21 April 2021

Spring edition of Inderscience's Highlights newsletter

The spring edition of Inderscience's Highlights newsletter is now available, and includes the latest news on newly published journals, awards and editorial appointments. It also lists the open access and sample issue articles that have been made available for free since the previous newsletter.

You can subscribe to Highlights here.

Beauty is in the eye of the influencer

This week, Inderscience Research Picks are focusing on a special issue of the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising dedicated to social media influencers.

The credibility of digital influencers on YouTube and Instagram is discussed in a paper from Elmira Djafarova of the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and Natasha Matson of the Newcastle Business School there. The team has specifically looked at those people who are commonly referred to as micro-celebrities in the realm of beauty on these platforms.

The team found that for “beauty gurus” trustworthiness is the most important factor determining credibility but the quality of the video and images shared and the “professionalism” of the person’s profile is also an important part of the public’s perception of a given influencer. In addition, the team found that those influencers using YouTube had the most effect on viewers aged between 18 and 21 years old and was less potent in the older target group, 22-29 year olds. This, they suggest, implies that beauty reference group influence decreases with audience age.

It has previously been demonstrated that beauty gurus are responsible for all (97.4%) of the conversation and “buzz” surrounding new beauty products. But, there remains a need to understand the credibility and trustworthiness of such people, specifically from the perspective of a company recruiting a beauty guru to assist with a marketing campaign, for instance.

This latest study offers a cautionary tale for those marketing executives hoping to benefit from the micro-celebrity status of social media influencers:

Marketers within the beauty industry can take advantage of micro-celebrity influence, but do so carefully to remain credible, especially given the fickle nature of social media in general. They add that beauty brands should not push sponsored content and should instead focus on persuading micro-celebrities to offer endorsements seamlessly through their profiles rather than their content. This, one might suggest, is akin to the classic celebrity endorsement approach. Such endorsements are less questionable to consumers and more likely to be interpreted as credible electronic word-of-mouth whereas a sponsored review or product placement might be perceived as less trustworthy.

Djafarova, E. and Matson, N. (2021) ‘Credibility of digital influencers on YouTube and Instagram’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp.131–148.

20 April 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management are now available here for free:
  • Digitalisation of industries: a comparative analysis from Australia and Finland
  • The use of mobile phone data in transport planning
  • Transitional challenges cycle of service offshoring delivery centres in Central and Eastern Europe
  • An efficiency analysis of Turkish railways using data envelopment analysis: comparison study
  • Diffusion of innovative technology in US oil and gas industry: an empirical study

Special issue published: “The Security and Privacy Challenge and Application of Edge Computing in Advanced Communications Systems”

International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems 14(1/2) 2021

  • An attribute-based cross-domain trustworthy model for internet of vehicles
  • The cross-layer oriented security performance to wireless network fibre communication router: the optimisation perspective
  • SIP network secure communication model based on improved SIP protocol
  • A security protocol of RFID communication system based on password authenticated with provable security
  • Security model and design of network communication system based on data encryption algorithm
  • Connection-oriented computer network secure communication and encryption algorithm
  • A hybrid chemical reaction optimisation algorithm for solving 3D packing problem
  • A channel estimation algorithm for large-scale MIMO system using block sparsity adaptive matching pursuit
  • Identifying natural images and computer-generated graphics based on convolutional neural network
  • A HDFS dynamic load balancing strategy using improved niche PSO algorithm in cloud storage
  • End-to-end encrypted communication security technology for mobile terminals
  • A new signcryption algorithm for secure communication in ad hoc networks
  • Research on the application of data encryption technology in communication security

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing are now available here for free:
  • Open innovation as a driver for new organisations: a qualitative analysis of green-tech start-ups Stefanie Pakura
  • Gearing up for growth: the growth process of new ventures at the base of the pyramid
  • The new competitive environment of social enterprises: an experimental study on perceptions and consumer intentions for social vs. traditional enterprises
  • Balancing financial, social and environmental values: can new ventures make an impact without sacrificing profits?
  • Social franchising: a transitional solution for organisational growth of social entrepreneurial organisations?

Research picks: Under the influence

Social media has a lot of pros and quite a few cons. One area in which there is much controversy is in the concept of influencers. People with lots of very engaged followers in a particular niche who can affect the decisions their devotees make in many different areas such as what they spend their money on, their own publicly declared likes and dislikes, their opinions on scientific issues such as climate change and vaccination, and even their voting intent.

