27 November 2020

Research pick: Evaluating cryptocurrencies - "Economic, legal and financial perspectives on cryptocurrencies: a review on cryptocurrency growth, opportunities and future prospects"

Cryptocurrencies are a revolutionary monetary system. They are decentralized, essentially unhackable, and represent a novel and disruptive alternative to monetary systems controlled by banks and governments. The value of various cryptocurrencies has waxed and waned, but at the moment one of the more well-known is riding high at a record-breaking valuation. A review in the World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development considers the growth, opportunities, and future prospects of cryptocurrencies.

Shweta Goel of the department of Management Sciences at Jagannath Institute of Management Sciences in New Delhi and Himanshu Mittal of the Department of Computer Science at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India, suggest that cryptocurrencies can be regarded as the safest mode of transferring money and making payments internationally. Moreover, they represent a system that is beyond the control of governments, banks, and even law enforcement, a fact that has its pros and cons in the wider scheme of commerce, international relations, and crime-fighting. They suggest that the likes of Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, etc have over the last decade or so changed the financial sector in unimaginable ways and have yet revealed their full potential especially as the world responds and evolves in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

While many everyday people still perceive folding cash money as the most “real” of currencies, organisations and individuals across a wide range of business sectors have recognised the unfolding of cryptocurrencies. This area of finance, despite some perceived limitations and purported but surmountable authoritarian controls, is likely to grow considerably in the medium to long term. In the short term, there will be a gradual understanding and a shift in perception that will facilitate that long-term recognition and growth.

Goel, S. and Mittal, H. (2020) ‘Economic, legal and financial perspectives on cryptocurrencies: a review on cryptocurrency growth, opportunities and future prospects’, World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp.611–623

26 November 2020

Special issue published: "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Entrepreneurship and Business Management"

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development 16(6) 2020

  • Financial credit risk evaluation model using machine learning-based approach
  • Fine grain sentiment grading of user-generated big data using contextual cues
  • Internet of things-based wearable health solutions: empirical study for health startups
  • Economic, legal and financial perspectives on cryptocurrencies: a review on cryptocurrency growth, opportunities and future prospects
  • Modified artificial bee colony algorithm for facility layout design problem
  • Grey wolf optimisation-based colour image watermarking
  • A hybrid cluster technique for improving the efficiency of colour image segmentation

Research pick: Where have all the flowers gone? - "Recognition of flowers using convolutional neural networks"

There are numerous software applications, apps, that can identify birds, trees, flowers, and other living things all with varying degrees of accuracy. New research published in the International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics offers a new approach to flower identification.

Abdulrahman Alkhonin, Abdulelah Almutairi, Abdulmajeed Alburaidi, and Abdul Khader Jilani Saudagar of the Information Systems Department at the Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, explain how flowers are a big part of our lives in the aesthetic and recreational, educational, and even medicinal contexts and beyond.

Deep learning algorithms have been widely used recently in the fields of image processing and computer vision.

The team’s new algorithm has been trained on a variety of photos of four well-known flower types – sunflower, dandelion, rose, and tulip. The resulting application tested with colour photos on the Android mobile operating system could then identify new photos of dandelion flowers with an accuracy of 94.6%, sunflowers at 92.5%, tulips with 95.7%. For roses the recognition rate was a little lower at just under 90%. They explain that increasing the training data set will allow the accuracy of the algorithm to be improved.

The team adds that in future work they will incorporate an augmented reality feature in the application as extension that would help with flower identification out in the field, as it were.

Alkhonin, A., Almutairi, A., Alburaidi, A. and Saudagar, A.K.J. (2020) ‘Recognition of flowers using convolutional neural networks’, Int. J. Intelligent Engineering Informatics, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp.186–197.

25 November 2020

Research pick: Exoskeletons for the elderly - "Structural design and analysis of a lower limb exoskeleton for elderly"

The concept of a powered exoskeleton has been discussed widely in the context of science fiction and in industry where a human operator exploits robotic components that allow them to wield much greater strength in lifting and moving objects than is normally humanly possible. However, a robotic exoskeleton might be just as useful for the infirm who struggle with everyday mobility.

Writing in the International Journal Advanced Mechatronic Systems a research team from India discusses the design and potential of a lower-limb robotic exoskeleton for otherwise immobile older people. The system could help overcome one of the more common problems – rising from a seated position to standing from a chair.

