29 March 2013

New Editor for Luxury Intelligence

Prof. Adm. Marcos Ferasso, from the Federal Technological University of Paran in Brazil, has taken over the editorship of Luxury Intelligence - an International Journal and will commence developing it to publication.

28 March 2013

Call for papers: "Service-centric Models, Platforms and Technologies"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Services, Economics and Management.

The service-centric approach as a strategy for IT enterprises is an emerging area in the industrial and academic world. Software vendors such as HP [1] claim that “Service-centric IT represents a state of maturity for the IT function, enabling it to operate as a service-focused entity that is deliberately structured, organized and calibrated to power directly the corporation’s strategic growth and profitability objectives”.

Additionally, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) [2] has been advocating a more service-centric model for asset optimisation and planning for nearly a decade. We have also recently been seeing the dramatic development of service-centric computing and related technologies such as Web services, service-oriented architectures and business process automation [3].

Service-centric systems are now becoming the means to integrate highly heterogeneous elements in terms of services managed by different providers which run on heterogonous operating systems and are developed using various programming languages [4]. Based on the emergence of service-centric research, we now invite researchers and industry contributors to submit their research papers on service-centric business and technology.

[1] Available at http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/603762-0-0-195-121.html
[2] Available at http://blogs.enterprisemanagement.com/dennisdrogseth/2011/03/03/what-is-
[3] Zhao, J. L.; Goul, Michael; Purao, Sandeep; Vitharana, Padmal; and Wang, Harry J. (2008) “Impact of Service-Centric Computing on Business and Education”, Communications of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 22, Article 16. Available at http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol22/iss1/16
[4] The SeCSE Team. “Towards Service-centric System Engineering”. Available at http://home.dei.polimi.it/baresi/papers/eChallenges05.pdf

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Service-centric investigations, approaches, strategies, developments
  • Service-centric referencing methodologies and utilities
  • Intra- and inter-enterprise for business-to-business collaborative services
  • Service-centric network configurations and assets
  • Expectations and faithfulness in services-centric models
  • Cultural, social and legal issues in services-centric models
  • Commercialisation of service-centric computing technologies
  • Solutions and configurations for business services
  • Case studies in services-centric scenarios
Important Dates
Manuscripts due: 1 July, 2013
Notification of acceptance: 1 September, 2013
Revised papers due: 15 October, 2013
Final notification: 15 November, 2013
Submission of final revised papers: 1 December, 2013

Special issue: "Services Innovation in Emerging Economies: Theory, Practice And Policy"

International Journal of Services Technology and Management 18(3/4) 2012
  • Community participation of cultural heritage tourism from innovation system perspective
  • Does one size fit all? The governance mode and strategic position of cluster innovation platforms
  • An empirical study on the relationship between service innovation and firm performance based on revised SPC model: evidence from China's communication industry
  • The front/back office configuration in new service development: case study of local commercial bank in China
  • Tapping the innovation potential of knowledge intensive services in emerging economies
  • Social innovation: the process development of knowledge-intensive companies
  • Service innovation and competitive advantage with the perspective of system dynamics - using China Mobile as an example

Thematic issue: "Managing National Healthcare: Economics, Culture and Strategic Choice"

European Journal of International Management 7(2) 2013
  • Strategic choices in healthcare, with reference to the UK National Health Service
  • Global health and the business of illness
  • The challenge of healthcare accessibility in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of ideas and culture
  • Chinese healthcare system and workers' welfare
Regularly Submitted Papers
  • Internationalisation and firm performance: state of empirical research efforts and need for improved approaches
  • Stakeholders' management approach in Italian 'territorial' companies Loccioni Group and the 'Land of Values - LOV' project

27 March 2013

Computer, read my lips

A computer that can lip-read would be a boon for those with speech difficulties as well as people in noisy environments where conventional voice recognition cannot be used. Now, a team at the University of Essex, in Colchester, UK, and colleagues at the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, in Chongqing, China, have developed an accurate system that can analyse and interpret lip shape.

Writing in the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, University of Essex professor of computer science and electronic engineering, Huosheng Hu, and colleagues explain why conventional voice-activated human-machine interfaces are not available to many people, either because of personal disability or the environment in which such systems must be used.

The team explains that their system is based on a novel lip shape feature extraction method that uses the computer’s web camera to assimilate an image sequence of the user’s lips. A statistical method known as a hybrid dual-tree complex wavelet transform (DT-CWT) and discrete cosine transform (DCT) are then used to pin down the characteristics of the lip shapes at different points in time, which is then coupled to a trained database of shapes associated with specific words or commands.

The approach sidesteps the problem of head movement by pinning down invariant points on the images around the mouth. The team has tested the system with a wheelchair user and demonstrated that a small vocabulary of commands to control the wheelchair can be recognised in a noisy environment once the system is trained.

A computer system that could lip read might also be adapted for mobile devices such as smart phones adding an extra layer to applications that respond to voice commands in environments where the user must remain quiet if not silent, such as libraries, theatres and even monasteries.

“Hybrid lip shape feature extraction and recognition for human-machine interaction” in Int. J. Modelling, Identification and Control, 2013, 18, 191-198

Computer, read my lips is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/computer-read-my-lips-2.html

Head in the clouds, feet on the ground

The first tentative steps towards a peer-to-peer approach to cloud computing that enables users and removes the risks and costs of relying on industry giants to offer services are being taken by an international team of researchers.

Cloud computing is gradually becoming more and more pervasive as accessibility to broadband internet connections and always-on mobile devices rise. As a system, cloud computing takes on to remote and often distributed computers – the cloud – the software applications and data files that would normally be held on one’s personal computer. Major players in the computing industry including, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle/Sun have finally weighed in on the cloud, while the Internet giants, including Google and Amazon, have been offering cloud services for email, web hosting, data storage, online office applications and much more for several years. The issue from the users’ point of view is that one might become entirely reliant on services that may not persist indefinitely or that may come at a rising cost.

Hajar Mousannif of Cadi Ayyad University, in Marrakech, Morocco working with Ismail Khalil and Gabriele Kotsis at Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria, explain that cloud computing relies on various services and systems. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the online applications, such as web-based email among well-known examples are GoogleApps and Salesforce.com. There is then the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which includes the likes of Microsoft Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services. PaaS allows users to deploy their own applications. Finally, there is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), this offers access to processing power and/or storage space in the cloud and examples include Rackspace, Nimbus, and Eucalyptus.

“With cloud computing, users can access the services based on their requirements regardless of where the services are hosted or how they are delivered,” the team says. “Moreover, clients only pay for the quantity of the rented resources (data storage, computation, etc.) they consume.” But, they then ask, “Why even pay when you can simply cooperate to get the services you need?”

The collaborators are now introducing a new Peer-to-Peer (P2P) cloud architecture, which they call Cooperation as a Service (CaaS). The system, they say, provides participants with all the necessary infrastructure, platform and software services in the cloud by taking advantage of cooperation among different peers in the system rather than relying on corporate third-party systems.

