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INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR MICROGRAM BULLETIN

General Information

Microgram Bulletin and Microgram Bulletin LE are monthly newsletters published by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Forensic Sciences. Microgram Bulletin is primarily intended to provide up-to-date content of interest to the forensic community including Drug Scheduling Updates, Safety Alerts, Selective Literature References, Meeting Announcements, Employment Opportunities, The Journal and Textbook Collection Exchange, and Training Opportunities. Microgram Bulletin LE is primarily intended to assist and serve forensic scientists concerned with the detection and analyses of suspected controlled substances for forensic/law enforcement purposes. It also features Intelligence Alerts and Briefs, in addition to the content found in Microgram Bulletin.

Access to Microgram Bulletin and Microgram Bulletin LE

Microgram Bulletin is posted at www.dea.gov . Microgram Bulletin LE is posted at www.leo.gov in the DEA Special Interest Group (SIG) and the Department of Justice’s information exchange website (IDEA). Microgram Bulletin and Microgram Bulletin LE are available only on the internet. Professional scientific and law enforcement personnel may request email notifications when new issues are posted (such notifications are not available to private citizens). The publications themselves are never sent electronically (that is, as attachments or hyperlinks).

Requests to be added to the email notification list should be submitted via email to the Microgram Editor at: DEA-Microgram -at- usdoj.gov . Requests can also be mailed to: DEA Headquarters; Attn: Office of Forensic Sciences/Microgram Editor; 8701 Morrissette Drive; Springfield, VA 22152. All requests to be added to the Microgram email notification list should include the following Standard Contact Information:

  • The Full Name and Mailing Address of Submitting Laboratory or Office;
  • The Full Name, Title (Laboratory Director, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Librarian, etc.), Phone Number, FAX Number, and Preferred email Address of the Submitting Individual (Note: that email notifications are mailed to titles, not names, in order to avoid problems arising from future personnel changes);
  • If available, the generic email address for the Submitting Laboratory or Office;
  • If a generic email address is not available, one email address for an individual who is likely to be a long-term employee, who has a stable email address, and who will be responsible for forwarding Microgram information to all of the other employees in the requestor’s Office (Note that only one email address per Office will be honored).

Requests to be removed from the Microgram email notification list, or to change an existing email address, should also be sent to the Microgram Editor. Such requests should include all of the pertinent Standard Contact Information detailed above, and also should provide both the previous and the new email addresses.

Email notification requests/changes are usually implemented within six weeks.

Email Notifications (Additional Comments)

The email notification indicates which issue has been posted, and additional information as appropriate. Note that Microgram e-notices will NEVER include any attachments, or any hyperlinks.In order to ensure that the email notifications are not filtered as spam, the
DEA-Microgram -at- usdoj.gov email address should be “whitelisted” by the Office’s ISP.

Costs

Access to Microgram Bulletin and Microgram Bulletin LE is free.

Submissions to Microgram Bulletin and Microgram Bulletin LE

Microgram Bulletin includes Safety Alerts, Selected Literature References, Meeting Announcements, Employment Opportunities, pertinent sections from the Code of Federal Regulations, Columns of topical importance, and similar material of interest to the general forensic community. Microgram Bulletin LE will also feature Intelligence Alerts and Briefs, in addition to the content found in Microgram Bulletin. Explanatory details for most of the above types of submission are detailed below, and typical examples are published in most issues of Microgram Bulletin or Microgram Bulletin LE.

All submissions must be in English. Although Microgram Bulletin LE is classified as law enforcement sensitive, case sensitive information should not be submitted.All submissions should, whenever possible, be submitted electronically, as straight email or as an PC-compatible Microsoft Word® attachment, to: DEA-Microgram -at- usdoj.gov. Current versions of Microsoft Word® (defined as having release dates less than 5 years old) should be utilized. If email submission is not possible, submissions may be mailed to: DEA Headquarters; Attn: Office of Forensic Sciences/Microgram Editor; 8701 Morrissette Drive; Springfield, VA 22152. Hard copy mailings should be accompanied by an electronic version on an PC-compatible standard CD-R. Note that diskettes should be mailed in an irradiation-proof protective sleeve, and the mailing envelope should be marked: “Warning - Contains Electronic Media - Do Not Irradiate”. Note also that mailed submissions may be subject to lengthy handling delays beyond the control of the Office of Forensic Sciences, and electronic media sent through the mail may be destroyed en route by sanitizing procedures, despite protective measures and written warnings. All submissions should include the following Contact Information: The Full Name and Address of Submitting Laboratory or Office, and the Full Name, Phone Number, FAX Number, and Preferred email address of the Submitting Individual.

Safety Alerts are urgent communiqués to the Microgram Bulletin readership which give notice of a specific safety issue of particular interest to forensic or crime laboratory personnel, or to law enforcement personnel dealing with controlled substances. They should include a concise synopsis of the incident(s), recommendations (if any), pertinent literature citations (if any are known), and a mechanism for providing feedback (if appropriate).

Selected Literature References is a monthly compilation of reference citations of presumed interest to the Microgram Bulletin readership, derived from approximately 7,500 scientific periodicals. The focus of the Selected Literature References is the detection and analysis of suspected controlled substances for forensic/law enforcement purposes. References from clinical and toxicological journals are included only if the material is considered to be of high interest to forensic chemists (for example, contains the mass spectra of an unusual substance that is not known to be published elsewhere). Note that citations from obscure periodicals may be missed, and all Microgram Bulletin subscribers are invited to submit citations of interest if they do not appear in Microgram Bulletin within three months of their publication. Of particular interest are articles from regional forensic science associations that are unlikely to be noted by any abstracting service. Citations should include a summary sentence and the primary author’s contact information.