Vishnu Vardhan Dadi, P.V.N.S. Sathwik, D. Mahesh, Dala Jaswanth, Karthik Kumar, M.M. Ramya, and D. Dinakaran of the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, Chennai, have designed their exoskeleton so that it can be adapted to varying body shapes, height, weight, and waist circumference. Modelling in Ansys workbench predicts the maximum loads, and static characteristics of the design as well as revealing the vibrational properties of the system. The design can bear 350 kilograms, which is well beyond the 100 kg person for which it was initially designed. Follow-up studies will investigate dynamic characteristics and responses of the design.

Dadi, V.V., Sathwik, P.V.N.S., Mahesh, D., Jaswanth, D., Kumar, S.K., Ramya, M.M. and Dinakaran, D. (2020) ‘Structural design and analysis of a lower limb exoskeleton for elderly’, Int. J. Advanced Mechatronic Systems, Vol. 8, Nos. 2/3, pp.65–74.

24 November 2020

Research pick: Social media and Sudan - "The impact of social media on Sudan’s uprising behaviour"

The received wisdom is that the advent of social media has changed our lives significantly, it affects many aspects of business, entertainment, sport, and day to day living. But, according to researchers in the USA writing in the International Journal of Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence little research has been done to investigate its role on behavioural and political change. They hope to remedy that situation in the context of the impact of social media on the citizens of Sudan in their seeking civil government and the ensuing uprising.

The Sudanese Revolution led to the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir after thirty years in power in April 2019 following widespread street protests in December 2018 and months of sustained civil disobedience. Ashraf Attia, Merve Yanar Gürce, Rana Fakhr, and Barry Friedman of the State University of New York at Oswego, USA, explain how social media is used by billions of people and that its platforms, most famously Facebook and Twitter have influenced our lives and perhaps even the results of elections and referenda. These tools provide an immediacy in political events from France to the USA, India to Iran, and Nigeria to Malaysia, and many other places besides.

The team suggests that platforms allow people to encourage others to participate in mass demonstrations through the creation of an organic group solidarity. Protestors can mobilize themselves with the help of social media platforms and build a voice that is louder and heard that might ultimately change a government stance or even change the whole government.

In the years before the Sudanese Revolution and coup d’état, economic conditions worsened, food prices escalated, and unemployment among the young increased enormously. Thus a thirst for freedom, democracy, and social justice arose. Social media facilitated the spread of the revolutionary urge and the information that brought together otherwise independent professional unions, rebel groups, and civil opponents with members from diverse race, religious, and ethnic groups. Importantly, it is well known that most of the protestors (80%) were young and 70% of those young people were women.

Attia, A.M., Gürce, M.Y., Fakhr, R.A. and Friedman, B. (2020) ‘The impact of social media on Sudan’s uprising behaviour’, Int. J. Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp.186–203.

23 November 2020

Special Issue published: "The 7th International Workshop on Nanotechnology and Applications" [includes OPEN ACCESS article]

International Journal of Nanotechnology 17(7/8/9/10) 2020

  • Capillary folding of patterned polymer polyhedra
  • A review of 2019 fuel cell technologies: modelling and controlling
  • Impacts of copper-containing precursors on the photocatalytic activity of Cu-modified ZnO nanoparticles
  • Fabrication of Mn-(Bi, Ga) based hard magnetic nanocomposites
  • Plasmonic interconnects for global wires in integrated circuits
  • One-photon absorption based direct laser writing for fabrication of multi-dimensional photonic and plasmonic nanostructures
  • A novel cathodic composite in lithium ion battery based on LiNi0.7Co0.3O2, Li2MnO3, and LiCoO2 combination: synthesis and characterisation
  • Development of new Mg-Zn-Sr alloys for medical purpose
  • Wafer-scale fabrication and modification of silicon nano-pillar arrays for nanoelectronics, nanofluidics and beyond [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Fabrication of TiO2/Al2TiO5 nanocomposite photocatalysts
  • Effect of calcination temperature on optical properties of Gd3PO7:Eu3+ nanophosphors synthesised by the combustion method
  • Morphology and optical properties of chemically synthesised CePO4:Tb3+ nanorods
  • Study on electrochemical properties of gelled electrolytes using nano fumed silica in the presence of some organic additives
  • Sensitive electrochemical measurement of As (III) using Nafion modified platinum electrode via anode stripping voltammetry
  • Fabrication of paper-based microfluidic channels by electrohydrodynamic inkjet printing technology for analytical biochemistry applications
  • Upconversion luminescence of Er3+ doped Y2O3 and Gd2O3 nanophosphors
  • Development of a microfluidic flow-focusing droplet generating device utilising rapid prototyping technique
  • Effects of silver nanoparticles on the growth, mortality rate and morphology of Chlorella vulgaris and Thalassiosira weissflogii algae
  • Nickel nanoparticles loaded on ceria oxide spheres as catalyst for dry reforming of methane

