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Academic Information Seeking

Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Copenhagen via Coursera


This course will introduce you to the basic elements of academic information seeking - we will explore the search process from defining a strategy to evaluating and documenting your search results.

Attending the course will make you a proficient information seeker. You will learn how to carry out comprehensive literature searches based on your own research assignment. You will be guided through the various information seeking steps from selecting relevant search strategies and techniques to evaluating your search results, documenting your search process and citing your sources.

Attending the course will enable you to:
• Identify your information need
• Evaluate databases and other information resources
• Set up search strategies and use various search techniques
• Formulate search strings based on your own research assignment
• Identify relevant material types
• Undertake critical evaluation of your sources
• Search more efficiently on the internet
• Avoid plagiarism
• Cite correctly
• Work with reference management
• Document your search process

The course is intended for undergraduate students but the lessons will be useful to anyone who is interested in becoming better at finding scientific information. There are no formal requirements for the course.

The series consists of 21 lectures that are organized into three modules. The lectures include small assignments and quizzes (to check comprehension).
The lectures will each touch upon a topic that is essential to the information seeking process. To get the most out of the lecture series, we recommend that you access the lectures while you are working on an academic paper. We also recommend that you watch the lectures in the order in which we have structured them.
We recommend that you create and fill out a log book while attending the lectures. We have created a log book template that you can use during the course.

The lecture series has been developed in collaboration between information specialists at University of Copenhagen and Technical University of Denmark


  • Preparing your search process
    • In Module 1, we focus on preparation. We explain how to use a log book to document your searches, provide ideas for generating search terms, introduce you to various types of literature, material and information resources, and to reference management.
  • Performing your searches
    • In module 2, you will learn to search for and find information. You will learn how to set up a search strategy and you will be introduced to various search methods and search techniques.
  • Evaluating your search results
    • In module 3, you will learn how to evaluate, use and document your search results. You will get tips on how to critically assess information, you will be introduced to concepts like copyright and plagiarism, and you will learn how to insert citations and bibliographies into your papers.

Taught by

Thomas Skov Jensen and Birgitte Munk


4.5 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 630 ratings

Start your review of Academic Information Seeking

  • It is a very valuable course for those who needs to write an academic paper. It really helps students in their research learning process.
  • This is a great overview of the resource or reference collection processes for academic literature review endeavors - be it narrative or systematic. While I highly recommend this course for college students who are about to work on their research requirements, I personally found this course useful beyond that stage in helping me identify best practices to improve my own work. Personally, I thank this course for finally convincing me to routinely use reference management software products - something that I wish I started doing roughly a decade earlier.
  • Pilar Reyes
    An excellent course: it provides learners with the concepts and skills necessary for searching information in libraries and online. It is organized in several sections: preparing a search process, performing searches, and evaluating search results. Lectures are well organized and coherent with the goals. There are activities for students who want to go deeper into the topics (optional) and quizzes that helped them to check the main concepts. I rated it with four stars because the English of some of the lecturers were not clear enough. To solve this issue I used the subtitles available. Ayway, the lecturers are nice and engaging.
  • Profile image for Lerrick Sammering
    Lerrick Sammering
    This was helpful. I learned about research strategies for literature that I did not know about. I would recommend this course especially as they discuss research management tools that would save time when implemented at the beginning stages of doing a literature search for a research project.
  • Armando
    I enjoyed the course. It was short and to the point and gave some usable skills for a small investment in time,
  • Profile image for Franco Cevallos
    Franco Cevallos
  • Per Gustav Ousdal

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