27 May 2015

Int. Journal of Arts and Technology publishes special section on "Evolutionary Arts"

International Journal of Arts and Technology 8(2) 2015 includes a special section on "Evolutionary Arts", which comprises the following articles:
  • Evolving self portraits with Mandelbrot math
  • Pherographs and other hidden landscapes
  • Evolving assemblages

Special issue published: "Bio-Inspired Algorithms for Decision Support in Industrial Engineering Systems: Perspectives and New Advances from Spain"

International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation 7(3) 2015
  • Real-time water demand forecasting system through an agent-based architecture
  • Application of particle swarm optimisation with backward calculation to solve a fuzzy multi-objective supply chain master planning model
  • Easing knowledge management in the power sector by means of a neuro-genetic system
  • A viral system to optimise the daily drayage problem
Additional papers
  • Quantum inspired cuckoo search algorithm for graph colouring problem
  • Short-term hydro-thermal scheduling using CMA-ES with directed target to best perturbation scheme

26 May 2015

Int. J. of Diplomacy and Economy to publish expanded papers from ERPBSS 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the Third International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (24-26 November 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) will be published by the International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy.

Special issue published: "Advances in Applied System Engineering"

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering 20(2) 2015
  • Enhancement of the overall equipment effectiveness measure: a contribution for handling uncertainty in shop floor optimisation and production planning
  • Meta-analysis of the TQM impact on business performance amongst regions and countries 
  • The multi-objective optimisation design for a light guide rod
  • Flood disaster water treatment solution from existing and common ideas with two versions of MSWT-01
Regular papers
  • Application of ant colony algorithm in the simulation-based approach to improve airport surface operations
  • Configuration selection of reconfigurable manufacturing system based on performance
  • Selecting the best operational strategy for job shop system: an ANP approach

Sharing your R&D on the internet

How much research and development information do Fortune Global 500 companies give away on their websites? That was the question a team from the University of Tunisia hoped to answer in assessing the openness of the commercial R&D world.

Writing in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, Boutheina Ben Ghnaya explains that 145 corporate websites across 20 countries were analysed and 11 variables -company internal and external factors – tested to reveal any patterns in information sharing. The researchers found that a company’s degree of internationality, the industry type, the company size and how intense are their R&D efforts are the main factors that explain the differences in R&D disclosure on the internet.

Corporations invest hundreds of billions of dollars globally in R&D efforts hoping to create new and improved products that will give them market share and a healthy bottom line for their investors and shareholders. The literature is replete with studies and investigations of R&D funding, performance and valuation, fundamentally because R&D success directly affects company profits. Critically, the disclosure of R&D information can help inform investor decisions and companies take great care in their financial statements with what they reveal in public regarding their efforts and the success and failures they have.

Financial statements, however, are not generally the best outlet for a summary of R&D in a company and do not necessarily reflect the true nature or performance. Ben Ghnaya alludes to the notion that a more transparent approach to R&D disclosure would benefit investors and companies alike by reducing unwarranted risks and costs. And yet, the form of R&D disclosure on the internet is rather disparate between companies and is still very limited in its extent, with a few exceptions. “Our findings suggest that the full potential of the internet as a communication medium is not yet realised,” says Ben Ghnaya.

Nevertheless, it seems that R&D disclosure is greatest among companies with the widest spread of foreign sales and the largest corporations. However, there is no apparent association between disclosure and number of foreign subsidiaries. Additionally, listing on multiple stock markets does not affect the degree of disclosure, the team found, nor does actual profitability.

Ghnaya, B.B. (2015) ‘Research and development disclosure information on internet by multinational corporations’, Int. J. Information Technology and Management, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp.274–304.

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Call for papers: "Governance of Inter-Firm Networks in the Automotive Industry: The Static-Dynamic Efficiency Paradox"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management.

