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Grey Literature in the Health Sciences: Clinical Practice Guidelines

Guide to locating and evaluating grey literature (or gray literature) in the health sciences.

General and National Sources for Guidelines

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) can be found both in the journal and grey literatures. Some databases, such as PubMed, allow you to search for or filter a search to just guidelines. You can also locate CPGs using more general sites for health-related information, such as the TRIP Database (listed under General Sources). Other sources for practice guidelines and related tools such as care pathways, care bundles, order sets and protocols are listed below.

Sources for guidelines on specific subjects

Professional medical organizations will often publish CPGs specific to their specialty on their Web sites. If you are searching for guidelines related to diabetes diagnosis or treatment, for example, you may want to check a site such as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. They link to 'Clinical Practice Guidelines' under the general 'Publications' area of their site.

Often, a quick site search for "guidelines" can help quickly determine whether CPGs are available.