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November 2003

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 11
November 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 II)
Part I of this article discussed open access to international journals published in the developed world. In this issue, the focus is on open access to research published in the developing world. The phrase "lost science" is used to refer to research done in developing countries that never makes its way beyond the local journals, which are rarely included in the international scientific indices. Because these local journals are often published only in print and/or in languages other than English, and do not appear with the regularity required for indexing, they are frequently ignored or unseen by the international science community. Several initiatives have been launched to raise the profile of journals from developing countries and bring this research to the attention of scientists around the world. By initially concentrating on a few top local publications, programs such as the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) are helping to publish select local journals online. SciELO focuses on journals in Latin America and the Caribbean, and it also works to build searchable bibliographical and full text databases, preserve electronic archives and measure the usage and impact of its journals. It provides free access to the full-text articles in their original language and abstracts in English. Another service focusing on the same geographic region is the Catálogo database within Latindex. Since 2002, Cátalogo has included more than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific journals. African Journals Online (AJOL) aims to eventually serve as a gateway to all of the journals published in Africa. It offers free, searchable access to tables of contents and abstracts for all journals and free, full-text access to those published online. AJOL also has a document delivery service for those journals published only in print. Bioline International works with publishers and editors from Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide open access to their journals, and the full-text of more than 20 scholarly periodicals is currently available for free online. In addition, Bioline has a document delivery service and provides access to reports, books, technical documents, conference proceedings and newsletters on such fields as biotechnology, ecology and medicine. Organizations such as BioMed Central and German Medical Science specialize in facilitating the establishment and operation of free, online, open access journals from any country. For more background information on the topic of open access publications, you can also see SciDev.Net's new section on open access and scientific publishing.

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Update on Open Access Initiatives
The major scientific and scholarly societies in France and Germany signed the
Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities at a meeting in Berlin last month. In essence, this statement reflects both countries' commitment to the open access publishing of scientific research. The plan is to convert all scholarly journals to open access within the next five years or so. Also in October, the Access to Global Online Researchin Agriculture (AGORA) program was initiated to offer tiered pricing to more than 400 scientific journals specializing in agriculture, biology, environmental science, food, and nutrition. For developing countries with a per capita GNP less than US $1,000, access to the AGORA journals is free, and the Web site can be viewed in Arabic, English, French or Spanish. Finally, the Ptolemy Project has also received recent publicity as a model for providing developing country researchers access to the electronic journal collections of various institutions in other countries. Currently, the project gives 100 East African physicians access to the University of Toronto Library online journal collection by making the physicians "research affiliates" associated with the Office of International Surgery. [Source: SPARC Open Access Newsletter]

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Science Journalism on the Move in Latin America
Participants at the
Third Meeting on Science Journalism in Chile last month suggested the creation of a Latin American science news service. One idea mentioned was to set up the Latin American equivalent of EurekAlert!. They also proposed that the Ministries of Education from their respective countries establish fellowships for journalists. In related news, the Peruvian National Council of Science and Technology (CONCYTEC) has created a network of 200 journalists, scientists and public information officers to help them communicate information about science and technology. CONCYTEC hopes that the National Network of Science Journalists of Peru will, among other things, improve the relationships between those working in universities, research institutes, industry and the media. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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Online Science and Mass Media Conference
Scientists and journalists from around the world are invited to participate in the international Internet conference "Russian Science and Mass Media." This conference will be hosted on the
Web site of the Moscow office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from November 5 to December 23, 2003. The goal of the conference is to improve the system of communications between Russian science and society. All postings will be listed in Russian and English.

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Packard Networking Group Debuts Web Site
A group participating in Sigma Xi's Packard International Science Networking Initiative has recently unveiled a Web site designed to provide an electronic infrastructure for scientific communication around global change issues for Colombian and other international scientists.
Carbono & Bosques is a non-profit organization founded by junior scientists that is dedicated to developing research and education activities in the science of global change. They are based in Medellín, Colombia, and they will be one of the networking groups represented at Sigma Xi's upcoming Forum and Annual Meeting.

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Did You Know?
The
System for Analysis, Research and Training (START) Fellowship/Visiting Scientist Program aims to increase the number of developing country researchers who are active partners in global change research in START's networks and projects. The 4 to 8 month fellowships are for graduate students and post-graduates from Africa, Asia and Oceania. The 1 to 2 month visiting scientist awards are for more senior scientists to travel to major international laboratories. December 1, 2003 is the deadline for applications. [Source: SciDev.Net]

As mentioned in the November 2002 newsletter, a grant program was created to attract young researchers to Europe to establish their laboratories and reverse the "brain drain." The European Science Foundation and the Heads of the European Research Organizations have officially launched the first competition for the European Young Investigator Awards. Researchers from any country who have completed their Ph.D.s within the past 2-10 years can apply for the awards to set up laboratories in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom. Grants of up to €250,000 per year for up to five years will be awarded. The application deadline is December 15, 2003. [Source: Chronicle of Higher Education]

Applications for the International Foundation for Science Research Grants are due December 31, 2003. Young, developing country scientists who are at the beginning of their career in aquatic resources, animal production, crop science, forestry/agroforestry, food science, natural products, or water resources are eligible to apply for the awards of up to US$12,000.

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

Idlelo First African Conference on the Digital Commons; Cape Town, South Africa; January 11-15, 2004.

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit; New Delhi, India; February 4-7, 2004.

Fifth Iberoamerican Congress on Science, Technology and Gender; Mexico City, Mexico; February 16-20, 2004.

Global Biotechnology Forum; Concepción, Chile; March 2-5, 2004.

 

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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