The emergence of the so-called Web 2.0 whereby erstwhile visitors to websites became content creators and commentators in their own right has led to the advent of micro-celebrities, people who find themselves famous in a small area among a group of people for their prowess, wit, or opinions in that niche. For instance, people creating informative or humorous tutorials for video site Youtube, for instance, have found fame and occasionally fortune by demonstrating their skills and teaching others in cookery, makeup, music, and many other areas.

Indeed, the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and countless other apps and sites offers a platform for such influencers that would simply not have existed for them in the previous incarnation of the world wide web where content and influence were in the hands of the original media companies and a few start-ups. Today, many of the social media influencers are emerging as celebrities in their own right and finding they can command a position in the mainstream media through newspaper and magazine columns, podcasts and radio appearances and even presenting and acting roles on television and in cinema.

Inderscience has now published a special issue of the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, to share the latest research into how social media influencers are disrupting the notion of conventional marketing.

In an editorial to lead the issue Chong Guan of Singapore University of Social Sciences and Eldon Li of Tongji University, in Shanghai, China, discuss the impact of social media influencers over the past decade. “The proliferation of social media marketing, alongside advances in mobile technologies and location-based targeting, has significantly enhanced the capabilities of customer engagement,” they explain. This has led to the concept of Influencer marketing which is becoming more contextually relevant with brands and has taken off with this unprecedented connectivity.”

Of course, celebrity endorsements and product placement advertising in the media have been with us for many years. However, what is evolving is the concept of what constitutes celebrity and how, given Warhol’s axiom that “everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes”, fame is something that is grasped or thrust upon the talented and the untalented almost in equal measure regardless of one’s actual proclivity for that worldwide renown.

The Inder science Research Picks this week, dated 21-23 April 2021, will focus on a particular paper selected from the special issue including papers on fame and fashion, beauty gurus, food and diet and the impact of influencers in those realms.

Free open access article available: "Critical success factors for technology-based startups"

The following paper, "Critical success factors for technology-based startups" (International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 42(4) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

19 April 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Electronic Governance

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Electronic Governance are now available here for free:
  • Proposed solutions to citizen engagement in virtual environments of social participation: a systematic review 
  • Examining voters' intention to use internet voting system: a case of Ghana 
  • Administrative errors and the burden of correction and consequence: how information technology exacerbates the consequences of bureaucratic mistakes for citizens 
  • Using a service blueprint and the service catalogue concept to plan a smart governance system: the case study of the southern Taiwan science park 
  • E-governance initiatives in Chandigarh (India): an analytical study

Special issue published: "Connected and Sustainable African Development"

Journal for Global Business Advancement 14(1) 2021

  • Linking sustainability reporting to sustainability performance through regulation
  • Loyalty and word-of-mouth as outcomes of South African Airbnb customers' relationship quality
  • An assessment of employees' intention to retire in Kenya
  • A framework for agile project management for the water industry in developing economies
  • The nexus between FDI inflows and economic development in Ghana: empirical analysis from ARDL model
  • Organisational commitment, work engagement and job performance: empirical study on Nigeria's public healthcare system

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems are now available here for free:
  • SAMA: a secure and anonymous mutual authentication with conditional identity-tracking scheme for a unified car sharing system
  • Adaptive embedded systems: a systematic review
  • Fault-resilient and QoS centric dynamic network sensitive routing protocol for mobile-WSNs
  • SDN replaced deployment and real-time QoS provisioning based on network models
  • A novel zero knowledge proof of retrievability

16 April 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics are now available here for free:
  • Image reconstruction based on approximate function and modified conjugate gradient
  • Stationary distribution and ergodicity of a stochastic single-species model under regime switching in a polluted environment
  • A robust second order numerical method for a weakly coupled system of singularly perturbed reaction-diffusion problem with discontinuous source term
  • Research on Chinese well-known e-commerce enterprises' innovation ability based on real comment
  • An easy-to-use computer program for standardisation methods of population morbidity data
  • Collaborative filtering algorithm based on multi-factors
  • Local search-based dynamically adapted bat algorithm in image enhancement domain

Research pick: Discerning deep fakes digitally - "Identifying natural images and computer generated graphics based on convolutional neural network"

Computer-generated images are becoming increasingly realistic to the point that viewers might, with a casual glance, assume an image to be a natural, real image rather than CGI, and now even to the point that deep fakes are credible as natural images to all but the most intense gaze and examination.

Work described in the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, shows how a forensic method based on a convolutional neural network (CNN) might be used to automate the distinction between natural images and CGI. Min Long and Sai Long of the School of Computer and Communication Engineering at the Changsha University of Science and Technology, and Fei Peng and Xiao-hua Hu of the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Hunan University, in Hunan, China, have constructed a new network model fine-tuned using a database of 10000 images.

