17 June 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology are now available here for free:
  • A secure VM allocation scheme to preserve against co-resident threat
  • Improvement of TCP Vegas algorithm based on forward direction delay
  • Short text classification using feature enrichment from credible texts
  • The research on two phase pickup vehicle routing based on the K-means++ and genetic algorithms
  • A model-driven approach for the verification of an adaptive service composition

Special issue published: "Interdisciplinary Supply Chain Management"

International Journal of Integrated Supply Management 14(2) 2021

  • A bibliometric analysis of trends in electronic service quality research over two decades
  • Blockchain: a game changer in electronic waste management in India
  • Operational risk management: analysis of challenges faced by banks in India
  • Evaluation of inventory replenishment policies on supply chain performance with grey relational analysis
  • An innovative and humane way of improving the efficiency and productivity of the manual loading process at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Panipat: a case study

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Sustainable Society

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Sustainable Society are now available here for free:
  • Mixed migration flows into Europe: discharging state anti-trafficking obligations through the proper identification of trafficking victims
  • Blood diamonds: an analysis of the state of affairs and the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process
  • Measures to facilitate the scale-up of education for sustainable development in higher education
  • Women's entrepreneurial narrative: making sense of the partner's role
  • The nexus of climate change and hotel management in Malaysia: an exploratory study

Research pick: Microfinance for Indian startups - "Crowdfunding and start-ups: an Indian context"

Crowdfunding has proven a useful way to gather funds for charitable and activist causes, to help launch a product or book, and even to provide financial backing for individuals or groups in all kinds of endeavours. The concept involves calling on other people to make a donation to the worthy cause, promotion is usually done through a website, social media, email, and other communication routes, but might well also involve more traditional approaches such as posters, billboards, and conventional media advertising.

Writing in the International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Socrates Shahrour and M.H. Uma of the CMS Business School at the Jain (Deemed-to-be) University in Bangalore, discuss the notion of crowdfunding in the context of start-up companies in India. The team points out that start-up companies make an important contribution to the economy as well as offering new opportunities for employment. Moreover, as the company grows so too should its contribution to the economy and its role as an employer.

By the very nature of a start-up company, it is at its beginnings and all such fledgling companies need capital investment of some sort. Traditionally, this might come through a bank loan or investment from individuals or even other companies. However, without a proven track record, it is often difficult for an entrepreneur to garner the funds to lift their business plan from the word processor and into the real world of developing and offering a product or providing a service.

Crowdfunding is an alternative approach where a multitude of small financial contributions, microfinance, accumulate sufficiently to allow the entrepreneur to make this leap. In return, those who provide the microfinancing will earn some kind of reward, perhaps something small like the kudos of being recognised officially as an early backer or something substantial like an early offering of the product or service for free or at a discount commensurate with their initial financial contribution.

Microfinance was recognised as long ago as the 1970s if not earlier but in the age of social media it becomes possible for an entrepreneur to reach and so recruit backers in far greater numbers and much faster than was plausible in the world of pen and paper rather than smartphones. Indeed, with a bigger crowdfunding audience, the contribution an individual needs to make to the start-up project can be much smaller than would be required from a smaller niche of backers or investors.

The team has reviewed the concept of crowdfunding in India and the legality of different approaches. They find that in the context of start-ups in India, the notion of peer-to-peer (P2P) microfinancing is more appropriate where other small companies help the start-ups and pay it forward as they develop. The rationale for this is that crowdfunding for donations in exchange for rewards does not fit well with the current legal framework in India.

Shahrour, S. and Uma, M.H. (2020) ‘Crowdfunding and start-ups: an Indian context’, Int. J. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp.335–343.

16 June 2021

Research pick: Teenage Instagrammers! What are you thinking? - "What is inside the mind of teenagers on Instagram?"

Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing apps available to users the world over. It allows users to upload photos taken on their phones or indeed their digital camera and to apply various filters to “improve” the look of the photo as well as giving them space to add a description. People who follow a given user can “like” the photos or add comments. Other users may well see the photos if one’s account is set to public through the app’s search feature, via hashtags associated with a given photo or when a third party comments or shares a photo. The site was launched in October 2010 and was acquired by social media site Facebook in April 2012. It is estimated that more than a billion people use Instagram.

Researchers in Indonesia were aware that the most active age group on the app are the 18- to 34-year-olds. Moreover, the new users coming to this online realm tend to be teenagers. Writing in the International Journal of Business Information Systems, the team explains how they have analysed Instagram activity and modeled the results to ascertain what broad topic areas are most commonly used on the app by teenage users. They looked at almost active 500 accounts over a three-and-a-half-year period and found that two main categories stuck out in the analysis – school and relationships, with the latter, relationships, being by far the predominant topic.

Earlier research in Indonesia has shown that despite popular opinion, teenagers generally make use of social media apps, such as Instagram, in a relatively sensible way and that internet use, in general, does not lead to lower educational grades. However, there remains a need to understand the way in which the youth utilize the various apps available on their mobile phones and other devices. Critical to growth and good mental health may well be a clearer understanding among educators, parents and guardians, policymakers, and the social media companies and their app designers.

