31 March 2014

Special issue published: "Advances in Adaptive e-Learning via Interactive, Collaborative and Emotional Systems"

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 24(2) 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the Second International Workshop on Adaptive Learning via Interactive, Collaborative and Emotional approaches (ALICE 2012).

  • Semantically connected learning resources fostering intuitive guided learning
  • Providing emotion awareness and affective feedback to virtualised collaborative learning scenarios
  • Detecting and making use of emotions to enhance student motivation in e-learning environments
  • Emotion-based digital storytelling for risk education: empirical evidences from the ALICE project

Special issue: "Indian Economics Education"

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education 4(4) 2013
  • Neo-classicism or pluralism? Teaching and research of economics during the era of neo-liberal reforms in India
  • A critique of macroeconomics curriculum in India
  • Teaching poverty: a poverty of perspective
  • Economics education in Northeast India: inviting a second thought
  • Towards pluralism in a public economics course in India
  • Teaching economics: the experience at the University of Calcutta

Special issue published: "Intelligence Management to Combat Cybercrime"

International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics 6(1) 2014
  • Towards a model for the integration of knowledge management in law enforcement agencies
  • Enrolment time as a requirement for biometric fingerprint recognition
  • Anomaly detection using fuzzy association rules
  • Security challenges in the distributed cloud computing
  • Secure cloud-based biometric authentication utilising smart devices for electronic transactions
  • New tackle to catch a phisher

Special issue published: "A Crosscutting and Comprehensive Look at Environmental Problems (Part 2)"

International Journal of Environment and Health 7(1) 2014

Extended versions of papers presented at Argentina and the Environment 2012 (AA2012).
  • Biocatalysed acidification and metal leaching processes in sediments of polluted urban streams
  • Water decontamination by silver and copper montmorillonite
  • Arsenic biotransference to alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
  • Mechanisms of arsenic and fluoride release from Chacopampean sediments (Argentina)
  • Dynamic laser speckle and fuzzy mathematical morphology applied to studies of chemotaxis towards hydrocarbons
  • Effect of the surfactant benzalkonium chloride in the sorption of paraquat and cadmium on montmorillonite
  • Asterococcus superbus as a biosorbent of copper, zinc, cadmium and lead: adsorption isotherm and kinetic modelling

28 March 2014

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics to publish expanded papers from ICCHMT 2015

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 8th International Conference on Computational Heat and Mass Transfer (25-28 May 2015, Istanbul, Turkey) will be published by Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal.

Call for papers: "Business Development: An Essential Factor in Corporate Growth"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

In the last few years there has been much talk of business development as an activity or skill that enables firms to develop value and, consequently, to stand out from the competition in a hyper-competitive globalised environment. Business development involves detecting opportunities and turning them into solid business, and implementing growth strategies, thus creating value for all the firm’s stakeholders, including employees, clients, partners and suppliers. A number of similarities can be observed between development practices and practices associated with “corporate venturing”, “corporate entrepreneurship”, “intrapreneurship” and “new product development”.

Consequently, in order to take a closer look at the function of the business developer, we need to assume the posture, competences and attitudes of the entrepreneur and apply them to an analysis of the environment, the market, and the pursuit of objectives concerning the detection of new business opportunities. Innovation is also an important issue, since the aim of the business developer is to help introduce new products, procedures and services into a hypercompetitive market. Also central to the activities of the business developer is the commercial aspect, which consists in prospecting, negotiating and selling goods and services to clients or prospects. The business developer is also a manager who must not only act effectively within his own team, but also transversally within the firm as a whole by negotiating with other teams the best way of adapting products and services to specific client demands (research and development, marketing, production).

Business development covers many different sectors of activity. IT, new technologies, biotechnology and industry are often mentioned in this regard. It is also relevant to different types of firms, including SMEs, large companies, firms present in international markets, and multinationals.
It is impossible to talk about business development without addressing the problem of international development (detecting opportunities and developing business in other regions of the world). Many firms with international interests apply business development techniques in order to carve out a niche for themselves in a globalised context.

This special issue will be dedicated to business development, to its intrinsic and extrinsic particularities, to the different contexts in which it is exercised, and to the function of the business developer.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The business developer: characteristics, profile and competences
  • Business development, leadership, team management, managing change
  • Corporate commercial development at the service of business development: issues and specific practices
  • Innovation and business development: open innovation
  • Business development and strategy
  • Business development case studies
  • Project management and business development
  • Very small enterprises/SMEs and business development
  • Sectors of activity and business development
  • Business development in an international context

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 March, 2015

27 March 2014

Special issue published: "Global Product Development"

International Journal of Product Development 19(1/2/3) 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the CIRP Design 2010 Conference.
  • Design study for wire and arc additive manufacture
  • A STEP-NC approach for multi-process manufacturing, simulation and optimisation
  • Function-based patent search: achievements and open problems
  • Set-based design of mechanical systems with design robustness integrated
  • ACLODS: a holistic framework for product life cycle design
  • Reverse engineering using a knowledge-based approach
  • Product model and whiteboard connection to support integration between synchronous and asynchronous phases in cooperative product development
  • Geometric transformation of a constrained object using a non-Cartesian method

Call for papers: "Commercial Vehicle Safety and Performance"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Vehicle Performance.

Commercial vehicle traffic has been growing faster than that of passenger vehicles in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. Commercial vehicles and, in particular, articulated heavy vehicles (AHV) have unique physical and performance characteristics compared to the single-unit vehicles. AHVs have complex configurations and large sizes, which results in poor maneuverability at low speeds. On the other hand, AHVs exhibit unstable motion modes at high speeds, including jack-knifing, trailer swing, and rollover. The poor directional performance of commercial vehicles raises concerns about traffic safety and damage to road infrastructure.

In order to increase safety and improve the directional performance of commercial vehicles, over the past three decades valuable performance based guidelines and standards have evolved, and active safety systems including differential braking control and active trailer steering systems have been developed in addition to the driver assist systems being integrated into design processes. The safe operations and directional performance measures of commercial vehicles are dependent on an array of interrelated factors, involving human driver attributes, vehicle designs, operating conditions, and transportation environments. However, the interactions of driver-vehicle-road for commercial vehicle design and development have not been adequately addressed.
Lateral stability of AHVs has long been studied without considering the driver in open-loop dynamic manoeuvers, although the driver may be a destabilising part of the vehicle system. Little attention has been paid to the investigation of commercial vehicle driver attributes. AHV driver behavior is different from that of a single-unit vehicle driver, and an AHV driver’s input is governed mainly by his/her reaction to the tractor’s responses, while the trailer(s) is/are not controlled directly by the driver. In recent years, long combination vehicles (LCVs) with multiple trailers, are increasingly being used on the highways.

Existing highway systems and ramp interchanges, in particular, were mostly designed and constructed based on the dynamic characteristics of single-unit vehicles and AHVs with a tractor and one trailer combinations. LCVs thus pose greater safety concerns. Proportionately higher incidents involving LCVs may be partially attributed to the geometric features of existing highway ramps and interchanges. To reduce the hazards associated with commercial vehicles, multidisciplinary investigations into, for example, human driver attributes, active safety systems, driver assist systems, and driver-adaptive vehicle designs, will lead to promising solutions.

