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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Training information skills for Sustainable Development Master in GEO4-2328: 1. Intro

Analysing governance practices

Training finding & handling scholarly information for GEO4-2328

This training in the course GEO4-2328 on Govenrnance for sustainable development in the Sustainable Development Master you will learn how to search and use scholarly sources systematically and responsibly. You will also learn to evaluate sources and have the option to learn to cite them using the RefWorks tool or Mendeley or Zotero. The training consists of the lecture by Jeroen Bosman and this hands on session. Before you start, make sure to read the guidelines.

N.B. The assignments are in these narrow columns on the left; explanation and background information is in the wider main column on the right.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the lecture and this session you will:

  • have deeper knowledge of how the type of information needed is related to publication types, search engines and search functionality
  • have tried various databases for searching scholarly publication and know what are their strong and weaker points
  • know what to use reference management tools for and how to use them
  • know what the main developments in scholarly communications are

Guidelines for this hands on session

This training takes 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 6 parts, each on its own numbered page. On each page the left hand column has the asignments. The information on the right povides background and explanation.

Use your own topic that is developing in your head right now. Only if you really havn't got any ideas yet, use this case:

The Environment DG of the EU wants to foster the adoption of solar energy. It has noticed that adoption rates in the Netherlands are much lower than in Germany or Denmark. The DG wants you to find out what causes this and especially to what extent national policies affect the behaviour of farmers, provinces, municipalities and electricity companies regarding solar energy. To underpin your research background, scientific and societal relevance and research methods you need to search for literature, reports, data and more.

In this session you will explore the possibilities to do this.

If you already use a reference manager, you can skip pages 3 and 6.

N.B: part 4 has a main page and 6 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.

At the end, please provide feedback on page 7 so that we can further improve this training.


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. 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, a.o.:
    • collection G-AW: geoscience (incl. physcial geography)
    • colection G-GE: geography, including planning and development studies
    • collection G-MI: environmental science and policy studies
    • collection G-TS: print journals, arranged A-Z
    • tens of newsletters
  • Print books and journals in Social Science on the third floor, a.o.:
    • collection S-SO: sociology
  • Print books and journals in Science on the fourth floor, a.o.:
    • collection BIO: biology
    • colection CHEM: chemistry
  • Maps and atlases in the map room on the sixth floor
  • Lounge area on the bridge to the Van Unnik building
  • 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 and journals in economics, history and law.