24 September 2021

Research pick: Brazil’s nuclear industry option - "The current public acceptance in Brazil of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes"

The mid-1950s saw the advent of nuclear industries with the first radiological research centre in Brazil and today the country has four research reactors and two nuclear power reactors in operation as well as eleven fuel cycle facilities. Researchers writing in the International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, explain that nuclear power represents about 3 percent of output but this in no way represents the full potential of nuclear in the country. This is particularly poignant given that Brazil has the seventh largest reservoirs of the nuclear starting material, uranium.

One of the obstacles that the team of Vitor Fernandes de Almeida, Luciana Sampaio Ribeiro, Edilaine Ferreira da Silva, Anna Flávia de Freitas Valiante Peluso, Nathália Silva de Medeiros, and Amir Zacarias Mesquita of the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) in Minas Gerais, see in changing this situation is that the general population has little comprehension of the nuclear industry, which, of course, is the case in many other parts of the world. As such approval when sought is often met with misunderstandings and misconceptions.

Given that the nuclear industries could have an important role to play in addressing climate change as well as their ongoing role in medically important radiopharmaceuticals and diagnostics, there is a pressing need to understand the level of understanding among the public to allow the nuclear industries in Brazil to mature further. Greater understanding of such issues usually leads to greater approval and the team’s evidence suggests that this is the case in the situation. However, the perceived negatives often receive greater attention in the media and on social media than the benefits of the nuclear industries, often being equated with weaponry and environmental harms.

The team suggests that clear and accessible information about the benefits and the limitations of the nuclear industries is needed if the general public is to accept the paradigm. Opening up visitor centres for adults, improving educational input, as well as endeavouring to drive a positive message across social media could all be done to benefit the nuclear industry and reduce unwarranted prejudice without compromising integrity and being accepting of the limitations.

“Public acceptance of nuclear power and radiation applications are important for the government, the major stakeholder of the industry because consensus is required to drive actions,” the team writes.

de Almeida, V.F., Ribeiro, L.S., da Silva, E.F., de Freitas Valiante Peluso, A.F., de Medeiros, N.S. and Mesquita, A.Z. (2020) ‘The current public acceptance in Brazil of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes’, Int. J. Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp.328–338.

23 September 2021

Special issue published: "The 4 Cs: Communication, Commerce, Connectivity and Culture: Implications for Business and Society"

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management 8(1/2) 2021

  • A global examination of country-level factors impacting corruption
  • Pleasant experience in Indian academic libraries: shopping mall centric and phenomenology approach
  • Impact of four components of money supply on GDP growth using ARDL: evidence from India
  • An impact of bank rate and inflation rate on volatility of foreign exchange rate in India
  • Role of fundamentals in evaluation of IPOs: evidence from Indian and US textile sector
  • Role of citizens' knowledge about e-governance initiatives in framing citizens' satisfaction
  • Distilling factors influencing international mobility: international students' perspectives
  • Dynamic interaction between historical and implied volatility in the Indian option market
  • The interplay of cultural rigidity, vertical communication, and perceived severity of decline: an empirical affirmation from the public sector
  • Are the non-agricultural commodities markets efficient?: an ARDL model approach
  • Enterprise architecture implementation in Indian banks: a content analysis
  • Kitchen in cloud: an analysis of the food tech industry in India
  • Use of social media by selected Indian private sector banks

Research pick: Predicting and controlling dioxins - "Soft measurement of dioxin emission concentration based on deep forest regression algorithm"

Dioxins are a group of toxic and persistent environmental pollutants. These compounds are formed through a variety of processes but commonly through incomplete combustion of organic matter. Levels are usually monitored in industrial settings for safety reasons using offline laboratory analyses that are carried out periodically. New work published in the International Journal of System Control and Information Processing offers an emission concentration estimate from soft measurements that utilises a deep forest regression algorithm.

Such an approach could offer a better approach to dioxin monitoring allowing a profile of emission concentrations to be seen almost in real-time in a way that periodic monitoring cannot. As such, this might allow optimal control of the processes to reduce the risk of noxious emissions. The team has validated the predictions made by the trained algorithm with data from a typical industrial process, municipal solid waste incineration, which is well known as an important potential source of dioxins in many places. Their approach provides a rather accurate prediction based on input parameters for the known data from an incinerator.