Past decades have witnessed the struggle of the automotive industry with ever more structural complexity challenges due to the vertical systemic disintegration of production across geographically dispersed locations/networks (Jullian and Pardi, 2013). It is evident that industrial reorganisation has been driven by irreversible technological changes underlying economic transformation. Evolution of global economy under rapid technological advances has required structural adjustments at all levels of socio-economic systems. The old economic institutions of industrialised societies have failed in adjusting their strategies and structures to the changing market dynamics of the emerging knowledge society. On the one hand, traditional hierarchical structure provides weak incentives to create new knowledge depending on the limitations of information flow and processing between an organisation and its environment. On the other hand, market-based interactions without control over intellectual products lead to the dissemination of technical information among industrial partners and hence produce knowledge transaction costs under opportunism risk (Lin, 2009; Gurcaylilar-Yenidogan, 2014). This situation shows that neither price nor authority provides a relatively efficient mechanism to deal with knowledge-based assets as modern economies are becoming increasingly knowledge intensive. Consequently, technology-enhanced collaborative learning supported by growing consumer preferences for product variety has accelerated the spread of a new paradigm for industrial organisations widely embedded in common sense of flexible production networks in higher value-added activities. In other words, traditional forms of inter-organisational relationship based on arm’s length contracts have begun to evolve into new governance structures such as inter-firm partnering and networking (Dilk et al., 2008; Müller, 2009).
The new formation refers to the shift towards more integrated and interdependent economic activities throughout global value chains. This paradigm triggers a transformation of inter-organisational governance modes (Helper, 1991) characterised by the “exit” strategy, which is based on mutual distrust, limited information exchange and short-term commitments associated with an explicit written agreement, to inter-organisational relationships characterised by the “voice” strategy of inter-firm cooperation as a response to market failure by establishing a close and deeply committed relationship with the network partners. Apart from the static efficiency of the value chain activities, inter-firm cooperation is needed for advancing innovation-based competitiveness resulting in dynamic efficiency (Dolan and Lindsay, 1988; Kasper and Streit, 1998). Consistent with the dynamics of competition and survival, co-development of competencies between network partners allows for continuous technological improvement in achieving product and process innovations (Joshi and Stump, 1999; Wang and Wei, 2007).
For example, the value of an OEM is augmented by component suppliers’ specific investments in complementary assets that increase the partner’s capacity for developing differentiated products. Accordingly, automotive manufacturers are reducing their supply base and assigning more design and innovation functions to them (Dunning, 1998; Koufteros et al., 2007). Despite the use of more market-like coordinating mechanisms through contracts and sector-based standards (i.e. QS and VDA series for automotive industry) for managing inter-organisational relationships in automotive networks, allocation of authority over knowledge-based assets for operations in design, logistic and quality links remains problematic because the interest of the network parties may not always align with the achievement of cooperative behaviour (Jensen and Meckling, 1992). Codifying and transferring component suppliers’ strategic knowledge (i.e. design and process FMEA, production and cost details) facilitates coordination of interdependent tasks in a way that negatively impacts knowledge creation and emergence of innovations requiring suppliers’ investments in firm-specific assets.
Consequently, according to the proactive adaptation approach to the external changes through the development of firm-specific assets, the fundamental transaction cost (TC) problem for hybrid or network forms (Williamson, 1985) is how to coordinate interdependent tasks under high-powered incentives without losing the advantages of decentralised decision making (Gurcaylilar-Yenidogan and Windsperger, 2013, 2015). Whereas there is a tradeoff between control and adaptation issues of hybrid governance forms from the TC-perspective, in Powell’s view (1990) networks are distinctive forms of coordinating economic activity that relieve the tension between incentive misalignment and maladaptation through social mechanisms (i.e. relational norms and trust) that foster collective action.