This special issue is intended to present new and original research on commercial vehicle safety and performance.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Fault-tolerant and fail-safe designs
  • Application of wireless network control systems
  • Operating state monitoring and driver warning systems
  • Driver-hardware/software-in-the-loop real-time simulations
  • Crashworthiness/crash prevention and early warning systems
  • System performance cascading to subsystems and components
  • Safety/performance measures, requirements, assessments, and analyses
  • State-of-the-art reviews on safety/performance measures, limitations, assessment methods, guidelines and standards
  • Safety/performance - measurement methods, instrumentation and analysis methods
  • Commercial vehicle handling, roll stability, directional control and guidance
  • Active/passive safety systems
  • Interactions of driver-vehicle-road
  • Multidisciplinary design optimisation of commercial vehicle safety systems considering the interactions of driver-vehicle-road
  • Driver-adaptive commercial vehicle designs
  • Driver assistance systems
  • Directional dynamics of commercial vehicles
  • Commercial vehicle driver performance, behaviour and modelling
  • Biodynamic/biomechanical modelling of driver and applications to commercial vehicle safety design
  • Multi-body system modelling techniques for commercial vehicle directional dynamics
  • Control parameters in vehicle safety and performance

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2014
Reviewers' reports and decision: 30 November, 2014
Final versions due: 31 January, 2015

Special issue published: "Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: Firm Formation, Firm Growth, and Firm Transformation"

International Journal of Economics and Business Research 7(2) 2014
  • Opportunity recognition, intellectual property rights, barriers to technological adoption and technology entrepreneurship in emerging economies: a multilevel analysis
  • The dynamics of entrepreneurs in Indonesia
  • Early stages of technology-intensive companies in Thailand and Finland
  • Entrepreneurship, technological changes, and the formation of a subcontracting production system: the case of Taiwan's machine tool industry
  • The interest of private equity and venture capital for the financing of entrepreneurship in emerging markets
  • Entrepreneurial leadership, capital structure and capabilities development of the firm: the case of the Haier Group

Special issue published: "Modelling and Simulation in Business Continuity and Risk Management"

International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management 5(1) 2014

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Modelling and Simulation in Engineering, Economics and Management.
  • On the use of risk measures in solvency capital estimation
  • Assessing sales loss from automobile recalls: a Toyota case study
  • A new method for fuzzy decision making under risk and uncertainty
  • Using reliability and simulation models in business continuity planning
  • Big data in managerial decision-making: concerns and concepts to reduce risk
  • The collective mind between action and decision: design and risk management

Data mining disaster

Computer technology that can mine data from social media during times of natural or other disaster could provide invaluable insights for rescue workers and decision makers, according to an international team writing in the International Journal of Emergency Management.

Adam Zagorecki of the Centre for Simulation and Analytics, at Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK and David Johnson of Missouri State University, Springfield, USA and Jozef Ristvej of the University of Zilina, Zilina, Slovakia, explain that when disaster strikes the situation can change rapidly. Whether that is during flooding, landslide, earthquake or terrorist attack, understanding the complexities of the situation can mean the difference between saving human and animal lives, reducing environmental impact and preventing major economic loss.

The team points out that advances in information technology have had a profound impact on disaster management. First, these advances make unprecedented volumes of data available to decision makers. This, however, brings with it the problem of managing and using that data. The team has surveyed the state of the art in data mining and machine learning in this context. They have found that whereas earlier applications were focused on specific problems, such as modeling the dispersion by wind of plumes – whether from a chemical plant leak, fire or nuclear incident – and monitoring rescue robots, there are much broader applications, such as constructing situational awareness and real-time threat assessment.

Data mining during a disaster can pull in information from unstructured data from news reports, incident activity reports, and announcements, as well as structured textual data from emergency services, situational reports and damage assessment forms. In addition, it can utilize remote sensing data, as well as more frequently now, mobile phone images and video, and satellite and aerial images.

Critically, the team also reveals that the advent of social media is playing an important role in generating a real-time data stream that grows quickly whenever disaster strikes and those involved have access to wireless communications and or internet connectivity. In particular, data mining of social media can assist with the response phase of disaster management. This information can quickly provide data points for models that are not available in conventional simulations.

“Disasters often undergo rapid substantial evolution; therefore, disaster management is a non-uniform process characterized by phases, although these phases are not distinct in nature,” the team reports, they have now highlighted the challenges and hinted at future trends that might improve disaster response through the use of modern data mining technology.

Data mining and machine learning in the context of disaster and crisis management” in Int. J. Emergency Management, 2014, 9, 351-365

Data mining disaster is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://ift.tt/1paMmWn

Inspiring invention in primary school

Inspiring primary school age children to think of themselves as inventors and to devise novel solutions to the problems around them was the aim of an educational experiment reported in the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.

Charles Crook and Colin Harrison of the School of Education, at the University of Nottingham, UK, suggest that at the interface of in-class and out-of-class activities young learners can be persuaded to cultivate a sense of themselves as inventors and even to come up with novel inventions. Given the urgency with which successive governments have focused on innovative teaching paradigms that extend the curriculum in order to instil various creative and analytical skills in youngsters for the wider benefit of society, the team’s approach offers a unique way to perhaps inspire the young innovators of tomorrow.

In their experiment they provided teachers and pupils with the technology – voice recorders and video equipment – with which to record their everyday environment and to help them home in on the various problems they face in their lives. The primary school class was not only keen to seek out problems but provided several fanciful and occasionally practical solutions.

Cook and Harrison were thus able to build a “taxonomy” of problems as perceived by the children and their teacher. The problems were categorized as personal stress (irritations including being cold in bed, losing one’s spectacles, having hay fever, or a noisy sibling waking up too early. There were problems of effort: mowing the grass, getting up in the morning, doing hard homework. There were problems that arose from a lack of empowerment such as not being able to move quickly enough for a particular purpose. Other people’s problems were also a focus, such as their discomfort or perhaps having sight difficulties. There were artefact repair problems such as changing light bulbs, replacing washers in a sink tap. The team also categorized artefact refinement, such as extending the use or usability of a particular device, such as keeping the bigger birds and squirrels off the bird feeder. Finally, there were two types of environment problems: those were a space was not the right size or was hazardous and those in which a space might be dirty, prone to inclement weather or litter.

While the children did not need to understand this taxonomy, they quickly grasped the concept of inventing something to solve one of the problems. As such the team reports the youthful invention of the hover-bike, the household cleaning machine, spiky litter-picking shoes and a baby monitor that translates baby talk and crying into English language statements of desire on the baby’s part.

While the inventions are perhaps whimsical, the team suggests that this educational process shows that there is a simple way, using modern technology, to trigger the inventive imagination in school age children something that has been neglected recently in curricula. “A central aim here was to seed such engagement by raising expectations that something could be invented – that not everything that might be discovered or designed had already been achieved,” the team says. The researchers point out that the ready availability of technologies such as voice recorders, video equipment and tablets and e-books and readers can act as an important resource for creating inspiration, coherence and engaging output.

Children as inventors: orchestrating an informal pedagogic scenario with digital resources” in Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, 2014, 6, 21-33

Inspiring invention in primary school is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://ift.tt/1fmzuWI

26 March 2014

Inderscience is media partner for Graphene Supply, Application & Commercialisation

Inderscience is a media partner for Graphene Supply, Application & Commercialisation 2014 (12-13 June 2014 Manchester, UK).

The journals involved are:

Call for papers: "Economy and Diplomacy in the Digital Communication Era"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy.