The proof of principle shows exactly how well this system can distinguish between natural and artificial images. It even works with JPEG images, which notoriously can often suffer from compression artefacts, be scaled, have high levels of visual noise and the effects of post-processing operations that lower their quality and blur the lines between CGI and a digital photograph.

The ability to distinguish between CGI and natural images has important implications for news reporting, politics, and forensic work all of which are increasingly wont to succumb to fake, falsified, and fraudulent images. The team’s approach is based on the Inception-v3 deep convolution neural network and transfer learning. It utilises 2048 dimensions of features in the images, which are extracted by the network for classification to allow the computer to make a decision as to the veracity of an image. In the current setup, this is as high as 98 per cent accuracy for certain types of image. The next step will be to improve performance still further and to perform large-scale experimental tests on its accuracy.

Long, M., Long, S., Peng, F. and Hu, X-h. (2021) ‘Identifying natural images and computer generated graphics based on convolutional neural network’, Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 14, Nos. 1/2, pp.151–162.

Special issue published: "Nano(Bio)Materials for Biomedical and Healthcare Applications"

International Journal of Nanotechnology 18(1/2/3/4) 2021

  • Application of polymer film of barium titanite nanoparticles in human sports rehabilitation training
  • Effect of nano-biomaterials silk-collagen sponge scaffold on the tendon and ligament healing of patients with anterior cruciate ligament injuries
  • Research on nanotube combined exercise rehabilitation therapy in treatment of knee arthritis in football players
  • Research on self-driving sensor of human movement based on friction nanogenerator
  • Research on the application of bio-scaffold materials in rehabilitation of sports articular cartilage injury
  • Research on biological movement rehabilitation characteristics of human tendon based on biodegradable nano-biomaterials
  • Research on nursing of common open trauma under nano antibacterial technology
  • Application and research of nano-biomaterials in knee cruciate ligament rehabilitation after sports injury
  • Application and research of nano-biomaterials in meniscus sports injury repair
  • Application of rehabilitation of cruciate ligament injury during exercise based on nano-biomaterials tissue engineering treatment plan
  • Application and research of adjuvant therapy in sports injury rehabilitation based on nano-biomaterials
  • Application and research of nano-biomaterials in the rehabilitation of sports tendon rupture
  • Application and research of nano-biomaterials in ankle sports injury rehabilitation
  • Research on artificial polymer nano-biomaterials in modern exercise rehabilitation treatment of fractures around the knee joint
  • Application and research of nano-biomaterials in repair and treatment of sports ligament injury
  • Comparative analysis and study on the rehabilitation of cruciate ligaments before and after treatment with nano-biomaterials
  • Biomimetic nano scaffold for sports ligament injury therapy
  • Research and exploration of ACL injury repair and reconstruction and application of biomaterials
  • Preparation of collagen scaffold nano-biomaterials and its application in patients with sports injuries
  • Study on the ability of type I collagen bioactive nanomaterial scaffold to repair spontaneous cartilage injury
  • Application of degradable new nano-biomaterials in bone defect repair and its impact on sports health
  • Collagen nanomaterial in the recovery of motor ability of patients with peripheral nerve transection injury
  • Effects of collagen-based nano-biomaterials on the health of lower limb joint sports
  • Effect of quaternary ammonium salt-loaded nanometre mesoporous calcium-silica particle biomaterials on human exercise health
  • Research on multi-layer perception motion prediction of breathing on thoracic and abdominal surface under non-therapy
  • Application of 3D biological nano scaffold materials in the health treatment of foot and ankle sports
  • Collagen nano scaffold in tendon repair and its application in the restoration of sports mechanical properties

15 April 2021

Research pick: Fighting Covid with plant products and repurposed pharmaceuticals - "Molecular docking, ADME and toxicity study of some chemical and natural plant based drugs against COVID-19 main protease"

Chemists Kaushik Sarkar and Rajesh Kumar of the University of North Bengal in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, have investigated the potential of various natural products of plant origin that might be developed into novel pharmaceuticals for treating Covid-19, the pandemic disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The team details their molecular docking experiments, absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME), and toxicity studies.

Since the emergence of the potentially lethal pathogen that causes Covid-19 parallel research to understand its behaviour, to find effective treatments, and to develop vaccines have been underway. Our understanding of the virus and the disease have grown enormously within the year or so since the pandemic was declared. Novel treatments and patient protocols have been developed and old pharmaceuticals repurporsed to treat the worst of the symptoms. Teams are working on dozens, if not hundreds of vaccines, and several of these are already being used clinically.