Free open access article available: "Wafer-scale fabrication and modification of silicon nano-pillar arrays for nanoelectronics, nanofluidics and beyond"

The following paper, "Wafer-scale fabrication and modification of silicon nano-pillar arrays for nanoelectronics, nanofluidics and beyond" (International Journal of Nanotechnology 17(7/8/9/10) 2020), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

20 November 2020

Special issue published: "Intelligent Mechatronic Systems and Additive Manufacturing"

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems 8(2/3) 2020

  • Obstacle avoidance system and wireless communication for an unmanned underwater vehicle for low depth water surfaces
  • Maze path planning of mobile robots by gradient map rendering and gradient follow
  • Structural design and analysis of a lower limb exoskeleton for elderly
  • Machine learning based ovarian detection in ultrasound images
  • Design and development of robotic end-effector position measuring device
  • Platform tilt stabilisation using inertial measurement unit sensor
  • Development of pass-through augmented reality interface for human robot interaction
  • Operator-based nonlinear fault detection and fault tolerant control for microreactor using one-class SVM
  • Optimal wavelet analysis and enhanced independent component analysis for isolated and combined mechanical faults diagnosis

Research pick: Philosophical thoughts for the future - "Mankind’s path from ignorance to knowledge – from ego structures to truth: a foresight"

Science, philosophy, and religion all attempt to distill the essence of reality, the essence of being – albeit from very different points of departure. Writing in the International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, Austrian scientist Franz Moser presents a foresight paper that looks at humanity’s path from ignorance to knowledge and how ego structures have evolved into truth. Moser points out how our history is littered with war, misery, and suffering, yet none of our philosophical meanderings of whatever kinds have reconciled us. None has yet pulled us out of the paradigm that leads to that state of being to give us a new holistic paradigm.

“The present world view, the Newtonian paradigm, confronts us with a divided world of contradictions, antagonism, and egotism,” writes Moser. This arises from the basic human delusion of dualism wherein we imagine mind and matter to be separate rather than our minds, our consciousness, emerging from the electrochemistry of our brains. “Ego illusions prevail and dominate man’s behaviour towards his fellow man and towards himself,” adds Moser.

Our modern scientific understanding and our spiritual lives also thus exist in a dualistic place. The next evolutionary steps in the wellbeing of humanity must find a holistic approach that allows what one might have thought of as the heart and mind to become one and to guide us forward to a better world where misery, suffering, and war are greatly reduced if not entirely precluded from the human condition. The current philosophical paradigms cannot correct this dualistic world view at any level.

Ultimately, once we cast off the dualism, humanity can move from a place of ignorance, scarcity, and fear to knowledge and truth.

Moser, F. (2020) ‘Mankind’s path from ignorance to knowledge – from ego structures to truth: a foresight‘, Int. J. Foresight and Innovation Policy, Vol. 14, Nos. 2/3/4, pp.264-274.

19 November 2020

Research pick: Strawberry plants guide healthcare schedules - "Plant propagation algorithm for nurse rostering"

The way in which strawberry plants propagate has been modelled mathematically and used to develop an algorithm that can help solve complicated problems. Writing in the International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications, a team from Algeria has shown how such a plant propagation algorithm can be used to decide on an efficient nursing roster in a hospital.

