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Types of information in health

Some types of information, in addition to those outlined more generally, are used extensively in Health research.

Grey literature

Grey literature is the name given to a large number of different types of publications that are unpublished or published in a non-commercial form.  Examples of grey literature include reports, pamphlets, clinical trials, policy statements, conference proceedings, theses and factsheets.  Grey literature can contain high quality information but it is unlikely to be peer-reviewed so it is important to critically evaluate it before using it.

Where can I find grey literature?

There is no one place to look for grey literature but it can be found at NICE, Open Grey, Social Care Online, The Health Foundation, and The King's Fund, amongst others.

National guidelines

National guidelines aim to use the best available evidence to provide recommendations to help improve health and social care.

Where can I find national guidelines?

NICE, National Guidleline Centre, The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Centre, and The NHS Wales e-Library for Health are good places to start.

Policy documentation

Government guidance for the implementation of legislation is found in policy documents.

Where can I find policy documentation?

A lot of this can be found with a quick Google search, but you can use the advanced search option in Google to restrict to 'gov.uk' websites only if you need British policy.  Alternatively, you can search on gov.uk directly.

CC BY 4.0

Search Success is based on SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Information Learning & Estates at York St John University. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.‌

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