However, in the absence of vaccine “security” and global access to such a prophylactic approach to the virus, there remains an urgent need for therapeutic agents. Given the natural product origins of some 40 percent of prescription drugs, the natural world is always a source of inspiration for drug development. The team has investigated known drugs that have been used to treat lung cancer and bronchitis, and as blood-thinning agents. They have also homed in on a range of plant-derived compounds. All were screened against one of the primary viral protein targets, the covid-19 main protease enzyme (PDB: 6LU7).

Docking studies in which a computer model of a molecule of interest is used to see how well it fits into the active site of the main protease revealed a good fit for the following compounds: disulfiram, tideglusib, and shikonin. Any molecule that fits and binds to the active site of a protein can potentially block or even just slow the normal activity of that enzyme and so inhibit the activity of the virus. The team also carried out ADME prediction studies on those lead compounds. Their success suggests a need to move to laboratory testing and ultimately clinical trials in humans to help in the ongoing battle against Covid-19.

The team found that capmatinib, dabrafenib, alectinib, afatinib, trametinib, crizotinib, lorlatinib, osimertinib and tetracycline also revealed themselves to be effective inhibitors of the main protease based on overall docking, ADME, and toxicity parameters. Of the natural products investigated paradol, gingerol, and vasicine were seen as most promising.

Sarkar, K. and Das, R.K. (2021) ‘Molecular docking, ADME and toxicity study of some chemical and natural plant based drugs against COVID-19 main protease’, Int. J. Computational Biology and Drug Design, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp.43–63.

14 April 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Information Technology and Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Information Technology and Management are now available here for free:
  • Assessing the business dimensions of green IT transformation: a case of an Indian IT organisation
  • Does social media use at work lower productivity?
  • Implementing ERP evaluation through a fuzzy analysis: an empirical investigation
  • A Delphi-based study on the innovation practices in the Albanian financial sector
  • Impact of information and communication technologies on productivity growth

Special issue published: "Deployment of Green Technologies for Sustainable Environment"

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management 23(5/6) 2020

  • Dynamic management and control of the risk of carbon dioxide content exceeding the standard in green food production base
  • Dynamic monitoring of landscape vegetation coverage based on EM-MAP-NDVI fusion algorithm
  • Research on monitoring and environmental control of farmland operation based on multi-sensor data fusion
  • Research on vegetation coverage optimisation of urban landscape based on vegetation index
  • Modelling analysis of energy conservation and emission reduction benefits of landscape environment based on AHP
Additional papers
  • Removal of Hg(II) and methylene blue from single aqueous solution by ethylenediamine modified magnetic graphene oxide nanocomposites
  • An evaluation and variation analysis of sustainable development capacity in different regions of China
  • Climate impact assessment of a pig manure storage system substituted with anaerobic digestion - a case study in Santa Catarina, Brazil

Research pick: Augmented reality for dyslexia - "Using augmented reality to support children with dyslexia"

Augmented reality can be used to support children with dyslexia, according to a team from Saudi Arabia writing in the International Journal of Cloud Computing.

Dyslexia is a well-known and well-studied condition in which people of normal intelligence have difficulty reading. It affects between 3 and 7 people in every one hundred, although up to 20 percent of the population may have some problems.

Dyslexia is a spectrum condition with the least affected perhaps having issues with spelling or reading quickly while those at the other end of the spectrum may have problems not only with simple reading and writing tasks but also with basic comprehension of the written word. There is no well-defined cause and a combination of genetic and environmental factors may underlie dyslexia.

Numerous teaching techniques and even equipment such as visual filters have been used to overcome the problem although novel approaches to teaching are the most successful at ameliorating the worst of the problems to some degree for many people.

Majed Aborokbah of the Faculty of Computers and Information Technology at the University of Tabuk in Tabuk City, Saudi Arabia, is working on different learning scenarios for the Arabic language that are based on human computer interaction principles. In this novel approach meaningful virtual information – audio, video, and 3D environments – can be presented to dyslexic children in an interactive and compelling way with a view to improving reading skills and comprehension. This could circumvent some of the particular issues and complexities facing children with dyslexia when reading and writing Arabic.