Salim Haddadi of LabSTIC at the 8 Mai 1945 University in Guelma, explains that the nurse rostering problem is a combinatorial optimisation problem that has to be solved in every healthcare institution. It is a computationally hard problem with huge numbers of possible solutions and so requires a sophisticated approach that can find the optimal solutions from that huge number. There are many additional constraints on the solutions that might be tenable in a healthcare environment because nurses with different skills are needed at different times. There are also many regulations that must be complied with in the healthcare setting. Such constraints make solving the problem even tougher than a roster for shop assistants would be, for instance.

Plants have evolved many different propagation strategies. The most obvious is sexual reproduction which produces seeds that are dispersed by various mechanisms and grow into new plants. However, some plants, such as the strawberry plant can produce runners that branch from the main plant and generate new plants asexually with roots implanted from those new buds along the branches. The way in which strawberry plants project these runners and the positions of the new asexual offspring along the runners is determined by the plant’s sensing of sunlight, moisture levels, and nutrient concentrations. If conditions are inadequate when shorter runners are sent out, the parent plant will allow the runners to grow longer before a new plant bud forms to set roots. The algorithm models this process as a proxy for positioning nursing staff in the roster.

Haddadi, S. (2020) ‘Plant propagation algorithm for nurse rostering’, Int. J. Innovative Computing and Applications, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp.204–215.

18 November 2020

Reasearch pick: The end of fake news - "Fake news circulation on social media and the need for a policy evolution in India"

Fake news is another level of media manipulation beyond propaganda and it is becoming increasingly commonplace thanks to social networking and ubiquitous connectivity. Researchers in India, writing in the International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication suggest that India needs an evolution in policy to stem the flow of fake news.

Raj Kishore Patra of the Department of Mass Communication and Media Technology at Khallikote University, in Berhampur, Odisha, and Arpita Saha of the Xavier School of Communications at Xavier University, in Bhubaneswar, suggest that the spirit and ethics of journalism are compromised by fake news and the public perception of the place of ethical journalism within the modern information sphere. The social media giants seem not to have the strength of policy to cope with fake news and the regulatory authorities too are apparently somehow debilitated by the scale of the issue. The team adds that frail and inadequate public policies cannot monitor nor counteract this progressive dysfunction within the media.

The team has examined the origins of fake news, its gradual emergence and how the advent of social media which gave everyone a place to voice their opinions in public has pushed it to such a level that even those in power not only utilize it without impunity but endlessly accuse their opponents of exploiting it to their detriment.

Fake news can confuse and dupe adults, it can lead to culture jamming, polarization of opinion, obstruction of reality, and harassment of conventional mainstream media who become perceived not only as purveyors of fake news but also being biased against those who believe the fakery and peddling lies those who believe they are beyond that confusion. The presence and spread of fake news on social media and elsewhere represent a setback to what we might otherwise perceive as human progress. In many circles, there is little desire to impose legal constraints, which might be seen as restrictions on free speech. We must hope that journalistic integrity and professional ethics will prevail and ultimately quash the voices of those peddling and echoing fake news.

Patra, R.K. and Saha, A. (2019) ‘Fake news circulation on social media and the need for a policy evolution in India’, Int. J. Advanced Media and Communication, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp.282–308.

Special issue published: "Mathematical Modelling of Technical Processes and Systems"

International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation 11(4) 2020

  • Phase equilibrium modelling for multi-component mixtures using highly accurate Helmholtz energy equation of state
  • Oscillations and hysteresis: from simple harmonic oscillator and unusual unbounded increasing amplitude phenomena to the van der Pol oscillator and chaos control
  • A model of advective changes in air humidity: a stochastic approach
  • Controlled attitude motion of the space tether system at the retraction tether stage
  • Impact analysis and orbit reboost of payload tossing using spinning electrodynamic tether system
  • Thematic classification with support subspaces in hyperspectral images
  • Application of digital twin and IoT concepts for solving the tasks of hydraulically actuated heavy equipment lifecycle management
  • Numerical analysis of parameter identifiability for a mathematical model of a chemical reaction
  • Computational modelling to determine the physical characteristics of biological tissues for medical diagnosis
  • Research on dynamic simulation and prediction of urban expansion based on SLEUTH model
  • Numerical simulation of landslide motion based on thermo-plastic mechanics

17 November 2020

Special issue published: "Transition of Global Society and Technology – Part I"

