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PHC200 Research Skills Guide: Grey Literature

Grey literature: What it is and where to find it?

In this section, we'll look at some other sources of material for PHC200:

  • SEIFA - The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas provides measures of socio-economic conditions by geographic area.
  • PHIDU - The Public Health Information Development Unit provides information on a broad range of health and other determinants across the lifespan.
  • AIHW - The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare aims to provide independent, relevant and reliable health and welfare information about Australia.
  • Canadian Statistics Resources, and
  • Other useful statistics sites

Grey Literature

Grey literature refers to all types of publications that are not published commercially in books or journals. Grey literature is generally not subject to peer review, but it can often be a good source of up-to-date information. Alternatively, it can provide a valuable historical link to how things were done in the past.

Examples of grey literature include:

  • conference proceeding
  • government reports
  • clinical guidelines
  • statistical information
  • theses
  • academic publications
  • fact sheets and bulletins
  • informal communication
  • websites
  • standards
  • policy statements
  • practical guidelines

For more information about these types of resources, take a look at our library guide on Grey Literature. For health specific resources, check out the Health section of the Grey Literature Library Guide for more great information.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is an independent statutory agency. They produce authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform and support better policy and service delivery decisions, leading to better health and wellbeing for all Australians. The AIHW releases around 180 publications a year, including:

Canadian statistics resources


Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a product developed by the ABS that ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The indexes are based on information from the five-yearly Census.

SEIFA 2016 has been created from Census 2016 data, and includes interactive maps for:


The Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU) offers free online access to a comprehensive range of current data at national, jurisdictional, regional and small area levels for Australia.

Socioeconomic and geographical variations in health are highlighted in interactive maps, graphs and topic specific atlases, and supported by data tables and metadata. Where available, data are analysed by age, sex and Indigenous status.

PHIDU's emphasis is on the publication of small area statistics for monitoring inequality in health and wellbeing, and for supporting opportunities to improve population health outcomes.

For information on how to use this site please see: PHIDU Help Guides & FAQs

Other useful statistics sites

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Select Data by region and use the interactive map provided or browse by Local Government Areas from the left hand menu.
  • .Idcommunity - suburb-based community profiles for councils across Australia and New Zealand.
  • BOSCAR - NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research, Crime Mapping Tool shows crime reports in NSW Local Government Areas, suburbs or postcodes.
  • DOTE2021 (Dropping off the Edge 2021) - Persistent and multilayered disadvantage in Australia. 
  • Australia's Health Tracker by socioeconomic status 2021 - This report card looks at the health of adult Australians by socioeconomic status. 
  • APO - Open access evidence platform making public policy research and resources accessible and reusable.
  • Australia's Health Tracker by Area - Interactive website that provides Australian data on chronic diseases, conditions and their risk factors.
  • Australian Health Policy Collaboration AHPC - a library of nationally focused consensus-building process that provide simple guidance on preventable chronic conditions.
  • Local Government websites - look for a community profile

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