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With New Web Site for Members Only, AAAS Launches an 'Online Community'
"Welcome to the AAAS online community" is the message that greets viewers on the new Web site, "AAASMember.org."
Launched the second week of February, the site can give AAAS members the feeling that they are walking the halls of 1200 New York Avenue, NW, stopping in to check on different areas of interest such as science news, career information for young scientists, or perhaps (after April 2001) a video and audio transcript of a seminar they might have missed at the 2001 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Any member of AAAS can sign up to use the new site, which provides easy and free access to the following features:
--Science Express, an early look at accepted articles prior to publication in Science, available exclusively to members.
--ScienceNOW, a daily weekday news briefing on the latest important scientific findings or science policy news.
--Science's Next Wave, a career site that focuses principally on graduate, postdoc and young faculty scientists. It provides information on career development and on obtaining jobs both in and outside academia.
--JSTOR, a non-profit "Journal Storage" project funded by the Mellon Foundation. With the permission of Science magazine, the Foundation has digitized (in PDF and scanned-html forms) all past issues of Science, beginning with its first issue in 1880.
--AAAS Bookstore - a service provided by fatbrain.com, an online bookstore. Members will receive special discounts on a variety of books through the fatbrain site, as well as recommendations from Science editors regarding some of the publications.
The following features are in the planning stages and will be made available later in 2001, Spinella said:
--Account Management services, a simple way for members to conduct business with the AAAS. Members may change their address, add or change a disciplinary section, renew their membership, upgrade their subscriptions, or adjust their mailing privacy codes, without having to mail anything or contact a AAAS representative. More functions will be added over time.
-- Member Directory, a searchable listing of all members who agree to participate. This list will allow members to contact other members for business and/or scientific purposes , although there will be some security provided to protect members' privacy.
-- Online sessions from 2001 Annual Meeting sessions, an experimental service provided by DigiScript, a company that has agreed to video-record selected sessions at this year's meeting and create a searchable transcript. Members will have access to this service for free during a three-month grace period following the Annual Meeting, after which the service will be provided at a discount.
"We are very excited about this feature," said Spinella. "In addition to being able to view and hear the speaker and read or search the transcript, a/v materials used in the session will be viewable synchronously with the talk. "
Spinella said that seminars and sessions will probably be posted in early April. They will include talks on the human genome and signal transduction.
"These recordings can be disseminated broadly at relatively low prices and help to project the work that is described at the meeting to a wider audience than ever before," Spinella said. "In addition, this is a useful, added-value way of archiving meeting presentations. We sense that much has been lost over the years by not having such a capability."