Access to studies in palliative care not found in major databases 

Grey literature is material not published commercially or indexed by major databases. It includes information produced by government, business, academia, not-for-profits, and industry.

Grey literature complements high-level published evidence by providing information such as very recent unpublished findings, theses, real-world outcomes from program evaluation, industry insights, and policy details. Inclusion of grey literature also addresses the potential impact of publication bias in academic journals that is the greater likelihood for publication of reports with positive or significant results.

Grey literature such as conference abstracts or posters and theses can provide information on in-process work. Some types of studies such as audits and quality improvement studies may not be attractive to commercial publishers but can provide information on local contexts and populations.

Quality of grey literature

As with all sources of information it is important to appraise the quality and applicability of grey literature reports using verified assessment tools. Grey Literature in the CareSearch database has not been reviewed prior to inclusion to capture as much 'hard to find' literature as possible. So, it is important that users consider the quality and applicability of retrieved database items. AACODS is a widely supported approach to evaluation and appraisal of grey literature. The AACODS checklist (560kb pdf) was created by Flinders University Medical Library specifically for the evaluation of grey literature. [1] AACODS stands for:

  • A - Authority
  • A - Accuracy
  • C - Coverage
  • O - Objectivity
  • D - Date
  • S - Significance

  1. Tyndall J. AACODS Checklist (560kb pdf). Adelaide, SA: Flinders University; 2010 Nov.

Last updated 29 September 2021