The proposed CaaS cloud architecture enables computers to share information and other resources with peers on the network in large-scale distributed computing environments. The team explains that the principle relies on a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach of mutual assistance. This, they explain, fuels spontaneous participation among the peers, if they don’t assist each other, then their own services will not function. Several challenges remain, such as creating a large enough network to sustain a CaaS and to ensure security and privacy are maintained at the level required by each user.

“The cloud is not ‘there’, we are the cloud!” in Int. J. Web and Grid Services, 2013, 9, 1-17

Head in the clouds, feet on the ground is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/head-in-the-clouds-feet-on-the-ground.html

26 March 2013

Int. J. of Energy Technology and Policy to publish expanded papers from the 4th Int. Conf. on Advances in Energy Research

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 4th International Conference on Advances in Energy Research (10-12 December 2013, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India) will be published by the International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy.

Call for papers: "Technology Transfer for Sustainable Regional Economic Development: A System Innovation Perspective"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development.

The transfer of knowledge and technology is widely recognised as one of the main drivers for regional economic development. During difficult economic times and harsh competition for high added value innovation-based economic activities, this transfer is key to sustainable regional development.
From an (eco)system innovation perspective, the focus lies on directing the economy towards sustainable development by focusing on concrete technologies and actors. Linked to the regional innovation system is the spectrum of actors includes governments, universities, public and private research centres and (young, small, large, multinational, etc.) enterprises.
These actors face diminishing resources and increased risk for research and feel a mounting pressure on continuously filling the pipeline of innovation. From an innovation system perspective, environmental framework conditions may not be discarded. From a system innovation perspective, individual actors further face the challenge to contribute, on a medium to long term basis, to sustainable regional economic development.
The interactions between policy making, industry and science partners in terms of increased knowledge flows and technology transfer form an important channel to achieve an integrated sustained development path. A set of strategic tools ranging from technology brokers, technology transfer offices, business incubation centres, technology parks, venture capital funding for spin-off companies, entrepreneurial education, etc. are in place or can be introduced to achieve this.
This special issue is devoted to research exploring, from a system innovation perspective, knowledge and technology transfer as a means to stimulate sustainable regional economic development during economically difficult times. Within this context, papers are invited that address the role of a broad range of actors (government, society, universities – also in their capacity as providers of entrepreneurial education, research centres, enterprises, technology transfer offices, other intermediaries). Both quantitative and qualitative research with room for evaluation, best practices and case studies are welcome.
The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 8th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE 2013, Brussels, Belgium), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.
From a system innovation perspective, papers should address research questions pertaining (but not limited) to the following topics:
  • Innovation and regional sustainability or regeneration
  • Practices and tools for technology transfer
  • System innovation for regional development
  • Regional innovation systems
  • Societal challenges for research
  • Entrepreneurial learning and regional development
  • The entrepreneurial university
  • Innovation-driven science-industry partnerships
  • Training initiatives for innovation stimulation
  • Regional clusters and local and international innovation networks
  • Social business and social innovation
  • Regional innovation policy and evaluation
  • Case studies or review papers on relevant regional innovation topics
Important Dates
Deadline for submission of manuscripts: 14 March, 2014
Notification of acceptance/rejection to authors: 30 May, 2014
Submission of final manuscript: 8 July, 2014

Women make better company directors than men

Female directors scored significantly higher than their male counterparts in standard tests to determine a person’s reasoning methods in terms of personal interest (let’s make a deal), normative (don’t rock the boat) and complex moral reasoning, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics.

Chris Bart of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, in Ontario Canada and colleagues explain that the better performance in these CMR tests of women compared with men (624 candidates were tested) provides an explanation for why earlier research has repeatedly seen a positive correlation between the presence of female directors on company boards and corporate performance. The researchers point out that such evidence should underpin a shift to more gender equitable boards of directors.

Most geographic population groups are 50% female, but women remain under-represented in the boardroom. As Bart points out, it is amazing that the typical excuses proffered for this anomaly, including “there are not enough talented/educated/experienced females to fill the positions” no longer pass muster within North America and Europe. Indeed, women now represent more than 50% of the graduates of the professional programs of most universities so there is no shortage of female talent in the pool of young women ready to climb the corporate ladder. Nevertheless, with women widely represented at less than 10% of board membership they are inevitably “crowded out” by male members of those boards.

“CMR involves acknowledging and considering the rights of others in the pursuit of fairness by using a social cooperation and consensus building approach that is consistently applied in a non arbitrary fashion,” the team explains. “The dramatic importance of this is highlighted when one considers that the role of directors is solely to make decisions or, more precisely, to help the board make decisions.” They add that, “Since all decisions have multifaceted social impact implications affecting one or more individuals or stakeholder groups CMR is a tremendous skill to possess, but particularly at the board level.”

Why women make better directors” in Int. J. Business Governance and Ethics, 2013, 8, 93-99

Women make better company directors than men is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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25 March 2013

Call for papers: "Intelligent Informatics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics.

Traditionally, research was either done with pen and paper and/or by performing experiments and then analysing the results. Over the last three decades, computers' involvement in performing normal operations, experimentation and research has been ever-increasing. With so many CAD tools, almost everything can be simulated. Also, with help of advanced equipment, all experiment measurements can be brought onto a computer in some measure. With cheap storage options available, we do not hesitate in generating and collecting experimental data.
The present age can be described as an age of immense data. The amount of data being stored is rising exponentially. With rise of cloud computing, security measures by CCTV recordings, video streaming and uploading, etc., we can only expect the volume of data to rise.
We may have lot of data, but in most cases we are actually interested in the information contained. Sometimes it might be easy to interpret data manually and extract information, but most of the time it is not feasible for us, as data can be of the order of hundreds and thousands of dimensions.
This calls for various kinds of algorithms and techniques by which we can extract information or trends from data which are broadly categorised under the field of informatics. Informatics can be described as a discipline that intelligently combines sciences and the engineering of information.
We invite authors to contribute original research articles that discuss the state of the art in theory and applications in this area.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Intelligent agents
  • Intelligent agents for web services and/or intelligent web applications
  • Intelligent robotic agents, mobile agents, information agents, learning agents
  • Intelligent health monitoring systems
  • Intelligent decision support systems
  • Multi agent systems
  • Distributed intelligent systems
  • Intelligent systems modelling
  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Expert systems, rule-based systems, ontology-based systems
  • Intelligent social networks or social informatics
  • Knowledge management with augmented reality
  • Neural networks, ANFIS
  • Fuzzy knowledge systems, fuzzy inference systems, fuzzy reasoning
  • Knowledge discovery and data mining
  • Knowledge-based systems
  • Knowledge representation, ontology, ontology integration
  • Scalable data discovery, access, query and search
  • Bioinformatics
  • Technologies and agents
  • Applications of intelligent informatics in various engineering disciplines
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 15 August, 2013 (extended)

Call for papers: "Information and Communication Technologies Research and Applications in South East Europe"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development.

