PhD course

Last changed: 12 April 2017

This course will give you valuable skills and insights that will make your work easier and more effective. The course is addressed to you who is admitted to PhD studies at SLU and corresponds to 2 HECS.

What´s included in the course?

The course has a broad approach to information retrieval and scientific communication. It contains all the steps in the research process, from search strategies to communication of research results. Teachers on the course are experts on:

  • Information retrieval in databases and search engines for the web
  • Reference management
  • Publishing strategies and open access
  • Bibliometrics
  • Copyright and patents
  • Archiving of research data

Pratical details

The course is completely web based, without any physical meetings. All learning activities, submission of tasks and communication are via the learning platform Fronter. The course is given at part-time pace, which gives you great liberty to plan your time and to participate in the course, irrespectively of your place of work. The course is given in English.


2 Higher Education Credit (HEC)

Place: SLU University Library

Prerequisites: Admitted to PhD studies at SLU

Language: English (svenska om endast svenskspråkiga deltagare)



To develop participants knowledge of factors affecting search process, scientific communication, source criticism and critical evaluation of publications. To develop the skills needed for effective and methodical work with information retrieval and handling of references and scientific material. To illustrate and problematise research information management, as well as the conditions and practices of scientific communication and publication.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the participants should be able to:
- discuss the conditions and patterns of today´s scientific communication and publishing
- plan, perform and analyse search strategies
- identify, describe and compare search tools within their research area
- within a research context critically evaluate search result and publications
- apply and problematise around bibliometric tools and methods for analysing scientific publications
- use basic functions in a reference management software
- handle research material in accordance with Swedish law: copyright legislation, the Principle of Public Access and the archival


- search process, search strategies
- international reference databases
- e-journals, e-books, other resources
- searching the web, web tools for communication
- reading skills/critical and analytical reading
- reference management
- bibliometrics and bibliometric tools
- scientific communication, open access, strategic publishing
- management and preservation of research data
- copyright


Oral and written presentation of assignments


Course dates 2017

February 13 - April 7 (Fully booked!)

October 9 - December 1 

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