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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (MScQIPS)

This guide is intended to assist students in the MSc in IHPME (Quality Improvement and Patient Safety concentration) with their literature review and other research projects.

What is Grey Literature?

Grey Literature in a Nut Shell

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  • Information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry
  • in electronic and print formats
  • not controlled by commercial publishing
  • i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

(Luxembourg, 1997 - Expanded in New York, 2004)

Journal Directories

How to Find Grey Literature

Grey literature is not easily found-- which is what makes it 'grey'! 

Expect that in your search for Grey Lit you will click on many links, and perform many searches.

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Places to start:

  • Relevant government websites, for example Health Canada or the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • Newspaper and Magazine articles
  • Government documents in print (at Robarts Library, 4th Floor Reference area)
  • Google and Google Scholar-- use " " to find exact phrases such as the name of an Act or Agency, and include geographical information if required. For example: "Health Information Protection Act" Ontario

Sources of Grey Literature

Conference Proceedings 

  • BIOSIS Previews Bibliographic citations of current research reported in the biological and medical literature, including articles, reviews, books, book chapters, meeting documents, and meeting reports.
  • Conference Papers Index Citations to papers and poster sessions presented at major scientific meetings around the world. Subject emphasis on the life sciences & environmental sciences.
  • ISI ProceedingsComplete bibliographic information and author abstracts of proceedings papers delivered at prestigious international scientific and technology conferences. (coverage 1990+)
  • More conference papers databases - Search additional databases to find conference proceedings, meetings, etc.

Research Projects in Progress


  • Dissertation Abstracts International - Dissertations (Masters and Ph.D.) from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities (including UofT). Full text theses and dissertations available from 1997 - present. Citations and abstracts for pre-1997 items. 


  • U of T library catalogue - Search for books, reports and other type of material (both print and online) owned by the UofT Libraries.
  • Other library catalogues - Search library catalogues from Ontario universities, major Canadian and U.S. libraries and other library catalogues.

Clinical trials


Government Information

News and Updates

  • FDA Patient Safety News
    Televised series for health care personnel (ran from 2002-2011). Features information on new drugs, biologics and medical devices, on FDA safety notifications and product recalls, and on ways to protect patients when using medical products.

National web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety. Provides weekly updates of literature, news, tools, and meetings, and annotated links to key research and other information on patient safety.

Measures and Tools


Useful Databases


Broken Links

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Please contact the guide creator to have them fixed!