This special issue aspires to provide a forum to disseminate recent progress in innovative research in the region of South East Europe, relating to the multifaceted aspects of computer science and applications of ICT in real world problems in science, technology, business, commerce and education.
Theoretical and methodological aspects and practical and experimental papers reporting novel research are welcome, as well as high quality survey papers.
The issue is open to original contributions from academics, researchers, practitioners, scientists and engineers who are involved in all computer science topics (including informatics, computer engineering, telecommunications and information systems) and in systems design development and application.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Algorithms and data structures
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business intelligence
  • Communication and information Systems security
  • Computational science
  • Computer and communication networks
  • CRM and ERP systems
  • Cultural and museum information Systems
  • Databases
  • Data mining
  • Digital libraries
  • eCommerce, eBusiness, eGovernment, eHealth
  • Education technologies
  • Graphics, visualization
  • Multimedia and virtual reality
  • Grid, cluster and P2P computing
  • Hardware and architecture
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Image and video processing
  • Information retrieval
  • Information society: legal and regulatory issues
  • Information systems
  • Information theory
  • Knowledge-based systems
  • Numerical and scientific computation
  • Open source software
  • Operating systems
  • Parallel and distributed systems
  • Privacy-enhancing technologies
  • Programming languages
  • Sensor networks
  • Signal processing
  • Software engineering
  • Telecommunication systems and policies
  • Wearable computing
  • Wireless and mobile computing
  • Green ICT and supply chains
  • Collaborative and intelligent systems of innovation, virtual innovation environments
  • e-technology adoption and semantic web services
  • Smart cities
Important Dates
Deadline for submissions: 1 February, 2014

24 March 2013

Special issue: "Advances in Machining Processes"

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology 46(1) 2013
  • Analysis on the characteristics of Nd:YAG laser marking on alumina ceramic based on RSM
  • Investigation of the surface integrity induced by abrasive flow machining on AISI D2 hardened steel
  • Chip formation studies in machining fibre reinforced polymer composites
  • Investigation of chatter stability in boring tool and tool wear prediction using neural network
  • Development of a thermocouple sensor using tool coating and its substrate to measure metal turning temperatures
  • Analysis of two- and three-body abrasive wear during machining of aluminium-based metal matrix composite

23 March 2013

Special issue: "Advances in Robotics and Mechatronics"

International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems 6(1) 2013
  • Dynamic step traverse of a two-wheeled mobile robot
  • Genetic algorithms with variable search space function for fine gain tuning of model-based robotic servo controller
  • A forming algorithm and its position estimation for triangle-based robot formation
  • Multiple mobile robots system with network-based subsumption architecture
  • Design and testing of a high frequency air-cored resonance transformer
  • Formation control of multiple mobile robots utilising synchronisation approach

First issue: International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies (free sample issue available)

The International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies initiates and fosters academic dialogue concerning the modern subjects of constitutional law and human rights protection from a global perspective. It provides novel and original material in the fields of current economic and political crises, globalised democratic governance, human rights public policies, the theory and philosophy of rights, comparative constitutional law and the methodology of law.

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

22 March 2013

Special issue: "Innovations in Islamic Marketing and Business"

International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2(1) 2013

Includes expanded versions of papers from the 2nd Global Islamic Marketing Conference.
  • Marketing mix through the integration of new and traditional media: a review of recent literature
  • Exploring future markets for Pakistani halal meat export
  • The relationship between consumers' religiosity and risk perceptions surrounding the use of SNS
  • How generation Y is energising the 'Muslim' brand through novelty t-shirts
  • Gauging attitudes towards the environment through NEP: a case study from India
  • Fashion effects on customer satisfaction: an analysis of the Pakistani shoe industry
  • The feasibility of establishing Islamic banks in the UK: the case of Nottingham
  • Islamic finance and its role in SME development case in point: Egypt
  • A study of Islamic customer satisfaction

Inderscience journals to publish expanded papers for the IACCM Europe Forum 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the IACCM Europe Forum 2013 (15-17 April 2013, Cortona, Italy) will be published by the following journals:

Call for papers: "Building Theory from Case Research and Case Methodologies in Cross-Cultural Contexts"

For a special issue of the European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Interest in using case studies and case research for theory development has exploded in recent years as is evident from the growth of special journal issues, books and professional development workshops around the world. This interest builds on long-established traditions within management science and international business for theory development based on in-depth case research methods.

Seminal works, among others, include the Growth of a Firm (Penrose,1960), Structure follows Strategy (Chandler, 1962), Politics of Organizational Decision-Making (Pettigrew, 1973), Dimensions of National Cultural Differences (Hofstede, 1980), Corporate Venturing within Multidivisionals (Burgelman,1983), Transnational Solutions (Bartlett & Ghoshal,1989), and Core Competencies (Prahalad & Hamel,1990). This rich tradition was further legitimised by recent scholars such as Yin (1984), Eisenhardt (1989) and Piekkari and Welsh (2011).

Efforts to generalise theoretical contributions beyond a particular cultural context have often resorted to the use of traditional quantitative statistical research methods. Such research has increased our understanding of key dimensions of culture, and of the ways in which cultures vary. However, quantitative research has typically been unable to explain the roots of cultural differences (“why” do they exist) or the best ways in which to handle them (“how” to operate effectively).

As such, fine grained research in the form of the case-based method is particularly suited to address such questions as its purpose is to “generate theory and/or contribute to extant theory” (Mills et al., 2010: xxxii). In spite of the long-standing debate on research methods, there is a lack of understanding of how case research can be used for building theory. In order to fill this gap, case scholars from North America and Europe have come together to co-edit this special issue.

We are particularly interested in conceptual and cross-cultural case-based research that makes a strong contribution to existing theory or establishes new theoretical foundations. Thus, we welcome papers and research cases that make strong contributions to theory development and/or deal with methodological issues embedded in this research process. We welcome junior and senior scholars engaged in such research to submit to this issue. Note that the issue will not include teaching cases or papers addressing research issues related to the development of teaching cases.

Submissions must include a strong methodology section with a detailed description of data sources and methodologies used in the research. Submissions which do not include a thorough methodology section will automatically be rejected.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to the following:
  • Contributions may address cross-cultural phenomena. General contributions with theory development based on case methods and case study are also welcome.
  • Contributions may address a balance between case description and theory development. The particular balance depends on the research project reported in the contribution. (Submissions with only methods, case description, or mere theory development will automatically be rejected)
  • The causal argument should be apparent and should show the theoretical logic of the causal relationship between variables.
  • Pluralistic approaches to theory building are welcome.
  • Transparency of the case research procedure is a must. Contributions must address to what extent the same findings can be replicated by other researchers using the same procedure. Authors are, for example, encouraged to be reflective in their approach and analyse their own experiences.
  • Contributions must also address to what extent the results are valid beyond the specific context within which the case study has been conducted, i.e. to what extend the findings can be generalised to other settings (Eisenhardt, 1989). Multiple paradigms for theorising are welcome.
  • Contributions that use qualitative and/or quantitative methods as well as mixed- methods case studies are welcome, as are case studies with multiple data sources.
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 15 October, 2013 (extended)
Decisions to authors: 31 December, 2013

First issue: International Journal of Applied Nonlinear Science (free sample issue available)

The International Journal of Applied Nonlinear Science publishes original research contributions on mathematical modelling of nonlinear phenomena, fundamental theories, principles and general methods, computational methods and numerical simulations in nonlinear science and engineering, and applications in related areas of science. Manuscripts concerned with a discussion of the background of a practical problem and the establishment of a nonlinear model, the development and application of innovative mathematical tools from nonlinear dynamical systems theory for analysing complex problems, new computational methods and computing techniques are encouraged.