Rakhmawati, N.A., Valianta, T., Hafidz, I., Pratama, A., Ridwandono, D. and Annisa, L. (2021) ‘What is inside the mind of teenagers on Instagram?’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp.224–235.

15 June 2021

Research pick: IoT and COVID-19 - "Secure data communication IoT and wireless sensor network for COVID-19"

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been much flaunted as the future of sensors and controllers allowing remote access to environmental and other information and facilitating feedback systems that would otherwise require human intervention. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote sensing and remote control of equipment has become increasingly important.

IoT devices already allow many tasks to be carried out in a wide variety of realms across industry, medicine, agriculture, environmental protection and much more. The emergence of a lethal, infectious disease that requires social distancing and increasing pressure on workers to work from home means that the IoT has an increasingly important role to play that will allow normality to continue for many systems and processes without people needing to be in the field, as it were.

Given that scientists are predicting that future pandemics may well be worse still in a world of drastic climate change and the problems that brings, the IoT could be set to become the new-normal that allows life to go on despite these problems. We might even be able to position ourselves using the IoT to pre-empt the issues that will inevitably arise in the next pandemic and as climate change leads to great unpredictability in weather patterns, sea levels, and other problems.

Anto Merline Manoharan of Anna University, in Chennai and M.G. Sumithra of the KPR Institute of Engineering and Technology, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, discuss an IoT technology inextricably linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the team describes secure IoT integrated with a wireless sensor network more monitoring the health condition of an infected patient. Writing in the International Journal of Sensor Networks, the team also explains their novel encryption system to ensure patient privacy. Currently, the encryption protocol is implemented on the server, the next step will be to port that software to the IoT devices and the wireless network itself, the team adds.

Manoharan, A.M. and Sumithra, M.G. (2021) ‘Secure data communication IoT and wireless sensor network for COVID-19’, Int. J. Sensor Networks, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp.11–24.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion are now available here for free:
  • Impact of Hindu mythology on happiness with mediating effect of quality of life at the workplace
  • Relational study between significance level of frontline executives and their happiness level in an organisational setup: a critical analysis
  • Mediating role of self-efficacy on the relationship between conscientiousness and procrastination
  • Exploring the linkage between emotional work and employee wellbeing: a study of civil aviation industry in North India
  • Possible linkage between internet addiction, socio-demographic, and behavioural constructs: a case study of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain-based employees

14 June 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy are now available here for free:
  • Building metatheory: a demonstration using the critical social marketing discourse
  • The history and trajectory of economic value added from a management fashion perspective
  • A comparison of the return forecasting power of domestic and international equity investors: evidence from India
  • Exploring knowledge management in a Lean Six Sigma organisation
  • A review of literature on impact of employer branding in talent management

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management are now available here for free:
  • Prioritising factors influencing consumers' reversing intention of e-waste using analytic hierarchy process
  • Do electronic loyalty programs still drive customer choice and repeat purchase behaviour?
  • Evaluating the satisfaction index using automated interaction service and customer knowledgebase: a big data approach to 
  • The current status of customer relationship management: experience of small businesses in the Jordanian food industry

11 June 2021

Newly announced journal: International Journal of Digital Transformation

The International Journal of Digital Transformation explores the multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary challenges and opportunities presented to organisations through digital transformation. Digital transformation is explored from needs identification, conceptualisation and design perspectives through to implementation, as well as its subsequent consequences. A key feature is the examination of the relationship between strategic management and digital transformation. Digital transformation is seen as a combination of complex processes with the impact of prioritising one over others. This provides a fertile area for critical debate.

Rersearch pick: For whom does the online bell toll? - "Is this the beginning of the end for retail websites? A professional perspective"

For many years, the death knell for high street shopping has been sounded by the pioneers of online. The high street brands responded with some success by counterbalancing their “bricks and mortar” realm with a virtual world of e-commerce. New work published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, suggests that the end may well be in sight for retail websites.

Ricardo Ramos and Sérgio Moro of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, and Paulo Rita of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, have investigated the attitudes and behaviour of marketing professionals with respect to social media and commercial mobile applications and found that online strategy is focusing very much on search engine positioning and thence retail websites rather than the former two overlapping and interconnected realms.

The team suggests that this flies in the face of consumer attitudes and experience where 90 percent of most user time online is on social media and apps and only 10 percent involves using search engines to find specific websites. Where there is resistance to accepting this reality, marketing professionals must disconnect themselves from an out-moded approach and face up to users where users are active online.

Ramos, R.F., Rita, P. and Moro, S. (2021) ‘Is this the beginning of the end for retail websites? A professional perspective’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.260–280.

