529-0195-00L  Scientific Information Retrieval & Management in Life Sciences and Chemistry

Semester Autumn Semester 2016
Lecturers O. Renn
Periodicity yearly course
Language of instruction English

Catalogue data

Abstract Students will learn how to effectively retrieve, critically judge, analyze and manage published scientific information - important skill sets in chemistry and life sciences where scientists need to deal with vast amounts of information. The course, being based on practical examples, also covers scientific writing & communication and state-of-the-art technologies for analysis such as text mining.
Objective Ability to select appropriate, subject-specific databases or tools for a given specific scientific question based on a sound understanding on how a tool or database has been developed and maintained, thus building the personal capacity of doing research effectively and efficiently by integrating scientific information into the research process when needed. Ability to communicate own scientific results using additional distribution channels. Ability to easily write-up the Ph.D. thesis or first paper.
Content The course has been primarily designed for Ph.D. students, also for the Life Science Zurich Graduate School, but is also open to Master students. In a series of 13 lectures, which always include practical examples (for some lectures an own notebook is required), the use of scientific information is taught not in a database-centric view but corresponding to the steps through which scientific research is conducted - including the dissemination of scientific results. This is particularly interesting for students who are about to write-up their first paper or thesis.
Students will learn about the different types of information resources and tools, get an insight into the numerous databases and tools that exists and how those are built and maintained, enabling them to critically judge the value and trustworthy of a information resource. Additionally, they will learn how to communicate their own scientific results properly, using also additional measures that are reflected by alternative metrics.
The following topics are covered:
1. The World of Scientific Publishing
2. Searching and Retrieving Scientific Information Using Search Engines and Using Literature Databases
3. Searching and Retrieving Scientific Information Using Subject-specific Databases in Chemistry
4. Searching and Retrieving Scientific Information Using Subject-Specific Databases in Life Sciences
5. Tools for Managing the Retrieved Scientific Information
6. Tools for Analyzing Scientific Information & Managing and Sharing Knowledge, Visualization of Molecules
7. Patents
8. Text(Literature) and Data Mining
9. Communicating & Analyzing the Impact of (Your) Science
10. Scientific Writing & Good Scientific Practice
Lecture notes The slide deck and supplementary materials will be made available in the teaching document repository (ILIAS) after each lecture.
Literature Additional literature and reference are provided in the course material.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits 2 credits
Examiners O. Renn
Type ungraded semester performance
Language of examination English
Course attendance confirmation required No
Repetition Repetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examination The assessment of the course is based on the attendance of the course (min. 70%). Small projects may be additionally assigned.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


Number Title Hours Lecturers
529-0195-00 V Scientific Information Retrieval & Management in Life Sciences and Chemistry 2 hrs
Wed 16-18 HCI J 7 »
O. Renn


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Programme Section Type
Doctoral Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences Additional Courses W Information