Municipal solid waste is increasing by up to ten percent annually across the globe. Moreover, given that practical recycling is not possible in many of the world’s cities at any meaningful level, waste incineration represents one of the only pragmatic ways of addressing this growing problem. But, the issue of pollution must also be addressed if incineration is not to cause more problems than it solves. Of course, the heat generated by municipal waste incineration can itself be put to good use in heating local buildings or generating electricity.

Jian, T., Heng, X., Junfei, Q. and Zihao, G. (2021) ‘Soft measurement of dioxin emission concentration based on deep forest regression algorithm’, Int. J. System Control and Information Processing, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.208–228.

22 September 2021

Free open access article available: "Android apps and advertising networks - a survey on data privacy"

The following paper, "Android apps and advertising networks - a survey on data privacy" (International Journal of Information Privacy, Security and Integrity 4(4) 2020), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

Research pick: COVID-19 dynamics across India - "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Indian states during lockdown: incorporating heterogeneity and non-pharmaceutical interventions"

New research published in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, has looked at the non-pharmautical interventions that were used during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rohit Sindhwani, Venkataramanaiah Saddikuti, and Omkarprasad S. Vaidya of the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, explain that the exponential thread of a potentially lethal infectious disease requires a strong response from those in authority if the impact is to be limited in any way. The team has modelled the response and effects of the pandemic on ten of the worst affected states in India to see if there are any state-specific dynamics. The modelling gives them a dynamic reproductive number for the virus and its spread. Such dynamics might offer clues as to how best to deal with re-emerging waves of infection or the development of a future pandemic. Importantly, the team’s study reveals the importance of understanding the heterogeneities that exist between different places, which can help to highlight what measures are useful and what measures fail.

At the time the work was undertaken, the strongest message that is offered is that in terms of non-pharmaceutical interventions, regular personal testing and self isolation, social distancing, and ongoing personal hygiene measures, such as wearing a face covering and hand-washing should be continued. Critically, it is important to identify super-spreaders and to counter the impact they might have on the development of new waves of infection.

Given that India is the second most populous country in the world, it is important for a huge number of people that science understands very clearly how pandemics unroll across the sub-continent. There are, of course, implications for its citizens, its near neighbours, and the whole world.

Sindhwani, R., Saddikuti, V. and Vaidya, O.S. (2021) ‘Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Indian states during lockdown: incorporating heterogeneity and non-pharmaceutical interventions’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp.490–521.

21 September 2021

Research pick: Up-converting for Super SloMo video - "A high-quality frame rate up-conversion technique for Super SloMo"

Research published in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics, points to several approaches that might be used to up-convert Super SloMo video files with deep learning offering improvements in final quality. The methods described offer a way to convert a video with a lower number of frames per second to be converted to one with a higher number of frames per second.

Minseop Kim and Haechul Choi of the Hanbat National University in Daejeon, Republic of Korea explain how a training data set can be used to gain optimal results with Super SloMo boosting signal-to-noise ratio significantly. Super SloMo is a deep learning-based frame rate up-conversion (FRUC) method proposed by graphics hardware company NVIDIA. The current team’s approach works with this and can preclude flickering effects when displaying video that does not match the quality of the display itself by creating frames between frames using the techniques of artificial intelligence. This allows a more natural up-conversion to be carried out whereas earlier approaches can successfully reduce flicker but look unnatural. The new approach avoids the negative impact that can be seen when a bad motion vector is used to add frames.

The team trained the system with thousands of videos showing various moving objects of different sizes. The large objects dataset contained more than 50000 images of basketball, soccer, volleyball, marathons, and vehicles. The dataset with small moving objects contained more than 50000 images of golf, badminton, table tennis, and tennis. A similar-sized dataset of both large and small objects was also used.

“The results of training by object size shows that the performance was improved in terms of peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and the mean of the structural similarity index (MSSIM) in most cases when the training set and the validation set had similar properties,” the team reports. Specifically, “The experimental results show that the two proposed methods improved the peak signal-to-noise ratio and the mean of the structural similarity index by 0.11 dB and 0.033% with the specialised training set and by 0.37 dB and 0.077% via adjusting the reconstruction and warping loss parameters, respectively,” the team writes.

Kim, M. and Choi, H. (2021) ‘A high-quality frame rate up-conversion technique for Super SloMo’, Int. J. Computational Vision and Robotics, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp.512–525.

