31 May 2013

Basin instinct

Lake Eyre, some 100 kilometres North of Adelaide, Australia, could become a thriving centre of bio-saline agriculture and trade and industry if an ambitious macro-engineering project were to be implemented.

The Australian outback is well known for being arid or semi-arid. The climate across the continent is dominated by a subtropical high-pressure belt that keeps about three-quarters of its more than 3 million square kilometres mostly dry. Lake Eyre receives just 125 millimetres of rainfall annually and average annual pan-evaporation is almost 4000 mm. The lake and surrounding area, the Lake Eyre Basin, is an area of more than 1 million square kilometres but a mere 60,000 people live there.

Now, Viorel Badescu of the Candida Oancea Institute, at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, in Romania and colleagues there and in the USA, have suggested a macro-engineering project that couples anti-evaporation measures with an inexpensive water transport system could bring brackish water from the coast and keep it there, allowing biosaline agriculture to thrive and communities to expand in this vast region. Moreover, sunshine is abundant making photovoltaic energy production appropriate for powering the water pumps and for driving development.

The team points out that plans have been mooted periodically for more than 150 years to stimulate growth across this part of Australia, but none has yet met with sufficient enthusiasm to be implemented. The team suggests that the low cost of their approach and the adoption of non-traditional agriculture could be the turning point for the Lake Eyre Basin.

The team describes their plan thus: “Lake Eyre is gradually filled to a higher level by controlling evaporation and by pumping seawater from the nearby ocean using cheap tensioned textile tubes. Most of the necessary energy could be produced by photovoltaics, in a very attractive application without electricity storage requirements. Eventually, Lake Eyre is to be lidded with a floating impermeable plastic cap or with buoyant hollow plastic balls that reduce evaporation.”

“While Australia’s decade-long drought seems to be reversing, freshwater supplies will always be limited in quantity on that vast continent,” says team member Richard Cathcart of Geographos, based in Burbank, California. “So, biosaline agriculture is very likely to find increasing favour with farmers and because it would be necessary. Nature seems to have provided the perfect physiographic situation for our macro-project. More and more plants are being discovered to have the capability of adapting to saline-brackish water irrigation techniques,” he adds.

Research Blogging IconBadescu V., Cathcart, R.B., Bolonkin A.A., Paulescu M., Gravila P., (2013). Macro-engineering Australia’s Lake Eyre with imported seawater , Int. J. Environment and Sustainable Development, 12 (3) 264-284. DOI:

Basin instinct is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/basin-instinct.html

Call for papers: "Applying Six Sigma to Cross-Disciplines for Value – Quality Management, Business Management and Higher Education Management"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage.

The aim of this special issue is to highlight the trend of applying Six Sigma-related concepts to multi-disciplines and cross-disciplines under the dynamic of today’s business sectors. The overall objective of the issue is to pull talents into exploring the research areas of how to identify problems, create solutions, and apply solutions into different scenario with the use of Six Sigma, especially in the fields of quality management, business management and higher education management.

The application of Six Sigma to the contemporary issues of the business and higher education sectors can provide a direction for researchers and practitioners. This issue will include invited contributions from leading scholars in the field of quality management, business management and higher education, as well as selected conceptual or research papers procured through this call. We are interested in high-quality submissions that
  1. contribute to the theoretical and conceptual understanding of Six Sigma;
  2. advance knowledge through a variety of contexts;
  3. bring impact to empirical or methodological means that can be used to apply Six Sigma to different scenarios to solve problems in the contemporary world. 
We welcome empirical papers − both qualitative and quantitative − and theoretical papers that examine contemporary issues in Six Sigma and quality management, and which contribute to new knowledge in quality management, business management and higher education management research.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Different aspects of applying six sigma into different issues in management
  • Management experience in relation to other key quality concepts, such as value creation, quality control (QC), quality assurance (QA), quality enhancement (QE), defect identification and control, preventive measures and sustainability
  • Implications of deploying Six Sigma in management experience in different types of contexts, such as supplier evaluation and control in the business sector, curriculum design and assessment in the higher education, and different types of cultural and industrial settings
  • Quality issues linked to value creation, innovation and sustainability
  • Quality and six sigma experiences in relation to practices
  • Communicating experiences in applying six sigma with success and/or failure
  • Methods and techniques for investigating the use of six sigma in academia and industry 

Important Dates
Submission date: 31 October , 2014
Notification date: 30 November, 2014
Final Version date: 31 March, 2015

Special issue on 2nd International DNTAC Symposium on Nano Technology (DNTAC: Defence Nano Technology Application Center)

International Journal of Nanotechnology 10(8/9) 2013

Extended versions of papers presented at the 2nd International DNTAC Symposium on Nano Technology.
  • Electrical and thermal transport properties of magnetically aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes spray coated on copper substrates
  • Strengthening of borosilicate glass by controlled crystallisation for lightweight bulletproof materials
  • Fabrication and antibacterial properties of silver-coated glass substrate against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Campylobacter jejuni
  • Easily realisable physically flat lens based on quasi-conformal transformation optics
  • Conducting core-sheath polyurethane-PEDOT nanofibres for conducting polymer actuator
  • Hierarchical Cu2ZnSnS4 nanostructures synthesised by a simple solvothermal reaction
  • Effect of seed particle size and ammonia concentration on the growth of ZnO nanowire arrays and their photoconversion efficiency
  • Direct patterning of metal oxides by hard templates and atomic layer deposition
  • Epitaxially grown field-activated electroactive polymers for high performance organic electronics
  • Photoluminescence spectroscopy study of excited states in InxGa1−xAs-capped InAs quantum dots
  • Copper oxide shape effect in CeO2/Cu2O catalysts for PROX reaction
  • Detection of toxic gases using a composite of single-walled carbon nanotubes with polyaniline
  • Human aortic endothelial cells compare favourably with macrophages for the study of anthrax toxins
  • Silver-titania/polyurethane composite nanofibre mat for chemical and biological warfare protection
  • Development of ZrC in the tungsten matrix composite containing Zr2Cu and MWCNTs during liquid-reactive sintering
  • The effect of the surface roughness of carbon fibres on CNT growth by floating-catalyst chemical vapour deposition
  • Effect of surface modification of SiO2 nanoparticles on the mechanical properties of ambient pressure dried silica aerogels
  • A study of the annealing atmosphere effects on the electrical properties of graphene-incorporated direct-patternable ZnO thin films
  • Vertical growth of GaN nanowires using Cu based multi-catalyst

Special issue: "Technology Design For ICT4D Initiatives: Challenges and Opportunities"

International Journal of Services Technology and Management 19(1/2/3) 2013
  • Cultural challenges and essential factors in the implementation of IS in a non-profit organisation in a developing country - an action research study
  • Humanitarian inter-organisational collaboration network: investigating the impact of network structure and information and communication technology on organisation performance
  • An impact assessment of information and communication technology for disabled people through technology acceptance model in Bangladesh
  • Improving technology acceptance modelling for developing communities using a systems engineering approach
  • Microfinance in the South - from money processing to community building
  • Web 2.0 applications' use and perception for research collaboration in Egyptian public universities
  • Exploring the dimensions of project sustainability: a case study of an ICT4D project
  • Augmenting indigenous knowledge management with information and communication technology
  • Usefulness of digital and traditional libraries in higher education

Playing climate change games

Gábor Kutasi of the Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, has applied game theory to the problem of climate change to help him analyse the relationships between international players on the world stage, occurrence and effects, attitude towards carbon emissions, the power struggles taking place and the negotiations that are under way between nations, energy companies and the public.

As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, so will the average temperature of the planet’s surface through the effects of global warming. There may be localised effects that mitigate against this temperature rise, but these small-scale effects do not detract from the problems we face as environments at the extremes, the Poles and sub-tropical zones feel the effects and climate change becomes a fact of life in even the temperate parts of the globe.

