There are no universally accepted methods or standards for searching the grey literature, but the following selection of instructional resources provide information on such topics as:

  • Types of grey literature
  • Search methods/search tools for grey literature
  • Evaluation of grey literature

These instructional resources provide a great start point for users to learn about specific sources and strategies for searching the grey literature. Topics/search tools addressed include databases, grey literature search checklists, institutional repositories, online tutorials, preprint servers, and including grey literature sources in knowledge syntheses research.
*Please note that this list is not exhaustive and focuses on English language resources

Online Guides


AACODS Checklist for Evaluating Grey Literature: Flinders University
Grey Literature: Finding grey literature: Monash University
Systematic Reviews: Grey Literature: University of Western Australia


Grey Matters: a Practical Tool for Searching Health-Related Grey Literature: Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
Finding Grey Literature: McMaster University
Searching the Literature: A Guide to Comprehensive Searching in the Health Sciences: Gerstein Science Information Centre, University of Toronto
Godin, K., Stapleton, J., Kirkpatrick, S.I., Hanning, R.M., & Leatherdale, S.T. (2015). Applying systematic review search methods to the grey literature: a case study examining guidelines for school-based breakfast programs in Canada: Systematic reviews, 4(1), 138.: This open-access journal article by a research team at University of Waterloo provides a detailed methodology for how they systematically searched the grey literature for their review.


Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses: Searching for grey literature and on-going research: National University of Ireland, Galway/OÉ Gaillimh
Finding Information: Grey Literature: RCSI Library

New Zealand

Grey Literature in Health: General Sources: University of Otago

United Kingdom

Searching for Systematic Reviews: Grey Literature: King’s College London
Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses: Searching for grey literature and on-going research: Oxford University, Bodleian Libraries

United States

Finding Grey Literature Evidence and Assessing for Outcome and Analysis Reporting Biases When Comparing Medical Interventions: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Systematic Reviews: the process: Grey Literature: Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
Science Immersion: Power Research: Finding Grey Literature: Cornell University Library