New Editor for International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics

Associate Prof. Jason Papathanasiou from the University of Macedonia in Greece has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics.

17 September 2021

New Editor for International Journal of Product Sound Quality

Associate Prof. Jinyang Xu from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Product Sound Quality.

Newly announced journal: International Journal of Education, Arts and Social Issues in Africa

The International Journal of Education, Arts and Social Issues in Africa provides a forum for scholars and researchers to analyse, evaluate, discuss and develop policy ideas on issues related to education, the arts and society in Africa. The journal acknowledges that these are intricate issues and that one size does not fit all. Since there are many countries in Africa, most with a colonial past, problems and solutions are very complex, often requiring interdisciplinary approaches and involving the use of different models.

Research pick: Culture and social media - "The effects of cultural differences on social media behaviour"

Research published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising has looked at how cultural differences affect behaviour on social media. Myron Guftométros and João Guerreiro Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, in Lisbon, Portugal, focused on what is perhaps the most well-known and well-populated online social network, Facebook. They used an organic approach to assimilate data from 6750 posts from 225 different Facebook brand pages across fifteen different countries.

The team categorized the engagement metrics such as the number of likes, shares and comments and the various versions of “likes” such as love, wow, and funny that can be used to tag an update. They then used Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to analyse the data. The team found several interesting differences that could be explained by Hofstede’s dimensions. For instance, countries that are considered low in individualism and/or high in power distance, share posts more than commenting on them. They also found that the use of the “funny” or “wow” emoticon responses instead of a standard “like” also related to higher scores on individualism.

Despite the reach of Facebook and other social media systems, globalisation and interconnectedness, people still retain and favour their own cultural values in different regions and across different groups within those regions. However, ongoing studies are still needed to discern whether the effects of globalisation are blurring cultural distinctions or not particularly in update and commenting activity on social media. The authors write that their work appears to be the first published based on real-world organically gathered data in the form of engagement metrics to analyse cultural differences.

The next step will be to look at cultural differences surrounding smaller, local companies, and also to extend the analysis of metrics to other applications, such as the microblogging site Twitter and the photo- and video-oriented Instagram. The researchers also find that their study poses several more questions that future research might answer: Does “loving” a post instead of “liking” it mean that there is a stronger brand relationship? Also, they ask, does responding with the “funny” or “wow” emoticon mean that customers are more engaged and interested in the posts? Of course, the bigger question is to learn whether these fleeting online sentiments actually reveal anything at all about a user or customer’s actual feelings towards a given brand.

Guftométros, M. and Guerreiro, J. (2021) ‘The effects of cultural differences on social media behaviour’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp.412–428.

16 September 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Islamic Marketing and Branding

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Islamic Marketing and Branding are now available here for free:
  • Muslim youths' e-lifestyle and its impacts on well-being
  • Awareness towards Halal pharmaceuticals: an analysis of pharmacists' views
  • Segmentation of retail bank customers based on occasions (Agribank of Iran as case study)
  • Constructing marketing thought: the case of Islamic marketing
  • Halal tourism: guidelines for Oman

Research pick: The COVID-19 response - "Which strategies are appropriate for the fight against the worldwide coronavirus crisis?"

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic governments, corporations and private companies, as well as not-for-profit organisations have tried to support public health in many different ways. A new report in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, has looked at what strategies appear to have worked in coping with this disease.

Amina Omrane of the ECSTRA Research Center at IHEC Carthage, University of Sfax, in Tunisia and Sudin Bag of Vidyasagar University in West Bengal, India, found that digital tools and technologies coupled with specific cultural responses have helped us face the pandemic in many ways. Their detailed findings point to how corporate management, government and state officials, as well as entrepreneurs, might learn from the current crisis how best to cope with the ongoing problems it brings as well as how we might successfully cope with a similar crisis in the future.

In late 2019, human health, security, and safety took a turn for the worse with the emergence of a novel and potentially lethal airborne coronavirus dubbed SARS-CoV-2, which causes a disease labeled COVID-19, as we all know. In March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, which has proven to be the worst for many decades in terms of people affected and the number of deaths around the world that it has wrought.

