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Evaluate Grey Literature
The quality of grey literature can vary greatly; therefore, evaluation and appraisal should be undertaken when using grey literature sources.
The appraisal criteria include:
- Authority - identifying the authorship and the responsibilities of intellectual content
- Accuracy - considering the originality, methodology, validity and reliability, analysis, unbiased interpretation and peer review
The AACODS Checkist, developed by Jess Tyndal at Flinders University, is a useful tool for appraising grey literature.
Evaluate Agency and Organisation Websites
- Be cautious when you evaluate websites.
Grey literature is often found on the websites of government agencies, universities or non-profit organisations. It is often recommended to check the domains, e.g. .gov .org or .edu. However, domains can be shared by others. For examples,
- The .org domain is not only used by a non-profit organisation. It can be used by a government agency.
- The .edu may be used by a personal student or faculty, rather than official university webpages.
- Look up the reputable directories of organisations
- Look up the directories of grey literature producing organisations, e.g. Grey Literature Report