Like any source, once information from grey literature is obtained it needs to be critically evaluated and appraised to determine the quality of the information. This is particularly important as grey literature has not usually received the same quality checking as peer reviewed published material. However it may still be reliable information for your research.
Grey literature should ideally be appraised to the same standards as those used to evaluate any other literature. The online tutorial evaluating what you find provides excellent information on how to evaluate all your sources.
The ACCODS checklist provides five criteria for judging the quality of grey information (Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance) It has been designed as an evaluation and critical appraisal tool specifically for use with grey literature sources, by Jessica Tyndall from the Flinders University Medical Library. It is a useful tool to assist with assessing the quality of grey literature for your research.
Access the AACODS checklist here
One of the challenges of grey literature is that some of the organisations and think tanks which publish reports and working papers have their own political or social agendas.
This is why it is important to cross-check information from grey literature sources against information sourced elsewhere.
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