2023-2024 / DOCU0033-2

Training in the exploitation of documentary resources in biology


8h Th, 12h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biology2 crédits 


Hassan Bougrine, Monique Carnol


Monique Carnol

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The increasing access to information resources, the multiplication of channels and the dissemination speed call for training students to be able to perform effective documentary research and to assess the quality and relevance of the information found. This course provides the basics of documentary research techniques, informs about available resources, and discusses the management of references and citations. The course also raises awareness of the notion of plagiarism, the use of artificial intelligence, and informs about the track and the challenges of scientific publication (Open Access; bibliometrics).

Students thus develop their documentary research skills, their autonomy and their critical thinking, in order to become citizens capable of adapting to the rapid evolution of knowledge.


  • Introduction to scientific information: uses, quality and relevance
  • Document e-Space in the University of Liège: ULiège Library and Collections ULiège
  • Forming a computerized documentary query
  • Database: Scopus
  • Database: PubMed
  • Database: Proquest Agricultural & Environmental Science Database + Proquest Earth, Atmospheric & Aquatic Science Database
  • Search engines: Google Scholar
  • Scientific document types and bibliographic references (the idea of plagiarism)
  • Program for managing bibliographic references: Zotero

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student is able to:

  • Perform an effective documentary research;
  • Locate the documentation in libraries or on the Net;
  • Decode and write standardized bibliographic references;
  • Sort and manage bibliographic references.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic scientific English.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

  • Theoretical information
  • Tutorials
  • Formative QCM
  • Some group activities 
  • Practical activities of computerized bibliographic researches
  • Practical activities of importing and managing bibliographic references in Zotero

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

Most of this course is carried out face-to-face, with alternations of theoretical sequences and tutorials. Some personal work sessions are carried out remotely. A detailed timetable is provided at the beginning of the course.

Recommended or required readings

Notes, tutorials about bibliographic tools and self-assessment tests are available on e-Campus.

More suggested references :

  • Dony Christophe, 2019, Guide d'utilisation de Zotero: Fonctionnalités de base de l'outil de gestion bibliographique. Online. http://hdl.handle.net/2268/232436
  • Pochet Bernard, 2015. Comprendre et maitriser la littérature scientifique. Gembloux : Presses agronomiques de Gembloux. Online. Version du 2 août 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2268/186181
  • University of Liege. 2017. Plagiarism? Not for me! A short guide for University of Liege Students. https://www.enseignement.uliege.be/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-07/plagiarism_-_not_for_me.pdf

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

For the multiple choice questions, a correction for random answers will be applied to the results. The precise procedures for the examination and grading will be explained to students during the course.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is presented in a lecture room, and/or in the computer room of B7a  ( https://www.campus.uliege.be/cms/c_1804841/en/b7a-grands-amphitheatres ), or of B41 (https://www.campus.uliege.be/cms/c_2328634/fr/b41-faculte-de-medecine-veterinaire-clinique-equine-et-imagerie-grands-animaux).

The student can bring his personal computer and/or earphones (if he wishes to view tutorials during the tutorial sessions).

Students' username and password are required to access the set of electronic tools.

Improvements are made to the course each year based on the evolution of knowledge and formal and informal feedback from students.


Office: by appointment only (email, discussion forum eCampus, phone, before/after lectures)

Prof. Monique Carnol

Laboratoire d'Ecologie Végétale et Microbienne, Institut de Botanique B22,  Chemin de la Vallée, 4, 4000 Liège, Belgique (3rd floor)
Tel. 04/3663845 ;  E-mail : m.carnol@uliege.be

Dr. Hassan Bougrine

Bât. B6A ULiège Library : Sciences et Techniques, Quartier Agora, allée du six Août 17B, 4000 Liège 1, Belgique

Tel : 04/3669845 ; E-mail : H.Bougrine@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

PowerPoint for theorical information - Tutorials for practical activities - Self-assessment tests