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Finding Grey Literature: Evaluating Grey Literature

This guide provides tools and methods to locate grey literature

Evaluate your sources

evaluate grey literature

Evaluating grey sources

All information that is retrieved in any form for research must be viewed in a critical manner to ensure that it is credible. This is true with grey literature as it encompasses all forms of work, both physical and electronic.

See our guide:

The following evaluation checklist, proposed by Tyndall, covers points particularly important for evaluating grey literature -

AACODS (Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance) incorporates the following ideas:

  • Authority - Incorporates expertise, propriety, experience, credibility, reliability: it asks the question who is responsible for the intellectual content?
  • Accuracy - Does it seem to be right? Has it used a clearly stated methodology? Has it been peer reviewed?
  • Coverage - Try to be aware of any coverage limitations, stated or otherwise.
  • Objectivity - This incorporates opinion, expert or otherwise. Is it balanced or does it have an unstated bias?
  • Date - Does the resource have a clear date related to content?
  • Significance - Is it meaningful? Does it add context?

Tyndall, J. (2008). How low can you go? Towards a hierarchy of grey literature. Presented at Dreaming 08: Australian Library and Information Association Biennial Conference, 2-5 September 2008, Alice Springs.

The above content is copied from the University of Queensland grey literature guide with permission.

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