Frequently Asked Questions for Sigma Xi's Online Communities

If you can't find the information you're looking for, please call the Sigma Xi Center at (919) 549-4691 or (800) 243-6534. Phones are answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p..m. Eastern. 

General Contacts / Connections Communities / Discussions Library / Resources

General | Top

Q: What is my username/password?
A: To login, you will use the e-mail address that Sigma Xi has on file for you and a password that you create. The password that you use to login to is the same password that you will use to access the Communities feature. If you have not created a password yet, go to In the top right, click “Login” then click on “Forgot Your Password?” Enter the e-mail address that Sigma Xi has for you on file. Next, open that e-mail account and open the message that was sent to you. Click on the link to reset your password. Then, create a new password. If you have forgotten your login credentials or need assistance with your login information, click here.

Q: How do I update my profile/contact information?
A: First, make sure to login. Then in the main navigation bar, click on “My Profile.” 

Once your profile page opens, click "Edit Contact Information,” located under your address.

You can add a picture and edit other profile information by clicking on the gear icons. 

Q: How do I control what information is visible in My Profile?
A: After logging in, go to "My Profile” and click on “My Settings.” Choose "Privacy" from the drop-down menu. This will let you control what information is visible to whom. After you’ve made changes, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page. 

Contacts / Connections | Top

Q: How do I find other members?
A: Click the “Directory” link found in the main navigation bar.

If you are logged in, the Directory lets you search for other members based on:
  • First and/or last name
  • Company/Institution name
  • Email address

Switch to the “Advanced Search” tab to increase your search options. 

The advanced search option allows you to search by:

  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Community
  • Education

Q: How do I add contacts to my contact list?
A: There are several ways to add contacts. First, make sure to login. When you perform a search in the Directory, you will see an “add as contact” button to the right of each person in your search results. Just click this button to send a contact request. 

Alternatively, click on the person’s name to see his or her profile. You can click the contact request link to the right of his or her profile picture. 

Q: Why should I add contacts to my contact list?
A: Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can't.

Communities / Discussions | Top

Q: What are communities?
A: Communities allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other members.

Q: What communities do I already belong to?
A: Make sure you are logged in. Go to “Communities” in the main navigation bar. Select “My Communities” to view the communities to which you currently belong. All Sigma Xi members were automatically enrolled in a general member community, called The Lab: Members to Members, when the Communities feature launched. Over time, we plan to create more communities based on popular discussions. Chapter leaders will have their own community. Chapters will receive a community of their own once they have been approved. 

Q: How do I join/subscribe to a community and the affiliated Discussion Group?
A: Over time as more communities launch, you will be able to hover over “Communities” and click on “All Communities” in order to see a list of available communities. Then you will be able to click on the community that you wish to join and simply click "Join," then choose a delivery option for e-mail alerts about community activity (Real Time, Daily Digest, or No E-mail).

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of e-mails I receive?
A: After logging in, go to “My Profile” and click on "My Settings.” 

Once on your settings page, choose “Subscriptions” from the drop-down menu, which indicates the frequency and format of e-mail alerts you receive for the community to which you are subscribed. 

By default, you are subscribed to e-mail in HTML formats (this means it comes with pictures and special formatting) and we encourage you to leave it set to this if your e-mail client can support it. However, if you are having problems viewing the HTML version or if it takes too long to open, please switch to the text version.

For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:

  • Real time: sends an e-mail every time a new message is posted.
  • Daily digest: sends one e-mail to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
  • Real Time Plain Text: sends an e-mail to you using a plain text format every time a new message is posted.
  • No Emails: allows you to be part of the group without having e-mails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.
  • Unsubscribe: Do not click this option because it will not work. Instead, select "No Emails" to remove yourself from the email list. You will still be a member of the community. 

