Courses on information seeking

Helsinki University Library offers a variety of courses for developing your skills in academic information retrieval and management.
Participate in a course

The information seeking courses are aimed at the students and staff of the University of Helsinki. The library regularly organizes courses on campuses and online, for example on information retrieval, databases, evaluation of sources and reference management programs.

Study structure
Read more about information seeking courses

The courses are designed for undergraduate and doctoral students at the University of Helsinki as well as University staff. The courses are free of charge for University of Helsinki students and employees. 

The courses can be taken free of charge by all students of the University of Helsinki, including students with the JOO flexible study right and Open University students. 

If you are an external customer of the University of Helsinki and would like to take one of the Library courses, you can find further information under Customers from outside the University: 

Customers from outside the University

Student’s digital skills

The information seeking section familiarizes you with the library services and teaches you to search for information at a basic level.

Information seeking and management for thesis writers (online course) 

Information seeking for thesis topics: creating search terms, searching for information in international databases, evaluating sources

Practical courses on information seeking on different campuses

These courses cover the same content as the online course but through practical exercises

 Reference management course

How reference management tool works and how to use it. 

Participants register for the courses mainly online via a form. 

Infor­mation Seek­ing and Man­age­ment for Thesis Writers: students at the University of Helsinki will register for the course in Sisu. 

The doctoral courses are in Sisu. 

You should take the course when its contents are useful in your studies or work. You can also take the course to revise your knowledge if you are returning to the University after a longer break.

Student’s Digital Skills course or learning materials: beginning of studies, first year.

Online courses, practical courses in the computer rooms of the campuses: When you are completing your bachelor’s or master’s thesis, or writing some other longer thesis for the first time. Primary recommendation: online course. The practical courses in computer rooms are offered especially to people who want courses with contact teaching.  

Specialised or advanced information retrieval courses, e.g. reference management: When needed, at any point of your studies or research career. 

Information Management for Doctoral Candidates (LIB-900): at the beginning of doctoral studies.

The courses will familiarise you with academic information retrieval and management from the point of view of the materials and data systems of the University of Helsinki. 

  • Do you want to become more effective in finding books and articles for your seminar thesis?
  • Are you familiar enough with various databases and their search functions? 
  • Are you planning on using the RefWorks application to save and organise your references? 

These courses aim to develop the information seeking and management skills needed in your studies and research.  

The following courses yield credits in the Sisu register: 

  • Courses for doctoral students (LIB-900)
  • (Moodle exam for Student’s Digital Skills)

Before completing the course, check from your degree programme or seminar coordinator how the course can be included in your studies. 

Are you teaching courses in academic writing, a bachelor’s seminar or some other corresponding course? Do you need to guide students in seeking information from databases and evaluating the credibility of sources? 

In your teaching, you can make use of the Library learning materials or recommend courses from the Library offerings to your students.

Teaching and support for information seeking and retrieval: Instructions for teachers


Do you want to take one of the library courses but do not study or work at the University of Helsinki? 

Helsinki University Library offers a selection of online courses and learning materials that are open and free of charge to everybody

The regularly organised courses (practice groups in computer rooms) are free for students of the University of Helsinki as well as employees and students of the following organisations: 

  • University of Helsinki Open University
  • Helsinki University Hospital (HUH)
  • HUS Helsinki University Hospital (HUS)
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute

The practical course can also be taken free of charge by students who are completing separate study modules at the University of Helsinki, for example, students with the flexible JOO study right. 

If you wish, you can also take a practical course (computer room course) as a customer from outside the aforementioned organisations if  

  • There is room on the course 
  • You pay the course fee in accordance with the price list. 

Read the course descriptions and registration instructions carefully. 

When your place on the course has been confirmed, agree the payment of the course fee with the teacher. 

  • As an individual customer from outside the University, you can pay the course fee at the library’s customer service desk.
  • If the course is taken by a group from outside the University (only on separate agreement), check the invoicing details with the teacher.

Library price list


In questions concerning the courses, please contact the library teachers via the online form.

Contact the library using the online form


Information seeking guidance and events

Have you already taken information seeking courses, but still need more help? The library provides guidance on information seeking during semesters. The service is targeted at students and staff at the University of Helsinki. 

The library also occasionally organises low-threshold activities to support your wellbeing and studies. For event dates and more information, please visit the Wellbeing events page.



Information seeking guides