Portal Natural Sciences

Our "Portal Natural Sciences" offers support for your studies, research, and teaching. Here, you will find news from the sciences, information about subject-specific events and courses offered by the university library, useful tools for scientific work, and much more.

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Coffee & Bit(e)s – the coffee lectures for scientists in Bern

Coffee, sweets, and useful information for free – attend our coffee lectures at your institute or library.

We offer news and valuable information for your scientific work, covering topics from poster design to machine learning. Short, to the point, and offering you a chance to win this year's Coffee & Bit(e)s lottery. The lectures are given in English. No registration is needed. When? We offer two coffee lecture sessions per year, one in spring and one in fall (see below). Time? From 1 to 1:15 pm. Where? Normally at several science institutes and libraries in Bern, currently online on ZOOM (details below).

Coffee & Bit(e)s in November 2021

Have you missed one of our lectures? Screencasts of all lectures are presented here.

Archives of the World Wide Web: How to access the internet of the past

9th November 2021, 13:00-13:15
Dr. Nuria Plattner, subject librarian for exact sciences, University Library Bern

Reference management with EndNote 20: What's old, what's new?

10th November 2021, 13:00-13:15
Dr. Marc von Gernler, subject librarian for pharmacy, University Library Bern

Adobe Stock for Bern University: Make your presentations and communications visually appealing with stock images

17th November 2021, 13:00-13:15
Stefan Grosjean, Medical Library, University Library Bern

Altmetrics: Follow your research output in social media and news

23rd November 2021, 13:00-13:15
Dr. Michelle Schaffer, head of Medical Library, University Library Bern
Dr. Aline Frank, subject librarian for biology, University Library Bern

How to promote your research on Instagram? Dos and don’ts of individual science communication

30th November 2021, 13:00-13:15
Dr. Gino Caspari, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University Bern

The Coffee & Bit(e)s Lottery

You have the chance to win a price (a surprise!) by the end of our current Coffee & Bit(e)s year. Before Christmas, we will pick a ticket from our lottery (mail)box. Thus, do not forget to post your ticket when you attend our coffee lectures - or to send us your feedback by email. You can join several times, which increases your chance of winning. Note: We will use your email address only to inform you in case that you win the lottery. We do not use your data for any other purposes.

Previous lecture notes

You can get the slides of previous Coffee & Bit(e)s lectures here:

Lecture Notes

Spring 2021

  • Predatory Publishing: Shedding light on the deceptive publishing industry; Anna Severin, PhD candidate at GHS, University of Bern and SNSF; watch the video (slidecast); get the slides slides.
  • Journal of visualized experiments (JoVE): How to use it for your research and teaching in the life sciences; Aline Frank, University Library Bern; video (slidecast); slides.
  • Open Knowledge Maps: A free and open search engine to create visual overviews of research topics; Silvan Christen, University Library Bern; video (slidecast); slides.
  • Post publication peer review: A chance to improve the publication process and scientific literature quality? Nuria Plattner, University Library Bern; video (slidecast); slides.
  • The SNSF’s ChronosHub pilot project: A new way to manage your publications from submission to open access and reporting; Andrea Hacker, University Library Bern; video (slidecast); slides.
  • Data Visualization: Excel versus Python. When to use which approach? Michael Horn, University Library Bern; video (slidecast); slides.

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Open Science

Online publication of scientific articles and research data

Do you have questions about Open Science standards and Open Access publishing? Do you need guidance on how to fulfill the Open Science and Open Research Data requirements of the Swiss National Science Foundation or other funding agencies? The University Library provides information, consulting and courses on online publication, open access, research data management and more:


Spatial information for research and studies

We provide a variety of Swiss geographic data for members of University Bern. Get access here:


Information about genomes, proteins and more

We provide support in searching for literature, genome and protein information for the life sciences. See our services here:

Reference management

Reference management software and courses

Manage your papers and citations professionally. Courses in reference management offered by the University Library can be found here:

Literature search

Are you starting a literature search for your studies or research?

Get an overview of relevant tools, i.e., literature search websites, for finding scientific literature at the University of Bern.

