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Table 3 Characteristics of different approaches to searching for grey literature and grey information

From: Searching and synthesising ‘grey literature’ and ‘grey information’ in public health: critical reflections on three case studies

Search method Specific to grey literature? Likely to find grey literature? Specific to grey information? Likely to find grey information? Likely to be replicable? Results likely to be up to date? Easy for recipients to share? Easy for recipients to ignore?
Searches of         
 Databases of peer-reviewed literature No No No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Databases of grey literature Yes Yes No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Databases of media reporting No Yes No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Relevant peer-reviewed journals No No No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Internet search engines No Yes No No Possibly Yes NA NA
 Reference and citations of included studies No No No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Other publications of authors of included studies No No No No Yes Yes NA NA
 Relevant funder and third sector websites No Yes No No Possibly Possibly NA NA
General requests for information sent to email lists, online boads, published in ‘professional press’ and distributed via Twitter No Yes No Yes Possibly Yes Yes Yes
Targeted requests sent via email to named contacts No Yes No Yes Possibly Yes Yes Possibly
  1. NA not applicable