Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) provides Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial health care decision makers with credible, impartial advice and evidence-based information about the effectiveness and efficiency of drugs and other health technologies. In order to search for and retrieve the evidence base required to produce CADTH reports, the Information Services team has developed a grey literature checklist, Grey Matters.

Grey literature includes reports and government information that are not published commercially and that are inaccessible via bibliographic databases. The checklist is used to:

  • ensure the retrieval of all relevant health technology assessment (HTA), government, and evidence-based agency reports that may not be indexed in bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE
  • help document the grey literature search process, thereby increasing transparency and the potential for reproducibility
  • ensure that grey literature searching is done in a standardized and comprehensive way.

This checklist includes national and international HTA web sites, drug and device regulatory agencies, clinical trial registries, health economics resources, Canadian health prevalence or incidence databases, and drug formulary web sites.

Well worth a look for anyone involved in health policy, or who is attempting a comprehensive search encompassing grey literature.

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