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

21 March 2013

International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology to increase issue frequency

The International Journal for Oil, Gas and Coal Technology is to increase its issue frequency from 2014. The journal, which is indexed in Science Citation Index, Scopus and Compendex, among others, will publish 8 issues instead of 6.

Inderscience is media partner for the 16th Warwick International Postgraduate Conference

Inderscience is a media partner for the 16th Warwick International Postgraduate Conference (25-26 June 2013, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK).

The journal involved is the European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Inderscience is media partner for the 2nd Annual Oil & Gas Security 2013 Summit

Inderscience is a media partner for the 2nd Annual Oil & Gas Security 2013 Summit (12-13 June 2013, London, UK).

The journals involved are:
A press release is available here.

Int. J. of Banking, Accounting and Finance to publish expanded papers from the 2013 International Risk Management Conference

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 2013 International Risk Management Conference (24-25 June 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark) will be published by the International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance.

20 March 2013

Learning ethical lessons from Avatar

You’d all know which movie I was referring to if I mentioned lanky blue aliens flying about on a mining planet with humans chasing after the mythical element unobtanium, right? Well, it’s James Cameron’s 2009 release Avatar, just in case you didn’t get it.

Norm Borin of California Polytechnic State University and Arline Savage of the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, argue that the fictitious mining company in the movie, RDA, makes a perfect case study for how not to be a sustainable company and offers lesson to more down to earth corporations hoping to gain green credentials as opposed to the blues. We hear a lot about indigenous peoples (the Na’vi in the movie) whose health and lives are all but destroyed by invading corporations such as Resources Development Administration (RDA) in the movie. The researchers draw a parallel between the problems faced by the Na’vi and the pollution and deforestation, facing people from Alberta to Ecuador, from Kenya to the Philippines and beyond.

Fundamentally, the fictional plot hinges on RDA seeking to procure a valuable resource for profit while ignoring and violating the social and cultural needs and desires of those who live where the resource is located and at the same time destroying many of the unique environmental characteristics of their environment. The researchers suggest that it is unlikely that James Cameron developed the movie with the objective that it would be used as a case example for business sustainability, but it is likely that he was well aware that Avatar represents an allegory for the malignancy of corporate greed and certainly has some valuable lessons for corporations, the team says.

The team provides some useful approaches to show how a company might improve its corporate responsibility as it ventures into new areas of the planet. These include a consideration of prioritizing the three p’s in this order – (1) planet, (2) people, (3) profits. They also suggest expanding stakeholder groups to include at the base of the pyramid the inhabitants and hiring managers with knowledge and an interest in ethics and environmental resource allocation. Finally, they believe that building accountability feedback systems from the company board to the indigenous groups is important for sustainability.

“There have been repeated examples of successful sustainable ventures by companies,” the team concludes, “but they require implementation of these ideas to avoid failure on the Avatar scale.” Borin adds that, “We believe it does cover an important topic that impacts any business dealing with indigenous populations.”

Research Blogging IconBorin N. & Savage A. (2012). The sustainable corporation: lessons from Avatar, International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 3 (4) 294. DOI:

Learning ethical lessons from Avatar is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Call for papers: "Using Social Media for Collaborative Learning"

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

Collaboration has numerous potential benefits for learning. It enables group members to help and learn from one another; it helps to promote students’ social relationships; it may also develop students’ communication and critical thinking skills.

However, there are also a lot of challenges in the collaborative learning process. For instance, how can a teacher know that every student contributes to the completion of a project? How can group members coordinate their strengths and efforts? And how can a teacher effectively monitor the collaborative learning process and fairly assess individual contribution?

By using a social media platform such as Facebook Group, certain evidence can be automatically recorded and this evidence enables the teacher to monitor students’ progress and their individual contributions. Also, the recorded evidence may allow the teacher to fairly assess students’ contributions. Nevertheless, there might be challenges in using online platforms to support group collaboration too. For instance, students may not use the platform at all.

This special issue aims to provide an opportunity for researchers to share their experiences, case studies, thoughts and innovative strategies for using social media platforms to promote, coordinate, monitor and assess collaborative learning effectively.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Using social media platforms (such as Facebook Group, Google Group, Yahoo Group, Edmodo, Wiki, Weblog) to support group collaboration
  • Using social media to effectively coordinate group members' collaborative efforts
  • Using social media to promote group members' positive interdependence
  • Using social media to monitor group members' individual contributions
  • Using social media to support peer evaluation
  • Using social media to facilitate the assessment of students' contributions and learning outcomes
  • Case studies of using specific social media platforms to support group collaboration
  • Strategies and challenges of using social media to support collaborative learning
  • Design and evaluation of social media apps for collaborative learning
  • Assessment of collaborative learning
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 July, 2013
Notification to authors: 15 September, 2013
Final versions due: 31 October, 2013

New Editor for International Journal Radio Frequency Identification Technology and Applications

Professor Marlin H. Mickle, founder of the International Journal of Radio Frequency Identification Technology and Applications, has stepped down as its Editor-in-Chief but will remain on the Board. Dr. Peter J. Hawrylak, currently an Associate Editor, will replace him. Dr. Hawrylak is from the Department of Electrical Engineering at The University of Tulsa in the USA.

19 March 2013

Special issue: "Advanced Approach on Information Retrieval: Foundations and Applications"

International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence 4(1) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at KES/IIMSS2012.
  • Approximate search algorithm for aggregate k-nearest neighbour queries on remote spatial databases
  • A new spatio-temporal prediction approach based on aggregate queries
  • Encoding network-constrained travel trajectories using routing algorithms
  • A preventing method for overlapping focuses in a Focus+Glue+Context Map
  • Optimal study number of stochastic e-learning system
  • Multiple-choice cloze exercise generation through English grammar learning support
  • A method for generating presentation slides based on expression styles using document structure

Call for papers: "Risk Culture and Crisis Communication"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management.

Since Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky’s seminal work on risk and culture, risk is considered in social sciences and humanities as a cultural or social construct. According to this approach, risk perception, identification and management are connected and filtered by the specific cultures and social structures of the various actors in society. In other words, the mindset of individuals is structured by specific risk cultures which determine how dangers are perceived and how the response to risks and crisis is framed.