Digital channels and technologies play an increasingly important role in a global economy where diplomacy is often the liaison between business, governments and non-governmental organisations.
The traditional diplomatic actors, nation-states, have seen new actors entering the international diplomacy arena, such as multinational enterprises (MNCs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regional and local governments, multilateral organisations, and other international interest groups. They all claim stakes in today's global economy, and all are using digital channels including social media to express views, build reputations and reach out to and interact with the public. For example, MNCs use digital channels to build and secure their corporate image and to stay in touch with international stakeholders, and governments use digital channels to increase transparency and defend policy choices.
Digital communication channels are being used for commercial diplomacy too, and are already playing an important role, most often as a way to send information. For example, national governments reach out to businesses to inform them about upcoming export promotion programmes and trade missions to join. But what about virtual trade missions, business partner match-making and partner search? This manner of commercial diplomacy has not yet been explored seriously.
Furthermore, MNCs use digital communication channels for business diplomacy purposes, to establish long-term relationships with foreign governments, NGOs and interest groups, to build legitimacy, and to sustain a 'license to operate' in foreign markets (Ruël, et al. 2012). Social media and platforms have become major outlets for presenting the good intentions of a company, to get embedded in communities, to reach out and to be transparent for international stakeholders.
Research on the relationship between the economy, diplomacy and digital communication channels is still in its infancy. This needs to change as the role of digital communication channels in the global economy is already significant, and is still growing.
This special issue aims to fill this gap by contributing to an expansion of the body of knowledge on the relationship between the economy and diplomacy in the digital communication age.
In order to explore the possibilities of digital communication channels for the economy and diplomacy, to expand our understanding of the relationships between the economy, diplomacy and digital communication, and to improve our understanding of how the future of the economy, diplomacy and digital communication channels may develop, this issue calls for papers that address the following list of questions (not exhaustive):
  • How do we conceptualise and theorise the relationship between diplomacy and the economy in a highly digitised global economy?
  • How do the economy and diplomacy support each other via digital communication channels?
  • What are the risks of linking economic and diplomatic aims via digital communication channels?
  • How do MNCs, governments and NGOs use digital communication channels to reach out to stakeholders?
  • What are the challenges that lie ahead for the economy and diplomacy in the digital communication age?

Important Dates
Full paper submissions deadline: 15 July, 2014
Notification to authors: 15 August, 2014
Revision deadline: 15 September, 2014
Acceptance notification: 15 October, 2014

Special issue published: "Creativity in Technology-Enhanced Learning: Developing the Field"

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning 6(1) 2014
  • The potential of treasure hunt games to generate positive emotions in learners: experiencing local geography and history using GPS devices
  • Children as inventors: orchestrating an informal pedagogic scenario with digital resources
  • Social networking sites for online mentoring and creativity enhancement
  • Creativity in technology-enhanced experiential learning: videocast implementation in higher education
  • Learning to be creative and being creative to learn with SAPO campus: the development of a theoretical framework
  • Neurophysiological methods for monitoring brain activity in serious games and virtual environments: a review

25 March 2014

Call for papers: "Models and Algorithms for Applied Optimisation Problems"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Operational Research.

Optimisation techniques are extensively used for solving a wide range of problems related to engineering, science and business. This special issue aims to be a valuable collection of original contributions proposing novel mathematical models and solution algorithms to solve challenging problems. Works devoted to solving real-life optimisation problems are particularly welcome.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 3rd International Conference and Numerical Analysis and Optimization (NAO2014), 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, the following:
  • Linear programming
  • Network models
  • Integer and mixed formulations
  • Stochastic programming
  • Non-linear programming
  • Heuristic techniques

Important Dates
Submission deadline: 31 December, 2014
Notification to authors: 30 April, 2015
Final versions due: 31 June, 2015

Call for papers: "Electrified Vehicles and Transportation Systems"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Vehicle Design.

Electrified vehicles, such as pure electric vehicles (PEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FEVs), play an important role in electrified transportation and have the potential to significantly reduce dependency on fossil fuels and pollutant emissions, which facilitate renewable ways of generating electricity, e.g. wind and solar energy sources, leading to a good synergy between the transportation and power sectors. Additionally, it enables the transportation electrification and contributes to the closer integration of vehicles and transportation system through V2X technology.

The objective of this special issue is to provide timely solutions for theoretical, technological and economic challenges in system integration and optimisation, key components, control of electrified vehicle and transportation systems. The main focus will be on the new advances in vehicle system and component design, including engine, electric machine and energy storage, integration of the vehicles and transportation and grid system, such as V2X (V2G, V2V and V2I). Additionally, the economic and policy aspects of promoting the market penetration of electrified vehicles are included in the issue’s scope.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Vehicle system integration, optimisation and control
  • Key component design and advances, including energy storage, electric machines, motor drive systems, power electronic circuits, converters and inverters and internal combustion engines for electrified vehicle
  • V2X technologies, including V2G (vehicle-to-grid), V2I and V2V services, economy and policy for transportation electrification: e.g. scheduling of charging stations, economic analysis of battery swapping, and life-cycle assessment of electrified vehicles and connected vehicles

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 September, 2014
Notification to authors: 31 November, 2014
Final versions due: 31 January, 2015

Special issue published: "Advanced Control Technology and Application"

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems 5(6) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems 2012 (ICAMechS 2012).
  • PID controller design for micro gas turbines using experimental frequency-response data and a linear identification technique
  • Indeterminate masses, elements and models in information fusion
  • Initial position estimation of a mobile robot with a laser range finder by differential evolution
  • A robot prosthetic finger system based on finger joint angle estimation using EMG signals
  • Iterative method for the mixed H2/H∞ control with a usable feasible direction of the H2 optimisation
  • Analysis of mix-valued logical control networks

Call for papers: "Renewable and Sustainable Energy Production and Use"

For a special issue of the Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal.

There is now reasonable consensus that dramatic change is required to avert climate change and realise the sustainable development agenda. While such dramatic change requires strong policy measures to modify energy technologies, across all sectors, it will also require policies that change the behaviour of the public, commerce and industry in relation to energy use.
This special issue focuses on renewable energy, as an alternative technology options, and energy efficiency, as demand-behaviour interventions, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the economy and thereby mitigate climate change, and contribute to sustainable development in different contexts. Policy-makers are specifically targeted for this special issue, to promote these options and interventions, as part of the industrial ecology agenda.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Technology management
  • Life cycle management
  • Integrated renewable energy systems
  • Industrial and commercial energy management
  • Energy entrepreneurship
  • Local government interventions

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 July, 2014
Notification to authors: 30 September, 2014
Final versions due: 30 November, 2014

24 March 2014

Special issue published: "Bayesian Inference in Economics"

International Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Optimisation 5(1/2) 2014
  • Predicting the present with Bayesian structural time series
  • Estimating marketing response models by MCMC
  • Identification in multivariate partial observability probit
  • Learning and loss functions: comparing optimal and operational monetary policy rules
  • Transmission of news shocks in a small open economy DSGE model
  • Trends and cycles in non-stationary panel models
  • The formation of non-tariff barriers: an integrated framework for empirical analysis

Call for papers: "Leveraging Technological Change: the Role of Business Models and Ecosystems"

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

It is well known (and possibly obvious) that new technologies create strong opportunities for innovation and economic growth. Furthermore, as highlighted in the work of Schumpeter (and many others since), the fact that technological change leads to both creation and destruction is an integral part of entrepreneurship and innovation. Consequently, this means that technological change is not only about creating new productivity assets and opportunities to compete with old industrial models, but also enables the design of new business models and supports radically new strategies.

Beyond the issue of the intrinsic extent of technological change (i.e. the potential impact of the new technology), ecosystems and business models are fundamental determinants of the actual impact of technological change. While vibrant ecosystems and flexible business models enable us to spread new technologies quickly and to fully reap resulting economical and social benefits, rigid ecosystems and outdated business models create significant barriers and can considerably delay and reduce the positive effect of new technologies.

While such issues may arise from any technological change, they have been particularly prevalent in the case of industries that ‘have gone digital’, precisely because of the very specific characteristics of ICTs and the internet: pervasiveness and flexibility. This has made them usable in any context and in any organisational environment, thereby enabling them to support a wide range of strategies. As a consequence, the digital economy has been characterised by a constant battle between traditional and emerging ecosystems (e.g. Apple’s iTunes) and between ‘old’ and ‘new’ business models (e.g. ‘boxed’ video games vs ‘freemium’ games).

Radical changes in infrastructure and the boom of digital services have had a durable effect on ecosystems. Indeed, the increased role of networks, the new forms of partnerships (e.g. open innovation), value chain transformations, industrial market reconfigurations, intellectual property rights (IPRs), performance economy and ‘servicisation’ are some of the crucial aspects of the digital revolution.

