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August 18, 2010

Sigma Xi Partners with ResearchGATE Networking Resource ResearchGateLogo

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering, has partnered with the online resource ResearchGATE (researchGATE.net) to provide a major new networking opportunity for its membership of 50,000 scientists and engineers.

ResearchGATE is the leading professional network for scientists. It is free of charge and designed to meet researchers’ needs. Founder Ijad Madisch, a virologist at Harvard Medical School, describes it as “Facebook for scientists.”

He said that, in a little over two years, ResearchGate has built a network of more than 400,000 researchers from 200 countries. More than 1,000 subgroups have been created for specific disciplines. And in excess of 60,000 research documents have been uploaded for sharing with others on the site.

A special sub-community for active, dues-paying Sigma Xi members has been created on the site. To access it, go to Members Only.

The Sigma Xi sub-community can relate to other sub-communities and groups based on various affinities: universities, private and governmental research institutions, disciplinary pursuits like chemistry, physics, biology, economics, and civil and electrical engineering, interdisciplinary pursuits like biochemistry, quantum computing and so on.

Sigma Xi has already established affiliations with four British university groups: East Anglia, Cambridge, University of London and Imperial College–London.

“The value of ResearchGATE is that it can help move a stalled research project forward in ways that haven’t been available before,” Madisch said.

Users can search abstracts and find experts or colleagues from all over the world. They can query powerful search engines to discover articles related to their research focus in indexes containing millions of publications from different sources. The site also has an international job board with a listing of more than 950 career opportunities.

“It is not uncommon for a subscriber to post a deep and very technical question and have near immediate responses from all over the country and the world,” said Paul C. Kettler, president of the Nordic Chapter of Sigma Xi, who helped implement the partnership.

He said that through this medium, scientists and engineers meet each other, establish collaborations, share research hypotheses and results, pose and answer questions, maintain dialogues and otherwise stay engaged and committed to the scientific enterprise.

“As we intensify our membership expansion program, we think our relationship with ResearchGATE will be a powerful recruiting tool,” said Sigma Xi Executive Director Jerome F. Baker.

He continued, “In addition to receiving our award-winning magazine, American Scientist, among all the other benefits of membership, we now have at our disposal through ResearchGATE a network of some of the finest scientists and engineers in North America and throughout the world.”

As with Facebook, users can adjust privacy settings on their ResearchGATE accounts, in deference to the need for researchers to be guarded about the information they share, either for competitive reasons or because they are subject to nondisclosure agreements.

About Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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