This special issue will present case studies that show the influence of the respective risk culture on actual social behaviour, coping strategies and information behaviour in cases of natural and/or man-made disaster and the implications for crisis communication. It is intended for academics, practitioners, social scientists and risk and crisis managers who are involved in the areas of risk and crisis communication, as well as risk and crisis management on the governmental and business level concerned with natural and man-made disasters.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers of the EU-funded project ‘Enhancing the Efficiency of Alerting Systems through Personalized, Culturally Sensitive Multi-Channel Communication (Opti-Alert) – Socio-Cultural Factors in Risk and Crisis Communication’, but we also strongly encourage researchers who did not participate in the project to submit papers for this issue.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Concepts of risk culture
  • Impact of socio-cultural factors on risk perception
  • National specificities and risk cultures
  • Taking into account risk perception for risk and crisis management
  • Influence of public trust in authority on crisis communication
  • Case studies and lessons learned from previous disasters
  • Role of press, mass media and social media for crisis communication
  • The interrelationship between risk culture and compliance in cases of disaster
  • Disaster knowledge and coping strategies
  • Best practice in reaching the public via crisis communication
  • Social learning of crisis and institutional responses
  • Cultural patterns and crisis responses
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2013 (extended)

Special issue: "Variable Structure Systems in Automotive Applications"

International Journal of Vehicle Design 62(2/3/4) 2013
  • Application of variable-structure output feedback control to active front steering for understeer and oversteer conditions
  • A sliding mode controlled three wheeled narrow vehicle
  • Second order sliding modes control for rope winch based automotive driver robot
  • Robust control of electronic wedge brake with adaptive pad friction estimation
  • Robust nested sliding mode integral control for anti-lock brake system
  • Improvements in vehicle handling and stability by a novel wheel slip coordination control scheme
  • Wheel slip control of road vehicles via switched second order sliding modes
  • Sliding-mode-based disturbance observer approaches for vehicle steering control
  • Heavy duty vehicle tyre forces estimation using variable gain sliding mode observer
  • Nonlinear sliding mode control of switched systems on continuously variable transmission shifting
  • Condition monitoring of gasoline engine air intake system using second order sliding modes
  • A new traction control system for the vehicle with automatic transmission

Special issue: "Industrial Tools and Materials Processing Technology"

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties 8(1/2) 2013

Expanded versions of papers from the 8th International Conference on Tools and Material Processing Technologies (ICIT&MPT 2011).
  • Multilayer laser-assisted deposition on single crystal superalloy substrates
  • Influence of laser deposition technique on surface integrity of 12 Ni maraging tool steel
  • Effect of laser surface alloying on structure of a commercial tool steel
  • Laser Shock Processing: an emerging technique for the enhancement of surface properties and fatigue life of high-strength metal alloys
  • Dislocation configuration evolution of FCC alloys induced by Laser Shock Processing
  • Recent developments in laser machining of tools
  • Powder injection moulding: processing of small parts of complex shape
  • Mathematical modelling and computer simulation of mechanical properties of quenched and tempered steel
  • New frontiers for thixoforming
  • Recent development trends in sheet metal forming

18 March 2013

New Editor for the Int. Journal of Vehicle Information and Communications Systems

Prof. Hongchao Liu from Texas Tech University in the USA has agreed to take temporary charge of the International Journal of Vehicle Information and Communications Systems. Prof. Liu will ensure the journal continues its development over the next year while a permanent editor is sought.

Special issue: "Opening Up Innovation and Business Development Activities"

International Journal of Technology Management 61(3/4) 2013

Expanded versions of papers from the 2011 Continuous Innovation Network Conference.
  • Sources of innovation, their combinations and strengths - benefits at the NPD project level
  • Exploiting supplier innovativeness through knowledge integration
  • Knowledge related activities in open innovation: managers' characteristics and practices
  • User toolkits for innovation - a literature review
  • Exploring the incorporation of users in an innovating business unit
  • Value creation and appropriation in social media - the case of fashion bloggers in Sweden
  • Openness in innovation and business models: lessons from the newspaper industry

Int. J. of Environmental Technology and Management to publish expanded papers from CSEI2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the Corporate Sustainability and Eco-innovations Conference (18-19 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland) will be published by the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management.

Special issue: "System of Systems Engineering – Past Emerging to Evolving?"

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering 3(3/4) 2012
  • Systems theory: a formal construct for understanding systems
  • Stakeholders in systems problems
  • Errors in systems approaches
  • Prevalence of pathologies in systems of systems
  • Why optimisation of a system of systems is both unattainable and unnecessary
  • Measuring system of systems performance
  • Systems of systems engineering education
  • Defining SoS requirements: an early glimpse at a methodology
  • Securability for system of systems
  • Data governance for SoS
  • System of systems information assurance policy: a call for reform
  • Integrated condition assessment for Navy system of systems
  • Characteristics and emergent attributes of system-of-systems' simulations

Special issue: "Sport Participation Management and Marketing"

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing 12(3/4) 2012
  • The recreational sport participation scale: development, testing and practical application
  • Determinants of middle school sport participation: a comparison of different models for school sport delivery
  • The intersection of pop culture and non-traditional sports: an examination of the niche market of quidditch
  • Strategies to increase sport participation in Canada: the role of a coordinated network
  • Understanding senior sport participants' choice of regional senior games using a preference map
  • Social capital within sport participation systems: a multi-national inquiry
  • Post-event behavioural intentions of participants in a women-only mass participation sporting event
  • An examination of how constraints and processes of change affect stages of behavioural change for recreational sport participation

14 March 2013

Where’s the harm in sexting?

Sexting: Involves sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs, primarily between mobile phones using the SMS system was first reported in 2005. It is an obvious portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”; the word was added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in August 2012. 4% of mobile phone-owning teens claim to have sent sexually suggestive, nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via a mobile device while 15% claim to have received such material from someone they know.

With contract cell phones and cheaper multimedia messaging services it is easier and cheaper than ever to share information, images and other data. Ran Wei of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina and Ven-Hwei Lo of the School of Journalism and Communication of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, examined the effects of teen sexting that involves serious privacy and personal safety issues. One observer has suggested that the desire for risk-taking and sexual exploration among teens, coupled with a perpetual connection with peers via mobile telephony, creates a “perfect storm for sexting.”

The USC-Hong Kong team has now carried out a survey of 236 adolescents in the USA, the results of which reveal that teenagers believe sexting to cause more harm to other people than to themselves. Moreover, they also consider that sext” messages subsequently posted to the Internet on social networking sites and elsewhere are more harmful than those messages that are shared en masse among a group of phone users. However, they also felt that consensual sexting between two people was less harmful.

The survey also revealed a strong gender gap with regards to third-person perception of sexting: both males and females believed other females were more harmed by sexting. This perception of girls, not boys, as the victims of sexting is perhaps a common theme in sexual culture and predates telecommunications by several centuries if not longer I’d say. The survey did reveal that this gender gap meant many respondents were willing to support restrictions on sexting, but those who participated in this activity were less keen on the application of restrictions.