Furthermore, the virtually unlimited number of models and systems that can be supported by ICTs encourages a high variability of the market structure, value chain and monetisation, not only in the digital industries but also potentially in all industrial and economic sectors. As a consequence, business models have become a critical vector of innovation, with many different models coexisting and competing. This is particularly the case in the creative, cultural and information industries, but also, potentially, in many other industries (e.g. the recent changes in manufacturing brought about by 3D printing).

Over the past few years, the concepts of business models and ecosystems have been increasingly used by practitioners and academics alike, in particular, for the latter, in literature related to internet economy, innovation management, entrepreneurship, complexity and evolutionary economics. The disruptive changes brought about by ICTs and the internet have made these emerging concepts of critical importance not only in the digital economy, but also in the economy as a whole.

While maximising the benefits of technological change depends on both ecosystems and business models, the two cannot be considered independently from one another. Whereas strong and adaptive ecosystems are drivers of strong value creation, adequate business models are required in order to capture this value. Hence, the interactions between business models and ecosystems and their co-evolution are of critical importance. Likewise, the roles played by stakeholders (in particular new ones) in both ecosystems and business models have to be thoroughly understood.

The aim of this special issue is to bring together articles focusing on the role of business models and ecosystems in leveraging technological change.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the workshop “Leveraging Technological Change: The Role of Business Models and Ecosystems” (19 March 2014, London, UK). However, we also strongly invite and encourage submissions from researchers unable take part in the workshop.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The role of business models and ecosystems in the diffusion of new technologies
  • Innovative ecosystems
  • Business model innovation
  • Systems of innovation
  • Interactions between business models and ecosystems
  • The impact of disruptive technologies
  • New value chains in digitised industries
  • Changing business models and ecosystems in cultural and creative industries
  • The changing role of IP in business models and ecosystems
  • Open innovation in business models and ecosystems
  • The role of stakeholders (e.g. incubators, venture capital, customers) in helping define new business models and ecosystems
  • The role of supporting technologies (e.g. ICTs) in enabling and supporting new ecosystems and business models
  • Value creation vs. value capture
  • Rethinking revenue models: moving beyond advertising and ‘free’-economics
  • The rise of consumers in ecosystems: prosumption, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
  • Competing business models and ecosystems

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 November, 2014

Special issue published: "Global Products from Innovation Labs in Developing Countries"

International Journal of Technology Management 64(2/3/4) 2014
  • Multinational technology and intellectual property management - is there global convergence and/or specialisation?
  • Globalisation of R&D and host-country patenting of multinational corporations in emerging countries 
  • Building global products and competing in innovation: the role of Chinese university spin-outs and required innovation capabilities
  • The evolution of R&D capability in multinational corporations in emerging markets: evidence from China
  • How to implement secondary product innovations for the domestic market: a case from Haier washing machines
  • Organising for reverse innovation in Western MNCs: the role of frugal product innovation capabilities
  • Patterns of R&D internationalisation in developing countries: China as a case

22 March 2014

March Research Picks

Layered boost to cyber security

Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a layered approach to protecting computer networks from unscrupulous intruders and malware. The first layer looks for possible semantic links between incoming connections that might form part of an attack. The second layer identifies the context of the incoming data requests. If the two layers together suggest there is illicit or illegal network traffic then the intruder can be blocked before any damage is done or any data compromised. The team’s initial tests suggest that this layered approach, combining semantics and context, detected more intrusions on a test system than other approaches and at the same time reduced the number of false positives.

Aleroud, A., Karabatis, G., Sharma, P. and He, P. (2014) ‘Context and semantics for detection of cyber attacks’, Int. J. Information and Computer Security, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp.63–92.

Know your cow

Livestock management is an unwieldy business particularly when it comes to cattle. Huge numbers of cattle must be registered and labeled for quality and disease control, food industry requirements and other purposes. The rapid identification of individual animals based on the unique shape and pattern of their iris would simplify many processes for the industry. As such, an international team has devised a computer algorithm that can focus on the unique characteristics of the bovine iris and recognize individual animals from this biometric. The work overcomes many of the problems facing the application of biometrics in animals, specifically that the bovine iris is rarely circular nor regular in shape and so pattern matching in the computer is much more difficult than with the neat circular human iris.

Lu, Y., He, X.F., Wen, Y. and Wang, P.S.P. (2014) ‘A new cow identification system based on iris analysis and recognition’, Int. J. Biometrics, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp.18–32.

Terrorism is more than a gender issue

A link between gender and educational level and support for and the occurrence of international terrorism has been investigated by researchers at the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economic Institute (CERGE-EI), in Praha, Czech Republic. The team used data from a 2007 PEW Research survey of attitudes towards terrorism. The team found a surprising and worrying conclusion when demographics were correlated with support and incidence. They found that women with tertiary education who justify suicide bombing and have an unfavorable opinion towards those countries that are potential targets of international terrorism have a significant impact on the occurrence of terrorist acts. This finding challenges the widespread view that the presence of educated women in troubled regions of the world alone is enough to suppress extremism and deter terrorism. The team suggests that in addition to continuing improved education, particularly for females, attempts must also be made to address the highly contentious issues that give rise to extremism in the first place.

Malecková, J. and Stanišic, D. (2014) ‘Gender, education and terrorism’, Int. J. Education Economics and Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.40–65.

Corn cobs clean up farm runoff

Agriculture and the food industry produces vast quantities of waste corn cobs, the inedible core of maize ears on which the edible corn kernels grow. A new use for this waste product might be found down on the farm, according to researchers at the University of Baghdad. They have demonstrated that this natural, porous material, comprising mainly woody lignocelluloses, can absorb toxic nitrogen-containing chemicals from animal waste, including ammonium ions. The team suggests that corn cobs might therefore be incorporated into an inexpensive and sustainable treatment for making farm runoff and waste water less hazardous to the environment.

Ismail, Z.Z. and Hameed, B.B. (2014) ‘Recycling of raw corn cob residues as an agricultural waste material for ammonium removal: kinetics, isotherms, and mechanisms’, Int. J. Environment and Waste Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.217–230.

March Research Picks is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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21 March 2014

Special issue published: "Geoinformation and Spatial Planning"

International Journal of Society Systems Science 6(1) 2014
  • Urban planning support systems in Japan: evolutions and implications
  • Social-spatial structure of Beijing: a spatial-temporal analysis
  • Spatial distribution and influential factors of urban crime
  • A workshop support tool combining disaster-mitigation performance evaluation and virtual reality for the improvement of densely built-up areas
  • Decision making of a local sustainable development policy by using GIS: application to the transportation sector in Ghardaia, Algeria
  • Graph entropy as tool for understanding complex urban networks. The case of Ensenada city, Mexico

20 March 2014

Special issue on: "Advances on Localisation, Positioning and Coverage in Wireless Sensor Networks"

International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing 15(1/2/3) 2014
  • A routing enhanced localisation algorithm for wireless sensor networks
  • Events localisation and estimation in wireless sensor networks using compressed sensing
  • A robust mobile anchor-based localisation technique for wireless sensor network using smart antenna
  • An adaptive range-free localisation protocol in wireless sensor networks
  • Parameter optimisation in duty-cycled wireless sensor networks under expected network lifetime
  • IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n short-scale indoor wireless sensor placement
  • A coverage strategy for wireless sensor networks in a three-dimensional environment
  • An integrated restoration framework for coverage and communication within wireless sensor networks
  • Distributed clustering approach for UAV integrated wireless sensor networks
  • Barrier coverage in wireless sensor networks with adjustable sensing ranges
  • Random deployment of wireless sensor networks: a survey and approach
  • A wireless sensor network deployment to detect the degeneration of cement used in construction
  • Fingerprinting localisation with cruciate directional antennas for wireless sensor networks
  • Analysis of challenges in the application of deterministic wireless channel modelling in the implementation of WLAN-based indoor location system in large complex scenarios
  • Reality-proof activity scheduling for energy-efficient wireless sensor networks
  • No-calibration localisation for indoor wireless sensor networks
  • Performance assessment of a new intra-mobility solution for healthcare wireless sensor networks

WPA2 wireless security cracked

There are various ways to protect a wireless network. Some are generally considered to be more secure than others. Some, such as WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), were broken several years ago and are not recommended as a way to keep intruders away from private networks. Now, a new study published in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security, reveals that one of the previously strongest wireless security systems, Wi-Fi protected access 2 (WPA2) can also be easily broken into on wireless local area networks (WLANs).