Papers to be included in this special issue should focus on one or more of the topics mentioned below with a special emphasis on inter-firm networks in the automotive industry. We invite authors to submit high quality manuscripts as both empirical and theoretical contributions which will be considered for publication in this special issue. Papers based on empirical data with a strong theoretical background are preferred.
Dilk, C., Gleich, R., Wald, A. and Motwani, J. (2008) 'Innovation networks in the automotive industry: an empirical study in Germany', International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 317-330.
Dolan, E.G. and Lindsey, D.E. (1988) Economics, The Dryden Press, Chicago.
Dunning, J.H. (1998) 'Reappraising the eclectic paradigm in an age of alliance capitalism', In The Changing Boundaries of the Firm: Explaining Evolving Inter-firm Relations (pp. 29-59), Eds. M.G. Colombo, Routledge, London.
Gurcaylilar-Yenidogan, T. and Windsperger, J. (2015) 'Complementarity between formal and relational governance mechanisms in inter-organizational networks: combining resource-based and relational governance perspectives', In Interfirm Networks (pp. 229-248), Eds. J. Windsperger, G. Cliquet, T. Ehrmann and G. Hendrikse, Springer International Publishing.
Gurcaylilar-Yenidogan, T. (2014) 'A multidimensional typology of automaker-supplier relationships: the knowledge sharing dilemma', International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 1-24.
Gurcaylilar-Yenidogan, T. and Windsperger, J. (2013) 'Centralization of decision making authority in inter-organizational networks: evidence from the Austrian automotive industry', Journal of Global Strategic Management, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 184-194.
Helper, S. (1991) 'How much has really changed between US automakers and their suppliers?' Sloan Management Review Summer, Vol. 324, pp.15-28.
Jensen, M.C. and Meckling, W.H. (1992) 'Specific and general knowledge and organizational structure', In Contract Economics (pp. 251-274), Eds. L. Werin and H. Wijkander, Blackwell, Oxford.
Joshi, A.W. and Stump, R.L. (1999). 'The contingent effect of specific asset investments on joint action in manufacturer-supplier relationships: an empirical test of the moderating role of reciprocal asset investments, uncertainty, and trust', Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp.291-305.
Kasper, W. and Streit, M.E. (1998) Institutional Economics: Social Order and Public Policy, Edward Elgar, Northampton, MA.
Koufteros, X.A., Cheng, T.C.E. and Lai, K.H. (2007) 'Black-box and gray-box supplier integration in product development: antecedents, consequences and the moderating role of firm size', Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 25, pp. 847-870.
Jullian, B. and Pardi, T. (2013) 'Structuring new automotive industries, restructuring old automotive industries and the new geopolitics of the global automotive sector', International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 96-113.
Lin, L.H. (2009) 'The impact of integration strategy on organisational innovation and growth in the global automotive industry', International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 54-68.
Müller, H.E. (2009) 'Supplier integration: an international comparison of supplier and automaker experiences', International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 18-39.
Powell, W.W. (1990) 'Neither market, nor hierarchy: network forms of organization', Research in Organizational Behaviour, Vol. 12, pp. 295-336.
Wang, E.T.G. and Wei, H.L. (2007) 'Interorganizational governance value creation: coordinating for information visibility and flexibility in supply chains', Decision Sciences, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 647-674.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Coordinating interdependent tasks: the control-adaptation paradox
  • Examining the relationship between transactional and relational mechanisms
  • Governance of innovations (product, process and business model innovation)
  • Organisational ambidexterity and inter-firm networks
  • Strategic knowledge management
  • Allocation of decision-making authority
  • Managing global value chains
  • Ownership and control in inter-firm networks
  • Re-examining the traditional approach to operational efficiency and performance: Resources, capabilities, transaction costs and rents
  • Completeness and complexity of contracts in inter-firm networks
  • Combining different theoretical perspectives to explain inter-firm networks
Important Dates
Deadline for extended abstract submission: 31 October, 2015
Response by Guest Editors: 30 November, 2015
Deadline for full paper submission online: 30 April, 2016