There are uncertainties in the precise impact on specific regions, ecosystems and human health and lifestyles. However, Kutasi asserts that climate change will be a long-term challenge for humanity and the world around us and that preventive action must be taken soon before its effects become irreversible. He points out that worst-case scenarios have been plotted and action plans to ameliorate or halt their effects have even been developed. Unfortunately, such positive actions are often stymied by political reluctance, socioeconomic inactivity and the inhibitory propaganda of the multinational industrial complex. It is almost a given that we can somehow ignore the long term for the sake of avoiding a short-term detrimental impact on our lifestyles, election results and the bottom line on company profits.

The inherent uncertainties of timescale and net impact have led many so-called stakeholders to hold back their planned actions and for others to see such hesitancy as a reason to put their own plans on hold too. Thus the concept of game theory strongly underpins the interactions, responses and parrying of many parties with a role to play in what should be a concerted, worldwide effort to address the problems of carbon emissions and climate change.

Kutasi’s review of the state-of-the-art in game theory in the context of climate change, suggests that, despite the limitations and complexities of applying it to such a complex issue, there are benefits to that can be derived. “Through game theory, it is possible to illustrate the dilemmas and strategic options of a group of actors, thus making the very complex relationship of industrial activity, carbon emission, climate change, ecological and economic damages transparent for decision-makers at the levels of economic diplomacy, public policy, or private business,” he suggests. By changing the rules of the game and playing more openly and more fairly it might even be possible that we can devise workable strategies and recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change, he concludes.

“Climate change in game theory context” in Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2013, 13, 42-63

Playing climate change games is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/playing-climate-change-games.html

30 May 2013

Call for papers: "Multiple Criteria Decision Making in Finance and Investment"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making.

This special issue will present recent theoretical and methodological developments in multiple criteria decision making in finance and investment. It is intended for academics and professionals who are involved in finance, investment and portfolio selection formulated through a mathematical programming framework and for which a stack of conflicting and incommensurable objectives (criteria, attributes) is simultaneously optimised.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 2nd International Conference on Multidimensional Finance, Insurance and Investment (Bahrain, 25-27 November, 2013), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Portfolio selection
  • Decision aid in finance
  • Fuzziness and uncertainty in finance
  • Financial planning and financial engineering
  • Option pricing
  • Asset and liability management
  • Financial economics
  • Interest rate models
  • Bank management
  • Capital budgeting
  • Corporate governance
  • Investment problems
  • All other topics related to financial decision sciences
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 31 March, 2014
Notification of acceptance: 15 October, 2014

Inderscience journals to publish expanded papers from 3rd Global TechMining Conference

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 3rd Global TechMining Conference (25 September 2013, Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, USA) will be published by the following journals:

New Editor for Atoms for Peace

Dr. Carlo De Masi has been appointed as the new Editor in Chief of Atoms for Peace. He replaces the journal's founder, Professor Andr Masseu, who takes the title of Honorary Editor. Dr. De Masi is Secretary General of FLAEI-CISL, the Energy Trade Union of Italy.

29 May 2013

Special issue: "Advances in Metadata and Semantics for Learning Infrastructures: Part 1"

International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies 8(1) 2013

  • Learning resources in federated environments: a broken link checker based on URL similarity
  • Relevant learning objects extraction based on semantic annotation
  • A contextual semantic representation of learning assets in online communities of practice
  • Semantic query answering in digital repositories: Semantic Search v2 for DSpace
  • Towards an automated system for intelligent screening of candidates for recruitment using ontology mapping (EXPERT)
  • Merging ontology by semantic enrichment and combining similarity measures
  • Ontology alignment using artificial neural network for large-scale ontologies

Call for papers: "Laser-assisted Synthesis of Nanomaterials"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials.

Laser-assisted methods have been applied in producing nanoparticles, nanostructured thin films and three dimensional nanostructures and devices. Laser-assisted processes are able to efficiently fabricate desired nanomaterials in terms of size, shape and unique structures by varying laser wavelength, pulse duration, laser fluence and pulse repetition rate in properly selected media. It has been demonstrated that laser-assisted methods can be applied to an almost unlimited variety of materials such as metals, semiconductors, alloys, polymers and ceramics.

The special issue will address the technical results obtained within the last five years to summarise the most recent developments in the field.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Laser ablation techniques
  • Laser-assisted chemical vapour deposition
  • Nanomaterial synthesis techniques for metal/semiconductor/polymer/alloys/plasmonic/ceramic nanoparticles and nanowires
  • Pulsed laser synthesis
  • Ultrafast laser-based nanomaterial synthesis
  • Laser nanofabrication
  • Laser plasma-assisted treatment for nanostructuring
  • Laser-based nanosynthesis in gaseous and aqueous environments 
Important Dates
Manuscript due: 15 October, 2013 (extended)

Flirting with the satnav

In the 2009 Christmas special of well-known British situation comedy, The Royle Family, saw protagonists – Denise and Dave – arguing about whether Dave had been flirting with the satnav “lady” giving him directions to Prestatyn. It’s a humorous take on our current obsession with being led along the highways and byways and our intolerance of map books, cartophobia, and pours scorn on how many of us adopt such novel technologies without even a basic understanding of their inner workings.

There is nevertheless a serious side to understanding how we interact with technology that can improve design of hardware, software and interfaces. Improved design might lead to greater understanding and accessibility. While it might not preclude in-car arguments with back-seat drivers, it might ultimately reduce the number of drivers losing their way.

Writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration, UK researchers have investigated how drivers are affected emotionally by the sounds in their car other than the noise of the engine and the road. They point out that the almost ubiquitous satellite navigation system (satnav) provides realistic vocal utterances during driving. Most devices allow one to change the voice from male to female and vice versa, to have accented voices and even to choose from celebrity voices who have recorded the range of driving instructions, presumably for a well-negotiated vocal fee.

Engineers David Large and Gary Burnett of the Human Factors Research Group at the University of Nottingham, UK, recruited fifty volunteers to test their preferences and responses to different satnav voices. The tests were carried out in the safety of the scientific laboratory rather than while the volunteers were driving. They tested 12 satnav voices from the well-known Garmin and TomTom systems, vocalising 36 messages. They asked the volunteers to complete a psychometric test known as a seven-point Likert-style scale to categorise the different vocalisations – male, female, character and celebrity – according to how their perceived clarity of speech, their assertiveness, trustworthiness, annoyance level, how distracting they were and whether or not the volunteers would choose a particular voice for everyday use in their own satnav while driving.

The researchers report that there was a strong positive correlation among the volunteers between the ratings for trustworthiness, assertiveness and clarity of the satnav voices and whether the volunteers would use that voice. Perhaps obviously there was a strong negative correlation between whether they would choose a particular voice if they considered it to be annoying or distracting in any way. Intriguingly, the team demonstrated that for their small group of volunteers, they certainly endowed the satnav voices with personality traits even though the device is not a real person and many of the voices were computer generated.

The voices included “Tim” and “Jane” the English UK default male and female voices. Garmin’s default voice and popular celebrity voice downloads – John Cleese, Joanna Lumley, Kim Cattrall and Snoop Dogg. Two character voices “Knight Rider’s KITT”, a heavily synthesised character voice and that of Star Wars character Yoda with its peculiarity of sentence structure in which object precedes subject, which in turn precedes verb. Most instructions would be of the form: “You must take the first exit” whereas for the latter character voice this would be “The first exit you must take”. The team describes the Yoda voice as “unique and rich with character” and “having the potential to distract, entertain and annoy”, hence its inclusion among more conventional satnav voices.

“The study has demonstrated that not only do people automatically assign human-personality type characteristics to voices, but that these responses can be initiated with minimal cues and even when the voice is of computer origin and delivering routine navigational instructions,” the researchers say. “Furthermore, people respond differently to different voices and make attributions based on these responses. This suggests that the social rules governing human-human interaction may also apply to human-computer interactions,” they add. Such findings could have implications for the safety of any driver using a satnav and in particular professional drivers. But there are wider implications too for the use of voices, human or synthesised, in technology and robotics and how people respond to and interact with those technologies.

“Drivers’ preferences and emotional responses to satellite navigation voices” in Int. J. Vehicle Noise and Vibration, 2013, 9, 28-46

Flirting with the satnav is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/flirting-with-the-satnav.html

28 May 2013

Inderscience journals to publish expanded papers from FICT 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 2013 International Conference on Frontiers of Information & Communication Technology (11 August 2013, Admiral Plaza Hotel, Dubai) will be published by the following journals:

Call for papers: "Six Sigma Innovation and Design for Sustainability"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage.