Achilleas Tsitroulis of Brunel University, UK, Dimitris Lampoudis of the University of Macedonia, Greece and Emmanuel Tsekleves of Lancaster University, UK, have investigated the vulnerabilities in WPA2 and present its weakness. They say that this wireless security system might now be breached with relative ease by a malicious attack on a network. They suggest that it is now a matter of urgency that security experts and programmers work together to remove the vulnerabilities in WPA2 in order to bolster its security or to develop alternative protocols to keep our wireless networks safe from hackers and malware.

The convenience of wireless network connectivity of mobile communications devices, such as smart phones, tablet PCs and laptops, televisions, personal computers and other equipment, is offset by the inherent security vulnerability. The potential for a third party to eavesdrop on the broadcast signals between devices is ever present. By contrast a wired network is intrinsically more secure because it requires a physical connection to the system in order to intercept packets of data. For the sake of convenience, however, many people are prepared to compromise on security. Until now, the assumption was that the risk of an intruder breaching a wireless network secured by the WPA2 system was adequately protected. Tsitroulis and colleagues have now shown this not to be the case.

If setup correctly, WPA2 using pre-shared key (PSK) encryption keys can be very secure. Depending on which version is present on the wireless device it also has the advantage of using strong encryption based on either the temporal key integrity protocol (TKIP) or the more secure counter mode with cipher block chaining message authentication code protocol (CCMP). 256-bit encryption is available and a password can be an alphanumeric string with special characters up to 63 characters long.

The researchers have now shown that a brute force attack on the WPA2 password is possible and that it can be exploited, although the time taken to break into a system rises with longer and longer passwords. However, it is the de-authentication step in the wireless setup that represents a much more accessible entry point for an intruder with the appropriate hacking tools. As part of their purported security protocols routers using WPA2 must reconnect and re-authenticate devices periodically and share a new key each time. The team points out that the de-authentication step essentially leaves a backdoor unlocked albeit temporarily. Temporarily is long enough for a fast-wireless scanner and a determined intruder. They also point out that while restricting network access to specific devices with a given identifier, their media access control address (MAC address), these can be spoofed.

There are thus various entry points for the WPA2 protocol, which the team details in their paper. In the meantime, users should continue to use the strongest encryption protocol available with the most complex password and to limit access to known devices via MAC address. It might also be worth crossing one’s fingers…at least until a new security system becomes available.

“Exposing WPA2 security protocol vulnerabilities” in Int. J. Information and Computer Security, 2014, 6, 93-107

WPA2 wireless security cracked is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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19 March 2014

The impact of colonial legacy on African science

Colonial legacy has a significant impact on scientific productivity across the continent of Africa, according to a study by researchers at the University of Lomé, in Togo. Writing in the International Journal of Education Economics and Development, the team suggests that Africa performs relatively poorly compared with other regions of the world. Moreover, their analysis of data for the period 1994 to 2009 shows that African nations with a British colonial legacy are much more productive than countries with French or other history. This, the team adds, correlates with superior enrolment levels in higher education among nations once ruled by the British.

Mawussé Komlagan Nézan Okey explains that there are enormous disparities between African nations when one assesses scientific and technical output in terms of published research journal articles. His assessment of econometric data from 47 countries over 15 years shows that the different scientific research and educational policies, which are strongly influenced by each nation’s former colonial powers, is a persistent legacy in science today.

“This has influenced differently the cost of scientific productivity as well as the ability of a given country’s population to enroll people into higher education, and allocate talented people into science and innovative activities rather than rent-seeking activities,” Okey says. He points out that language has also had a long-lasting impact on a nation’s scientific and educational achievements. “Former British colonies may enjoy comparative language advantages, relatively efficient, open and dynamic scientific research model, more increased demand for collaboration with advanced universities and research centers, as well as better political and economic institutions that support higher education,” he adds.

The natural conclusion, given the prevalence of written and spoken English across the globe in science is that teaching English must be at the heart of reforms for improvement of scientific research and innovation in African countries, Okey says. There is also a need to reinforce collaboration and cooperation between African and western universities regardless of the original colonial affiliation and official language of the particular nations.

Okey, M.K.N. (2014) ‘The scientific research wealth of African nations: do colonial origins matter?’, Int. J. Education Economics and Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.113–125.

The impact of colonial legacy on African science is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Call for papers: "Advances in Computational Biology and Genomics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design.

Computational biology and genomics refers to the use of computational analysis to decipher biology from genome sequences and related data, including both DNA and RNA sequences, as well as other "post-genomic" data. This biomedical research field has progressed significantly over the last few years primarily due to the advancement of technologies such as next generation sequencing (NGS) and shotgun proteomics technologies which have been rapidly applied in biomedical and biological research since their introduction. Transforming genomic and proteomic information into biological knowledge requires creative and innovative new computational approaches. With the current abundance of massive biological datasets, computational studies have become one of the most important avenues for biological discovery.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles, as well as review articles, that will stimulate the continuing efforts in computational biology and genomics for more efficient analysis of big genomics data. Manuscripts submitted to this special issue are guaranteed to have a quick review process.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Functional genomics
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Comparative genomics
  • Metagenomics
  • Epigenomics, non-coding RNA analysis, DNA methylation analysis
  • Proteomic data analysis
  • Expression analysis
  • Network and pathway analysis
  • Advanced genomic/proteomic data mining techniques
  • New applications/tools for genomic/proteomic analysis

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 25 August, 2014

Special issue published: "Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management in Emerging Economies"

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management 17(4/5/6) 2013
  • The invisible hand in entrepreneurial process: bricolage in emerging economies
  • Institutional environments, entrepreneurship motivation and entrepreneurial decision: the China experience
  • Research on the logical structure and evaluation model of coupling development between strategic emerging and traditional industries
  • Why are Chinese partners passive innovators? National culture, organisation processes and innovation propensity in cross-border alliances
  • Innovation and growth of small and medium enterprises: role of environmental dynamism and firm resources as moderating variables
  • A policy perspective on open innovation - the Mexican case
Additional papers
  • Barriers to SMEs participation in public procurement in Nigeria: some preliminary results
  • An investigation of the moderating influence of NPD speed on the organisational integration-new product market success and NPD process proficiency-new product market success relationships
  • The development process of new technology-based firms

18 March 2014

Special issue published: "Network Computing and its Security"

International Journal of High Performance Systems Architecture 5(1) 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 5th International Conference on Intelligent Networking and Collaborative Systems (INCoS2013) and 4th International Conference on Emerging Intelligent Data and Web Technologies (EIDWT2013).
  • Private mutual authentications with fuzzy matching
  • Computing the PUE of data centres by leveraging workload fluctuation
  • On provably secure code-based multiple grade proxy signature scheme
  • Public-key searchable encryption from lattices
  • A novel approach to generate and extract audio watermark
  • Research on born-digital image text extraction based on conditional random field
  • Enhancing the search ability of differential evolution through competent leader
  • STSHC: secure and trusted scheme for Hadoop cluster

17 March 2014

New Editor for IJ Electronic Marketing and Retailing and IJ Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism

Dr. Gandolfo Dominici has agreed to take over the editorship of both the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing and the International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism. Dr. Dominici is currently Associate Professor at the University of Palermo and Scientific Director of the Business Systems Laboratory in Italy.

