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August 2003

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 8
August 2003

This monthly electronic bulletin is designed to keep subscribers updated on developments in Sigma Xi's international activities as well as provide 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.

Past Issues

In This Issue

Searching the Scientific Literature
For researchers who used to spend long hours in the library scanning the scientific literature and for those who are not accustomed to reading about developments outside their geographic region, the Internet can be a great research tool. There is a plethora of search engines that can scour scientific journals for articles based on author, title, subject or keywords, but only a few will be mentioned here. Currently,
Ingenta is one of the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary ways to search for journal articles. This site is actually a document delivery service. Only the summaries, which do not include the abstracts, are freely available, and one must pay to view or receive copies of the full text. HighWire, a site run by Stanford University, is the self-proclaimed "largest archive of free full text science on Earth." This site allows you to search journals published online with the assistance of HighWire Press as well as all MEDLINE journals. It provides extensive links to abstracts and full text (whether free or pay-per-view). A unique feature is the forward linkage where an article you read may have links to freely available, future articles referencing it. HighWire offers free access to all research articles from 20 journals and access to research articles in back issues of more than 100 other journals, including Science, after a certain period of time.

Some sites focus on a particular sector of science, such as BioMed Central, which currently publishes more than 100 biomedical research journals. As an open-access publisher, they provide free online access to all original research articles in all of their journals. A similar service designed to support open access electronic journals in Latin America and the Caribbean, the SciELO site can search its many Portuguese-, Spanish- and English-language scientific journals; articles usually have abstracts available in English.

The MEDLINE bibliographic database contains over 12 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. One of the best ways to search this database is via PubMed. Its companion service, PubMed Central, is a free-access digital archive of life sciences journal literature. OJOSE is a free scientific search engine enabling you to query different databases, including MEDLINE and the major publishers' databases, by using only one search field. With the listing of certain databases and the translation utility, this service is especially tailored to European users.

Individual publishers also have their own searchable sites for journal articles within their catalog. Some of these include: Cambridge Journals Online, Oxford Journals, Scirus, SpringerLink, and Wiley Interscience. As demonstrated by these examples, there are many avenues for electronically searching the scientific literature. Finally, one should not overlook the fact that many of the sites mentioned have free alert services that will send you an e-mail when a new article is published with your designated keywords.

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Chilean Group Organizes Conference
The Sigma Xi Packard Initiative networking group based in Santiago, Chile is organizing
CIBIA 4 (the Ibero-American Congress on Food Engineering) in Valparaíso, Chile October 5-8, 2003. Dr. José Miguel Aguilera, one of the co-founders of the Chilean Institute of Food Engineering (IChIA), is the group's coordinator. Members of this networking group hail from several universities in Chile, including Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de Santiago and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María.

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The Network of Users of Scientific Equipment in Eastern and Southern Africa (NUSESA) is conducting a survey to map the progress made in the use of scientific equipment. It is speculated that the lack of explicit property and equipment policies may be a major cause of the reduced availability of functional equipment for research, teaching, service and production institutions. NUSESA is preparing to undertake activities that will bring about a transformation in the institutions' attitude to scientific equipment, so the organization is conducting a survey to aid in their planning. They are seeking responses mainly from the non-commercial purchasers of scientific equipment and government departments in Africa as well as the various donor organizations that give money for the purchase of equipment in Africa. For further information or to receive a survey form, contact
info@nusesa.org. [Source: IFS eNews]

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Role of Science in the Information Society
The International Science Council (ICSU), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), UNESCO and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) are organizing a major international meeting on the
Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS) in Geneva on December 8-9, 2003. RSIS will review the prospects that present developments in science and technology offer for the future of the information society, especially in education, environment, health, and economic development. This event will bring together scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from around the world to develop a vision for how information and communication technologies can be applied for the greater benefit of all. The conference will produce a declaration and an action plan, which will feed into the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held December 10-12 in Geneva. All interested parties are invited to contribute to the debate via a series of on-line forums. As a special incentive, the organizers are offering ten expenses-paid places at the conference to those deemed by the moderators to have made the most valuable contribution to the debate. [Source: TWAS]

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Did You Know?
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is soliciting applications for the
AAAS Lecture Series on Women in Science and Engineering, a project that will showcase the achievements of distinguished U.S. women scientists to wide audiences of scientists, educators, students, and policy-makers in Latin America. U.S. women scientists with compelling personal stories about overcoming the challenges of pursuing scientific careers are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is August 18, 2003.

The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) 2nd IAI Small Grant Program is accepting applications until August 18, 2003. Grants of up to US$30,000 are awarded for the support of research, capacity building or planning activities that will facilitate the development of larger science programs and research networks. The IAI Web site lists the program guidelines and application instructions.

The ICT Stories Competition 2003, now known as the Tony Zeitoun Awards, selects the stories about ICT (information and communication technology) projects that most contribute to poverty alleviation. The writers of the winning stories will be given the opportunity to travel to Switzerland to present their findings at the World Summit on the Information Society. Stories must be submitted online by September 26, 2003. [Source: SciDev.Net]

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences is accepting nominations for the 2003 Kuwait Prizes. Kuwaiti and Arab citizens in the fields of electronics, aquaculture and mathematics in Arab and Islamic heritage may be nominated for these US~$100,000 prizes. The nominations are due on October 31, 2003. Contact prize@kfas.org.kw for more information. [Source: Chronicle of Higher Education]

Stockholm's international award for the innovative use of information technology, the Stockholm Challenge Award, is a platform for innovative projects from all over the world to create networks for the exchange of experience and knowledge. Private, public and academic contestants may enter their projects from several categories including Health, Education and Environment. Finalists are invited to the Final Events in Stockholm, and the winners receive a special trophy. All entries must be submitted online at by November 1, 2003. [Source: Digital Dividend Digest]

The International Section of The Royal Society administers a comprehensive program of study visits, fellowships and joint projects aimed at promoting scientific collaboration between the United Kingdom and international research centers across the world. Postdoctoral scientists from either East or Southeast Asia; Central or South America; Africa or the Middle East are eligible to apply for Short-term Study Visits. The Joint Projects Grants Program provides support for collaborations between the UK and either China, Taiwan, Japan or Korea, and the Society also awards Postdoctoral Fellowships to scientists from China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. Information for all of these programs may be found at their International Activities Web site. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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Upcoming Meetings
World Climate Change Congress; Moscow, Russian Federation; September 29 - October 3, 2003.

Developing Countries Access to Scientific Knowledge: Quantifying the Digital Divide; Trieste, Italy; October 23-24, 2003.

Sigma Xi's 2003 Forum - Science & Engineering: Keys to International Understanding; November 12-13, 2003.

SCIENCE 2003: 11th Annual Forum of the World Congress of Science Producers; Paris, France; December 3-6, 2003.


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: +1-919-549-4691 or +1-919-547-5246
Fax: +1-919-547-5263
E-mail: international@sigmaxi.org


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