Finding Grey Lit for Systematic Reviews: Can It Be More Black and White?


Including grey literature in systematic reviews is an important strategy for reducing bias in included studies, but there are significant challenges to designing and carrying out a grey literature search. Librarians can expect systematic review teams to turn to them for expertise in conducting, managing, and documenting a grey literature search. This webinar provides participants with a framework for grey literature decision-making and tips for managing the search process, so that they can deliver black and white (clear and credible) results. #mlaGreyLit

Objectives: At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • explain the purpose of searching grey literature for a systematic review
  • assist a systematic review team in deciding on the scope and content of a grey literature search
  • modify a PubMed/MEDLINE search for grey literature
  • choose options for capturing grey literature search results that are as efficient as possible
  • document a grey literature search for publication


Barbara Folb is the public health informationist at the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System (HSLS). She has over twenty years of experience in academic and corporate libraries and has experienced the changes that systematic reviews have brought to health sciences libraries during that time. She earned her master’s of public health (MPH) in 2010 while completing a National Library of Medicine Public Health Informationist Fellowship. Since then, she has developed searches for systematic reviews on topics in public health and health policy. As part of the team that created HSLS’s in-house systematic review training, she worked on the grey literature module. That in-house training became the HSLS “Systematic Review Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts for Librarians.” She serves as an instructor for that workshop and finds that teaching about grey literature three times a year does wonders for staying up to date on the topic.

Registration Information

  • Length: 1.5 hour recorded webinar
  • Technical information: You will have immediate access to the recording and the participant's manual after registration.
  • Register, participate, and earn 1.5 MLA continuing education (CE) contact hours

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