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy 14(2/3/4) 2020

  • A kaleidoscope of societies. Variations of contents of international, transnational, global and world society
  • Global organisation for overcoming risks
  • Global values, digital transformation and development strategy for global society: conceptual framework
  • Are we living in a time- and spaceless world? - The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradoxon
  • The challenge principle: introduction to the social analysis of synoptics: method, theory and case studies - synoptics part I
  • Application of the synoptics model for the social analysis of small and large groups - synoptics part II
  • Innovation networks: an agent-based model
  • Fishbone diagram for technological analysis and foresight
  • Innovative creation technologies for the growth substrate based on the man-made waste - perspective way for Ukraine to ensure biological reclamation of waste dumps and quarries
  • Mankind's path from ignorance to knowledge - from ego structures to truth: a foresight
  • Geopolitical tectonics - considerations with respect to the future organisation and transformation of societies
  • Designing a strategic foresight model in small and medium-sized enterprises

Research pick: Naked body image and self esteem - "A nudity-based intervention to improve body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction"

For people predisposed to take part in non-sexual nude activities body image, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction are improved by such participation. Now, research published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development suggests that for people who may not be predisposed to such activities, a nudity-based intervention may nevertheless lead to positive improvements in body image.

Negative body image is a mental health problem that is widespread. Surveys of thousands of people across many different countries suggest that dissatisfaction with one’s own body is common across many diverse body types. This dissatisfaction can lead to deeper, problems, such as depression, substance abuse, self-harm, risky sexual behaviour, eating disorders, and suicide.

Conversely, those with a positive body appreciation, enjoy better psychological well-being in this context are often proactive in coping with personal crises and other problems, have greater optimism, and take part in safer sexual behaviour. Overall, “Body image is an important aspect of one’s self-concept, and has a profound influence on both self-esteem,” writes researcher Keon West of the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

West emphasizes how a person’s body image can profoundly affect their self-esteem and life-satisfaction and if of a negative nature can be a predictor for the onset of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. West has undertaken a small-scale study to test the hypothesis and found that participants reported a positive effect of the intervention that persisted for at least a month after the four-day trial period.

“Results suggest that nudity-based interventions can meaningfully and enduringly improve body image and related outcomes, even among non-nudists,” West reports. West adds that this area of research is still in its infancy and much is to be studied and understood. However, he points out that as society becomes more diverse and tolerant of different types of activity once perceived as taboo, we might find new approaches to confronting old and widespread problems, such as those that arise from negative body image.

West, K. (2020) ‘A nudity-based intervention to improve body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction’, Int. J. Happiness and Development, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.162–172.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Accounting and Finance

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Accounting and Finance are now available here for free:
  • Valuation of a risk-averse investor under incomplete information
  • Flipping activity in Malaysian IPO market: a new explanation from the winners' curse perspective
  • Explaining the functional orientation of the budget: a survey of Swedish organisations
  • Impression management using graphical resources in Brazilian company reports

13 November 2020

Special issue published: "Advanced Nature-Inspired Optimisation Techniques for Engineering Applications"

International Journal of Swarm Intelligence 5(2) 2020

  • Teaching learning-based optimisation algorithm: a survey
  • Modelling of nature inspired modified Fourier elimination technique for quadratic optimisation
  • A novel control approach of DC motor drive with optimisation techniques
  • Application and development of improved meta-heuristic for making profitable bidding strategy in a day-ahead energy market under step-wise bidding scenario
  • A survey of swarm-inspired metaheuristics in P2P systems: some theoretical considerations and hybrid forms

Special issue published: "Engineering Aspect-Based Electronic Marketing and Retailing"

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing 11(4) 2020

  • Consumer ethnocentrism: validation of CETSCALE and measurement among Saudi citizens
  • Self-congruity and brand loyalty - an innovation of diffusion approach
  • Does spiritual intelligence contribute to sales force effectiveness?
  • Generational difference as predictors of financial behaviour
  • Digital marketing: a quantitative approach on the scientific production

Special issue published: "Energy Saving in Cities"

