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Privacy Policy

Sigma Xi Privacy Policy

Information Collection

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is the sole owner of the information collected on sigmaxi.org and americanscientist.org Sigma Xi sites). We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. Sigma Xi collects information from our visitors at several different points on the Sigma Xi sites. In order to provide our visitors the greatest level of comfort on the Sigma Xi sites, we do not collect personally identifiable information until we have notified the site visitor of how the information will be used. We do not share personally identifiable information collected on the Sigma Xi sites with third parties without the visitorís prior consent, and, except for routine Sigma Xi member communications, we do not distribute unsolicited newsletters or promotions to visitors who have shared their e-mail addresses with us.


In order to use personalized services on the Sigma Xi sites, a visitor will be asked to fill out a registration form. During registration the visitor is required to give his or her contact information (such as name and e-mail address). This information is used to maintain a list of authorized visitors and may be used to contact the visitor about the services on our site for which he or she has expressed interest. We require a visitorís Sigma Xi membership number or American Scientist subscription number to provide services such as access to Members Only information, Sigma Xi Exchange and American Scientist Online Archive articles.

Whenever personal profile information (such as education level and job function) is collected in connection with a specialized service such as an e-newsletter subscription, responses are optional but are encouraged so we can assemble aggregate data that will help us better understand and serve our visitors.


We request information from the visitor on order forms for products and services. A visitor must provide contact information (such as name, e-mail, and shipping address) and financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date and billing address). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill customerís orders. If we have trouble processing an order, the information is used to contact the visitor.

Information Use

The information collected is used to fulfill a visitorís request for customer service, support, products, programs, and other services, to respond to inquiries about our offerings, and to offer other products, programs or services that we believe may be of interest to the visitor.

In addition, Sigma Xi uses the information a member provides to keep our database current with contact information, transactions, preferences in communication, meeting attendance, participation in work groups such as committees, expressed interest in focus groups via electronic communication, and optional demographic information.


A cookie is a piece of data stored on the visitorís hard drive containing information about the visitor. We may place a cookie on your computer that enables us to identify you when you visit our sites. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. For the session ID cookie, once a visitor closes the browser or logs out of American Scientist Online, the cookie simply terminates. A persistent cookie is a small text file stored on the visitorís hard drive for an extended period of time. Persistent cookies are used at American Scientist Online to distinguish returning visitors from unique visitors to a page. Persistent cookies can be removed by following Internet browser help file directions.

Visitors who set a cookie on our site do not have to log in their username more than once, thereby saving time. If visitors reject the cookie, they may still use our site. The only drawback to this is that access to some content and services will be restricted. For example, the visitor will not be able to participate in Sigma Xi Exchange.

Log Files

Like most standard Web site servers we use log files. This includes I Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP) name, referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks. We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track visitorsí movements in the aggregate and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information. We use tracking utilities called WebTrends and SawMill that uses log files to analyze patterns of visitor movement.

Communications from the Site

Special Offers and Updates

We send all new registered visitors a welcoming e-mail to verify password and username. Any further communications, except those necessary to communicate about site access or a requested service or product, will be sent only to those visitors who have asked to receive them. Sigma Xi members will occasionally receive information on Sigma Xi activities and services.


If a visitor wishes to subscribe to a newsletter, we ask for contact information such as name and e-mail address. This information is not shared with business partners or advertisers.

Service Announcements

On occasion it is necessary to send out a strictly service-related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance, we might send users an e-mail. These communications are not promotional in nature. Generally, registered site visitors may not opt out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account.

Customer Service

We communicate with visitors to provide requested services regarding issues relating to their account via e-mail, phone or mail, in accordance with the visitorsí wishes.

Sharing Information with Business Service Providers

Sigma Xi partners with third parties to provide specific services. This includes Web site hosting, e-mail newsletter distribution, credit card authorization and ad serving. As mentioned above, our policy is to share only aggregated data with our business partners and advertisers. However, where such information is required to deliver the service, and where the visitor has agreed to this use of personalized information, we may give business partners or service providers such access to or use of personalized information as is necessary for the third party to provide these services. We do not allow these parties to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services.

Legal Disclaimer

Though we attempt to preserve visitor privacy whenever possible, we may be required to disclose personal information when required by law or when we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to comply with judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on Sigma Xi sites, or to protect ourselves, our sites or our visitors. Sigma Xi shall not be liable for any damages, compensatory or otherwise, based on any cause of action that arises from such personal information being disclosed, provided we acted in good faith and have not willfully disclosed such information with an intent to injure. The claimant shall have the full burden of proof that Sigma Xi willfully disclosed information with an intent to cause injury.

