Monday, March 31, 2008

Grey literature

Sounds mysterious, doesn't it, maybe veiled in ghostly whisps of... cobwebs or something, or as if it's a publication done after the ink ran out.

Actually, 'grey lit' is a term used to describe publications that are hard to locate. They are not often available through the 'usual suspects - databases and other searchable sites. Instead, these are the occasional reports, the self-published items. Grey lit covers a lot of ground, when you think about it. Neither fish nor fowl, grey lit is nonetheless worth knowing about, if only because there's a test (ok, no there's not). But I think after you glance through this all too brief list, you'll agree with me that these documents are worth knowing about.

Here's a sampling of resources from the latest Grey Literature Report (itself, a grey lit report! - don't you love it?)

From the AARP: Prescription drugs and Medicare Part D : a report on access, satisfaction, and cost

From Active Living Research, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Designing for active living among children - a document on childhood obesity

From the AHQR (Agency for Health Quality Research - National healthcare quality report 2007 - one of the United States' most important annual reports, this is one that's quoted pretty much everywhere.

Here's a really hot topic: Individual health insurance 2006-2007 : a comprehensive survey of premiums, availability, and benefits

Reducing poverty : what has worked, and what should come next This Canadian report finds areas for targeted intervention: "Six dossiers that require attention: education among the poor; Aboriginal poverty; the mentally ill and physically handicapped; the ghetto poor; high effective tax rates on the “near poor”; and in-work benefits such as earnings supplements."

Another very hot area: Whose data is it anyway? : expanding consumer control over personal health information

The school foods report card 2007
from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)