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Workshop research and information skills GEO1-2208 (Innovation Systems): 1. Intro

Workshop research and information skills

In this workshop in the course GEO1-2208 you will learn how to search and use information sources systematically and responsibly in preparation for your group work on the national innovation systems of the country you have chosen. You will also learn to evaluate sources and save them using the Zotero tool. The skills you acquire can also be applied later when looking for information on a specific technology. The training consists of the lecture by Bosman (slides in Blackboard), the Compass tutorial you already did, and workshop on Tuesday morning 20240219. Before you start, make sure to read the guidelines.

Guidelines for this hands on session

This training takes up 2 hours to complete. It is wise to read the explanatory texts on the right of each page before carrying out the assignments on the left. When in doubt please ask for assistance.

This session consists of  5 parts, each on its own numbered page. The column on the left always has the assignments. The information boxes on the right provide background and explanation that you can use when you want to know more, or when you get stuck. There is also a page (6) on academic integrity that addressed in the lecture as well.

N.B: part 4 has a main page and five subpages for each of the types of information you will be searching for.

This training is largely about learning to search systematically. Please read below on what makes a good search strategy.



Search strategy: what, where, how?

Your search strategy defines what you search, where you search and how you perform your search. In the course of your search process you take many decisions that affect the quality of search results and the time needed to get those results.

The main decisions in your search strategy relate to:

  1. What: in advance think through what information you really need: subject, type of information (analysis, news, statistics, opinion, overview etc.), level and recency. The exact terms you are going to use in your search are of crucial importance.
  2. Where: What you are looking for determines where you should go to find it: unfortunately there is not one search engine or database that has it all.
  3. How: There are various methods of searching. The systematic/bibliographic method (using search terms in scholarly databases) and the snow ball method (finding new information related to what you already have) are the most important. The exact application of these methods depends on the options available in the database or search engine.

The special LibGuide search strategy has more on building successful search strategies.

The university library is online, but it is a building as well!

architectural impression of Utrecht University Library in The Uithof campusNowadays you can do online research, with many thousands of online journals and books made available by the library and with all freely available resources out there provided by governments, NGO's, international agencies etc.. But not everything is online! Some stuff still is only available in hardcopy. For that and more please visit the University Library Uithof, with:

  • Study places, with and without computers and with wifi throughout the building
  • Print books and journals in Geoscience on the second floor
    • colection G-REF: print reference works for all geoscience, geography and environmental scinece fields
    • collection G-AW: all earth sciences including physical geography
    • collection G-GE: geography, including planning, transport and innovation studies
    • collection G-MI: environmental science and policy
    • collection G-TS: print journals, arranged A-Z
    • dozens of newsletters
  • Print books and journals in Social Science on the third floor
    • collection S-SO: sociology
  • Print books and journals in Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) on the fourth floor
  • Maps (sheets and folded, old and new) and atlases in the map room on the sixth floor
  • Newspapers and general interest magazines on the first floor
  • Study cabins and group facilities
  • Face to face support (ask a librarian) on the first floor

The University Library City Centre houses among others the printed books in economics, history and law.