Sustainability models and practices have been developing along a timeline similar to that of business excellence strategy and methods familiar to quality professionals that are characterised by the models and criteria of America’s Baldrige National Quality Award and the European Quality Award.

Business excellence criteria have in recent years moved from little to no emphasis on clear acknowledgement of the importance of environmental and social sustainability and the responsibility organisations bear with respect to these. Agreements and standards such as the United Nations Kyoto Protocol, ISO 26000, and the United Nations Global Compact further indicate widespread recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability and social sustainability.

The problems are large and regarded as being among the so-called “Grand Challenges of Our Time”. Their solutions are vital, and Six Sigma innovation and design has much to offer in the way of systemised, repeatable, intelligent and better solution derivation and deployment.

This special issue of IJSSCA aims to elevate awareness of sustainability challenges in the quality and Six Sigma communities, and to enhance engagement with sustainability professionals in order to speed delivery of Six Sigma solutions to these Grand Challenges.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Six sigma contributions to enterprise level sustainability strategy
  • Design for six sigma: environmental sustainability strategy and applications
  • Design for six sigma: societal sustainability strategy and applications
  • Six sigma as a triple top line strategy
  • Six sigma for triple bottom line performance
  • Cradle-to-cradle through six sigma innovation and design
  • Making sustainability profitable through six sigma innovation and design
  • Nature-informed six sigma: bio-mimetic design for six sigma
  • Six sigma optimisation and supply chain sustainability
  • Enhanced enterprise resilience and robustness via six sigma
  • Six sigma as a driver of the next best sustainability practices
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 15 December, 2013
Notification to authors: 15 February, 2014
Final versions due: 30 April, 2014

27 May 2013

Call for papers: "Health 4.0: A Holistic Development in Healthcare Systems"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices.

Twenty-first century medical devices (MDs) will be handheld devices working in a pervasive environment of wireless communications and cloud computing. Nanotechnology and alternative mechanisms will give rise to the miniaturisation of hardware and reduce the consumption of power.

Not only the digital technology in medical applications, but also the initiatives of doctors and patient awareness will bring better quality health services approved by the FDA. This new paradigm in healthcare services is popularly known as “Health 4.0”, which is an integration of mainly four innovations:
  1. Applications that fulfil three criteria of availability: a) anytime connection; b) anyplace connection; c) anything connection
  2. Applications that include image enhancement and RFID readings to be used for: a) people - by face recognition and access to relevant information; b) objects - by use and by owner recognition; c) food - by principle content and by diet requirements; d) medication - by principle and by indication-contraindication
  3. Applications that include quality controlled Web 3.0 items such as: a) HCQ healthcare quality: ISO 13485-ISO 2700 or security; b) 3S: social-semantic-services; c) cloud accessing (SAAS, P Cloud or personal cloud where the iPhone can be included)
  4. Applications using Web 4.0 items such as: a) knowledge-based learning (KBL), including literature-based learning (LBL), evidence-based learning (EBL), trial-based learning (TBL), image-based learning (IBL), etc.; b) query by example (QBE), including query by image (QBI) etc.; c) cloud of link data (CoLD) with artificial intelligence 
This is linked also with management innovation associated with gamification or use of games and BYOD or bring your own device philosophy into an environment of reverse innovation.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • i4i applications (iPhone apps and iCloud)
  • mHealth with smartphones
  • Gamification
  • BYOD
  • Health-cloud
  • Query by example
  • Crowdsourcing
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 15 October, 2013
Notification to authors: 15 November, 2013
Final versions due: 15 December, 2013

Special issue: "Design, Modelling, Optimisation and Control of Electric Propulsion Systems"

International Journal of Powertrains 2(2/3) 2013
  • A novel clutchless multiple-speed transmission for electric axles
  • Evaluation of the potential of active powertrain, braking and steering systems based on in-wheel motors to improve the effectiveness of an evasive manoeuvre assistant
  • Vehicle dynamics control with energy recuperation based on control allocation for independent wheel motors and brake system
  • Dynamic electrothermal battery pack modelling and simulation of pack imbalance
  • A near-optimal rule-based energy management strategy for medium duty hybrid truck
  • Drivability enhancement and transient emission reduction for a mild hybrid diesel-electric truck

23 May 2013

Call for papers: "Employer Duty of Care – The Role of HRM in Managing Talent in Dangerous Locations"

For a special issue of the European Journal of International Management.

This thematic issue will focus on duty of care or the obligation of employers to protect the health, safety, security and well-being of employees.

As a result of globalisation, organisations (whether for-profit, non-profit or governmental) have talent deployed all over the world as locals, international assignees or business travellers. This exposes the workforce to greater environmental risks that need to be mitigated and managed.

So far, contributions to the field of ‘employer duty of care’ have come mainly from outside of HR. With this issue, our intention is to integrate the various interdisciplinary contributions on this topic with the broader fields of talent management and global mobility.

Papers in this issue will cover the whole spectrum of duty of care issues as outlined below. We welcome conceptual, empirical (quantitative and qualitative) and case study research.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Employer duty of care from cultural and legal perspectives
  • Managing employee risk and uncertainty globally (employee safety, security, political and medical risks)
  • Deploying staff to emerging economies, war zones, disaster areas, and bottom 60 countries
  • Duty of care in international NGOs and government organisations
  • Duty of care in contract work and international joint ventures
  • Evacuation of international assignees and dependents
  • Challenges of managing duty of care for international business travellers
  • Employee duty of loyalty and engagement with organisational duty of care initiatives
  • Moral and ethical duty of care obligations
  • Sustainability and duty of care
  • Cost-benefit analysis and ROI of organisational duty of care initiatives
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 1 February, 2015

Int. J. of Computational Economics and Econometrics to publish expanded papers from ICOAE 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Applied Economics (27-29 June 2013, Istanbul, Turkey) will be published by the International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics.

Call for papers: "Paradigm Shifts in Computational Vision and Robotics for Creative Services"

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

The purpose of this special section is to present a collection of original papers that gives an overview of recent progress in research and development focusing on enhancing new creative services and their novel basic principles in image processing, pattern recognition, multimedia and robotics.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 2013 International Conference on Future Information & Communication Engineering, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Intelligent robot services
  • Creative new services and principles in image processing
  • Creative new services and principles in biomedical engineering
  • Computational vision for new media applications
  • Intelligent principles in speech recognition
  • Creative new IT fusion with computational vision
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 30 November, 2013
Notification of acceptance: 31 December, 2013
Revised final manuscript submission: 15 February, 2014

22 May 2013

Special issue: "Technology Convergence, People and Place in Ubiquitous Cities"

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development 4(2) 2013
  • Developing the PlanIT Valley: a view on the governance and societal embedding of u-eco city pilots
  • Public knowledge based online participation system for ubiquitous-city (U-city)
  • Unpacking the full potential of media facades through a fusion with Kinect technology
  • Planning ubiquitous cities for social inclusion
  • Using API services to visualise urban activities in Japan
  • Social capital, attitude, expectations and quality of knowledge sharing in Jordanian knowledge stations

Call for papers: "Accounting and Finance in MENA Countries"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation.

The objective of this special issue is to publish high-quality papers that promote our understanding of accounting and finance issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In particular, this issue will focus on current financial reporting topics in MENA emerging markets.

