Subject: Research Methods

Scientific Area:



32 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1. - This course (UC) has as general and main objective, the development of skills to support the work within the scope of a dissertation, resulting from a research work in the field of biological sciences. The student should integrate not only the structure of a research project, but also the ethical values (e.g. plagiarism) and bioethics (origin of biological samples, Nagoya, CITES, Directive 86/609 / EEC, etc.), the structure of a scientific publication, publication standards, as well as being able to research scientific databases, among other aspects related to research and publication in the biological sciences.


1 - Brief history of Science and evolution of the scientific method.
2 - Hypothesis formulation, hypothesis test and experimental design.
3 - Search in scientific databases, including also methodologies of bibliographic research. Web of Science, Journal of Citation Reports, PubMed, Zoological Record, GenBank, KewRecords, IPNI, etc.
4 - Ethical values (e.g. plagiarism) and bioethics (origin of biological samples, Nagoya, CITES, Directive 86/609 / EEC, etc.).
5 - Critique and analysis of scientific literature.
6 - Ways to prepare and write articles. Indexes. References and citations. Graphic objects, tables and figures. Rules of publication.
7 - Presentations, methods applied. Dissemination of scientific work.
8 - Tools for the elaboration of a research project. (1) Theme and associated hypothesis; (2) State of the Art; (3) Methods, time frame and associated tasks; (4) Expected results.


Ecco, H , 1997 , Como se faz uma tese em Ciências Sociais e Humanas , Editorial Presença
Kuhn, T. , 1970 , A Estrutura das Revoluções Científicas , S. Paulo: Editorial Perspectiva
MURRAY, R. , 2009 , How to write a Thesis , Berkshire : Open University Press
ROBERT, A. , 1998 , How to write & publish a scientific paper , Cambridge University Press
M. Hamid , 2013 , How to Write a Research Proposal and a Thesis: A Manual for Students and Researchers , Creative
Pickstone, J. , 2000 , Ways of Knowing: A New History of Science, Technology, and Medicine ,
Shapin, S. , 1998 , The Scientific Revolution ,
Gill, C., Whitmarsh, T. & Wilkins, J. , 2012 , Galen and the World of Knowledge ,
Holmes, G., Moody, P., Dine, D. & Trueman, L. , 2017 , Research Methods for the Biosciences , Oxford University Press

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Theoretical classes: lectures, where historical aspects as well as fundamental concepts are considered, namely the evolution of the scientific method and the formulation of hypotheses. Theoretical-practical classes: case studies and texts / articles will be approached using computer resources; critical analysis will be promoted through a guided discussion, in these classes topics of bibliographic research will also be proposed and the use of databases promoted. Seminars: presentation of themes using different means/technologies promoting skills in the presentation of results and scientific dissemination. Assessment: 1 test (50%), one group work with report and presentation (25 +25%).