Meeting Announcements list upcoming meetings of presumed interest to the Microgram Bulletin readership. In general, only meetings which are dedicated to forensic chemistry/forensic drug analysis or include a subsection so dedicated will be publicized in Microgram Bulletin.Meeting Announcements should include the Formal Title, Sponsoring Organization, Inclusive Dates, Location (City, State, and specific locale), Registration Deadline, Recommended Hotel (include details on special rates and deadlines where applicable), and Contact Individual’s Name, Phone Number, and email Address. If available, the URL for the meeting website should also be included in the Announcement.

Employment Opportunities lists job announcements of presumed interest to the Microgram Bulletin readership. In general, only jobs with a forensic chemistry/forensic drug analysis focus for Federal, State, or Local Crime Laboratories or Offices will be publicized in Microgram Bulletin.Exceptions may be requested and will be considered on a case-by-case basis (for example, an academic position in a Forensic Chemistry Department). Employment Opportunity announcements should include the Formal Title of the Organization, Formal Title of the Laboratory or Office, Position Title, Laboratory or Office Location (City and State), Salary Range, Opening and Closing Dates, Duties, General Requirements, Specialized Requirements (if any), Application Procedures, and the Contact Individual’s Name, Phone Number, email Address, and Mailing Address. If available, the URL for the agency’s website, and (if available) the specific URL for the job posting should also be included in the Announcement. Employment Opportunities will typically be posted for 3 consecutive months, but not past the application deadline.

The Journal/Textbook Collection Exchange

If any subscriber is interested in donating any forensic or analytical chemistry journal and/or textbook collection to a fellow subscriber or library, Microgram Bulletin is willing to list the offered materials and the associated contact information in a future issue. The general format should follow the example in the January 2003 issue, and should be sent via email to the Microgram Editor at: DEA-Microgram -at- usdoj.gov . Only items for donation (not for sale) will be considered for publication, and donations to libraries should adhere to journal restrictions and/or time limits (if any) on such offers.

Intelligence Alerts and Briefs (Microgram Bulletin LE only) are concise synopses of the physical and chemical characteristics of novel and/or interesting exhibits submitted to law enforcement laboratories involved in the detection and analyses of suspected controlled substances for forensic/law enforcement purposes. Alerts have some unusual aspect, such as a novel drug, an atypical formulation, or a new smuggling technique, whereas Briefs are reports of routine analyses (that is, that confirmed what was suspected/expected). Both Alerts and Briefs should include descriptive details adhering to (as appropriate) the following outline:

  • What laboratory did the analysis? (Full Name)
  • Where is the laboratory located?
  • What agency seized the exhibit?
  • Where was the exhibit seized? (If an obscure locale, give distance and direction from the nearest city)
  • Were there any interesting (but non-sensitive) aspects of the seizure (traffic stop, unusual smuggling technique, at a “Rave,” etc.)
  • What controlled substance was suspected upon submission?
  • Detailed physical description (appearance, dimensions, logos, odor, packaging, etc.)
  • Quantities (numbers of tablets, packages or bricks, average mass, total net mass, etc.)
  • Photos (see additional information, below)
  • What techniques were used to analyze the exhibit?
  • Actual composition of the exhibit?
  • Quantitation data? (if not quantitated, provide a qualitative approximation if possible)
  • Adulterants and diluents? (if identified, especially if unusual)
  • First seizure of this type? (if not, provide brief details of previous examples)
  • Editorial comments? (if any)
  • Literature references for unusual submissions? (if needed)

In order to avoid confusion, if uncommon controlled substances are identified, the description should use the full chemical name(s) of the identified substances (if desired, acronyms or street terminology (e.g., “Foxy-Methoxy", “Nexus”, or “STP”) can be included in parentheses after the full chemical name).

Please provide photographs as attachments and not as images embedded in documents. JPEG images are preferred. Photographs should be of reasonable size. Unless the scale is obvious, photographs of subject exhibit(s) should include either a metric ruled scale or a coin or bill (U.S. currency) to place the exhibit’s size in context.

Selected Intelligence Briefs (Microgram Bulletin LE only) are reprinted (with permission) unclassified intelligence briefs of presumed interest to the Microgram Bulletin LE readership that have been previously published in restricted or nonrestricted publications or websites that are also dedicated to the detection and analyses of suspected controlled substances for forensic/law enforcement purposes. Selected Intelligence Briefs must be unclassified, and should be a minimum of 1 page and a maximum of 10 pages in length (single spaced at 11 pitch Times New Roman font, including photos, tables, charts, etc.). All Microgram Bulletin LE subscribers are invited to submit such material, which must include the author’s and publisher’s contact information.

Requests for Microgram and/or Microgram Bulletin Archives, 1967 - 2002

All issues of Microgram (November 1967 - March 2002) and the first nine issues of its successor Microgram Bulletin (April - December 2002) were and continue to be Law Enforcement Restricted publications, and are therefore generally unavailable to the public. [Note that this restriction includes requests made under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.]

However, the entire collection, individual issues, or individual sections of issues (e.g., specific articles) are available to law enforcement affiliated offices and laboratories. Requests from such offices and laboratories must be made on official letterheadand mailed to:

DEA Headquarters
Attn: Office of Forensic Sciences/Microgram Editor
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152.

Requests will be sent either by CD or in hard copy (photocopy), as appropriate.

Note that requests made via email will not be honored.


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