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August 2002

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 1
August 2002

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Sigma Xi International Newsletter. This monthly electronic bulletin is designed to keep subscribers updated on developments in Sigma Xi's international activities as well as links and topics of interest to researchers around the world. To submit an item to the newsletter, contact the International Program Coordinator at international@sigmaxi.org. If you would like to, you can download and print a PDF version of this newsletter. To receive notice of this monthly newsletter, please use this online form.

In This Issue

The Packard International Science Networking Initiative-Where Are We?
One of the major components of the Packard Initiative is to encourage the formation of networking groups in developing countries and countries in transition. Since the
Packard Initiative was launched, the Society has received inquiries from or with respect to more than 30 different countries. Groups in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Seoul, Korea; Novosibirsk, Russia; and Kampala, Uganda have received Packard Initiative networking awards. Also, there has been significant activity in India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria and Ukraine. Representatives from seven groups participated in the 2001 Sigma Xi Forum and Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. See below for an interview with Dr. Cecily Banura of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists.

In conjunction with the Packard Initiative, several other projects are underway, including some that build upon Sigma Xi's existing programs. One example of this is the construction of a searchable low-bandwidth archive of American Scientist issues. Stay tuned to future newsletter issues for more information.

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Interested in Being a Companion Chapter?
We are currently seeking chapters that are willing to be companion chapters to the new networking groups participating in the Packard Initiative. A companion chapter basically serves to communicate electronically, advise the networking group about Sigma Xi and typical chapter activities, and get to know the researchers. Companion chapters have also in some instances formed additional collaborations and partially-sponsored dues for the networking group members or the attendance of a representative at the Sigma Xi Forum and Annual Meeting. For more information, please contact the International Program Coordinator (

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International Resources Page
As part of promoting access to research information and journals, many links of interest to scientists and engineers around the world have been compiled on Sigma Xi's new
International Resources page. Links are grouped by topic, such as book/journal donation programs, collaboration databases, full-text online publications, and gateways/directories. This resource is meant to grow and evolve based on user feedback and will be updated at least monthly. To submit links or comments, contact the International Program Coordinator.

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Online Journal Access
Results thus far from Sigma Xi's online International Science Networking Questionnaire suggest that online journal access is one of the highest priorities of researchers in developing/transitional countries. In this issue, we would therefore like to highlight some resources for free online access to full-text publications. There are basically three different categories represented, including: a) journals that are published in print as well as online, b) journals that are published exclusively online, and c) preprints and e-prints.

Journals published in print and online

  1. eJournals Delivery Service
    A program of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the Third World Academy of Sciences geared to facilitate access to current scientific literature; scientific articles can be delivered to scientists in institutions in Third World Countries via e-mail upon request.

  2. Free Medical Journals.com
    A site dedicated to the promotion of free access to medical journals over the Internet.

  3. Highwire - Free Access to Developing Economies
    Free online full-text articles from journals published online with the assistance of HighWire Press.

  4. PubMed central
    PubMed Central is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Journals that are published exclusively online

  1. BioMed Central
    Free access to peer reviewed research across all areas of biology and medicine.

  2. Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO)
    An electronic virtual library covering a selected collection of scientific journals from Latin America; in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Preprints and e-prints

  1. arXiv.org E-print Archive
    E-print archive for physics, mathematics, nonlinear sciences and computer science.

  2. Chemistry Preprint Server
    A permanent Web archive and distribution medium for research articles in the field of chemistry; accessible with free membership to ChemWeb.

  3. Stanford List of Preprints and Working Papers
    Comprehensive listing of preprint/working paper sites in astronomy and astrophysics, chemistry, computation and language, economics, mathematics, nonlinear sciences and physics.

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Interview With: Dr. Cecily Banura of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists

The Uganda Society for Health Scientists recently received a Packard Initiative networking award. Dr. Cecily Banura, society president, represented the group at the 2001 Sigma Xi Forum and Annual Meeting.

SX: Please briefly describe the research interests of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists.
CB: Our major funder's interest is HIV/AIDS related research, so USHS is supporting activities in: HIV related malignancies; KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of) studies related to infection control in health facilities; anti-retroviral therapy; mental illnesses associated with HIV/AIDS; and nutrition and HIV infection.

SX: What are some of the strengths of your region for doing research?
CB: Political goodwill in the country, cooperative support staff, well-trained researchers, research regulatory mechanisms in place, and established laboratory infrastructure.

SX: What are some of the weaknesses?
CB: Limited financial support, few established researchers, limited in-country networking of researchers, no health insurance for patient cover after the drug trials, and slow to implement some vital findings.

SX: What opportunities do you see for research in Uganda?
CB: Additional training of health workers, favorable conditions for collaborative research, involvement of young researchers, and value for money research possible.

SX: Thank you, Dr. Banura for your time and insights.
CB: You are welcome.

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Did You Know?

The Information Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI) has announced two pilot projects inspired by the principles of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (http://www.soros.org/openaccess) to support publication of research by authors from developing and transitional countries. Grants are now available for open access journals as well as institutional memberships to BioMed Central.

To promote open access to international research and scholarship, OSI will provide $100,000 in funding to support the publication in open access peer-reviewed online journals of articles by authors residing and working in countries where the Soros foundations network is active. The list of countries is given below for reference. For more details, see: http://www.soros.org/openaccess/grants-journals.shtml.

In addition, OSI will provide funding to support 50 BioMed Central Institutional memberships for institutions in countries where the Soros foundations network is active. More information can be found on the Budapest Open Access Initiative Web site: http://www.soros.org/openaccess/grants-biomed.shtml.

Source: The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter

For more information on any of the programs mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
Telephone: 919-549-4691 or 919-547-5246
Fax: 919-547-5263
E-mail: international@sigmaxi.org


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