10 June 2021

Research pick: Scrambling against smudge attacks - "On the adoption of scramble keypad for unlocking PIN-protected smartphones"

The security-conscious among us use a PIN, a personal identification number, to “lock” our smartphones so that if the device is lost or stolen, a third party should not be able to access our contacts, messages, and other information held in myriad apps without a lot of effort to guess the PIN.

However, so many modern devices that hold our personal and business information are touchscreen and hackers and thieves are always resourceful. Picture the scene you give your phone screen a clean before tapping in your PIN to access your emails etc. The smudges left by your fingertips remain on the screen, marking out the likely numbers from the virtual keypad on your phone that you used to tap in your PIN.

Soon after, the phone is lost or stolen and that malicious third party carries out a “smudge attack” – they look at the screen and can have a good guess at the digits in your PIN and try them in various combinations pretty quickly. It is far easier to brute-force a four-digit PIN if you know the four digits rather than having to try all possible combinations of the numbers 0 to 9, after all!

So, how might one avoid a smudge attack? The obvious answer is to clean the phone’s screen more frequently and immediately after entering a PIN, but a less “onerous” approach would be for the device itself to have a randomised keypad for unlocking. In a scrambled keypad, the numbers 0 to 9 would be arranged differently each time you go to unlock your phone, so there would be no build-up of your frequently smudged keys as it were and thus far less chance of a successful smudge attack.

At the moment, a scrambled keypad is not a feature of Android nor iOS devices. New work from a team in the USA published in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security, demonstrates how a scramble keypad might be implemented to protect smartphones from smudge attacks. Geetika Kovelamudi, Bryan Watson, Jun Zheng, and Srinivas Mukkamala of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in Socorro, have carried out a usability and security study of a scramble keypad. They explain that it works perfectly to protect from smudge attacks. The scramble keypad also reduces the risk of someone illicitly gleaning your PIN by “shoulder surfing” (watching over your shoulder) while you tap it in, because the digits of the pad 0 to 9 will not be in the familiar places for their eye to quickly ascertain as you tap.

The implementation of a scramble pad would require very little additional coding to the touchscreen device’s boot-up system but would offer a new level of protection from smudge attacks, a degree of protection from shoulder surfers, and potentially some protection from side-channel attacks.

Kovelamudi, G., Watson, B., Zheng, J. and Mukkamala, S. (2021) ‘On the adoption of scramble keypad for unlocking PIN-protected smartphones’, Int. J. Information and Computer Security, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp.1–17.

9 June 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Resilience

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Resilience are now available here for free:
  • Disaster response supply chain in a city: the role of SMEs
  • How can student's attitude impact education supply chain?
  • Supply chain resilience and agility: a theoretical literature review
  • Service portfolio extensions and sales incentives: an examination of financial value-added services provided by logistics service providers
  • One size fits all? An analytical approach how to make use of process modelling techniques for different fundamental supply chain types

Research pick: Nepal’s unique take on lightning - "Unique lightning signatures observed from sub-tropical, mountainous country, Nepal"

While every lightning flash is unique in the way the discharge travels through the atmosphere, whether cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground or the more esoteric sprites, halos, jets, and elves of the upper atmosphere. There are common features in these different types of lightning and for cloud-to-ground flashes, it has been assumed that there are two main types of flash known to meteorologists and atmospheric scientists – negative ground flashes and positive ground flashes.

The difference between the negative and positive flash is simply that the polarity of the discharge reaching the ground in the lightning flash. Most (90 percent) cloud-to-ground flashes are negative ground flashes. Just 10 percent are positive. The positive ground flash involves a single stroke. However, writing in the International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology, physicist Pitri Bhakta Adhikari of the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, explains a novel phenomenon seen in the sub-tropical, mountainous region of Nepal.

He has used a simple circuit and antenna system to measure the electrical signature of lightning flashes in the Himalayan region and found that positive ground flashes there are unique. Instead of involving a single strike, lightning here involves up to four strikes per flash, or discharge.

Adhikari explains that the lightning signature in this region is characterised by a relatively slow, negative electric field event preceded by a pronounced opposite-polarity pulse. The average duration of the main waveform was about 500 microseconds and the average duration of the preceding opposite-polarity pulses was approximately 40 microseconds. These figures are based on measurements of more than 5000 lightning flashes.

A likely explanation may lie in the fact that Nepal has regions that are a mere 60 metres above sea level and then within just 160 kilometres we can figuratively scale the giddy heights of Mount Everest, the peak at 8848 metres above sea level. Moreover across this altitude gradient and through the course of the seasons, Nepal can have a temperature ranging from a balmy 30 degrees Celsius down to –50 Celsius. All such characteristics are unique of themselves and so it is perhaps no surprise that the lightning seen in this region is unique too.

It is worth pointing out that lightning signatures not dissimilar to the unique flashes measured in Nepal have been seen occasionally in Sweden and Florida but not at anything like the frequency compared to other flashes seen in Nepal.

Adhikari, P.B. (2021) ‘Unique lightning signatures observed from sub-tropical, mountainous country, Nepal’, Int. J. Hydrology Science and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp.405–414.