Q: How do I stop receiving the daily digest e-mail?
A:  After logging in, go to “My Profile” and click on the "My Settings" tab. Choose “Subscriptions” from the drop-down menu. Here, you will see a list of available communities and those to which you are subscribed. Select “No Emails” if you do not want e-mail alerts from activity in a community. You will still be in the community, so you can login to see the discussions and participate, but you will no longer receive e-mails. Next, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page. You will get a message confirming that your subscription options have been successfully updated. This can take several seconds if you change your settings for several groups at the same time. 

Q: How do I respond to others’ posts?
A: Click “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community or “Reply to Sender” to only send your message back to the sender; both links are located to the right of the post. We recommend replying to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from.

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?
A: Go to “Communities" then “Post a message.” 

After the “Post a Message” page loads, select a community that you want to receive the message from the drop down menu next to “To.” Write your message and click on the “Send” button located on the bottom of the page.

Q: Why do I have to post messages and reply through the website?
A: There are many features made possible because of the web interface:
  • When you send an attachment through this new system, it automatically places it in the Community’s library and sends a link to members.
  • Because it sends a link, you can share files up to 1GB in size and just about any file type.   
  • All posts and associated resources are automatically archived and easily searchable.

Can I search for posts across all the communities?
A: Yes. Enter a keyword in the search bar. 

From the results page, you can filter results to be alphabetical, by date range, or the person who posted the message. Click on "show advanced search" for even more options. 

How do I see a listing of all of the posts to a specific Community?
A: You can see post of communities to which you are subscribed. First, locate the community you are interested in viewing. To do this, click on “Communities” then “My Communities.” 

That will take you to a page with the names of the communities to which you are subscribed. Click on the name of the community you are interested in. When it opens, click on the “Discussions” tab. 

If you see a post you’re interested in, click the subject line which will take you to the entire thread. “Show original message” at the bottom of all of the posts in a thread will display the original message that started that discussion. The “Author’s Messages” link to the right of a post will show you all of the posts that particular member has contributed to that community. 

Libraries | Top

Q: What are libraries?
A: Libraries house resources that members want to make available to other community members. These can include documents, images, spreadsheets, and videos. When you include an attachment in a post, the file automatically goes into the community’s library. Alternatively, you can upload a file directly to the library without tying it to a particular post. 

Q: How do I find resources that may have been uploaded by other members?
A: If you know which library the resource might be located in, find the community on the appropriate communities page by going to “Communities,” then “My Communities,” then click on the community’s name. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Library” tab. 

If you do not know where the resource might be, enter search terms in the main search box the same way you might enter search terms into Google or another search engine.

Q: Can I search for specific file types?
A: Yes. Enter your desired keyword in the main search box.

Then click on "show advanced search." 

This gives you the option to specify file type: Document, Image, Spreadsheet, etc.

Q: How do the libraries get populated?
A: The libraries are populated in two ways: When you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the library.

You can also "Create a new library entry" on any community's library page. To do this, go to “Communities,” then “My Communities,” and click on the community you want the document to reside in. Then click the “Library” tab. Library resources are not required to be associated with a discussion thread. 

Q: How do I upload a file?
A: Click on “Communities” in the top navigation bar, then click on the community you want the file to be saved in. Once the community landing page loads, click the Library tab. 

Then, click on "Create a new library entry."

Please note that uploading a document is done in a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next:

  • Choose a title for your document, include a description (optional), select the library to which you’d like to upload it, select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional) and choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard File Upload, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Then click “Next.”

  • Once on the page that says “Upload Your Files” at the top, click on “Choose” to select the document from your computer that you wish to upload. When you see the file name appear in the box, you can choose more files or select “Upload File(s)” if you are ready to upload. Select “Next.” 

  • On the next page, enter a file description. Click “Next.” On the page that follows, enter tags, which are used to help categorize the file so it can be found through a search. Then hit “Finish.” 
Q: What kind of files can I upload?
A: The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images and YouTube videos.

Q: What are the “tags” for?
A: Tags are another way of organizing and searching for documents. You can help others find the file you uploaded by including tags when you upload it. There are many pre-loaded tag categories to choose from.