Tools for scientific literature search (PDF, 45KB)

For further information, one-to-one teaching or group courses and literature searching for the sciences, please contact us.


Subject-specific and personal support

Our team of subject librarians for the sciences supports you in getting the information you need for your studies and research. We offer consultations and courses upon request.

Feel free to contact us.

Tools und software for your studies and research

The tools and software presented here are free of charge, at least in their basic version. 

Are you missing a specific tool for your studies or research? Do you have questions regarding the tools presented below? Just let us know: tools.ub@unibe.ch.

Analysis, statistics, graphics and data management

The R Project for Statistical Computing

R is a powerful and free software environment and programming language for statistical computing and graphics.

Computer program: Download R
Useful graphical interface for R: Download R Studio
Information for beginners: Getting started with R
E-book (in German): Angewandte Statistik, Methodensammlung mit R, J. Hedderich & L. Sachs, Springer Spektrum 2016 (full text within Uni Bern network)

ANACONDA data science platform

Anaconda package manager and environment manager for Python and R: Anaconda is a free, multi-functional toolset for data science applications. It facilitates package management of Python and R libraries and enables the effective use of programming environments and software packages.

Documentation and installation: Anaconda Individual Edition



KNIME is a multi-functional tool for data analysis and visualization. It is easy to use due to its graphical interface.

Computer program: You will find more information about KNIME here.
E-book: KNIME Essentials, perform accurate data analysis using the power of KNIME, G. Bakos, Packt Publishing 2014 (full text within Uni Bern network)

Scientific writing


LaTeX is a text processing software which allows for clean formatting and embedding formula in your text. Especially useful for writing research articles in the exact sciences.

Computer program: Download LaTeX
Introduction and documentation: see The LaTeX Project documentation website

E-Book: LaTeX Beginner's Guide, S. Kottwitz,  2011 (full text available for users within the university network)



Plagscan is a plagiarism checker tool, which can be accessed via Campus account. It is able to scan all common file formats for potential plagiarisms.

Literature search

Literature search tools for the sciences

Here, we provide an overview of relevant tools, i.e., literature search websites, for finding literature in the sciences.

Tools for Scientific Literature Search (PDF, 45KB)

For group courses and one-to-one teaching in literature search in the sciences, please contact frnat@ub.unibe.ch.

Reference management

Reference management software

These computer programs assist you in literature reference management and citation:

*Full version: members of University of Bern use their Campus-Licence (Citavi) or get discout for licences in the softwareshop.

Courses in reference management offered by the University Library can be found here.


Open Access

Useful links for Open Science and open access journals


Distinguish yourself in research! ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a unique identifier for academic authors.


The Altmetric-Plugin allows you to easily display altmetric data for electronic articles that have a DOI. Using the Altmetric Explorer you can get detailed information about the online dissemination of research at article, author, group and institutional level.

  • The different tools of Altmetric are shown here.
  • Use the Altmetric Explorer here.
  • Screencast about Altmetric soon avalable here.



Use Prezi to easily create innovative and interactive presentations online.

Here, you can find informationen about Prezi.
E-book: Powerpoint und Prezi - sehr gut präsentieren, P.C. Lamprecht, Stiftung Warentest 2017 (German; full text within Uni Bern network)

Organize your work


Netvibes allows you to customize your web starting page with your personal RSS web feeds and more: "Your Personal Dashboard. See everything that’s happening: News, social media, favorite websites, apps and smart devices, all in one Dashboard."

Registration for Netvibes


Diigo is a bookmarking tool for collecting and managing websites, notes, pictures, and links.

Registration for Diigo


Toodledo helps you to establish to-do-lists and to take notes: "Toodledo is a flexible and multi-functional tool that will improve your productivity."

Registration for Toodledo

Taking notes

These programs are helpful to collect, order and easily refind your notes, documents or pictures:


Our subject librarians for the sciences

If you need further information regarding library services for the sciences, please do not hesitate to contact us:


We provide personal consultations upon request

Our consultation hours provide individual and subject-specific support. Consultations currently take place by phone, email or videoconference due to Corona virus measures.

Team subject librarians for the sciences