We are interested in both conceptual and empirical studies that draw on a variety of theoretical perspectives (e.g. institutional theory, agency theory, signalling theory), and in quantitative as well as qualitative methodological approaches that add to our understanding of the specificities of MENA emerging markets.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • The joint effect of corporate disclosure and corporate governance on share price anticipation of earnings, companies' costs of capital and financial analysts' earnings forecasts in MENA emerging markets
  • The effect of IFRS adoption strategies on the development of MENA emerging stock markets
  • The linkage between earnings management and the quality of accounting earnings
  • Accounting and auditing professional bodies' role in MENA countries in making capital markets trustworthy
  • Does voluntary disclosure improve firm valuation, stock market liquidity and analysts' forecasts in MENA emerging markets?
  • Corporate disclosure quality and corporate governance mechanisms in MENA countries: are they substitutes or complements?
  • Corporate governance regulation, ownership structure and firm performance in MENA emerging economies
  • Do environmental and social reporting disclosures improve firm valuation, reduce cost of capital and increase the accuracy of analysts' earnings forecasts?
  • Islamic banking and accounting in MENA countries
  • Takaful insurance activities in MENA countries 
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 31 December, 2013

Newly announced journal: International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices

Telemedicine is essential to maintain supply in healthcare at qualitatively-acceptable levels. The field is growing rapidly and future application of ICT in healthcare will yield expected benefits if, and only if, the ICT infrastructure is fully implemented and healthcare professionals are aware of developments and trained to use technology-based healthcare services. Research in telemedicine is crucial for development of applications in healthcare. This new technology entails improvement in early diagnosis, testing, patient monitoring, disease prevention and reduction of patient discomfort.

More details of the journal are available here.

Special issue: "Action for Innovation: Marketing Inventions with Success"

International Journal of Technology Marketing 8(2) 2013

Expanded version of papers presented at the XXIV ISPIM Conference.
  • Independent inventors and inbound open innovation: using a resource-based approach to create a tool for screening inventor approaches in order to facilitate technology in-licensing
  • Diffusion of user innovations - a firm-level survey
  • Applying the hub-and-spoke model to virtual communities: the IBM innovation approach
  • The service innovation triangle: a tool for exploring value creation through service innovation
  • Building up a firm's commercialisation competence: from product concept to the first reference
  • Distinctive dynamic capabilities for new business creation: sensing, seizing, scaling and separating

21 May 2013

Special issue: "Emerging Perspectives and Topics in Tourism"

International Journal of Tourism Policy 5(1/2) 2013

Includes expanded versions of papers presented at the First International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (ERPBSS).
  • A critical assessment of the role of fashion in influencing the travel decision and destination choice
  • Perceived risk, satisfaction and future behaviour of windsurfers: a segmentation perspective 
  • The role of demographics and travel motivation in travellers' use of the internet before, during, and after a trip
  • The influence of motivations on the image of non-hotel tourist accommodation offering
  • The relationship between corporate and regional reputation management and purchasing behaviour: an application on tourists in Ankara region
  • The politicisation and contradictions of neo-liberal tourism
  • Tourism and the challenge of Arctic governance
Additional Paper
  • Legitimising transboundary conservation-development initiatives: a discourse analysis of policy-decision making and its implications for rural community participation

Texting on smarter smart phones

Alternative input methods for smart phones, such as Swype and SwiftKey, offer substantial benefits to users and are comparable with common typing speeds found on computer keyboards, according to a report published by researchers at Loughborough University. Writing in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Design Research, Tom Page, a lecturer in electronic product design, has assessed a number of different text input technologies available to smart phone users.

Page reports how interaction design has become central to the development of small touch screen devices, particularly since the launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007. Moreover, many users now have a smart phone mindset and treat their device in much the same way previous users worked with a laptop but with much greater portability. As such, rapid text input methods has become essential for making smart phone users as efficient as they once were with typing on a laptop keyboard.

“In essence, smart phone interfaces today have been designed in completely different ways as users are starting or seeking to replace laptops and computers with small screen highly portable devices,” Page says, Indeed, more people are becoming more proficient at creating, engaging, communicating and interacting via the smart phone screen.

There are various text input methods on smart phones, including adaptation of the QWERTY layout that has been familiar to typists since the 19th century. Other more ergonomic soft keyboard layouts such as DVORAK and ABCDE apparently improve typing comfort and speed, but many users and developers believes that these ought to be consigned to history in this era of small screens and broadband communications. Other text input methods such as: OPTI, 8pen, Swiftkey, Swype, Keypurr and thick buttons exist and are gently nudging QWERTY and its derivatives off-screen and giving users much faster and more accurate text input methods.

“Fundamentally, the success or failure of any new interactive technology or text input method such as soft keyboards is determined by its usability,” says Page. “The ergonomic aspects of soft keyboard typing on a smart phone differ greatly from their physical counterpart,” he adds. This is why alternatives more suited to the mall screen than QWERTY or ABCDE are needed. Page laments the fact that smart phones have been rapidly advancing technologically over the last few years but their approach to text input has lagged behind. Even the apps that claim to accelerate input and sidestep the traditional keyboard often rely on user familiarity with QWERTY nevertheless.

There is much research and development yet to be done with touch screens themselves and the text and other input technologies need to make smart phones even more ubiquitous and useful.

Usability of text input interfaces in smartphones” in J. Design Research, 2013, 11, 39-56

Texting on smarter smart phones is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/texting-on-smarter-smart-phones.html

First issue: Middle East Journal of Management (free sample issue available)

The Middle East region has experienced rapid political and economic change over the last four decades. The challenges to managers and management researchers operating within the area are often different to those experienced in other parts of the world. The Middle East Journal of Management contributes to an understanding of different management cultures and provides readers with a fresh look at emerging management practices and research in the countries of this region and beyond.

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

Int. J. Banking, Accounting and Finance Editor receives BAFA award

Professor Phil Molyneux, an Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, has been awarded a prestigious honour by the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA). The Distinguished Academic Award, given annually to an individual deemed to have made 'a substantial and direct contribution to UK academic accounting and finance life', was awarded to Professor Molyneux in recognition of his significant contribution to teaching and research. Further details are available here.

20 May 2013

Predicting infectious influenza

A new computer model could help scientists predict when a particular strain of avian influenza might become infectious from bird to human, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Data Mining and Bioinformatics.

Chuang Ma of the University of Arizona, Tucson, and colleagues at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, explain that since 1997 several strains of avian influenza A virus (AIV), commonly known as “bird flu” have infected people directly from their natural bird hosts leading to numerous deaths. The most recent outbreak is “H7N9″ bird flu, which emerged in China in February 2013. The team has now developed a computational technique that allows them to predict whether or not a given strain of bird flu has the potential to infect people. Such a tool would allow the health authorities to monitor specific strains in among wild and domestic birds and so predict with more certainty whether or not that strain is likely to cause a global pandemic of influenza in people.

The method is based on analyzing ninety signature positions in the inner protein sequences of different strains of the virus, the researchers explain. These positions are then correlated with more than 500 different physical and chemical characteristics of the virus. The researchers then use data mining techniques to match up specific physicochemical characteristics with bird to human infectivity. This can then be tracked back to the presence of mutations in the proteins of emerging strains. The team has successfully validated their system, which they refer to simply as “A2H”, against known strains of bird flu and those that are infectious to people.

“A2H might be useful in the early warning of interspecies transmission of AIV, which is beneficial to public health,” the team says. “It will be further validated and upgraded when more virus strains become available,” they add. A similar approach might also one day be extended to other viruses that emerge from non-human hosts and become infectious to people.

Predicting transmission of avian influenza A viruses from avian to human by using informative physicochemical properties” in Int. J. Data Mining and Bioinformatics, 2013, 7, 166-179

Predicting infectious influenza is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/predicting-infectious-influenza.html

17 May 2013

Relaxed tourists share more

Tourists set on relaxing and socialising when they reach their holiday destination tend to do little advance research on the internet before making their trip, but are more likely to share travel information and photos on social media once they return home, according to a study to be published in the International Journal of Tourism Policy. By contrast, travellers motivated by food-, nature- and culture-related factors do lots of online research before and during their trip, but share little information with others on social media.

Jan Møller Jensen and Anne-Mette Hjalager of the University of Southern Denmark, carried out an online survey of more than 500 travellers in order to understand how social demographic, type of holiday and other factors influence who does pre-emptive research before travelling and who is most likely to share their findings or critique of their holiday.

The researchers point out that differences across socio-demographics confirm that the young, well-educated and affluent tend to be the first movers in taking advantage of the internet. Sharing photos and other travel related information on social media is prevalent among younger travellers and more popular among females than males. However, the analysis of their survey results allowed them to identify various motivational factors, all of which have managerial implications for the tourist industry, they say, especially as people become less commonly loyal to particular holiday destinations.