24 May 2015

New Editor for the International Journal of Computational Systems Engineering

Prof. Valentina E. Balas from the Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad in Romania has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Computational Systems Engineering.

Special issue published: "Applications of AHP and ANP in Businesses in Emerging Markets"

Journal for Global Business Advancement 8(2) 2015
  • AHP as an effective consensus-based selection tool: a case of personnel selection for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia
  • Group fuzzy ANP procedure development for leanness assessment in auto part manufacturing companies
  • Development of a two-stage advanced manufacturing technology option selection model to use in Turkish manufacturing companies
  • The selection of optimum maintenance strategy based on ANP integrated with GRA-TOPSIS
  • Competitive advantage between global production and environmental impacts: strategy for emerging business firms
  • Multi-criteria assessment to automate water treatment plants using the analytical hierarchy process

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Strategic Change Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Strategic Change Management are now available here for free:
  • Cross-culture management: an examination on task, relationship and work overload stress orientations of Japanese and Vietnamese
  • Public services in Chinese regions: a case of cultural provision
  • Cross-culture management: an examination on task, relationship and work overload stress orientations of Dutch and Japanese working adults
  • Guanxi: the evolutionary process of management in China
  • Innovation paths: how the intra-firm evolution of technological innovations affects innovation search and innovation impact

23 May 2015

Call for papers: "Social Media Support for Intelligent Services and Interaction"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence.

This special issue will focus on social media and related research areas for the intelligent support of human activities. Our current environment provides various kinds of social networking systems, and it has become clear that their roles and effects are too complex and diverse in terms of information sharing, knowledge exchange, virtual communication/discussion and so on for effective evaluation.
Social media including social communication systems and environments are not only dependent on a particular network between specific participants, but are also often more widely available. All activities may be mutually interactive either directly or indirectly through the World Wide Web. Social media plays important roles in promoting our communication effectively, and is a typical communication method which has replaced many traditional social information transfer functions.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Foundation of social media mechanisms
  • Interoperability of social media
  • Knowledge management under social media
  • New frameworks in social media
  • New applications as social media
  • Web infrastructures for social media
  • Analysis and evaluation in social media
  • Social media services
  • Human interaction through social media
  • Data/text mining from social media
Important Dates
Submission of papers: 24 August, 2015
Notification of acceptance: 26 October, 2015
Submission of revised papers: 30 November, 2015

New Editor for the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry

Dr. Nazreen Shaik-Peremanov from the University of South Africa has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry.

Special issue published: "Robust Engineering Solutions With Environmental Loading"

International Journal of Reliability and Safety 8(2/3/4) 2014
  • Bayesian inverse analysis for geotechnical site characterisation using cone penetration test
  • Assessing random field models in finite element analysis: a case study
  • A comparative evaluation of two statistical analysis methods for damage detection using fibre optic sensor data
  • Multi-stage mixed system optimal redundancy allocation problem via random-fuzzy credibility measure
  • Effect of aftershock intensity on seismic collapse fragilities
Regularly submitted papers
  • Variational inference of cluster-weighted models for local and global sensitivity analysis
  • Multivariate probabilistic modelling for seepage risk assessment in tunnel segments
  • An optimal repair approach for large-scale systems using queuing theory
  • Quality assessment of models with an application to cyclic creep prediction of concrete
  • Financial view and profitability evaluation on multi-state weighted k-out-of-n:F system reliability
  • A new reliability analysis method for horizontal machining centre based on proportion intensity model and nonlinear mixed-effects model

22 May 2015

Int. J. of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage to publish expanded papers from SDHE2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the 1st Forum on Sustainable Development in Higher Education (21 July 2015, Sha Tin, Hong Kong SAR) will be published by the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage.

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Emergency Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Emergency Management are now available here for free:
  • Katrina revisited: recovery strategies - redevelopment vs. relocation
  • Integral transport scheduling in emergency relief based on an immune evolutionary algorithm
  • Disaster assistance: determinants of countries around the world contributing towards disaster donations
  • From common operating picture to situational awareness
  • An overview of the use of satellite navigation for disaster management and emergency response

Special issue published: "Towards Trust Persistent Identifier Infrastructures"

International Journal of Knowledge and Learning 9(4) 2014
  • A modular infrastructure for the management of authenticity and persistent identifiers in long-term digital preservation repositories
  • Revision of the URN standards
  • ODIN: the ORCID and DataCite interoperability network
  • ISNI: consolidating identities, connecting nodes
  • NBN:IT The Italian trusted persistent identifier infrastructure

New Editor for the International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning

Associate Prof. Nazrul Islam from the University of Abertay in the UK has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning. The previous Editor in Chief, Dr. Eckhard Lichtenthaler, will remain with the journal in the position of Associate Editor.

