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.

banner: planet, cells, calculations, meadow, fish, desert, molecule

Find Literature

Coffee Lectures Science & Medicine

Useful information perfect for a coffee break – join our Coffee Lectures

We offer news and valuable information for your scientific work, covering topics from searching to writing. Short and to the point, in English and without registration. When? We offer two Coffee Lecture sessions per year, one in spring and one in fall. Time? From 1 to 1:15 pm. Where? Online on ZOOM (details below) and also "on demand" at your institute.

Coffee Lecture fall series

See our program here.
All lectures start at 1 pm online on Zoom: http://bib.unibe.ch/scimedCL

10 topics – 10 Coffee Lectures for you:

  • Data Stewards: domain-specific research data management support at UniBE. Thursday, 19.10.2023 13:00. Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • Financing Open Access Gold in STEM at UniBE. Thursday, 26.10.2023 13:00. Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • Unveiling bias: going beyond study types. Wednesday, 01.11.2023 13:00. Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • 12 steps to a successful systematic review: from research question to evidence. Wednesday, 08.11.2023 13:00. Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • RefHunter –  the database of databases. Wednesday, 15.11.2023 13:00
  • Open Access tools. Tuesday, 21.11.2023 13:00 Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • AI tools to start your literature research. Wednesday, 29.11.2023 13:00 Slides (PDF) | Screencast
  • BORIS Portal – Research Information at UniBE. Thursday, 30.11.2023 Slides (PDF) | Screencast coming soon
  • Make it your own! Personalize your LaTeX thesis with style and class. Thursday, 07.12.2023 13:00 Slides (PDF) | Screencast coming soon
  • Chat GPT and literature research: what we have learned so far. Thursday, 14.12.2023 13:00

Get your Coffee Lectures on demand

Do you already know our new service? Book your personal, customized Coffee Lecture on demand: 

Coffee & Bit(e)s

Previous Lectures

Have you missed one of our lectures?

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


  • SciFlow: A Useful Tool for Scientific Writing and Formatting; Dr. Aline Frank, Science Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • PRISMA for Systematic Reveiw Projects: Tips for Researchers; Tania Rivero, Medical Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • Open Access Update: New Rules, New Possibilities; Dr. Andrea Hacker, Open Science Team, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • Tips for Successfully Leading Your Team in a Systemic Review; Dr. Zayne Roa Díaz, Medical Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • The Risks of Using ChatGPT to Co-Write Your Scientific Paper; Dr. Sampoorna Rappaz, Medical Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • Introduction to BioRender – Not Only for Biologists; Dr. Aline Frank, Science Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • Irreproducible Results in Scientific Articles – Rare Incident or Prevalent Problem? Dr. Nuria Plattner, Science Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • ELN vs. LIMS: How to Make a Choice? Dr. Olga Churakova, Open Science Team, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • SciFinder – Useful for Every Scientist; Dr. Eri Amsler, Science Library, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) and video (screencast)
  • Citing While Writing: Tips to Help You Choose and Use References in Your Scientific Articles; Dr. Kali Tal, Medical Library, University Library Bern: video (screencast)


  • Archives of the World Wide Web: How to access the internet of the past; Dr. Nuria Plattner, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) or video (screencast)
  • Reference management with EndNote 20: What's old, what's new?; Dr. Marc von Gernler, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) or video (screencast)
  • Adobe Stock for Bern University: Make your presentations and communications visually appealing with stock images: Stefan Grosjean, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) or video (screencast)
  • Altmetrics: Follow your research output in social media and news; Dr. Michelle Schaffer and Dr. Aline Frank, University Library Bern: slides (PDF) or video (screencast)
  • How to promote your research on Instagram? Dos and don’ts of individual science communication; Dr. Gino Caspari, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University Bern: slides (PDF) or video (screencast)
  • 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.

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:

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

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


Scientific writing


SciFlow makes it easy to write and format scientific texts - whether for a specific journal or as a student paper. The University Library of Bern has licensed SciFlow for the entire UniBE campus.


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.


BioRender offers thousands of icons and many templates for creating scientific figures in minutes. Ideal to illustrate, e.g., cellular processes, lab techniques and experimental settings.

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

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.
  • A recent screencast about Altmetric is avalable here (Coffee Lecture from November 2021).


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, on site, by phone, email or videoconference.

Team subject librarians for the sciences