Social status and self-esteem seem to be big motivators among the survey respondents who share their thoughts and photos from a holiday, the team found. This is important in making online research valuable to others if self-promotion and social staging are driving the information available then word-of-mouth may not be as useful as one might think.

Nevertheless, the team found that online information searching before a trip is now beyond doubt. They suggest that given the behaviour of the younger segments, the era of printed travel brochures will soon come to an end. “There is a strong case for suggesting that electronic media tend to out-compete offline media both prior to the trip and at a destination,” they say.

“The role of demographics and travel motivation in travellers’ use of the internet before, during, and after a trip” in Int. J. Tourism Policy, 2013, 5, 34-58

Relaxed tourists share more is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/relaxed-tourists-share-more.html

14 May 2013

Call for papers: "Creative Services in Information and Communication Technology for New Media and New Platforms"

For a special issue of the Int. J. of Information and Communication Technology.

The purpose of this special issue is to present a collection of original papers which gives an overview of recent progress in research and development focusing on problem solving strategies and services using information and communication engineering in new computing environments such as mobile platforms, cloud computing and new media.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 2013 International Conference on Future Information & Communication Engineering, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Creative new principles and services for new media and platforms
  • Creative new communication systems in mobile platforms
  • Creative new principles and services in cloud computing
  • Database and security handling for new media
  • Intelligent information systems and services for IT fusion
  • Creative new services using ubiquitous networks
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 30 November, 2013
Notification of acceptance: 31 December, 2013
Revised final manuscript submission: 15 February, 2014

Call for papers: "High Performance Computing and Communications"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems.

High performance computing and communications are key enabling technologies for improving cutting-edge research performance and capabilities, especially when addressing large and complex problems with tight timing schedules.

Building high performance and efficient computing and communications systems can be addressed at multiple platform layers such as computer architecture, software, hardware, language and compiler design, embedded systems and networking.

This special issue will target a wide spectrum of the state-of-the-art as well as emerging topics pertaining to high performance computing, computer communications, new computing paradigms and so on.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 15th IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing and Communications, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Parallel and distributed system architectures, software technologies, algorithms
  • Languages and compilers for high performance computing
  • New computing paradigms (peer-to-peer/grid and cluster/cloud/pervasive computing)
  • Database applications and data mining
  • Biological/molecular computing
  • Collaborative and cooperative environments
  • Mobile computing and wireless communications
  • Autonomic reliability and fault-tolerance
  • Trust, Security and Privacy
Important Dates
Paper submission due: 30 August, 2013
Decision notification: 30 October, 2013
Revised paper submission: 30 November, 2013
Final paper submission: 30 December, 2013

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development to publish expanded papers from ISA World Congress of Sociology

Expanded versions of papers presented at the ISA World Congress of Sociology (13-19 July 2014, Yokohama, Japan) will be published by the World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development.

Call for papers: "Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems.

Embedded and ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities.

The any place/any time/any means vision of ubiquitous computing has had an explosive impact on academics, industry, government and daily life. It has evolved into an active area of research and development due to the tremendous advances in a broad spectrum of technologies and topics including mobile and distributed computing, embedded system design, RFID technology and the ubiquitous mobile phone.

This special issue will mainly publish high-quality papers that represent the state-of-the-art and the latest advances in embedded and ubiquitous computing areas in all aspects such as methodologies, models, designs and implementations.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 11th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC 2013), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Embedded system architectures, software and optimisation
  • Hardware/software co-design and design automation
  • Real-time systems and operating systems
  • Reconfigurable computing systems and applications
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Pervasive computing and communications
  • Middleware and peer-to-peer computing
  • Wireless communication and networks
  • Security and fault tolerance applications
Important Dates
Paper submission due: 30 August, 2013
Decision notification: 30 October, 2013
Revised paper submission: 30 November, 2013
Final paper submission: 30 December, 2013

Playing at pirate games

The results of a large-scale, analysis of BitTorrent file-sharing of computer games, focusing on using open methodologies are to be published in the International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication and bust some of the common myths about digital piracy.

The controversy about illegal file sharing over the Internet has been a focus of intense attention from industry and media alike for the past decade. Despite the massive financial interests involved, there is, however, only limited factual knowledge available backing claims from either side of the controversy.

Focusing on digital game piracy specifically, Anders Drachen of the Department of Communication and Psychology, at Aalborg University and the PLAIT Lab, Northeastern University and Robert Veitch of the Department of IT Management at Copenhagen Business School, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, report the results of a large-scale, analysis of BitTorrent file-sharing of computer games, focusing on using open methodologies. Their data covers a three month period during 2010 to 2011 and included information on 173 computer games.

The results present a nuanced picture of game piracy and presents evidence against some of the common myths in digital piracy. For example, the team found that it is not just hardcore “shooter” games that get pirated on BitTorrent. They also recorded piracy of games across the board, from children’s and family games all the way to the major commercial titles. Furthermore, their results indicate that the actual number of illicit digital copies of computer games accessed on BitTorrent is not as high as those mentioned in reports from industry trade organizations, for instance.

During the period of monitoring BitTorrent, the research team found that about 12.6 million unique peers from over 250 countries/areas were sharing illicit copies of games, which included Fallout: New Vegas, Darksiders, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, NBA 2k11, TRON Evolution, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Starcraft 2, Star Wars the Force Unleashed 2, Two Worlds II, The Sims 3: Late Night. This represents a wide range of games vendors and games types encompassing simulations, sports and strategy as well as action games. They report that of the 173 digital games in the sample, the ten most popular games titles during the period analyzed drove more than 4 out of every 10 unique peers on BitTorrent and a mere 20 of the countries monitored were contributing to more than three-quarters of the total file-sharing activity.

For the most popular games, they add, there was an average of 536,727 unique peers sharing via Bit Torrent, and the geographical distribution of the unique peers paint a very diverse picture of where people who access illegally copied games on BitTorrent are positioned. For example, a number of countries stand out as having very large numbers of unique peers represented in the dataset, including Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, Greece, Poland, Italy, Armenia and Serbia. Portugal, Israel and Qatar also have more than 1% peers per Internet user. The results also point out that games receiving high critical acclaim tend to have higher numbers of unique peers than those which receive negative critique in media reviews.

While the games investigated covered all major hardware platforms, console games are much tougher to pirate than desktop computer games for the simple reason that one needs to modify the hardware of the console to use them. In contrast, to use an illicit copy of a PC game, one must commonly only modify the computer code itself. A recent turn towards cloud-based gaming could reduce the chances of games being copied illicitly still further but adoption relies on access to reliable broadband internet for gamers. Of course, better broadband also potentially means more efficient sharing of illegal copies of digital games.

The findings present a picture of peer-to-peer, P2P, distributions that confirms some existing assumptions about piracy while contradicting others. “First and foremost, P2P game piracy is extraordinarily prevalent and geographically distributed [at least it was during the period analyzed]. However, the numbers in our investigation suggest that previously reported magnitudes in game piracy are too high,” Drachen adds. “It also appears that some common myths are wrong, e.g. that it is only shooters that get pirated, as we see a lot of activity for children’s and family games on BitTorrent for the period we investigated.”

Patterns in the distribution of digital games via BitTorrent” in Int. J. Advanced Media and Communication, 2013, 5, 80-99

Playing at pirate games is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/pirate-games.html

13 May 2013

Call for papers: "Cyberspace Safety and Security"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems.

Cyberspace safety and security has gained tremendous attention due to the rapid development of computer technology. It is an interdisciplinary area that focuses on maintaining and reducing risks to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and resources in computer and network systems.

Related research covers all of the processes and mechanisms by which computer-based equipment, information and services are protected from unintended or unauthorised access, change or destruction.

