Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Literature Review

Literature Review
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: English, Spanish,

Teaching staff



  • Identifying a relevant topic, researching, managing and writing a final manuscript are key factors for success when carrying out a research project.
  • Textbooks, scientific journals, bibliographic databases, directories, search engines and multiple other information sources offer a great variety of possibilities for finding material in the initial phase of a research project.
  • This subject aims to gain knowledge on techniques and sources of information that assist the user to achieve significant and efficient results.

Pre-course requirements



  • To acquire research and management skills for selecting the most important scientific information from multiple information sources.
  • To know how to select the information sources which will be most useful in relation to the information needs.
  • To design and execute complex, advanced research strategies on different information sources.
  • To manage the selected bibliography in an automated way through bibliographic management resources.
  • To introduce the students to some of the basic bibliometric indicators.
  • To implement automated selective information strategies.
  • To apply the acquired techniques and knowledge to the development of the final project on the subject.


 CB10 - Acquire learning skills that allow them to continue studying in a self-directed and autonomous mode.

CB7 - To apply the acquired knowledge, and develop their ability to solve problems in new environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.

CB8 - Integrate knowledge and deals with the complexity of formulate judgments based on scientific evidence, from information that may be incomplete or limited, include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments.

CE3 - Ability to apply bioinformatics tools used in basic research.

CG1 - Ability to integrate new knowledge through research and study, and deal with complexity

CG2 - Ability to review analysis and discussion of the experimental results and to issue the corresponding conclusions.

CT1 - Ability to work in multidisciplinary and multicultural groups.

Learning outcomes

  • To design suitable research questions.
  • To use computer and information tools for carrying out bibliographic searches.
  • To learn how to retrieve the scientific information efficiently.


Topic 1 Health bibliographic databases & search engines

1.1 Google (advanced search)
1.2 Google Scholar
1.3 PubMed / MEDLINE
1.4 Science Web

Topic 2 Bibliometric indicators: Impact factor of scientific journals & H index

Topic 3 Accessing full text document. Information resources of UIC Barcelona University Library

Topic 4 Bibliographic reference management systems: RefWorks or Mendeley

Topic 5 Vancouver recommendations for publishing manuscripts

Teaching and learning activities


Teaching methodology: CM, MC

Evaluation systems and criteria


Evaluation of the bibliographic review made by the student during the year

Bibliography and resources

• Gutiérrez-Ibarluzea I, Parada Martínez A. Adquisición de Competencias para la búsqueda, recuperación y gestión de Información en Biomedicina [materiales docentes curso en línea]. Zaragoza: Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud: 2011 www.ics-aragon.com/cursos/iacs/107/adquisicion-competencias.pdf

• Pubmed video tutorials www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmed.html

• Web of Science video tutorials http://wokinfo.com/training_support/training/web-of-knowledge/

• Refwork tutorial https://www.refworks.com/tutorial/

• Appendix 2: Example search strategy to identify studies from electronic databases. In: CRD Center for Reviews and Dissemination. Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking systematic reviews in health care. York (United Kingdom): CRD; 2009. www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/index_guidance.htm

• Identifying the evidence: literature searching and evidence submission (chapter 5) . In: NICE The guidelines manual. November 2012. London (United Kingdom): National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). www.nice.org.uk/article/pmg6/chapter/5-identifying-the-evidence-literature-searching-and-evidence-submission

Most relevant information sources

Health bibliographic databases

• PubMED/MEDLINE www.pubmed.org
• ISI Web of Knowledge (access through the university campus)
• Biblioteca Cochrane www.bibliotecacochrane.com
• Google Scholar http://scholar.google.es

Health bibliographic databases on biomedical literature in Spanish

• Índice Bibliográfico Español en Ciencias de la Salud (IBECS) http://ibecs.isciii.es
• MEDES. Medicina en Español https://medes.com
• Google Scholar http://scholar.google.es/
• LILACS (Database of Health Latinamerican journals) www.bireme.br
• SCIELO Scientific Electronic Library Online www.scielo.org

Bibliographic management software

• Refworks www.refworks.com
• Endnote www.endnote.com
• Mendeley www.mendeley.com
• Zotero www.zotero.com

Vancouver rules. How to cite bibliographic references https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html