studies are often found through grey literature searches as well. Including grey literature in your research helps to create a more complete picture of the topic, and is essential in conducting a systematic review.
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