This special issue seeks original high quality papers presenting cutting edge research and applications relating to the authentication, access control, availability, integrity, privacy, confidentiality, dependability and sustainability issues of cyberspace.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 5th International Symposium on Cyberspace Safety and Security (CSS 2013), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Data and applications security
  • Network and communications security
  • Software and systems security
  • Cloud security
  • Cyberspace safety
Important Dates
Paper submission due: 30 August, 2013
Decision notification: 30 October, 2013
Revised paper submission: 30 November, 2013
Final paper submission: 30 December, 2013

Special issue: "Human Emotional Response to Combined Sound and Vibration in Automobiles"

International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration 9(1/2) 2013
  • Identification of quality attributes of automotive idle sounds and whole-body vibrations
  • Drivers' preferences and emotional responses to satellite navigation voices
  • Experience and information content affect interior vehicle sound quality assessments
  • Affective multisensory driver interface design
  • Emotional and behavioural responses to auditory interfaces in commercial vehicles
  • The emotional component in perceived quality of noises produced by car engines
  • Human emotional response to steering wheel vibration in automobiles
  • Achieving a positive driver emotional response on the new Bentley Continental V8

Call for papers: "Advances in Transparent Computing"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing.

Computing paradigms have greatly evolved with rapid advances in hardware, software and networking technologies. Transparent computing (TC), as user-controlled cloud computing, is an emerging technology with the features of streaming-based scheduling and execution, user orientation and platform independence. TC enables users to accomplish local tasks efficiently and flexibly through any type of device while demanding from computing and storage services residing in remote servers.

Typical TC applications, such as transparent regional medical information sharing systems and transparent campus information systems, need to use high performance computing (HPC) technology to share the computing tasks of terminals. Furthermore, similarly to the Internet of Things (IoT), TC adapts to heterogeneous networks and protocols in order to allow people to enjoy intelligent services anytime and anywhere. Finally, security and reliability is another crucial issue to the success of TC. Therefore, high performance and transparent computing (HPTC), the Internet of Things and transparent computing (IOTC), and security and reliability in transparent computing (SRTC) are attracting more and more attention from researchers and practitioners.

Motivated by TC’s fundamental features and their combination with existing techniques (i.e. HPTC, IOTC and SRTC), this special issue aims to collect quality research articles with a solid background in both theoretical and practical aspects.

The special issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at three upcoming joint international workshops, co-located in Zhangjiajie, China, taking place on 13-15 November, 2013:
However, we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • High performance and transparent computing architecture
  • Systems, software and applications for high performance and transparent computing
  • Languages and compilers for high performance and transparent computing
  • Resource management and scheduling for high performance and transparent computing
  • High performance and transparent networks
  • Mobility management for internet of things and transparent computing
  • Theoretical foundations and building blocks for internet of things and transparent computing
  • Internet of things and transparent computing-enabled networks and communication systems
  • Metrics and performance evaluation for internet of things and transparent computing
  • New applications and services and their deployment with internet of things and transparent computing
  • Security in virtualized transparent computing environments
  • Cryptography and encryption techniques for transparent computing
  • Reliability of systems, applications, software and services in transparent computing
  • Performance and reliability engineering in transparent computing
  • Repair/replacement and maintenance policies in transparent computing
Important Dates
Paper submission: 15 March, 2014
Decision notification: 15 June, 2014
Revised paper submission: 15 August, 2014
Final paper submission: 15 September, 2014

Special issue: "Energy Efficiency and Sustainability of Systems in the Agile Environment"

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management 6(2) 2013
  • On global sustainability and regional environmentally oriented foresights
  • Electric energy storages - a method for specification, design and assessment 
  • Analysis of solar drying unit with phase change material storage systems
  • Emergency response: an investigation on a possibility of establishing valuable flood protecting infrastructures in Bangkok
  • Zero net power LED lighting system design

11 May 2013

Inderscience is media partner for Plant Genomics Congress USA

Inderscience is a media partner for the Plant Genomics Congress USA (23-24 September 2013, St Louis, Missouri, USA).

The journals involved are:

Special issue: "Advanced Energy Processing and Control for Electric Vehicles"

International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems 11(2/3) 2013
  • Dissipative Hamiltonian realisation and robust H∞ control of induction motor considering iron losses for electric vehicles
  • Optimal design and remedial control of fault-tolerant permanent magnet motors
  • Sizing the traction motor for optimal fuel efficiency in vehicle electrification
  • Sensorless rotor position estimation of PMSM by full-order and sliding mode EMF observers with speed estimate
  • ELM-based sensorless speed control of permanent magnet synchronous machine
  • Vehicle to grid: system reference architectures and Monte Carlo simulations
  • Photovoltaic powered electric vehicle using PMSM drive scheme
  • Driver-friendly motion control based on electric power steering and in-wheel motors on electric vehicle
  • Novel estimation of tyre-road friction coefficient and slip ratio using electrical parameters of traction motor for electric vehicles
  • Remedial neural network inverse control of a multi-phase fault-tolerant permanent-magnet motor drive for electric vehicles
  • A novel direct torque control for induction motor drive system with low torque ripple and current distortion utilising FPGA

Special issue: "Post-Normal Science and Sustainability"

International Journal of Sustainable Development 16(1/2) 2013
  • Pre-requisites to interdisciplinary research for climate change: lessons from a participatory action research process in Île-de-France
  • The Technolife project: an experimental approach to new ethical frameworks for emerging science and technology
  • From ecology to society and back: the (in)convenient hypothesis syndrome
  • Mobilising high-quality knowledge through dialogic environmental governance: a comparison of approaches and their institutional settings
  • Technologies for sustainability: a governmentality perspective
  • Post-normal science and ecological economics: strategies for precautionary approaches and sustainable development
  • Combining sustainable development and economic attractiveness: towards an indicator of sustainable attractiveness

10 May 2013

Special issue: "Research and Applications of Evolving Logistics Challenges in the World"

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management 15(2/3) 2013

Includes expanded versions of papers presented at the 2012 International Conference on Industrial Logistics (ICIL 2012).
  • Benchmarking external product variety in the Austrian agricultural industry
  • Selection and protection of suppliers in a supply chain with disruption risks
  • Solution of classical transport problems with bee algorithms
  • The development process for innovative concepts in supply chain management
  • Development of a model for the tactical identification of prospective clients in multiuser warehouses
  • Cargo flow distribution on the transportation network of the national logistic system
  • Chosen aspects of logistics network design method for production service companies
  • A multi-faceted approach to optimising a complex unplanned healthcare system
  • A single and triple-objective mathematical programming models for assignment of services in a healthcare institution
  • Optimal preventive and corrective maintenance for equipment with Erlangian life-time distribution
  • Ports dredging licensing process. A case study in two Brazilian ports: Porto de Santos and Porto de Paranaguá
Additional Papers
  • Implementing collaborative practices in the healthcare supply chain: insights into hospital-vendor operations
  • Interval analysis to optimise a production line of pharmaceuticals

Call for papers: "Digital Human Models – What They Can Do and How They Can Do It"

For a special issue of the International Journal of the Digital Human.

The goal of this special issue is to present a comprehensive multi-disciplinary view of digital human models – of what they can do and how they can do it.

The emphasis of the special issue will be on digital human models with novel and exceptional abilities, and on only software elements. Manuscripts must therefore contain appropriate and interesting theoretical, experiential and application single-views and comparative-views of novel and exceptional digital human models.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • The state of the art in digital human models
  • Novel and exceptional visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory sensing abilities
  • Novel and exceptional information integration and perception abilities
  • Novel and exceptional higher-level cognition and decision-making abilities
  • Novel and exceptional activation, action, response, feedback and adaptation abilities
  • Trends in digital human models
  • Future trends in digital human models
Important Dates
Deadline for letter of intent (100-200 words): 31 August, 2013 (email submission)
Deadline for full paper: 30 November, 2013 (online submission)
First review completed: 31 January, 2014
Deadline for revised paper: 31 March, 2014 (online submission)
Second review completed: 31 May, 2014

New Editor for the International Journal of Embedded Systems

Professor Kuan-Ching Li has been appointed to edit the International Journal of Embedded Systems. Professor Li is from the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering at the Providence University in Taiwan.

