Searching the Grey Literature: Where To Look and What To Expect (Text Version)
Slide Presentation from the AHRQ 2011 Annual Conference
Searching the Grey Literature: Where to Look and What to Expect
Rose Relevo, MLIS, MS
Oregon Health & Sciences University
Effective Healthcare Program Scientific Resource Center
Image: The graphic is of a Venn diagram describing various sources and types of grey literature. The largest circle represents all grey literature. There is a smaller circle representing the subset that is called data from clinical trials, indicating that data from clinical trials represents only a small part of the larger universe of grey literature. There are four additional circles intersecting with this, representing four types of publications that may contain clinical data. The overlap shows that only some of these publications present clinical data. The fours sources represented are: Regulatory Documentation, Conference Papers, Trial Registries and Other. The larger point of this diagram is to illustrate that grey literature is a term that refers to a large and diverse set of resources. For the purposes of completing systematic reviews and comparative effectiveness reviews, we are really only concerned with data from clinical trials which is most likely to be found via clinical trial registries, regulatory documentation and conference materials.
- metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT):
- ISRCTN Register (International).
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) ClinicalTrials.gov.
- Action Medical Research (UK).
- The Wellcome Trust (UK).
- Medical Research Council (UK).
- UK trials (UK).
- PhRMA database.
- World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal:
- Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Brazil, China, India, Korea, Cuba, Germany, Iran, Japan, Pan African, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands.
What Do You Get From a Trial Registry
- Know that a study exists:
- Identify forthcoming publications.
- Window into publication bias.
- Future research needs.
- Contact information.
- "Small" databases, searches can be simple.
- EndNote® import filter for ClinicalTrials.gov results.
- Medical and Statistical Reviews.
- Cannot search by class, indication or presence of review.
- 510(k) Premarket Notification.
- Need specific device names.
- Health Canada Drugs and Health Products Database:
- Product Monographs.
- Authorized Medicines for EU:
- Scientific Discussions.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) database not optimized for our purposes.
- "Searching" not quite accurate, "directed browsing" more accurate.
- Delegate to well trained personnel.
- Podcasts; biggest danger is spacing out.
- Conference paper databases:
- CSA Conference Papers Index.
- BIOSIS Previews.
- Papers and Proceedings First.
- Specific conferences (key informants, technical experts).
- Access will vary by institution.
- Simple searches usually sufficient.
- Identify upcoming publications.
- Compare to published versions.
- Contact authors for more information.
- Specialized bibliographic databases.
- Databases to identify meetings, funders and periodicals specific to the topic:
- BCM Meetings.
- NLM Gateway—meetings.
- COS Funding.
- Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine:
Resources/Grey Literature Materials