21 May 2015

Special issue published: "Emerging Technologies for Ubiquitous Communications, Computing and Applications in Ad-Hoc Networks"

International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing 19(1/2) 2015
  • Towards optimising routing overhead in wireless multi-hop networks
  • A transmission protocol based on network coding in many-to-one delay tolerant networks
  • A robust and reliable routing based on multi-hop information in industrial wireless sensor networks
  • The correlation study for parameters in four tuples
  • Gateway pheromone-based adaptive internet access scheme for mobile ad hoc networks
  • Construction and analysis of a green clustered architecture for RNG-based wireless ad hoc networks
  • Erasure coding-based message forwarding to multiple destinations in intermittently connected networks
  • Ego-centric social network routing in MANET
  • Using a hybrid algorithm and active RFID to construct a seamless infant rooming-in tracking mechanism
Additional paper
  • Integrating DSRC and dead-reckoning for cooperative vehicle positioning under GNSS-challenged vehicular environments

Call for papers: "Big Data Visualisation and Analytics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Big Data Intelligence.

This special issue aims to provide an international platform for experts from both academia and industry to present their latest research findings, ideas, developments and applications in big data visualisation and analytics.

The big data phenomenon has emerged as a result of vast amounts of data that are becoming available across a wide range of application domains across science, business and government. Research on big data visualisation and analytics will be necessary for serving scientists, engineers, educators, citizens and decision makers who have unprecedented amounts and types of data available to them.

We invite the submission of papers describing innovative research on all aspects of big data visualization and analytics.

In addition to regular submissions, this special issue will also include extended versions of selected papers from the Big Data Visualization and Analytics special track at the International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC’15).

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Big data visualisation
  • Large data set processing for visual computing
  • Visual big data analytics
  • Scientific and information visualisation
  • Image processing and computer vision
  • High-resolution displays and virtual environments
  • Big data analytics in energy systems/smart grids, cyber-physical systems, mobile networks, internet of things, transportation systems, sensor networks, etc.
  • Big data stream modelling and analytics
  • Big data and cloud computing, large-scale stream processing on the cloud
  • Autonomous, online and incremental learning for big data
  • High-dimensional data, feature selection, feature transformation for big data
  • Scalable algorithms, kernel methods and statistical learning theory for big data

Important Dates
Full regular paper submission due: 30 October, 2015
Extended versions of selected ISVC'15 papers due: 30 January, 2016
Notification of results: 15 March, 2016
Revisions due: 15 April, 2016
Notification of final acceptance: 15 May, 2016
Submission of final revised paper: 15 June, 2016

Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps

Nine times out of ten, that Android app is connecting to multiple internet destinations without your knowledge, more than half of them require access to the sensitive, personal information on your mobile device in order to function and more than one in five data “packets” these apps send contains some of that sensitive information. That’s the conclusion of Japanese researchers writing this month in the International Journal of Space-Based and Situated Computing.

Hiroki Kuzuno and Satoshi Tonami of Intelligent Systems Laboratory, SECOM Co., Ltd., in Tokyo, analyzed the traffic and permissions of 1,188 free Android applications that use various advertising or in-app purchase models for their monetization. They demonstrated that 93% of those applications might compromise user privacy or security in various ways. As such, the team has now devised a clustering algorithm that can analyze the internet destinations to which such apps connect and a signature-generation system that could be used to quickly alert users to a leak of personal data from their device. Such a system would once again empower the end user to take control of their mobile device and help eradicate such behavior from the Android app ecosystem.

Smart phones are almost ubiquitous and vast numbers use the Android operating system developed by Google. There are more than 1 million applications, “apps” available to users of such devices that depending on the type of app can directly access the personal information, such as location tracking data, the address book, unique device identifier (UDID) and other data. The Android system can decouple device features such as network access, the built-in cameras, and sensitive data in order to maintain security. However, many applications request permission on installation to access such features and many users check the boxes that allow such access without recognizing how this might compromise their privacy and security.

