To ensure enduring engagement of the members in the network, the newsletter should selleck chemical only be available to them and not be publicly
accessible. Membership should however be free of charge. The 50th newsletter of the network appeared on August 1, 2010 and was sent to 858 members in 70 countries. In this paper we describe the growth and origin of the membership, and the growth and origin of the references to papers published by the members of the network and listed in the newsletter. The main topics of the listed papers are also reported. Members Members were recruited one by one by e-mail. Attached to the invitation was a description of the aim of the network and its service to the members (see Box 1), and a specimen of the most recent newsletter. Recruitment started in May 2007 by inviting persons known to be interested in community genetics, followed by inviting corresponding authors of previous papers published in the journal Community Genetics, as their e-mail ABT-888 mw addresses were publicly available on their printed papers. As a next step, a number of relevant journals were screened regularly for papers on subjects within the scope of community genetics, and their corresponding authors were subsequently invited to become a member. After a while, this approach was replaced by weekly PubCrawler searches in PubMed and
GenBank on items within the scope of community genetics, such as genetic screening, genetic education, genetics in primary care, and so on (see http://pubcrawler.gen.tcd.ie/). From the weekly lists of references, authors of papers within the community genetics domain were invited when an e-mail address could be found. Table 1 Specimen of the original attachment accompanying invitations to become a member The definition of community genetics shown
here is replaced presently by a more recent definition (Ten Kate et al. 2010). Present definition: Community genetics Cell press is the art and science of responsible and realistic applications of health and disease-related genetics and genomics knowledge and technology in human populations and communities to the benefit of individuals therein. Community genetics is multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary and aims to maximize benefits while minimizing the risk of harm, respecting the autonomy of individuals and ensuring equity Between May 2007 and July 2010, 1,388 first invitations were sent, out of which 8% were undeliverable, leading to 395 (31%) positive answers and a few expressing regret. The great majority of the nonresponders (811) were approached a second time, generally 1 month after the first invitation. Another 207 people accepted (26% after subtracting 0.7% undeliverable mails). In this way a total of 602 members were recruited by personal invitation. Another 256 members were the result of spontaneous requests by people who had heard from others about the newsletter and by suggestions of members to include other people of their team.