Special issue published: "Sustainable Nanoelectronics"

International Journal of Nanotechnology 11(1/2/3/4) 2014

Extended versions of papers presented at the 5th IEEE International Nanoelectronics Conference (IEEE INEC).
  • Weak-field low-temperature currents calculated by one-particle self-consistent calculation
  • Hydrogen ion sensing characteristics of IGZO/Si electrode in EGFET
  • Impact of stress induced by stressors on hot carrier reliability of strained nMOSFETs
  • Investigation of discrete dopant induced variability in silicon nanowire MOSFETs using 3D simulation
  • Investigation of the random dopant fluctuations in 20-nm bulk MOSFETs and silicon-on-insulator FinFETs by ion implantation Monte Carlo simulation
  • Characteristics and hot-carrier effects of strained pMOSFETs with SiGe channel and embedded SiGe source/drain stressors
  • Field effect transport properties of chemically treated graphene quantum dots
  • InxGa1-xSb n-channel MOSFET: effect of interface states on CV characteristics
  • Simulation study of dimensional effect on bipolar resistive random access memory
  • Retention behaviour of graphene oxide resistive switching memory
  • Characteristics of gate-all-around polycrystalline silicon channel SONOS flash memory
  • Investigation of bipolar resistive switching characteristics in Si3N4-based RRAM with metal-insulator-silicon structure
  • Characteristics of nitrogen plasma immersion ion implantation treatment on gadolinium oxide resistive switching random access memory
  • Negative resistance characterisation and defective trap exploration in ZnO nonvolatile memory devices
  • Superior bipolar resistive switching characteristics of Cu-TiO2 based RRAM cells
  • Analysis of conduction mechanism in silicon nitride-based RRAM
  • Microstructural investigation of through-silicon via fabrication by pulse-reverse electroplating for high density nanoelectronics
  • Fabrication, characterisation and modelling of fast flexible semiconductor nanomembrane electronics
  • Identification of mobility changes induced by deoxyribo nucleic acid in the inversion regions of ultralong single walled carbon nanotube field-effect transistor using support vector machine and multi-layer perceptron
  • Horizontally suspended carbon nanotube bundles patterned on silicon trench sidewalls
  • Self-organised hybrid nanostructures composed of the array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes and planar graphene multi-layer
  • Gallium nitride nanowires grown by low pressure chemical vapour deposition on silicon substrate
  • Electrical and optical properties of p-type conductive NiO-Pt thin films
  • Preparation, characterisation and photocurrent study of sol-gel-derived Al, Mg-doped ZnO transparent thin films
  • Structural, optical and photo catalytic properties of Cu-doped ZnO nanoparticles synthesised by co-precipitation method
  • Influences of deposition power of GZO thin films on the properties of the heterojunction diode based on a NiO/GZO bi-layer structure
  • Flexible and transparent reduced graphene oxide and silk fibroin composite films with kilo-ohm square resistance
  • Performance improvement of a triple-junction GaAs-based solar cell using a SiO2-nanopillar/SiO2/TiO2 graded-index antireflection coating
  • Effect of trap depth and interfacial energy barrier on charge transport in inverted organic solar cells employing nanostructured ZnO as electron buffer layer
  • Synthesis of vanadium oxide/titanium dioxide nanocomposites via sonochemical and hydrothermal process and their utilisation for energy storage application
  • High temperature operation In(Ga)As quantum dot infrared photodetector focal plane arrays passivated with 6.5 nm-thick Al2O3 layer
  • Improved efficiency of InGaN/GaN light-emitting diodes with Al-doped zinc oxide using dual-plasma-enhanced metal-organic chemical vapour deposition system
  • Ab initio simulation of electronic and mechanical properties of aluminium for fatigue early feature investigation

Special issue published: "Managing Services in the Knowledge Economy: a Challenge for the 21st Century"

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development 5(1) 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at Managing Services in the Knowledge Economy 2011.
  • Knowledge valley theory
  • Organisational and staff development: a virtuous cycle in the knowledge-based economy
  • Application of organisational homeostasis as an emerging paradigm for knowledge management
  • The meaning of social capital in the event of organisational failure: insights into a medium-sized company
  • The impact of structural capital on product innovation performance: an empirical analysis
  • The sharing and transfer of context specific knowledge in a product support environment
  • Assessing and developing organisational renewal capability in the public sector

A slave for all seasons

Human trafficking for forced labour, sexual exploitation and the illegal organ trade amounts to a criminal industry generating untaxed and untaxable revenues of some $32 billion, according to a paper published this month in the International Journal of Public Law and Policy.

The study by Katherine Taken Smith of Murray State University, in Kentucky, USA, and her colleagues suggests that human trafficking is rife in nations with high levels of corruption but that governmental and other corruption is not the only factor. “Ultimately, ending human trafficking requires changing peoples’ attitudes and actions,” the researchers say. “Human trafficking exists because there is a demand for the products and services connected to it.” The phrase human trafficking is a limp euphemism for what is actually the modern slave trade. Victims, slaves, are exploited across the globe in the developing world and in the so-called developed world, where there is serious corruption and in countries where the corruption that exists is not so obvious or blunt.

The researchers point out that about half of victims of human trafficking are children and almost three-quarters are female. Estimates for the number of slaves being exploited right now across the globe put the figure as high as 30 million, but given the clandestine nature of the exploitation this is nothing more than an informed guess on a lower limit. The USA has been identified, they say, as the “transit and destination country” for many thousands of victims – up to 17,500 people ever year, in fact. Ironically, one might say, The US Department of State has labelled human trafficking as one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time.

“There is relatively little public outcry about the millions of people for sale in the world today. Stopping this travesty requires acknowledging the gravity of human trafficking and then combining the efforts of all members of a civilised society, caring citizens, businesses, law enforcement, and government leaders,” the researchers conclude.

“Human trafficking: a global multi-billion dollar criminal industry” in Int. J. Public Law and Policy, 2014, 4, 293-308

A slave for all seasons is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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16 March 2014

Int. J. of Advanced Mechatronic Systems to publish expanded papers from ICAMechS 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 2014 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems (10-12 August 2014, Tokai University, Kumamoto Campus, Japan) will be published by the International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems.

Call for papers: "Intelligent Systems Architectures for Big Data"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems.

This special issue aims to bring together work from academia, research scholars, scientists, engineers, business entrepreneurs and policy makers responsible for delivering effective solutions in solving problems associated with big data systems architectures.

Big data presents a new paradigm that consists of volume of data sets which help in the development of new approaches in transforming science, engineering, medicine, healthcare, finance, business and many related application service domains.

This issue calls for innovative and high-quality papers describing or demonstrating theory and practice of storing, accessing, searching, mining, processing and visualising in the context of intelligent systems development for big data. Authors are invited to submit papers presenting new research related to the theory and practice of big data in the context of the issue’s topics of interest.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Cloud computing techniques for big data
  • Big data as a service
  • Big data open platforms
  • Big data in mobile and pervasive computing
  • Algorithms and applications for big data
  • Management issues of social network big data
  • Models and languages for big data protection
  • Privacy-preserving big data analytics
  • Large-scale social media and recommendation systems
  • Big data for enterprise transformation
  • Network architectures to support big data analytics
  • Network and resource provisioning approaches
  • Software systems to support big data computing
  • Tools and technologies for deploying and managing big data
  • Parallel and distributed systems for big data storage and analysis
  • Methods and applications for big data processing and management
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 11 July, 2014

15 March 2014

Inderscience is media partner for IEI Turkey Energy Summit

Inderscience is a media partner for IEI Turkey Energy Summit (5-6 June 2014, Istanbul, Turkey).

The journals involved are:

Call for papers: "The Challenge of Islamic Economics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education.

Islamic economics remains unfamiliar to most economists with orthodox training. Yet Islamic economics challenges orthodox economics and at the same time offers illuminating insights and effective policies to help us more equitably provision. In this special issue, we invite empirical as well as theoretical papers along the following broad themes:

The Empirical Challenge: The teachings of Islam emphasise spending on others, generosity and a spirit of service while condemning greed, selfishness and the pursuit of wealth. Empirical studies support generosity and cooperation as more accurate descriptions of human behaviour. What is the empirical record of Islamic economics?