Third Party Advertisement Delivery Service

Advertisements that appear on American Scientist Online are delivered by our Web partner, Renegade Internet's AdvertServe program third-party advertising delivery software. Site usage information is used in the aggregate solely to target advertising messages on American Scientist Online, and no personally identifiable information is shared. For more information about AdvertServe cookies and privacy issues, please click here: http://advertserve.renegadeinternet.com/privacy.html.

Third-Party Advertisers

Sigma Xi may allow third-party advertisers to display advertisements on the Sigma Xi sites. To deliver the ad we may use cookies to identify you based on demographic or other profile data you have provided. This information will only be used by American Scientist Online. American Scientist Online may serve ads from companies that use their own ad server or that of their advertising agency. Whenever such third-party ad serving is performed the advertiser will only receive aggregated raw data. If you click on these ads and visit the advertiserís Web site, you may have a cookie placed on your computer by the advertiser. Sigma Xi does not have access to or control of the cookies that may be placed by third parties whose sites you visit from American Scientist Online. Please read the advertiserís privacy policy for information about how it uses cookies.


Our visitors are given the opportunity to "opt out" of having their information used for purposes not directly related to our site at the point where we ask for the information. Visitors who no longer wish to receive our newsletter or promotional materials may opt out of receiving these communications by following instructions in the e-mail or by e-mailing webadmin@sigmaxi.org. Or, contact us by telephone or postal mail using the contact information listed below.

Visitors to our sites are always notified when information is being collected by any outside parties. We do this so our visitors can make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with services that require an outside party, or not.


Sigma Xi sites contain links to other sites. Please be aware that we, Sigma Xi, are not responsible for the privacy practices of other such sites. We encourage our visitors to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each Web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.


From time to time our sites request information from visitors via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the visitor has a choice whether or not to provide any requested information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address) and demographic information (such as income level or age group). Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use of and satisfaction with these sites.

List Rentals

We do make Sigma Xi member names and mailing addresses available to other organizations on request, usually for a fee. We do not provide the names and addresses of subscribers to American Scientist magazine. E-mail addresses and phone numbers are never sold to third parties. If you do not wish your name to be shared with any third parties, please send e-mail to data-entry@sigmaxi.org and it will be removed immediately. Please be aware that it can take 6-8 weeks for lists currently in circulation to expire.


Sigma Xi sites take very substantial precautions to protect our visitorsí information. Sigma Xi maintains practices and procedures designed to ensure the security, integrity and confidentiality of member and subscriber information. We restrict and limit access to our database information only to those who need it to carry out their business functions. When credit card information is transmitted online, we employ the industry standard security measures called SSL (secure socket layer) encryption. We will monitor and adopt, as appropriate, new technological improvements that are designed to aid in ensuring the accuracy and security of our database information. However, no transmission of data over the Internet or any other public network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Although we make reasonable efforts to safeguard your personal information as it is being transmitted using our secure server and once we receive it, we cannot warrant the security of information you transmit to us. We advise you not to transmit your credit card information via unsecured e-mail. Please submit your personal information using our secure server, or call and a customer service representative will be pleased to take your information over the phone. While you are accessing a secure page, such as our payment form, the lock icon on the bottom of Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when you are just "surfing." Finally, the servers where we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment in a locked facility.

If you have any questions about the security of the Sigma Xi sites, you can send e-mail to webadmin@sigmaxi.org.

Correction/Updating Personal Information

If a visitorís personally identifiable information changes (such as zip code, phone, e-mail or postal address), or if a visitor no longer desires our service, we provide a way to correct, update or deactivate visitorsí personally identifiable information. Members can do this using the online Address & Affiliation Change Form at https://www.sigmaxi.org/member/update/addressform.html or by sending e-mail to Customer Support at data-entry@sigmaxi.org. Or, contact us by telephone or postal mail at the contact information listed at the bottom of this page.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement on the Sigma Xi homepage at http://www.sigmaxi.org and on the American Scientist homepage at http://www.americanscientist.org and other places we deem appropriate so our visitors are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

If, however, we would like to use visitorsí personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection, we will notify visitors via e-mail. Visitors will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. However, if visitors have opted out of all communication with the site, or deactivated their account, then they will not be contacted, nor will their personal information be used in this new manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices that do not affect visitor information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our Web site notifying visitors of the change. In some cases where we post a notice we will also e-mail visitors, who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.

Contact Information

If visitors have any questions or suggestions regarding our privacy policy, please contact us at:

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Attn: Web Administration
P.O. Box 13975
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
919-549-4691 or 800-243-6534
Fax: 919-549-0090
E-mail: webadmin@sigmaxi.org


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