• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

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On-site Course – 1st Edition

Introduction to Bibliographic Search and Management for Life Scientists

March 26th-30th, 2018, Barcelona (Spain)

Scientific communication

Scientific Communication


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Course Introduction to Bibliographic Search and Management for Life Scientists

Course overview

The aim of the course is to provide students and researchers with basic and not-so-basic skills for searching, managing and using effectively online bibliographic and full-text resources for research and publication purposes. It might be of interest to anyone pursuing (or planning) an academic career in life sciences and related fields.

The course will blend theory and practice by reinforcing the presentation of concepts and search strategies with plenty of hands-on demonstrations of software tools and self-evaluation tests. All the practical tasks will be carried out on the Windows platform, so the participants working on computers running different operating systems are kindly requested to install an emulator.


All participants must bring their own personal laptop (Windows 7 or up).





July 27 th-31st, 2020




30 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 18 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order. If the course fills up there will be an assistant instructor to help during the practise time.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Nicola De Bellis instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Nicola De Bellis
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia


Monday, March 26th, 2018. Introductory Concepts.

  • Course presentation: Background, Goals, Tools.
  • Introductory Concepts in Bibliographic Search and Management: Primary and Secondary Sources, Metadata, Bibliographic Indexing vs. Full Text Indexing, Catalogs vs. Bibliographies, Thesauri and Controlled Dictionaries, Document Types and Electronic Formats.
  • The Language of Bibliographic Searches: Boolean Operators.
  • A Challenging Case Study: Bibliographic Searches for Metanalyses and Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Library.
  • Practical Exercises and Self-Evaluation Test.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018. Bibliographic and Full Text Databases in Practice.

  • The Biological, Genetic and Medical Databases of the NCBI: An Overview of their Structure, Content and Search Features.
  • Focus on PubMed and The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Basic and Advanced Search Strategies.
  • Bibliographic Records and Full Text Papers: The Access Problem and How to Circumvent It.
  • Overview of Commercial Digital Libraries (Elsevier’s ScienceDirect, SpringerLink, Wiley Online Library) and Open Archives (ArXiv, BASE, Archive.org, PubMed Central) for the Retrieval of Full Text Documents.
  • Google Beyond the Search Box: Advanced Searches for Finding Scientific Information on the Web.
  • Practical Exercises and Self-Evaluation Test.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018. The Citation Connection.

  • Citation Indexing in Bibliographic Databases: An Alternative Way to Search and Retrieve Relevant Scientific Literature.
  • Focus on ISI Web of Science (WoS), Scopus and Google Scholar: Content, Coverage, Search Features.
  • Using Databases to Evaluate Documents, People, Institutions: Basic Introduction to Citation Analysis Tools and Concepts.
  • Citation Databases and Publications Strategies: Focus on the Journal Citation Reports and Scopus-related Tools for the Evaluation and Selection of Scientific Journals.
  • Hands-on session with three Software Tools: Bibexcel / Pajek and CitNetExplorer for Mining Bibliographic Networks.
  • Practical Exercises and Self-Evaluation Test.

Thursday, March 29th, 2018. Personal Information Management (PIM) for Researchers.

  • Introduction to PIM Concepts and Tools for Storing, Organizing and Using Research Materials.
  • Hands-on Session with three Tools: a) Evernote for Note Taking, Archiving and Organizing in a Linear Fashion; b) XMIND for Note Taking, Archiving and Organizing in a Non-Linear Fashion; c) Zotero for Bibliographic Management and Citation Formatting in Scientific Papers.

Friday, March 30th, 2018. Review and Project Work.

The main concepts and tools presented so far will be concisely reviewed in order to introduce the participants to a final exercise (project work) combining all the skills required to master the basic techniques of bibliographic search and management learned over the previous days.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until June 30th, 2020):
  • 620 € *
    (496 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after June 30th, 2020):
  • 775 € *
    (620 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


Course Schedule
  • Monday to Friday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 19:00 Lessons.

The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


The course will take place in the city of Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). Take a look at the venue.

You may stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. You will find information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here. It takes about 45 minutes by public transport to arrive to Sabadell from the centre of Barcelona city. The place of the course is about 15 minutes walking from the train stop.


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.