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Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine

Description

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) provides Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial health care decision makers with credible, impartial advice and evidence-based information about the effectiveness and efficiency of drugs and other health technologies. To achieve its mandate, CADTH produces a variety of publications that range from comprehensive systematic reviews and economic evaluations to more concise bulletins and updates. In order to search for and retrieve the evidence base required to produce CADTH reports, the Information Services team has developed a grey literature checklist.

Grey literature includes reports and government information that are not published commercially and that are inaccessible via bibliographic databases. The checklist is used to: ensure the retrieval of all relevant health technology assessment (HTA), government, and evidence-based agency reports that may not be indexed in bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE help document the grey literature search process, thereby increasing transparency and the potential for reproducibility ensure that grey literature searching is done in a standardized and comprehensive way.

This checklist includes national and international HTA web sites, drug and device regulatory agencies, clinical trial registries, health economics resources, Canadian health prevalence or incidence databases, and drug formulary web sites. Organized by topic, the checklist includes tips on navigating the web sites. Although the web sites are usually assigned to only one category, in many cases an individual web site may have relevancy in additional categories. The checklist does not supply background information on the agencies. If available, however, the name of the web site is a hyperlink to a brief description of the agency. This checklist is meant to be used to document all aspects of the search process. This includes the documentation of all keywords used in the search and information about the availability of each web site as well as the use of a drop-down box beside each web site to indicate the success or relevancy of the retrieval.

Description

This checklist includes national and international HTA web sites, drug and device regulatory agencies, clinical trial registries, health economics resources, Canadian health prevalence or incidence databases, and drug formulary web sites. Organized by topic, the checklist includes tips on navigating the web sites. Although the web sites are usually assigned to only one category, in many cases an individual web site may have relevancy in additional categories. The checklist does not supply background information on the agencies. If available, however, the name of the web site is a hyperlink to a brief description of the agency. This checklist is meant to be used to document all aspects of the search process. This includes the documentation of all keywords used in the search and information about the availability of each web site as well as the use of a drop-down box beside each web site to indicate the success or relevancy of the retrieval.

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