The Practical Challenge: Some have complained that Islam's ideals are remote from current practice. How well are Islamic teachings embodied in contemporary institutions, and how can the fit be improved?
The Moral Challenge: Islam is strongly committed to economic justice for all human beings (including all nations, races and religions). This explicit normative stance provides the foundation for Islamic economics and contrasts with more law-like and mechanical approaches in both neoclassical and heterodox economics. How does Islamic economics' conception of justice differ from that of Rawls, Nozick, Sen and others in the Western tradition?

We invite papers on the broad, general theme of the past, present and future for Islamic economics: what can we learn from the past; what is the state of Islamic economics today; and what can we expect of the future?

We also welcome contributions highlighting unique features of the Islamic approach to private property, consumer theory, financial regulation, market regulation, natural resources, finance, ethics, environment, and sustainability. In particular, the following areas, both theoretically and empirically, are of special interest:
  • Islamic concepts of property as trust. How does this contrast with capitalism?
  • Islamic conception of public property and comparison with the "Commons" problem and Elinor Ostrom's work.
  • Contrast between greed, selfishness, self-interest and scarcity of conventional economics compared to generosity, abundance, prosperity and human welfare in Islamic economics
  • Islamic consumer theory incorporating prohibitions on excessive and wasteful spending as well as hoarding and accumulation.
  • Articulating a theory of the firm committed to maximising provision of service to humanity under the constraint of financial viability, compared to the neoclassical profit-maximising firm.
  • Islamic ideals and institutions: charity (via Awqaf), microfinance, health, education, insurance and finance. Relevance and applicability of historical Islamic solutions of free provision of social services based on private initiatives backed with government support.
  • Normative concerns for justice and equity is the foundation of reasonable solutions to all economic problems in Islamic economics. Theoretical, historical, and contemporary illustrations.
  • Globalisation and Islamic economics.
  • Social responsibility and Islamic eonomics.
  • Insights from the Qur'an and its translation into practice by the Prophet and his followers in appropriate economic institutions and practices.
  • Islamic rules that all earnings must be based on permissible (Halal) methods, not on gambling or speculation, which does not create any real value. How does this contrast with traditional finance, and its relevance to the global financial crisis?
  • Applications of Islamic economics to environmental and sustainability.

Important Dates
Deadline for abstracts: 1 September, 2014
Abstract decisions: 30 September, 2014
Deadline for full papers: 31 December, 2014

14 March 2014

Call for papers: "Entrepreneurship and Intangibles"

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

In many OECD countries, investment in intangible assets is growing rapidly. In some cases this investment matches or exceeds investment in traditional capital such as machinery, equipment and buildings (OECD 2013). Intensified global competition, ICTs, new business models and the growing importance of the services sector have all amplified the importance of intangible assets to firms, industries and national economies. Compared to tangible assets, intangibles or knowledge-based resources are among the most important determinants of institution, business and industry performance.

These intangible factors affect firm growth and economic development. Many of them are related to human capital and knowledge, as driving factors of individual and aggregate performance. New factors and new ideas are valued differently by different economic agents. Often, entrepreneurial opportunities arising from intangibles are best exploited by new entrants. In other cases, corporate entrepreneurship provides the best tool to develop and exploit intangible factors. Along this line, the entrepreneurial capital in incumbent and newly formed firms provides a form of intangible asset that is complementary to knowledge capital, as it summarises the ability in the recognition and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities in a company.

Recognising the role of intangibles in promoting, sustaining and complementing entrepreneurship, the aim of this special issue is to examine the role of intangible assets in the field of entrepreneurship and to enhance our understanding of the way entrepreneurs are able to develop or exploit intangible assets to contribute to firms’ growth or regional economic development.

This issue will consider qualitative and quantitative empirical studies, and theoretical and conceptual research contributions. As the literature on intangibles is found across multiple disciplines, we encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to advance our understanding of the intangibles-entrepreneurship nexus. Therefore, contributions from the field of entrepreneurship, business, economics, management, geography and regional studies are welcome and might be considered for this special issue.

This issue coincides with the 13th International Conference of the Society for Global Business & Economic Development (SGBED). Authors are encouraged, but not required, to submit their manuscripts on entrepreneurship and intangibles to the conference to get feedback prior to revising for journal submission.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Entrepreneurship and the knowledge economy
  • Human capital, intangibles assets and entrepreneurship
  • Intellectual capital, organisational capital and entrepreneurship
  • Intangibles and value creation
  • Measuring and managing intangibles in entrepreneurial contexts
  • Start ups, new ventures and intangible assets
  • Family firms, family entrepreneurship and intangibles
  • Corporate entrepreneurship and intangibles
  • Innovation, new technologies, new business models and intangibles
  • Intangibles, entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Intangible capital and growth: measurement methods for companies and economies
  • Intellectual property and innovation
  • Learning, dynamic capabilities and the management of intangibles in learning organisations
  • Entrepreneurial orientation, intangible assets and firm growth

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 September, 2014
Notification to authors: 20 December, 2015
Final versions due: 28 February, 2015

Call for papers: "Globalisation, the Internationalisation of SMEs and Intangible Assets"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Business and Globalisation.

Globalisation and increased competition are putting new types of pressures on companies and, by extension, on the regions that depend on their success. Flexibility, the ability to immediately adapt to market developments and pro-activism in creating future markets are the earmarks of this new era. In response to increased competition, companies develop “soft” production factors, i.e. factors related to individual knowledge that can be generically grouped in what is known as intangible assets (IA).

There is increasing interest from academia, policy-makers and the corporate environment in the impact of intangible assets on economic processes of globalisation. These assets can be defined as “non-material factors” that contribute to enterprise performance in the production of goods or the provision of services, or that are expected to generate future economic benefits to the entities or individuals that control their deployment. Their link to globalisation is highlighted by the crucial role of international activities in the growth and survival of SMEs.

Studies are focusing on understanding relationships between internationalisation, intangible assets and firm performance. At the firm level, despite the different ways of measuring them, the existing literature suggests that intangible assets account for a large part of corporate assets and are key resources for firms’ competitiveness. Scholars and policy-makers recognise the growing role played by intangible assets on firms’ investment policy and in particular on the support they provide for the internationalisation process. Despite the great difficulties in measurement, firms’ accounting data on intangible assets possess real informative content, and unveil positive effects on firm performance as measured by SMEs’ international activity.

This special issue will consider qualitative and quantitative empirical studies, and theoretical and conceptual research contributions. As the literature on intangibles is found across multiple disciplines, we encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to advance our understanding of the intangibles-entrepreneurship nexus. Therefore, contributions from the field of international business and international entrepreneurship, economics, management, geography and regional studies are welcome and will be considered for this issue.

This issue coincides with the 13th International Conference of the Society for Global Business & Economic Development (SGBED). Authors are encouraged, but not required, to submit their manuscripts on entrepreneurship and intangibles to the conference to get feedback prior to revising for journal submission.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Globalisation and the knowledge economy
  • Human capital, intangibles assets and globalisation
  • Healthcare, education and workforce development: impact on SMEs
  • Intellectual capital, organisational capital and SME internationalisation
  • SMEs, brand equity, design, quality and firm-specific growth models
  • Measuring and managing intangibles in international markets
  • International business, international entrepreneurship and intangible assets
  • Internationalisation of family firms and intangible assets
  • Intangibles, SME internationalisation and economic development
  • Intangible capital and foreign markets: measurement methods for companies and economies
  • SMEs, international trade, non-tariff barriers and foreign market entry modes
  • Internationalisation of SMEs and ICT (information and communication technologies)
  • Financing SMEs, role of the state and incentives, etc.

