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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grey Literature

Learn what Grey Literature is, how to evaluate it, what formats it takes, how to find it, and how to incorporate it in your research.

Grey Literature can be a great alternative to Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed literature, but using it does mean we have to evaluate the information with an increased scrutiny  than we would have to with a scholarly article. So how to we do that? Evaluating Grey Literature requires us to critically think about the nature of the document, the organization who produces it, and the information it presents. A good way to do this is to use The AACODS checklist, which was created by Jess Tyndall: 

Authority: Who is responsible for the content and are they credible? Accuracy: Is the document supported by credible, authoritative sources? Coverage: Does the document clearly state parameters that define their content coverage? Objectivity: Is there bias? Is it easily detected? Date: Can you find the date? For the content to inform your research it must have a date to confirm relevance Significance: Does the document add something unique to the research?