“Sexting raises a new issue with far-reaching social consequences for teenagers because it spans the boundaries of interpersonal communication and mass mediated communication,” the team explains. “In addition, sexting poses a challenge in defining the boundary between what is socially appropriate and what is inappropriate in various communication contexts.” They point out that fun or flirtatious messages between two teenagers in a romantic relationship might be shared outside that relationship to a large audience on wireless networks or the internet, causing psychological, social, cultural, and legal problems. Indeed, there have been numerous legal cases involving high-school students who have sexted in recent years.

“Sexting among teens is characteristic of an expected negative message from the perspective of parents, educators, and law enforcers,” the team concludes. “When sexting is no longer confined to two people in a romantic relationship, to be vulnerable to sexting implies that sext messages may end up in the hands of predators and have a long-term harm on a teen sexter’s future.”

“Examining sexting’s effect among adolescent mobile phone users” in Int. J. Mobile Communications, 2013, 11, 176-193

Where’s the harm in sexting? is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Special issue: "Cross-Cultural Transformations and Conflict in the Current Global Arena"

European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management 2(3/4) 2012
  • Narratives, paradigms and change - the issue of relevance
  • Perception of luxury: idiosyncratic Russian consumer culture and identity
  • Differences in attitudes towards corporate social responsibility between Lithuanian and Swedish consumers
  • Culture-performance relationships in mergers and acquisition: the role of trust
  • The role of cultural learning and collective teaching initiatives in M&A knowledge transfer
  • On the counterintuitive consequences of high-performance work practices in cross-border post-merger human integration
  • When and how previous experience affects the stock market reaction to business combinations

13 March 2013

Call for papers: “Informal Economy Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing.

Long considered as the hopeless continent, Africa is now on the rise. In the recent decades, most sub-Saharan African countries have seen economic growth rates surpassing those of Western Europe, the United States and even some Asian countries. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is now the second fastest growing region of the world after Asia. Two publications (McKinsey Global Institute, 2010 and The Economist, 2011) highlighted the positive prospects of African economies. The Academy of Management also illustrated its interest for Africa by organising its first international conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2013. This renewed interest in Africa calls for action from management scholars.

One potential area for management scholars to generate knowledge on business creation is the informal economy of sub-Saharan Africa. The informal economy represents more than 70% of economic activity in most sub-Saharan African countries. As the theme of the Academy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting in Boston illustrated, the informal economy is an important source for knowledge creation for management scholars. In a Professional Development Workshop (PDW) on Entrepreneurship and the Informal Economy organised at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Boston, we explored the extent to which management scholars could generate knowledge pertaining to the informal economy in SSA. Though worthwhile for the attendees, we nonetheless wish to explore the extent to which management scholarship could integrate knowledge from African cultures’ economic and social factors to develop new theories and studies that could advance knowledge and improve management practice.

To facilitate the contributions of potential authors, we have organised this call for papers around four major themes described below, along with the questions that need to be addressed. We are looking for both theory development and empirical papers for this special issue.

Suggested References
Bruton, G. D., Ireland, D., R., & Ketchen, Jr., D. J. (2012). Toward a research agenda on the informal economy. Academy of Management Perspectives, 26, 1-11.
Chironga, M., Leke, A., Lund, S., & Van Wamelen, A. (2011). Cracking the next growth market: Africa. Harvard Business Review, May, 117-122.
Godfrey, C. P. (2011). Toward a theory of the informal economy. The Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 231-277.
Khavul, S., Bruton, G. D., & Wood, E. (2009). Informal family business in Africa.
Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 33(6), 1219-1238.
LaPorta, R., & Schleifer, A. (2008). The unofficial economy and economic development. Working Paper Series (pp. 1–75). Washington, DC: National Bureau of Economic Research.
McGahan, A. M. (2012). Challenges of the informal economy for the field of management.
Academy of Management Perspectives, 26, 12-21.
McKinsey Global Institute (2010). Lions on the move: The progress and potential of African economies. Washington, DC.
McKinsey Global Institute (2012). Africa at work: Job creation and inclusive growth. Washington, DC.
The Economist (2011). Africa rising. December 3, 2011.
Webb, W. J., Tihanyi, L., Ireland, R. D., & Sirmon, D. G. (2009). You say illegal, I say legitimate: Entrepreneurship in the Informal economy. Academy of Management Review, 34(3), 492-510.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Nature of the informal economy in sub-Saharan Africa:How can we define entrepreneurship in the informal economy in sub-Saharan Africa? How does this informal economy work and where is it after all? Is the informal economy in rural or urban areas? What are the perceptions of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa? What are the dimensions of the informal economy? To what extent can the construct of portfolio informal entrepreneurship, in which individuals engaged in several informal activities to complement their regular monthly or annual income, be considered as a particular form of informal entrepreneurship? How does the informal economy function in different regions of sub-Saharan Africa? What are the effects of past colonisation history on the informal economy? What is the contribution of the informal economy to the larger economy? How do people build assets in the informal economy?
  • Interface between informal economy and formal economy in sub-Saharan Africa:At what point does an informal economy 'firm' decide to formalise? How is it possible to promote the formalisation of informal firms? How can we explore the links between government institutions and the informal economy? Should governments try to formalise the informal economy? Should governments encourage the informal economy to the extent that it benefits society? How can local institutions of education engage the informal sector? What are the institutional underpinnings of the informal economy? What is the degree of permeability between the informal economy and the formal economy?
  • Informal economy and the individual informal entrepreneur in sub-Saharan Africa:What is the nature of the informal authority of women in the informal economy in sub-Saharan Africa? For example, we know that women play an important role in the informal economy, e.g. they are involved in local cooperatives in the agricultural sector. What is the role of culture in the informal economy? What soft as well as technical skills are needed in the informal economy? What is the role of innovation in the informal economy and what innovative skills are necessary for success in the informal economy? Can we develop normative models for the informal economy? Do informal economy entrepreneurs understand the concepts of productive capacity and competitive advantage? How does the Chinese presence influence the informal economy in sub-Saharan Africa? What type of training is needed for entrepreneurs in the informal economy? How does the informal economy deal with formal institutions? What is the role of regional or tribal chiefs in the informal economy? How are local lending practices used in the informal economy? Does participation in the informal economy shape the personal identity of individual informal entrepreneurs?
  • The informal economy's contribution to knowledge in entrepreneurship:We are seeking papers that could demonstrate how knowledge of the informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa contributes to theory development and practice in the field of entrepreneurship. We are particularly interested in papers that address the following questions: what business models are developed and implemented in the informal economy? What can we learn from the informal economy? What about the sub-Saharan African context has theoretical implications for understanding informal entrepreneurship? How can the African context influence our understanding of extant theories of entrepreneurship and management? For example, how does the informal economy inform organisation theories such as transaction cost theory, institutional theory and institutional entrepreneurship theory, to name but a few?
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 15 February, 2014

Call for papers: "Knowledge Acquisition, Reuse and Evaluation"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Knowledge and Learning.