Aborokbah, M. (2021) ‘Using augmented reality to support children with dyslexia’, Int. J. Cloud Computing, Vol. 10, Nos. 1/2, pp.17–25.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing are now available here for free:
  • Determinants of the intention to participate in semi-marathons events
  • Perceived motivation in football/futsal practice according to players and coaches approaches: a tool of strategic management
  • The role of patriotism in the city-brand-sport-event relationship
  • The structure, content and context of achieved celebrity brands: a study of footballers in their brandscapes
  • An advancement in the study of marketing partnership longevity: analysing sport sponsorship survival
  • Relationships as strategic assets: a sport fan equity approach
  • The brand attachment and consumer behaviour in sports marketing contexts: the case of football fans in Portugal
  • Perceived fan associations with MLB teams: bask inspite of reflected failure versus cut off reflected success

13 April 2021

Special issue published: "Information Technology/Information Systems Applications in Enterprise Systems"

International Journal of Information Technology and Management 20(1/2) 2021

  • Assessing the impact of information technology on human resource practices: evidence from organisations in Ghana
  • Investigation and analysis on crowdsourcing for improving enterprise QoS
  • Automatic brain tumour detection using image processing and data mining techniques
  • Congestion management with improved real power transfer using TCSC in 30 bus system
  • Classification of cricket videos using finite state machines
  • An improved mean curvature-based bending model for cloth simulation
  • A review on feature selection methods for improving the performance of classification in educational data mining
  • Frequency variations management in deregulated environment using intelligent controller
  • Automation of smart monitoring for person localisation and alerting network
  • Mobile application for children to learn hadith: 'Hidup Cara Rasullullah'
  • Promoting business-IT alignment through agent metaphor-based software technology
  • Performance analysis of iris biometric system using GKPCA and SVM

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Hydromechatronics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Hydromechatronics are now available here for free:
  • Design and energy optimisation of a hybrid flywheel bus rapid transit
  • The effects of particle swarm optimisation and genetic algorithm on ANN results in predicting pile bearing capacity
  • The influence of water on frequency response of concrete plates armed by nanoparticles utilising analytical approach
  • Machine learning model for dynamical response of nano-composite pipe conveying fluid under seismic loading
  • Nonlinear modelling of the dynamic response of pipe conveying fluid coated with FRP under seismic load: comparison of RSM and kriging approach
  • Modelling and energy efficiency analysis of a hybrid pump-controlled asymmetric (single-rod) cylinder drive system

First issue: International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering (free sample issue available)

The International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering provides an international, peer-reviewed forum which focuses on system-level research and development regarding astronautics and aeronautics. The journal emphasises the unique role and increasing importance of informatics on aerospace. It fills a gap in current publishing coverage between outer space vehicles and atmospheric vehicles by highlighting interdisciplinary techniques, presenting systematic mechanisms and assembly integration and verification (AIV) techniques from a bionic point of view.

There is a free download of the papers from this first issue.

Research pick: Post-pandemic industry, just in time - "JIT: the best approach after lockdown in country"

Just-in-time practices could help industry and the economy be rebuilt as countries emerge from pandemic lockdown, according to research published in the International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics.

As the potentially devastating effects of the rapid spread of Covid-19 early in 2020 and the subsequent pandemic became obvious, governments were forced to implement rules and regulations in an attempt to hinder the spread of the virus that causes the disease, SARS-CoV-2. These so-called lockdown measures involved shutting down parts of many industries, the hospitality sector, non-essential shopping, and limiting interpersonal contact through curfews and rules on social distancing. Unfortunately, various industries have been affected badly having been forced to halt the manufacture of countless products as demand plummeted and moreover people were limited in what they needed and could purchase.

Surbhi Singhal of the Department of Statistics at Vardhaman College in Bijnor, India, and colleagues have looked at how many suppliers will have remaining inventory to fulfill the renewed consumer demand for products after the lockdown as the world economy resurfaces. They explain how a just-in-time approach to supply could be the most effective way for industries to recover from the pandemic. Just-in-time has been an ephemeral concept for as long as companies have manufactured goods, if not longer.

The just-in-time idea was implemented widely after the Second World War to allow industry to rebuild more efficiently by only buying inventory, storing and transporting that inventory as it needed it. Moreover, it would manufacture and supply only what was needed when it was needed. The strategy was formalized and used to great effect in the 1960s and 1970s by Toyota. Singhal and colleagues now suggest that the time is right for JIT to be employed widely for the post-pandemic world. They have developed a new mathematical model of JIT that could reduce supply and demand problems with resources, make production more efficient, cut storage and transportation needs, and perhaps even shift the notion of quality inspection to the customer.

As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, the conventional approaches to many aspects of life must change, at least for the time being. This could offer us a great opportunity if we can recover efficiently and not revert to old, wasteful approaches in industry. Having JIT models in place ahead of the next pandemic might also serve us well and make industry, and society, as a whole more resilient.

Singh, S.R., Rastogi, A. and Singhal, S. (2021) ‘JIT: the best approach after lockdown in country’, Int. J. Services Operations and Informatics, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp.75–86.