On the whole, the information to which apps have access is most commonly used for targeting the user with advertising, but might also represent the aggregation of personal data on remote servers that might be compromised by a third party. Either way, if users were fully aware of the problems that might occur with their mobile devices leaking data in this way, they might be more wary of installing many of the apps available, even those offered by apparently legitimate and well known online companies and services.

The team tested their leaked data detection system on the 1,188 apps in their collection and used it to analyze 107,859 data packets, of which 23,309 were identified as containing sensitive information. The system proved to be 97% accurate with just 3% false positives. Of course, once developed into an end-user product, the system itself could be added to a smart phone as an app.

Kuzuno, H. and Tonami, S. (2015) ‘Detection of sensitive information leakage in Android applications using signature generation’, Int. J. Space-Based and Situated Computing, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.53–62.
Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Biometrics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Biometrics are now available here for free:
  • Biometric verification of a subject with eye movements, with special reference to temporal variability in saccades between a subject's measurements
  • A Persian writer identification method using swarm-based feature selection approach
  • Dynamic facial expression analysis based on extended spatio-temporal histogram of oriented gradients
  • A new cow identification system based on iris analysis and recognition
  • Random subspace support vector machine ensemble for reliable face recognition

The flight of the Oryx

Qatar’s capital city, Doha, is set to emerge as a major knowledge hub, with its educated, high-tech workforce and its international connectivity. However, the lack of a cohesive plan for development and the mobility of that workforce in and out of Qatar could stymie its success on the global stage.

The rulers of the Arab state of Qatar have shaped their capital city, Doha, into one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and also, through economic diversification and other measures, establishing it as a significant hub city in the global knowledge economy. Research published in the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development suggests that the ascendency of Doha, the notion of the Oryx taking off, is emerging because of the relational economic geography and the physical urban development in the city.

Sven Conventz of TU Munich and colleagues there and at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany and the University of Strathclyde, UK, explain how the Oryx antelope, logo of Qatar Airways, provides a neat metaphor for the rise of Doha in the Gulf region. Whereas Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become rather famous in the global theatre, Qatar’s capital attracted little international attention until recently despite rapid urban. Its fossil fuels, progressive governance – since 1995 – and its advantageous geopolitical location could change that to Doha’s and Qatar’s benefit.

The team has investigated the notion of “when the Oryx takes off” and found that knowledge intensive Qatari firms in the Gulf region play an important role. However, the airline connectivity between Qatar, Europe and South-East Asia is equally important. Conversely, there is, they report, a distinct lack of urban amenities for knowledge workers and if this problem is not addressed, the Oryx may never fly as high as the state’s rulers hope.

“Today knowledge is considered a key driver for innovation, economic growth and spatial development,” the team asserts. However, we still lack a fully accepted definition of what the knowledge economy exactly is. Nevertheless, it certainly encompasses advanced producer services (APSs), high-tech industries and knowledge-creating institutions, such as universities and research establishments. “Large-scale public investments initiated by Qatar’s rulers have shaped contemporary Doha into one of the fastest growing cities in the world and a serious contender as an emerging regional hub city,” the team says. This is happening despite the lack of a cohesive development vision or plan, their findings suggest, and the ever-changing composition of Qatar’s society might ultimately ground the Oryx unless there is long-term commitment from the highly educated workforce to stay and to develop a functioning, self-contained service economy.

Conventz, S., Thierstein, A., Wiedmann, F. and Salama, A.M. (2015) ‘When the Oryx takes off: Doha a new rising knowledge hub in the gulf region?’, Int. J. Knowledge-Based Development, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp.65–82.