The advent of the age of digital information has raised the problem of knowledge acquisition, reuse and evaluation. This is today a dynamic research area constantly subject to adaption to new application requirements. Reuse and sharing of knowledge bases are major issues and no satisfactory solutions have as yet been agreed upon as knowledge acquisition still remains the bottleneck for building a knowledge-based system.

Our ability to analyse, evaluate and assist users in reusing knowledge presents a great challenge for the coming years. A new generation of computational techniques and tools is required to support the acquisition, reuse and evaluation of useful knowledge from the rapidly growing volume of information.

This call is aimed at collecting both theoretical and experimental results concerned with developing methods and systems that assist the knowledge management process and assessing the suitability of such methods.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to: 
  • Tools and techniques for knowledge acquisition, knowledge updating and knowledge validation
  • Semantic web inference methodologies
  • Semantic knowledge portals
  • Web-based approaches for knowledge management
  • Agent-based approaches for knowledge management
  • Software agents for semantic web
  • Semantic web-based knowledge management
  • Tools, languages and techniques for semantic annotation
  • Semantic searching
  • Semantic brokering
  • CSCW and cooperative approaches for knowledge management 2
  • Evaluation of knowledge acquisition techniques
  • Information and knowledge structures
  • Languages and frameworks for knowledge and knowledge modelling
  • Ontology creation, evolution, reconciliation and mediation
  • Ontology-based approaches for knowledge management
  • Knowledge delivery methods
  • Knowledge life cycle
  • Knowledge and information extraction and discovery techniques
  • Knowledge extraction from images/pictures
  • Intelligent knowledge-based systems
  • Decision support and expert systems
Important Dates
Abstract submission (by email): 20 May, 2013
Full papers submission (online): 30 May, 2013
Notification to authors: 30 July, 2013
Final versions due: 15 September, 2013

Special issue: "Sustainability and Business Research"

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research 7(2) 2013
  • Industrial sustainability: challenges, perspectives, actions
  • Determinants of green supply chain implementation in the food and beverage sector
  • Corporate social responsibility in Latin America's petroleum industry: a national oil company's strategy for sustainable development
  • Sustainability in the power plant choice
  • Technology roadmap development process (TRDP) in the medical electronic device industry
  • Creating enjoyable experiences: parents' perspectives on venue and programming successes and failures

12 March 2013

Searching the cloud for news

Computer scientists in India have developed a new kind of news aggregator that pulls in multiple sources of news, ranks them according to your search criteria (keywords) and generates a contextual summary for each of the items likely to be most important to you. The team claims their system addresses the three main problems facing news aggregation services – scalability, reliability and fault tolerance – by working in the cloud and with the necessary processes operating in parallel on the numerous news inputs.

Arockia Anand Raj and Mala of the Anna University in Chennai, explain how many users are now overwhelmed by news sources despite the best efforts of current aggregators to file and filter stories based on user interests and even in the wake of Reddit, Twitter and other crowd and citizen journalism efforts. Technically, their new system CloudPress 2.0 exploits the MapReduce paradigm MapReduce is a programming model that allows large data sets to be processed using distributed computing on clusters of computers, something for which Google is renowned. It also uses Lucene-based indexing. Apache Lucene is a free/open source information retrieval software library, which can be used for any full-text indexing applications and has been most widely used by Internet search engines and local, single-site searching applications.


The overall system architecture combines two processes : news dataset generation and news retrieval and visualization, the team explains. “News dataset generation involves fetching, processing, indexing, topic modelling and summarising news articles,” they explains. “News retrieval and visualisation involves query processing, on-the-fly summarising, ranking and retrieving of news from the distributed database and finally, visualising it as 3D visual.”

The team has pitted their system against the Ubicrawler and Mercator news aggregator systems and found that CloudPress 2.0 takes approximately half the time as those two to process news inputs where each URL might contain 100 or more links so there are several hundred URLs to be processed. Indeed, with 500 URLs, CloudPress processes them all in about 30 seconds, whereas Mercator and Ubicrawler take almost a minute to do the same processing. Pre-processing and Lucene indexing more than half the time taken to search an unindexed test database and cut the search times by 30 or 40% compared with a conventionally indexed database.

The next step will be to extend CloudPress 2.0 to the retrieval of news in the form of videos and audio and the development of ways to abstract a summary from those sources too.

“Cloudpress 2.0: a new-age news retrieval system on the cloud” in Int. J. Information and Communication Technology, 2013, 5, 150-166

Searching the cloud for news is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Hiding secret messages is a joke

Encrypting a message with a strong code is the only safe way to keep your communications secret, but it will be obvious to anyone seeing such a message that the sender is hiding something, regardless of whether they are encrypting their emails for legitimate or illicit purposes. Steganography on the other hand can hide a secret message in plain sight. Often a message is secreted within the binary strings of 0s and 1s in a compressed image or music file format. Prying eyes see only the original image or hear the song, whereas the recipient, knowing that a message is within uses software to extract it. Nevertheless, a putative interception might still take place; this kind of disguise also has the problem of requiring large file sizes.

An alternative to such steganography would be to hide a message in plain sight within a plain text document. Unfortunately, despite the much smaller file sizes that would be possible, secreting a message within normal text usually disrupts the grammar and syntax or the spelling and so immediately looks suspicious. Now, an alternative that is far less obvious and is tolerant of poor grammar has been developed by computer scientist Abdelrahman Desoky of the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, USA and is described in the latest issue of the International Journal of Security and Networks.

Desoky suggests that instead of using a humdrum text document and modifying it in a codified way to embed a secret message, correspondents could use a joke to hide their true meaning. As such, he has developed an Automatic Joke Generation Based Steganography Methodology (Jokestega) that takes advantage of recent software that can automatically write pun-type jokes using large dictionary databases. Among the automatic joke generators available are: The MIT Project, Chuck Norris Joke Generator, Jokes2000, The Joke Generator dot Com and the Online Joke Generator System (pickuplinegen).

A simple example might be to hide the code word “shaking” in the following auto-joke. The original question and answer joke is “Where do milk shakes come from?” and the correct answer would be “From nervous cows”. So far, so funny. But, the system can substitute the word “shaking” for “nervous” and still retain the humor so that the answer becomes “From shaking cows”. It loses some of its wit, but still makes sense and we are not all Bob Hopes, after all.

Other examples where substitutions are possible might include the equally funny: What do you get when you cross a car with a sandwich? A traffic jam, which might use a well-known sandwich bar brand, “Subway” as an alternative answer. Similarly, Where is Dracula’s American office? The answer being the Vampire State Building. The question could be substituted as Where is Dracula’s American home? With the same answer. There are endless puns any one of which might be used in a similar setting. A collection of such jokes sent in a message with the non-obvious answer substituted for the wittier version could conceal a message using Jokestega. Desoky suggests that 8 bits of data might be hidden in a simple joke of the type discussed.

Research Blogging IconDesoky A. (2012). Jokestega: automatic joke generation-based steganography methodology, International Journal of Security and Networks, 7 (3) 148. DOI:

Hiding secret messages is a joke is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Int. J. of Learning and Intellectual Capital to publish expanded papers from ICICKM 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2013) (24-25 October 2013, Washington, DC, USA) will be published by the International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital.

