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Government and Politics

Official Publications

Library Services hold large collections of UK official publications in printed form and online via FindIt@Bham. Some publications are freely available from government websites.  It is traditional to divide UK official publications into two main types: Parliamentary, which includes the devolved parliaments and assemblies, and Non-Parliamentary, e.g. the reports and other publications of individual government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Work and Pensions.

For more information on how to track down the different kinds of Official publications see the Official Publications guide.

Websites for Patient and Consumer Groups

Many literature searches will benefit from including reports and webpages which reflect the interests of the end-user, such as patient groups, service users, students or customers. 

    Details of 1920 UK patient support organisations, self help groups, health and disease information providers, etc. Each entry is cross referenced and details are checked annually.
  • Patient Information Forum
    For health information producers, for all sectors and at all levels. The network has over 450 members across the UK in the NHS, voluntary, public and commercial sectors and in academia.
  • Self Management UK
    From the NHS, for people living with long-term health conditions. Formerly called the Expert Patients programme.
  • HealthWatch
    UK charity that supports and encourages scientific testing of conventional, complementary and alternative medicine and therapies.
    UK national advisory group which supports greater public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.
  • Health talk online
    Health Talk Online contains videos and written information recording experiences of health and illness from more than 2000 people. The information is based on qualitative research undertaken at the University of Oxford. Subjects covered include cancer, dying and bereavement, pregnancy, later life and young people.
  • Patient voices
    Uses digital story-telling to improve medical professionals' education and influence policy-makers.

For information on charities, try Charity Choice.

You should also be able to find relevant pressure groups, unions and suchlike by searching the web.

Other useful websites include:

You may however sometimes get better results using Google Advanced Search with as suffix. 

Specialist Search Engines

  • BASE - the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
    A good place to search for "grey" literature. On the Advanced screen  you can opt to omit articles and thus focus on reports, theses etc.
  • Grey Literature Report 
    The report is a bimonthly publication of The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) alerting readers to new grey literature publications in health services research and selected public health topics.
  • GreyNet 
    The Grey Literature Network Service was founded in 1992. The goal of GreyNet is to facilitate dialog, research, and communication between persons and organisations in the field of grey literature. GreyNet further seeks to identify and distribute information on and about grey literature in networked environments.
  • Mednar
    "... a free, medically-focused deep web search engine providing a search of authoritative public and deep web resources, returning the most relevant results to one easily navigable page. It is a US focused tool offering a Google like interface." Mednar is part of the National Grey Literature Collection website.  Will retrieve a range of material, not just grey literature.
  • National Grey Literature Collection
    The National Grey Literature Collection holds the hard copy grey literature collection of the former North Grey Literature Service. It is collecting an increasing range of electronic Grey Literature. The collection is funded by the Health Education England and delivered by Stockport Foundation NHS Trust." 
  • OpenGrey
    OpenGrey has now been decommissioned.  A MySQL database download is available from a link on the website.  Formerly SIGLE, Open Grey was a multidisciplinary European database for "grey" literature.   Coverage is best for the period 1980-2005.  The Archive for OpenGrey material can also be found on DANS Easy Archive (the Dutch national centre of expertise and repository for research data).  OpenGrey covered Science, Technology, Biomedical Science, Economics, Social Science and Humanities.
  • OpenMD
    A search engine with a medical focus.  Searches multiple medical sources, prioritizing openly accessible material. US-based collaborative group.  Will retrieve a range of material, not just grey literature.
  • TRID
    "TRID is an integrated database that combines the records from TRB’s Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database and the OECD’s Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) Database. TRID provides access to more than 1.3 million records of transportation research worldwide."  Note that TRID searches will retrieve scholarly material generally, not just grey literature.

Regulatory bodies

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    The United States Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
  • International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP)
    The mission of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform is to ensure that a complete view of research is accessible to all those involved in health care decision making. This will improve research transparency and will ultimately strengthen the validity and value of the scientific evidence base.
  • U.S
    Database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.
  • European Medicines Agency
    The mission of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines, for the benefit of public and animal health in the European Union (EU).
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