There have been many different responses to the disease in different parts of the world, such as telecommuting mandates, lockdowns, and border controls, some more successful in some places than others. At the time of writing, we now have several vaccines available to some parts of the world population. There has also been significant blowback from those concerned with the societal and economic impact as opposed to the direct public health effects. Irrespective of the politic of such discussions, the pandemic has wreaked havoc in most parts of the world affecting everyone in one way or another. At the time of writing, the WHO reports that more than 4.6 million people have died of this disease.

There is now a pressing need to move forward with research in the biomedical, social, and business sciences to help us cope with the current ongoing problems we face and to ready ourselves for a future pandemic even before this one is over.

Omrane, A. and Bag, S. (2021) ‘Which strategies are appropriate for the fight against the worldwide coronavirus crisis?’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp.416–430.

Special issue published: "Earnings Management: New Insights"

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation 17(1/2) 2021

  • Are Tunisian firms managing their earnings through asset sales following the 2011 uprising?
  • The effectiveness of board of directors and family ownership: interaction and impact on the discretionary accruals
  • The trade-off between accrual-based and real earnings management: evidence from Jordan
  • Political connections, government ownership, and earnings management: evidence from Jordan
  • The impact of corporate governance and accruals flexibility on the interaction between earnings management strategies
  • The effects of R&D expenditure and earnings management on stock options: evidence from market competition
  • Earnings management, corporate social responsibility and governance structure: further evidence from Egypt

15 September 2021

Special issue published: "Transition of Global Society and Technology – Part II"

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy 15(1/2/3) 2021

  • Unexpected applause for the human mind: the limitations of deterministic approaches in neuroscience - allowing us to become who we are
  • The situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil - a general exploration and assessment within the context of Belo Monte
  • Synoptics, Part IX: the six basic sentences for synoptic social analysis - theoretical and practical steps towards a psychosocial analysis of society
  • Forward-looking university curricula and enterprises for renewable energies
  • Bioethics in international relations
  • Transition Ashram - a part of the solution to social problems and climate change
  • Socio-economic and environmental effects of renewable energy policy in Russia
  • The coming demographic avalanche: on the threshold of the great resettlement of peoples
  • Future tendencies in the financial markets in Mongolia and worldwide

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation are now available here for free:
  • Compliance with IFRS for related party transactions across eight African countries: do corruption and government quality matter?
  • The impact of multiple directorships, board characteristics, and ownership on the performance of Palestinian listed companies
  • Do strategic cost policies lead to more sustainable practices? Evidence from county governments
  • Continuous internal auditing: can big data analytics help?
  • Effects of mandatory adoption of IFRS on market liquidity in Brazil

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology to invite expanded papers from International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Patterns Recognition (ISPR'2022) for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Patterns Recognition (ISPR'2022) (24-26 March 2022, Hammamet, Tunisia) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology.

Research pick: Busting the problem of cloud cover - "Short-term solar power forecasting using satellite images"

The downside to solar power is that it’s not always sunny and so grid operators have to compensate for energy drops by bringing alternative generation sources online. New research in the International Journal of Powertrains, looks at how short-term forecast of sunshine using satellite images could offer one tool to help power companies maintain a steady supply.

A. Shobana Devi of the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, in Chennai, India and colleagues explain how solar irradiance forecasting currently represents a major challenge to companies hoping to integrate solar energy resources into the existing structures of energy supply. Fundamentally, it is the vagaries of changing cloud cover that compromise the power output of solar panels. However, it might be possible to compensate for the problem if there were a way to predict cloud movements within a fifteen to ninety-minute window throughout the day.

The team has developed an approach using the long short-term memory (LSTM) technique and tested it against known satellite imagery and the power output of a 250-megawatt solar plant to show that the predictions can be sufficiently accurate to allow grid operators to balance power output from solar and other sources. Their tests demonstrate that this approach is more accurate than other methods when tested against cloud cover data accumulated over a seven-month period. Statistical regression models allow them to assess the efficacy of the various models tested.

“The results of experiments verify and affirm that over current techniques, our suggested algorithms can considerably enhance the precision of cloud monitoring and solar energy estimation,” the team writes. They add that “This predictive solar power data in the smart grid can be used efficiently for grid operation (load tracking) and energy management system.”

Devi, A.S., Maragatham, G., Boopathi, K. and Prabu, M.R. (2021) ‘Short-term solar power forecasting using satellite images’, Int. J. Powertrains, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.125–142.