International Journal of Global Energy Issues 42(5/6) 2020

  • Convergence analysis of urban green traffic carbon emission based on grey prediction model
  • Optimal lighting operation method for photovoltaic new energy access system of urban street lamp
  • Energy-saving control method of electric heating film temperature for urban zero energy consumption building heating
  • Optimisation of energy-saving control parameters of urban underground sewage treatment pumps based on fuzzy parameter adaption
  • Feasibility model of urban residential buildings with zero-energy-consuming using solar energy sources based on Laplace transformation
  • Energy-saving feature extraction method for urban buildings with near-zero energy-consuming based on SVR
  • Energy-saving optimisation method for green space planning of urban gardens based on artificial bee colony algorithm
  • Study on energy conversion efficiency of biomass continuous carbonisation in municipal domestic sewage based on filtration technology
  • Energy saving and emission reduction method for green transportation in tourist cities based on grey correlation degree
  • Study on the energy-saving reconstruction method of the outer architecture envelope of urban public architecture
  • Design of building energy consumption monitoring model based on parallel cloud computing

Research pick: Education in the time of Covid - "A study on work from home in education industry due to COVID-19"

With the emergence of the pandemic coronavirus and the spread of Covid-19 throughout 2020, many people who work in the service sector have been forced to work from home rather than commuting to offices. The social and economic impact of such measures, put in place to help restrict the spread of this disease, are yet to be fully understood.

Writing in the International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing, a team from India describes the impact on the education “industry” of the work-from-home rules that have been put in place in many parts of the world. Rajwinder Kaur and Gagandeep Kaur of the University School of Business at Chandigarh University in Ghruan, Mohali, Punjab, suggest that there have been pros as well as cons for higher education in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The researchers suggest at among the benefits are a reduction in office distractions and office politics for those in the education industry. There are also the benefits of essentially zero commuting time and the ability to schedule work more efficiently. Of course, such benefits have been well-known for many years among those who previously worked from home. Conversely, the delivery of lectures, tutorials, and assessment via online tools while also having benefits means that students are missing out on direct contact and conversation with their educators. There are many barriers to having students take examinations throughout and at the end of a course because of physical (also known as social) distancing measures.

This is the first time that educators have been forced to handle their students in this way and they are only now beginning to face the challenges and recognise some of the benefits. Whether or not we see an end to the Covid-19 pandemic is a moot point, but the “new-normal” must take education into account to ensure a positive future for learners.

Kaur, R. and Kaur, G. (2020) ‘A study on work from home in education industry due to COVID-19’, Int. J. Social and Humanistic Computing, Vol. 3, Nos. 3/4, pp.339–358.

12 November 2020

Research pick: British publishing not servitised - "Limited evidence for servitisation in UK publishing: an empirical analysis"

Researchers have demonstrated that there is very little, if any, servitisation in the UK and Ireland publishing industry. They present their results in the International Journal of Business Environment.

Alexander Kharlamov and Glenn Parry of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of the West of England (UEW) Frenchay Campus, in Bristol, UK, explain how “servitisation is a strategic transition of firms towards the creation of additional value through services.” They have used a data-driven approach to investigate the activities of publishing companies as revealed by the descriptions those companies use to represent themselves. “If there is a trend of traditional publishing firms adopting servitisation strategies, this should emerge from textual analysis of company descriptors,” the team suggests.

Despite the apparent servitisation of other commercial endeavours, it seems that there is no significant evidence of strategic diversity in publishing, the team found. An alternative explanation might be that the publicly available dataset is not representative of corporate strategy in the publishing industry but one might assume that for an industry the stock in trade of which is sharing information that this explanation is unlikely.

A critical point that emerges from the research independent of the subject or its research conclusions is that it demonstrates how unsupervised clustering can be used to detect naturally occurring groups in large datasets without the need for prescribing categories of companies. This allows an analysis to be undertaking without introducing bias that would result from anticipating the conclusions that might emerge from said analysis.

Kharlamov, A.A. and Parry, G. (2020) ‘Limited evidence for servitisation in UK publishing: an empirical analysis’, Int. J. Business Environment, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp.336–346.

11 November 2020

Research pick: Emotion detection in Parkinson’s disease - "A review on emotion recognition in Parkinson’s disease using bioinformatics"

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to significant disturbances to motor control resulting in involuntary tremor, shuffling gait, muscular rigidity, and other problems. The disease also leads to cognitive decline and a reduction in the patient’s ability to understand facial expressions and other people’s emotions from their faces. Work published in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics, has used bioinformatics to examine this change in this ultimately fatal disease.

