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October 2003

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 10
October 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

Open Access Publishing (Part I)
For the past several years, researchers, publishers and policymakers around the world have been debating the concept of making scholarly literature "open access," allowing any Internet user to read, download, print, copy, search, and redistribute published articles or to use their contents in other legal ways such as in databases and textbooks. Because the reader neither has to pay for access to the information nor receive permission to use it, open access publishing may have a tremendous impact on those who do not have access to scholarly literature, such as researchers in developing countries. There are two directions of science communication to consider with respect these researchers: being able to access international journals and being able to promote their local journals on an international scale. This month's newsletter will address open access to international journals published in the developed world.

A challenge to open access advocates is to find a business model that covers the costs of journal production and distribution while allowing readers free access. One method is to charge the authors a fee, which can be waived in some cases, e.g. for developing country authors. Some relatively new initiatives are testing this author-fee model, and researchers are waiting to see if it will be financially sustainable over the long term. BioMed Central, a commercial publisher of open access, online, peer-reviewed journals since 2000, charges authors $500 per manuscript. They currently publish more than 100 journals in the fields of biology and medicine. The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a nonprofit scientific publishing organization of scientists and physicians, was founded in order to publish high-profile, peer-reviewed, open access journals. Funded by major grants, PLoS journals are designed to be high-impact publications from their inception, including their first journal, PLoS Biology, launched on October 13th. The author fee for publishing in PLoS Biology is $1500. Another journal, PLoS Medicine will debut in 2004. Sigma Xi's American Scientist magazine has actually been the host of an ongoing discussion online concerning open access publications for the past five years. For more background information and the latest developments in the efforts to make the scientific literature open access, see the American Scientist forum or consult Peter Suber's excellent Guide to the Open Access Movement.

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Asian-Pacific Traditional Medicine and Herbal Technology Network Established
Last month, the
Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology co-sponsored an Expert Group Meeting on the formalization of the Asian-Pacific Traditional Medicine and Herbal Technology Network in China. Members of the network include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. The purpose of this network is four-fold: 1) to promote Asian-Pacific traditional medical and herbal medicinal technology and production development worldwide; 2) to build up the Asian-Pacific traditional herbal medicine sector within the international medicine market; 3) to encourage the exchange of traditional herbal medicine information and technology between countries of the Asian-Pacific region, and this region with the rest of the world; and 4) to meet the demand for natural and green medicine in the international medicine market. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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2003 Forum to Take Place in Los Angeles, California
Sigma Xi's Forum, Science & Engineering: Keys to International Understanding, is scheduled for November 12-13, 2003 in Los Angeles. While the overall theme is international scientific collaboration and communication, there will be a focus on scientific capacity and collaboration with Mexico. Prominent researchers and policy-makers slated to participate in the meeting include: Francisco Ayala (President-elect, Sigma Xi and Donald Bren Professor of Sciences, University of California, Irvine), Mary Kalin Arroyo (former President of the Latin American Plant Sciences Network and Professor of Biology, University of Chile), Norman Borlaug (Nobel Laureate, Texas A&M University), Mohamed Hassan (Executive Director, Third World Academy of Sciences), Jaime Parada Avila (Director General, National Council for Science and Technology/CONACYT), José A. de la Peña (immediate past President, Mexican Academy of Sciences and Director, Institute of Mathematics, National Autonomous University of Mexico/UNAM) , Peter Raven (President, Sigma Xi and Director, Missouri Botanical Garden), José Sarukhán (Professor, Institute of Ecology, UNAM) and Gerson Sher (President, U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation). Consult the Forum Web site for the complete program and registration.

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Did You Know?
Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development (ALO) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced two new requests for applications. The Institutional Partnerships in Higher Education for International Development program will make 18 awards of up to US$100,000 each to implement two-year cooperative partnerships in one of six areas of strategic interest, including agriculture and environment and other areas that "reflect emerging policy and technical solutions to development problems." The closing date for applications is November 4, 2003. The second grant program is the U.S.-Mexico Training, Internships, Exchanges and Scholarships Partnership Initiative. This competition will make awards of up to US$300,000 each over a three-year period to as many as eight proposals. Applications must be submitted by November 12, 2003.

The Institute for the Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) has announced a competitive grants program for the Caribbean region. The grants competition is being launched with the objective of identifying up to four project proposals. The proposals selected will each be awarded with up to US$60,000 to develop a project in the proposed topic. The ICA grants will support proposals that contribute to the promotion of innovative, regional alternatives for the efficient and effective use of information and communication technologies for development in the Caribbean, and that actively contribute to strengthen multilingual and multicultural collaboration within the region. The deadline for submission of proposals to ICA is November 14, 2003. The application form and submission details are available on the ICA Web site. [Source: Digital Dividend Digest]

SciDev.Net and several co-sponsoring organizations will be holding a Latin American workshop addressing "Science, Communication and Society" in San José, Costa Rica from November 24-26, 2003. More information about this workshop can be found online in English and Spanish. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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Upcoming Meetings
Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities; Berlin, Germany; October 20-22, 2003.

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

Young Scientists' Global Change Conference; Trieste, Italy; November 16-20, 2003.

International Research Foundation for Development's World Forum on Information Society: Digital Divide, Global Development and Information Society; Geneva, Switzerland; December 8-10, 2003.

ERPANET/CODATA International Archiving Workshop on the Selection, Appraisal, and Retention of Digital Scientific Data; Lisbon, Portugal; December 15-17, 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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