Special issue: "Advances in Engineering Management"

International Journal of Business and Systems Research 7(2) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 2010 International Conference on Advanced Materials, Manufacturing, Management and Thermal Sciences (AMMT 2010).
  • Constrained optimisation of distribution network using new hybrid PSO optimiser
  • Effective product efficiency using advanced manufacturing techniques
  • An empirical investigation of factors that hinder the adoption of electronic procurement by SMEs in India
  • Implementation of poka-yoke to achieve zero defects in an assembly line of a limited company
  • Industrial cluster and technological dynamism: study of Bangalore machine tool cluster
  • Numerical simulation-based investigation on vendor managed inventory model
  • Application of the Six Sigma methodologies to enterprise resource planning implementation
  • Integration between neuro-fuzzy system and Monte Carlo simulation for duration estimation of the bored piles
  • An assessment of the Holt-Winters model in making effective forecast for supply chain system

The great industrial bake-off

Not everyone can rustle up a Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle cake or a jam roly-poly, so shop-bought cakes remain a mainstay of high tea for many a household. Thankfully, quality control on food production lines continues to improve. Now, a research paper to be published in the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering shows how a simple set of rules can spot critical points in the cake-making process and through careful design improve even exceedingly good cakes.

Marina Pouliou of TEI Piraeus, in Athens, Greece, working with George Besseris of the University of the West of Scotland, in Paisley, UK, have turned to the “Taguchi methods” – suite of statistical tools developed by Japanese engineer Genichi Taguchi that focus on variation and deviations from the norm. The team explains that by using proven quality methods, such as design of experiments, finding the most significant factors that affect the baking process of a cake product and carrying out trials offline it should be possible to make a higher quality product more consistently and reduce the percentage of “defective” cakes coming off the production line.

The team has applied a three-tier approach to the statistical analysis using Taguchi methods and focused on two particularly important factors when it comes to any bake-off: cake weight and surface peak. The team took into account the different variables that arise in production of a loaf cake: the rates of mixing and blending of ingredients, baking duration, temperature. The analysis using a variation on Taguchi methods allowed the team to glean an optimal set of baking conditions for a standard large-scale cake product.

Mixing time and baking duration were the two most important factors affecting cake weight, the team reports. Tweaking the baking duration allowed them to get close to the perfect sponge weight. “It is important that the weight be around what we call a specification value such that there is not much fluctuation from batch-to-batch after production,” Besseris says. “In other words, this is to give the consumer a standardized amount of the food item.”

The Taguchi analysis fell short, however, when testing baking conditions for the optimal peak surface. This factor seeming not to be affected by mixing times, baking temperature or duration. The team will investigate other variables to find the optimal conditions for peak in future research, perhaps tweaking ingredient proportions. They also intend to use the same approach to optimise taste and smell, texture and overall cake structure, and colour of the final product. Proof of the pudding, of course, is in the eating. Now, where did I put that cake slice?

“Robust screening of cake product characteristics by the Taguchi method”

in Int. J. Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2013, 14, 207-229

The great industrial bake-off is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/the-great-industrial-bake-off.html

9 May 2013

Special issue: "Dependability and Security in a Nordic Perspective - Part II"

International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems 4(1) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 4th and 5th Nordic Workshops on Dependability and Security (NODES ‘10 and NODES ‘11).
  • A formal approach to H.264 video decoding on multicore systems
  • Dynamic allocation and admission policies for QoS-aware provisioning systems
  • A distributed design of a network recovery algorithm
  • A refinement-based approach to developing critical multi-agent systems

Call for papers: "Total Quality Management and Sustainable Development"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management.

Today the majority of companies are faced with intense pressure from global competition, and there is a need for these organisations to consider incorporating the idea of sustainability in total quality management (TQM) in order to sustain their competitive advantage and continuous improvement.
Business, through local and international trade, has a profound impact on the ability of a culture to provide for basic human needs and other goods and services. Therefore, commerce and how it conducts itself internally and interacts with its operating environment is axial to the success of sustainable development (SD).
Long-term business management requires the successful management of losses and gains; and so it is with sustainable development. Sustainable development can be defined as the management of losses and gains resulting from the degradation of environmental factors that affect the ability of life – any life – to survive, now or in the future. The "winners and losers" of environmental impact are often defined by the decisions made directly by those entities conducting commerce.
This special issue is open to researchers throughout the world who are interested in studying and applying advanced research in finding synergies between TQM and SD, in creating process models for implementing SD practices in a TQM management system and, more generally, in comparing and combining values, methodologies and tools from TQM and SD.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Values, methodologies and tools for TQM and SD
  • Process-based system models for enhancing TQM-SD synergies
  • External and internal drivers and enablers for implementing sustainability oriented TQM
  • Process-based change models for SD implementation
  • Assessment of SD performance level of companies
  • Incorporation of environmentally sound practices into the quality system
  • Case studies on TQM and SD 
Important Dates
Deadline for submission of full manuscripts: 15 October, 2013
Provision of first round decision to authors: 15 January, 2014
Deadline for submission of revised manuscripts: 15 April, 2014
Provision of final decisions: 15 June, 2014

A matter of IT seniority

Hardware and software vendors are foolish to ignore the needs of the growing population of older computer and information technology users, the so-called “silver surfers”. US researchers offer convincing evidence in a monograph to be published in the International Journal of Intercultural Information Management that from the business perspective, seniors represent a rapidly growing sector of the market with the most disposable income to spend on these companies’ products.

Mark McMurtrey, Ronald McGaughey, James Downey and Steven Zeltmann of the Department of Management Information Systems at the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, have brought together three research streams to show how the senior population is increasingly “wired”. Their evidence suggests that manufacturers are foolish in their failure to address the needs of this part of society, which often has disabilities – sight and hearing problems, issues with dexterity and cognitive deficits – that would benefit from specialist input and output hardware and software designed for greater accessibility. Moreover, it is a matter of social responsibility that such companies ought to address the needs of all of society and not just the younger generation and able bodied.

The researchers pulled together information and data from three main sources. First, data from the US Census’ current population reports (and other US Census Bureau statistics). Secondly, results reported in three large-scale studies by SeniorNet, the largest promoter of elderly computer and internet use in the world. And, lastly findings from a range of scholarly investigations with high citation numbers from the research literature. They hoped that the fusion of these resources would allow them to shed considerable light on the issue of senior citizens and their access and use of information technology.

The most apparent finding from the work is that seniors use information technology in much the same way as other people irrespective of age: they shop online, research topics of interest, stay in touch with friends and relatives, and carry out a multitude of other tasks from maintaining a Facebook presence to tweeting regularly, as do almost all other sectors of society. Likewise, many seniors use mobile technology, including cell phones, just as commonly as younger people. Given the physical and cognitive disabilities many people face as they get older, manufacturers of hardware and software vendors must take such findings into account in their long-term development and marketing strategies, not only will it help their profit line it is a more ethical approach to information technology.

“Ensuring that our seniors are mainstream participants in the digital world is a responsibility shared by all, so that our elderly remain productive and contributing members of our society. Such an approach will improve their overall quality of life, as well as the world at large,” the researchers conclude.

“Seniors and information technology: lessons from the field” in Int. J. Intercultural Information Management, 2013, 3, 107-122

A matter of IT seniority is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/a-matter-of-it-seniority.html

Int. J. of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems to publish expanded papers from AIMTDR 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 2014 All India Manufacturing Technology, Design and Research Conference (IIT Guwahati, India, 12-14 December 2014) will be published by the International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems.

Special issue: "Commodities Financial Management: Part 1" (available as free sample issue)

International Journal of Financial Engineering and Risk Management 1(1) 2013
  • Estimating VaR and ES of the spot price of oil using futures-varying centiles
  • Analysis of the Iberian electricity forward market hedging efficiency
  • Gold price forecasting with a neuro-fuzzy-based inference system
  • A portfolio insurance strategy for commodity futures
  • Nonlinearity in the Indian commodity markets: evidence from a battery of tests
Additional Paper
  • Credit-scoring and bank lending policy in consumer loans
There is a free download of the papers from this first issue.

No holes in Swiss online networking theory

Often, it’s not what you know, but who you know when it comes to business and research success and that still applies even in the age of online social networking, according to results to be published in the International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering.

