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Study Skills

Biological Sciences Libraries Research Skills Series: The Series

Research Skill Series

All sessions are being delivered through Zoom. For more details about upcoming dates as well as further information, the Series can be viewed on the University Training Booking System.

Core sessions

Developing your literature review: literature searching for research

This session equips participants with all the fundamental skills that they need to build and execute effective search strategies to locate relevant materials for literature reviews, projects and other related research activities. 

Developing your literature review: going further with your research

Building on its partner session looking at literature searching, this session will help researchers go further with their literature review through exploring key skills such as critical evaluation, structural reading, effective note-taking, and getting started with writing a literature review. 

Getting started with Research Data Management

This session introduces participants to the concept of research data, all the forms that it can take as well as negotiating the management of different data depending on their type. Topics such as effective storage, handling sensitive data, and developing best practice approaches to avoid data loss during a project will be covered. The session will also explore how to create a data management plan (DMP) and the support available.

Looking after your online presence as a researcher 

This session has now been split into two to include more detail and additional platforms, as requested by you!

These sessions discuss the benefits and challenges of maintaining an online presence as a researcher. Starting with exploring what comes up through a quick Google search all the way through to maintaining profiles on academic sites, this session will look at the pros and cons of online engagement. In the first session we discuss maintaining your professional academic presence on popular academic platforms and tools such as ORCID, and ResearchGate. In the second session we look at social media sites such as Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, with general tips for staying safe and using social media effectively.

Managing your research with Zotero 

Using a reference manager is one of the best ways to look after crucial research literature, whether planning for a literature review or simply keeping track of developments in a particular discipline. This session will introduce Zotero through live demonstrations, discussions, and troubleshooting common referencing issues. 

Understanding copyright and your research

This session will explore the sometimes complicated world of copyright and what can happen when publishing work. The session will also introduce concepts such as third party copyright as well as licensing tools such as Creative Commons.

Additional sessions 

Using collaborative tools for research

This session will give a brief overview of several tools that can be used for collaborative research. Participants will be introduced to Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs), collaborative online writing tools such as Overleaf, OneNote and Evernote, before finishing with a look at GitHub.

Preparing a polished conference poster

Need to create a conference poster but are not sure where to start? This session will introduce participants to the fundamentals of designing an effective and engaging poster that is perfect for communicating research ideas. The session will look at good design practice, where to source free high quality graphics, as well as deciding what you should (and maybe shouldn't) include in your final poster.

How to give great presentations (when you hate giving presentations)

This session will introduce participants to different methods of communicating research before moving on to a discussion around best practice and techniques when preparing a presentation. Participants will be introduced to concepts around good design, accessibility, data presentation, and accessing Creative Commons licensed materials for their work.

The session will conclude with an exploration of good delivery techniques with additional advice on what to do if it all goes wrong.

Sessions coming soon!

  • Understanding Symplectic Elements 

  • Using metrics responsibly

If you need help in any of these areas before these sessions become available, get in touch with the Biological Sciences Libraries Team and we can set up a 1-2-1 meeting to discuss your needs further. 


All of our sessions are based on requests and demands from the various research communities based around the University of Cambridge. If you need support or training on a topic but can't see it listed here, let us know! We are always looking to expand our provision and welcome recommendations to the Biological Sciences Libraries Team's inbox

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