Special issue: "User-Centred Health Informatics"

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management 13(5/6) 2012
  • A decision support system for technological planning and management of field hospitals
  • Monitoring and measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviour
  • Practice-centred work analysis: towards ontology-based decision support in cross-boundary e-health
  • How can user-centred design affect the acceptance and adoption of service oriented healthcare information systems?
  • Information technologies: opportunities and challenges in personal healthcare systems
  • The demise of Google Health and the future of personal health records
  • Strategic challenges facing user- and patient-centred e-health in Vietnam

11 March 2013

First issue: International Journal of Trust Management in Computing and Communications (free sample issue available)

The volatile growth of the internet and globalization that influences every facet of life are fuelled by the rapid acceleration of computing/communication technologies. Although security is a major concern, we must also protect ourselves from false/misleading information provided by some information/service providers. Traditional security mechanisms cannot protect against this type of threat. Trust management mechanisms on the other hand can provide protection. The International Journal of Trust Management in Computing and Communications provides a forum for discussion on theoretical and practical aspects of the latest developments in this area.

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

9 March 2013

Call for papers: "Financial Risk Management in China"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets.

After more than three decades of economic development and reform, China’s GDP is ranked second only to the United States’ – a huge jump from its 10th place in 1978. During the same period, China’s financial sector has experienced explosions of growth. And the growth in the financial sector seems to be unaffected by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the worldwide financial crisis of 2008.
This extraordinary phenomenon raises the question of how financial risk management in China has been conducted. The aim of this special issue is to answer this and other related questions.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to: 
  • Evolution of Chinese risk management system (regulations, practices and strategies)
  • Risk management in the banking sector (national and regional/local banks)
  • Credit creation and regulations
  • Development of financial instruments and risk management
  • Balance/inbalance in credit allocation between state-owned sector and private sector
  • Chinese risk management thought and its impact/relevance to today's risk management practices
  • Financial risk management in municipal and rural China
  • Financial risk management and the real estate market of China
  • Financial risk management practices in China versus in western countries
  • Financial risk management professional development
Important Dates
Paper submission: 15 December, 2013
Reviewers' comments: 15 April, 2014
Revised paper submission: 15 June, 2014

7 March 2013

Oranges and lemons

A computer recognition system that is 99% accurate can identify different fruits and vegetables, even the particular strain of apples or plums, for instance. Research to be published in the International Journal of Applied Pattern Recognition in March explains how challenging this issue has been until now and shows how it could be used in agricultural science and perhaps to improve efficiency in the growing and food industries as well as at the supermarket.

Shiv Ram Dubey and Anand Singh Jalal of GLA University in Mathura, India, have developed an automated image processing system that not only quickly distinguishes between oranges and lemons but can spot different strains of pear, melon, apple and plum. Such a system, given its high accuracy, could be used for sorting and packing different fruits and vegetables. However, it could also be used to speed up supermarket customer checkout where similar but different strains are on sale at different prices, without the need to barcode or otherwise label individual products.

The program developed by the team is trained with a set of images of known fruit and vegetables so that the image analysis software can assign common features to a database. The process involves photographing an image of the different fruits, “removing” the background and then analyzing the image left. They have thus trained their program with 15 different fruits and vegetables including various types of apple, onions, potatoes, oranges, limes, kiwi fruit, and different melons. Tests showed that 99 times out of 100 the software could correctly identify the product in question regardless of whether there were one or more items in the photograph and regardless of differences in lighting.

The team hopes to next extend the system to detect the signs of disease, bruising or other damage, which would allow products of unsalable quality to be removed before they reach the checkout.

Species and variety detection of fruits and vegetables from images” in Int. J. Applied Pattern Recognition, 2013, 1, 108-126

Oranges and lemons is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Special issue: "Trends in Computational Intelligence"

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications 11(3/4) 2012
  • Neuro-fuzzy integrated system with its different domain applications
  • Supervised and semi-supervised learning in text classification using enhanced KNN algorithm: a comparative study of supervised and semi-supervised classification in text categorisation
  • An intelligent routing approach using genetic algorithms for quality graded network
  • Particle swarm optimisation with differential mutation
  • gNIDS: rule-based network intrusion detection system using genetic algorithms
  • Particle swarm optimisation for power quality improvement of a 12-pulse rectifier-chopper fed LCI-synchronous motor drive
  • Development of an eye-tracking control system using AForge.NET framework

Special issue: "Innovation for Regeneration"

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development 5(1) 2013
  • A framework for innovation in a global NGO: building financial, institutional and programmatic sustainability
  • Innovation in sustainable-new and emerging-technological fields: a patent-based perspective for Greece
  • The transformation of pulp and paper industries: the role of local networks and institutions
  • Different stages of the positioning of participative innovation (PI) over time. The case of the PI routine at the French National Railway Company (SNCF)
  • Analysis of regional development and externally funded research projects in higher education: a continuum of multiple case study analysis
  • Formalisation of front end innovation in supply network collaboration
  • Strategy for social enterprises or never say never

6 March 2013

Inderscience is media partner for Health 2.0: Digital Technology in Clinical Care

Inderscience is a media partner for Health 2.0: Digital Technology in Clinical Care (22 March 2013, The New York Academy of Sciences, USA).

The journals involved are:

Oranges and lemons – spot the difference

A computer recognition system that is 99% accurate can identify different fruits and vegetables, even the particular strain of apples or plums, for instance. Research to be published in the International Journal of Applied Pattern Recognition in March explains how challenging this issue has been until now and shows how it could be used in agricultural science and perhaps to improve efficiency in the growing and food industries as well as at the supermarket.


Ripe fruit image via Shutterstock

Shiv Ram Dubey and Anand Singh Jalal of GLA University in Mathura, India, have developed an automated image processing system that not only quickly distinguishes between oranges and lemons but can spot different strains of pear, melon, apple and plum. Such a system, given its high accuracy, could be used for sorting and packing different fruits and vegetables. However, it could also be used to speed up supermarket customer checkout where similar but different strains are on sale at different prices, without the need to barcode or otherwise label individual products.

The program developed by the team is trained with a set of images of known fruit and vegetables so that the image analysis software can assign common features to a database. The process involves photographing an image of the different fruits, “removing” the background and then analyzing the image left. They have thus trained their program with 15 different fruits and vegetables including various types of apple, onions, potatoes, oranges, limes, kiwi fruit, and different melons. Tests showed that 99 times out of 100 the software could correctly identify the product in question regardless of whether there were one or more items in the photograph and regardless of differences in lighting.

The team hopes to next extend the system to detect the signs of disease, bruising or other damage, which would allow products of unsalable quality to be removed before they reach the checkout.

Species and variety detection of fruits and vegetables from images” in Int. J. Applied Pattern Recognition, 2013, 1, 108-126

Oranges and lemons – spot the difference is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Science-Spot-News/~3/6XXYHqIu7VM/oranges-and-lemons-spot-the-difference.html