The flight of the Oryx is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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20 May 2015

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Global Energy Issues

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Global Energy Issues are now available here for free:
  • Comparing policy, regulations and institutions for geological disposal of radioactive waste and carbon dioxide
  • Public perception of ultimate disposal facilities for radioactive waste and carbon dioxide: results from a cross-national comparison
  • Comparison of cost estimates of final disposal facilities for carbon dioxide and high-level radioactive waste
  • Comparison of monitoring programmes of ultimate disposal facilities for radioactive waste and carbon dioxide
  • Safety/risk assessment methodologies of deep geological facilities: results from a cross-national comparison
  • Comparative assessment of ultimate disposal facilities for carbon dioxide and radioactive waste: overview and synthesis

Int. J. of Business Governance and Ethics to publish expanded papers from GCBSS 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the Global Conference on Business and Social Science (17-18 September 2015, Bali, Indonesia) will be published by the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics.

Learning about massive open online courses

Over the past five years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become an important component of modern education disrupting many conventions and opening up a wide range of new approaches and possibilities. Now, writing in the International Journal of Learning Technology, computer scientists from the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, explain how expectations are high for what MOOCs can achieve in terms of opening access, widening participation and cost saving. They have studied the scientific literature surrounding MOOCs and find that there is little evidence of support and that currently MOOCs do not live up to those expectations.

Jane Sinclair, Russell Boyatt, Claire Rocks and Mike Joy point out that MOOCs are very much in evidence in educational institutions, in the media and in the blogosphere. They offer the prospect of education beyond the confines of individual universities and organisations, allowing (often) free participation to large numbers of learners from any geographical location and without the need to satisfy formal entry requirements. Indeed, there are available hundreds, if not thousands, of MOOCs across almost every area of study with some enrolling tens of thousands of students, an entirely implausible idea for a conventional course. Moreover, MOOCs are gaining traction rapidly.

However, the team’s analysis of the research literature concerning MOOCs despite the current high profile of this form of education and the way in which many institutions are rushing to provide them as a teaching option, suggests that little evidence exists to indicate the efficacy of these courses in achieving desired objectives and learning goals. “This movement has happened largely without the benefit of any real analysis and understanding which might be provided by evaluation of the courses themselves,” the team says.

They add that there has not been adequate consideration of the underlying factors one might expect to be at the forefront of course development such as pedagogy and catering for diversity. Worryingly, the team found that, “Some institutions and staff do not appear to know why they are engaged in MOOC activity apart from a fear of being left behind or that they have been told to do it.” They add that economics and staffing are also problems: “Frequently, learners comment about the need for support, and staff note the large amount of time and effort required to provide even the current levels on offer,” they say. “There seems to be a discrepancy between this and the expressions of hope that MOOCs can meet the need for mass education and solve cost problems at the same time.” The authors conclude that, “Further research is needed to develop pedagogies appropriate to MOOCs and to determine the best framework for their deployment.”

Sinclair, J., Boyatt, R., Rocks, C. and Joy, M. (2015) ‘Massive open online courses: a review of usage and evaluation’, Int. J. Learning Technology, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp.71–93.

Learning about massive open online courses is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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Call for papers: "Blended Learning"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments.

Blended learning (or hybrid or mixed learning) has replaced a portion (e.g. 30%-70%) of traditional classroom teaching with online learning. Being a combination of online learning and face-to-face teaching, blended learning not only solves the problem of time and space, but also has greater potential for engaging students and improving their learning outcomes.
Blended learning is becoming a norm in higher education. However, simply blending online learning with classroom teaching does not automatically produce better learning results. Deliberate instructional design as well as implementation is crucial.
This special issue aims to collect and publish research papers based on empirical studies and conceptual papers for guiding effective design and implementation of blended learning.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Theoretical frameworks or models for blended learning
  • Strategies for blending online learning with face-to-face learning
  • Patterns, advantages and limitations of blended learning
  • Design for blended learning
  • Designing blended learning environments for (adult) learners
  • Designing blended learning environments for basic or tertiary education
  • Cases studies and examples of blended learning
  • Blended learning communities for teachers' professional development
  • Design of blended courses
  • Experiences of and lessons learned from implementing blended learning
  • Meta-analysis of blended learning
  • Design and development of interactive online learning environments for blended learning
  • Social media for online and/or blended learning
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2015
Notification to authors: 15 October, 2015
Final versions due: 15 November, 2015