Peter Gloor, Pierre Dorsaz, Hauke Fuehres and Manfred Vogel of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, in Cambridge, Massachusetts have compared the success of startup entrepreneurs and innovators with their activity on the social networking sites LinkedIn and Facebook as well as email networks including swissnex Boston, which acts as a US-based science and technology outpost to connect Swiss and US entrepreneurs and academics. Specifically, they focused on entrepreneurship-coaching programs and found that those people more centrally positioned in the various types of network, tended to be the more successful players in business and research. As one might expect, proximity within the networks to other successful people also correlated with their success.

Interestingly, however, the even more successful members of the networks analyzed tended to have an affiliation or were alumni of the prominent research center ETH Zurich. This confirmed the value of pre-existing social capital acquired while attending such an academic institution, the team suggests. In practical terms, they believe their detailed findings have wider implications for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academics and those finding ways to connect these people.

The received wisdom suggests that academic alumni associations and business networking organizations do help startup entrepreneurs become successful, but little quantitative and qualitative research has been carried out previously to demonstrate this idea one way or the other. Gloor and colleagues put the notion on a much firmer theoretical footing and allude to the synergistic effects that might arise between the various offline and online connections individuals make. The team concludes that because online social networking appears to be an efficient tool for business networking, hubs, mentoring organizations and other networks should fully integrate their online presence into their offering in order to support network building between entrepreneurs and academics as part of their so-called mission statement.

Choosing the right friends – predicting success of startup entrepreneurs and innovators through their online social network structure” in Int. J. Organisational Design and Engineering, 2013, 3, 67-85

No holes in Swiss online networking theory is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/no-holes-in-swiss-online-networking-theory.html

8 May 2013

Call for papers: "Sustainable Development and Finance: Perspectives in Latin America"

For a special issue of the Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development.

Many countries in Latin America have been experiencing fast economic growth. And yet, we know very little about their practices within the complex relationship between sustainable development and finance.

This special issue aims to present research results in order to address this need and move forward in this subject area. The issue’s objective is to publish high-quality original articles that deal with the topics listed below in a Latin American context.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Finance policy for sustainable development
  • Innovative financing for sustainability
  • Sustainable development in project finance
  • Banking systems and implications for sustainable development
  • Asset pricing and sustainable development
  • Green finance as a challenge and an opportunity
  • Sustainable development in emerging finance markets
  • Corporate finance and sustainable development
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 March, 2014
Notification to authors: 30 June, 2014
Final Versions due: 30 September, 2014

Special issue: "Computational Linguistics - Applications"

International Journal of Data Mining, Modelling and Management 5(2) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the Computational Linguistics – Applications 2010 (CLA'10) conference.
  • Annotation tools for syntax and named entities in the National Corpus of Polish
  • Using shallow semantic analysis and graph modelling for document classification
  • What do you think about this photo? A novel approach to opinion and sentiment analysis of photo comments
  • Syntactic concordancing and multi-word expression detection
Additional Paper
  • Using genetic algorithms for automatic recurrent ANN development: an application to EEG signal classification

Call for papers: "Reshaping Research on Innovation and Gender Issues: Is Innovation Gendered?"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

The innovation process is a topic that has been widely explored (Le Loarne & Blanco, 2012; Tidd, Bessant & Pavit). However, research on the identity of the individuals or groups of individuals who take part in the innovation process remains underdeveloped.

Indeed, research is often based on experimental studies with students or individuals who are not in the real situation of taking part in any firms’ innovation processes (Perry Smith, 2006). Furthermore, other results are mostly based on case studies taken from large groups (Amabile, 1988; Le Loarne, 2006), without considering SMEs or start-ups, which mostly contribute to economic life, especially in European countries.

Such gaps led us to opening a research debate on the social and organisational characteristics of innovators in firms, particularly in small and medium firms.

The first research contributions to this debate revealed that a firm is all the more innovative if it welcomes and invites different actors from different social groups and education systems (Amabile, 2005). Such results are consistent with calls from politicians for better diversity in firms for better economic growth (World Economic Forum, 2012).

The term “diversity” implies different forms: diversity in terms of profession, national origin, age and also genre. Therefore, we propose to explore the role of gender within the innovation processes of firms and, moreover, of SMEs.

The debate on gender role within organisations is not brand new and the number of journals specialised in such issues illustrate this point. However, the question of gender role within the innovation process has been restricted to the topic of female entrepreneurship (De Bruin et al., 2006; Hughes et al., 2012). The objectives are to explain the low rate of female entrepreneurs, and to shed light on the differences across genders in the way males and females respectively manage their businesses (Du Rietz & Henrekson, 2000). We propose, through this special issue, to extend this debate to the innovation processes of firms that remain underexplored (Owen, 1994).

More precisely, given the high impact innovation has on the performance of firms, this issue aims at questioning the specific role of females (and males) within the innovation process and the creative process. Legendary figures in innovation and entrepreneurship are mostly males. Does this mean that female innovate less? Do females also take less part – or are they given less part – in the innovation process within any company? If not, how do they proceed? Does their creativity differ from that of males? Would there be any “glass ceiling” for innovative ideas produced by females? Furthermore, since we know that females tend to adopt a more democratic decision making process in firms (Carter et al., 1997; Cliff, 1998), can we assume that females also develop a more democratic innovation process?

In such a context, this issue welcomes any research related to gender in big or small companies within any innovation process. However, we mostly welcome empirical contributions. Following the call from Ahl (2006; 2012) and Bruton et al. (forthcoming), special interest will be given to contributions that deal with a real comparison across genders.

Ahl J. (2006), “Why research on Female Entrepreneurs needs new direction” Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Vol. 30(5), p. 595-621
Ahl J., S. Marlow (2012), “Exploring the dynamics of gender, feminism and entrepreneurship: Advancing debate to escape a dead end?”, Organization, Vol. 19(5), p. 534 - 562
Amabile T.M. (1988), “From individual creativity to organizational innovation” in Gronhaug et al., Innovation: A cross-disciplinary perspective”, Norwegian University Press, p. 139-166
Amabile T.M. (2005), “Affect and creativity at work”, Administrative Science Quaterly, 50(3), p. 367-403
Bruton et al. (forthcoming), “Entrepreneurship through a qualitative lens”, Journal of Business Venturing
Carter N.M., K.R. Allen (1997), “Size determinants of women-owned businesses: choice of barriers to resources?”, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An international journal, Vol. 9(3)
Cliff J.E. (1998), “Does one size fit all? Exploring the relationship between attitudes towards growth, gender and business size”, Journal of Business Venturing, 13(6), p. 523-542
De Bruin et al. (2006), “Advancing a Framework for Coherent Research on Women’s Entrepreneurship”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Vol 31(3), p. 323-339.
Du Rietz A., M. Henrekson (2000), “Testing the Female Underperformance Hypothesis”, Small Business Economics, 14(1), p. 1-10
Hughes K. (2012), “Extending Women’s Entrepreneurship in New Directions”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Vol 36(3), p. 429-442.
Le Loarne S., S. Blanco (2012), “ Manager l’innovation – 2 ème édition ”, Ed. Pearson, Paris.
Le Loarne S. (2006), “ De l’idée d’offre à l’innovation produit au sein d’un groupe multidivisionnel ”, Revue Française de Gestion, N°161, n°2
Owen J. (1994), “Women in Science: Token Women or Gender Equality? ”, R&D Management, Vol 24(1), p. 102-103
Perry Smith J.E. (2006), “Social yet creative: The role of social relationships in facilitating individual creativity”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 49(1), p. 85-101
Tidd, J., J. Bessant (2012), “Managing Innovation”, Pearson Education
World Economic Forum (2012), Global report, http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-competitiveness.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

  • Gender within the creative process
  • Social networks, gender and creativity
  • Decision making processes within SMEs: differences across gender
  • Intrapreneurship and gender
  • Gender and strategies of growth
  • Gender and innovative business opportunity recognition
  • Gender and financing innovative projects
  • Gender and organisational bricolage
  • Gender and the decision making process within a company

Important Dates
Full paper submission: 15 October, 2013