4A3 Fishing for Grey Literature: what are we catching in CADTH's rapid response service?

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  • Background: At CADTH, considerable effort is made to retrieve grey literature for rapid reviews published as part of the Rapid Response (RR) Service. The searching process to capture this information is guided by the RR checklist, which is a 46-item sub-set of CADTH's Grey Matters tool. The objective of this study is to measure the value of the RR checklist for finding relevant documents. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 71 rapid reviews published from April to September 2016. The number of grey literature documents captured by the RR checklist was compared with how frequently they were cited in these reports. The type of grey literature document cited was recorded as well as the publisher. Results: Of the 1,893 documents found through the use of the RR checklist, 324 (17%) of those documents were cited in our sample of rapid reviews. Guidelines were the most frequently cited type of grey literature document (41%). The cited grey literature came from 192 publishers, 20 of which are on the RR checklist. Documents found using the RR checklist accounted for 23% of the total literature cited. Discussion: The grey literature search process as guided by the RR checklist identified additional relevant documents; however, there is opportunity for improvement in precision rates. The variety of grey literature publishers can make it difficult to rely on a checklist of individual websites to capture relevant grey literature. Strategies that focus on utilizing search engines and grey literature databases more effectively may need to be developed.

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    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International