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 September, 2014
Notification to authors: 20 December, 2015
Final versions due: 28 February, 2015

13 March 2014

New editorial team for Int. Journal of Information and Coding Theory

The International Journal of Information and Coding Theory has appointed Associate Professor Sihem Mesnager of the University of Paris VIII as its new Editor-in-Chief. Her Deputy Editor-in-Chief will be Professor Grard Cohen from Telecom ParisTech in France.

Call for papers: "Crude Oil Prices: An International Perspective"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Global Energy Issues.

Since the financialisation of global crude oil trading, its price movements have attracted worldwide attention from investors, policy-makers, scholars and the general public. Since oil powers production and underpins mobility in nearly all industries and sectors, global leaders are concerned about the economic burden that the era of high oil prices generates, especially in the major oil-importing, fast-growing countries, such as China and India. Different from the natural gas market, the global oil market is highly integrated, meaning that oil prices in different regions are so synchronised that a local crisis in a relevant place could send global oil prices to sky-high.
The volatile and less predictable nature of oil prices has also created the need and opportunity for hedging funds, but at the same time, many have speculated that the hedging funds have ironically been responsible for the creation of bubbles through their large capital injection and speculation. In the second decade of the 21th century, new developments have taken root and invites more timely discussion.
For instance, the American shale bonanza, which is bound to make US energy independent, has been a game-changer not only for gas but also for oil. Given a set of complicated reasons, Brent crude oil prices surpassed WTI prices in 2010, a development unseen since the launch of crude oil futures in the 1980s. The international and sub-national crises, such as those observed in Iran, Libya, Syria and Ukraine, have added extra uncertainties to crude oil price forecasts. This special issue, therefore, seeks to invite international experts to share their insights on these matters in order to shed light upon the future development of crude oil pricing and its policy implications.
Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Crude oil pricing mechanisms
  • Crude oil price volatility
  • Crude oil price risk measurement
  • Crude oil price forecast modelling
  • Crude oil price bubble
  • Crude oil market regulations and reforms
  • Crude oil price and economic growth
  • Crude oil prices and financial market prices
  • Crude oil market information spillover

Important Dates
Submission of Manuscripts: 31 August, 2014

First issue: Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development (free sample issue available)

The Latin America region has experienced rapid industrial, political and economic change over the past few decades. The challenges for managers and researchers from the Latin America area are often different to those experienced in other parts of the world. Considering that the major challenge for Latin America is to contribute to a more sustainable world, the Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development offers an international forum for a better understanding of the state-of-the-art and best practices of management focusing on sustainable development in Latin American organisations.

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

12 March 2014

Blood sugar testing without the sharps

Measuring blood sugar when you have diabetes usually involves pricking your finger and using a glucose monitor for the test. While this approach can give people with diabetes vital information about whether they need to take insulin or eat something sugary, it is nevertheless painful and inconvenient. Now, an international research team is one step closer to an entirely non-invasive blood sugar test. They report details in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

Diabetes mellitus is the general name for several related metabolic disorders. Symptoms such as strong thirst and hunger and frequent urination are caused by high blood glucose levels, which arise either because the pancreas does not produce enough of the protein to control blood glucose, insulin, or because the cells that normally respond to the insulin to adjust blood glucose do not work properly. Type 1 diabetes, usually first appears in children and young adults and is caused by the pancreas not making sufficient insulin. Patients must test their blood glucose regularly and inject insulin as appropriate. Type 2 diabetes is due to insulin resistance where the insulin-receptor cells do not work properly, it might also be concomitant with insulin deficiency, it is associated with obesity and diet. Gestational diabetes can arise in pregnancy and lead to ongoing Type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is used to treat Type 1 and there are medications available too for the treatment of Type 2. If the condition is not treated it can lead to acute complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis and non-ketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications include heart disease, chronic kidney failure, and blindness. Estimates suggest that, worldwide, 150 million people suffer from disturbances in metabolic regulation of blood glucose, diabetes. As obesity is closely correlated with the onset of Type 2 diabetes and overweight is on the increase in many parts of the world, there is likely to be an increase in the incidence of diabetes in the coming years. More worryingly, is that childhood obesity is also on the rise and this means that a formerly adult-onset disease (Type 2) is becoming more common in youngsters.

Shruti Narasimham, Biomedical Engineer at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany and Gaurav Kaila, Biomedical Engineer at Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands and Sneh Anand of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India, have turned to impedance spectroscopy to help them develop a system for the determination of blood glucose concentrations without having to obtain a blood sample from the person with diabetes.

The spectral lines obtained by impedance spectroscopy depend crucially on the concentration of glucose in a blood sample. So, the researchers first performed in-vitro with standard solution containing different concentrations of glucose. They then place electrodes on the forearm of a volunteer and record the impedance spectrum through the skin without having to pierce the skin. The reference then reveals the blood glucose concentration non-invasively.

However, there are several other factors that can affect such impedance spectra including patient-to-patient variation in skin type and skin moisture as well as related factors that would affect readings day to day for the same patient. The team is investigating these issues with a view to taking the prototype system to the next stage in research and development.

Non-invasive glucose monitoring using impedance spectroscopy” in Int. J. Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 2014, 14, 225-232.

Blood sugar testing without the sharps is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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Inderscience journals to publish expanded papers from ITEC Asia-Pacific 2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the ITEC Asia-Pacific 2014 (31 August - 3 September 2014, Beijing, China) will be published by the following journals:

DNA solves perennial school timetabling problem

Scientists in Russia plan to use DNA – our genetic material – to help them solve one of the perennial “back to school” problems faced by school administrators the world over: how to match up students, with classes and available teachers. Writing in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications, the team explains how DNA’s ability to store information can be used to encode the timetabling problem and then a solution read out using enzymes.

Igor Popov, Anastasiya Vorobyova and Irina Blinova of the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, explain how timetabling is a so-called NP-complete problem. Such problems are complex and have many possible solutions, some of which are near-perfect others not so much. The classic school timetabling problem involves accommodating a number of students in a finite number of classrooms for appropriate lessons with a limited number of teachers offering their chosen subjects. In general, school administrators at large schools offering many diverse courses will expend a large amount of energy attempting to fit all students and teachers into appropriate timetable slots during the school week. Issues come to light when a given subject is oversubscribed or when a subject offered has very few takers.

The team explains that timetabling essentially consists of a set of resources (teachers and classrooms), a set of activities (lessons, study periods, physical education), and a set of dependencies between the activities (is the Latin teacher available on Monday mornings? Are students interested in studying Latin available or are they likely to be in their Greek lesson on Monday mornings?). Time is divided into slots of the same duration and these can be hard or soft: a hard constraint indicates that the slot is forbidden for an activity (absolutely no Latin lessons last thing on a Friday as the teacher has to catch an early train back to Rome), a soft constraint indicates that the slot is not preferred (the Latin teacher is always available on Monday mornings but can take classes on Tuesday if students cannot make Monday morning). Every activity and every resource may have assigned a set of time preferences, which indicate forbidden and not preferred time slots.

All possible timetables can be encoded in a large number of synthetic strands of DNA, the team then explains. They then apply the various resources and constraints to a second strand of DNA. When this is mixed with in the test-tube with the encoded DNA strands it will match up with its complementary strand, which can then be filtered from the brew. An enzymatic DNA reading system can then identify the solution plucked from the mixture and reveal the optimal timetable.

Finding a unique, fully working solution to the timetabling problem usually involves exponential growth as student numbers, courses offered and teaching resources increase. The application of a DNA algorithm to this problem, which could also be applied to other logistics and scheduling problems, reduces this exponential problem (due to massive parallelism) to a polynomial one. “At present, the result is purely theoretical,” says Popov. “Its implementation will be an interesting future problem.”

DNA-algorithm for timetable problem” in Int. J. Bioinformatics Research and Applications, 2014, 10, 145-156

DNA solves perennial school timetabling problem is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

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