K.N. Rejith and Kamalraj Subramaniam of the Karpagam Academy of Higher Education in Coimbatore, India, explain how electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been used in much of the work into understanding the recognition of six “standard” emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust – in Parkinson’s disease.

The team points out that EEG offers a simpler alternative to more sophisticated techniques for studying the brain, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). But, despite its relative simplicity, the quantification of EEG rhythms could provide an important biomarker for several neuropsychiatric disorders. The researchers suggest that this could be critical for early diagnosis and thus intervention in such diseases allowing better disease management and treatment to be put in place at an earlier stage of the disease’s progression.

Rejith, K.N. and Subramaniam, K. (2020) ‘A review on emotion recognition in Parkinson’s disease using bioinformatics’, Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp.542–552.

10 November 2020

Research pick: Electronic word-of-mouth - "Online information bombardment! How does eWOM on social media lead to consumer purchase intentions?"

Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful mantra for marketing, whereby a positive consumer passes on their recommendation of product or service to their friends, family, and work colleagues. In the age of social networking, electronic word-of-mouth (eWoM) becomes a potentially even more powerful tool. Social media can amplify the positive message especially of those one might refer to as “influencers” people with larger than average reach and audience on the various websites and apps. Of course, the negative of the power of eWoM is the potential for negative messages to be amplified too.

Writing in the International Journal of Grid and Utility Computing, an international team has looked at the world of online information bombardment and how eWoM within that might affect consumer purchase intentions.

Muddasar Ghani Khwaja and Shaheed Zulfikar of the Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Saqib Mahmood and Ahmad Jusoh of the Azman Hashim International Business School at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, in Skudai, Johor, Malaysia, suggest that eWoM is a great marketing opportunity. Social media conversations can grow exponentially given how such a large proportion of the world’s population now has access to always-connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and how so many of those people use social media and networking as well as email on a daily basis.

The team surveyed some 342 social media users with respect to their purchasing intentions and how eWoM affected their decision-making process. Statistical analysis of the responses provided a framework around which the team could build their conclusions. As one might expect the quality of information users receive had a positive effect on their perceptions of how useful that information is and whether it would influence their purchase intentions. The implication is that marketing management has to keep abreast of information that is being disseminated about their products. They must ensure that the information being shared is useful and of the highest quality to ultimately reflect a positive message through eWoM that can translate into sales.

Khwaja, M.G., Mahmood, S. and Jusoh, A. (2020) ‘Online information bombardment! How does eWOM on social media lead to consumer purchase intentions?’, Int. J. Grid and Utility Computing, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp.857–867.

Special issue published: "Modelling and Expert Intelligence for Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis and Knowledge Base Development"

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology 64(1) 2020

  • State Chinese medicine theory based on the mathematical description TCM principles and modelling of complex human system
  • The physical pattern evaluation and identification method of infrared thermal image of human health state in Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • A novel classification tree based on local minimum Gini index and attribute partial order structure diagram
  • Application research on quantitative prediction of TCM syndrome differentiation based on ensemble learning
  • Formal concept attribute partial-order structure diagram and applications
  • Assumption of constructing intelligent recommend model of diabetic Chinese patent medicines
  • Research on the regular pattern of Professor Saimei Li using Chinese medicine alone in treating middle-aged type 2 diabetes mellitus on the basis of partial order structure theory
  • Knowledge discovery for spleen yang deficiency syndrome based on attribute partial order structure diagram
  • Effects of low frequency somatosensory music on heart rate and skin temperature in healthy people
  • Statistical analysis for user group of opposing traditional Chinese medicine in Weibo

9 November 2020

Special issue published: "Intelligent Systems for Cyber Security: Current Trends, Applications and New Challenges"

International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies 9(4) 2020

  • Intrusion detection using data mining
  • An integrated approach for multimodal biometric recognition system using Pearson type-II (beta) distribution
  • IbPaKdE: identity-based pairing free authenticated key and data exchange protocol for wireless sensor networks
  • DCT statistics and pixel correlation-based blind image steganalysis for identification of covert communication
  • Adaptive QoS constraint-based service differentiated routing in wireless sensor network

Special issue published: "Health Engineering and Informatics"

International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics 12(6) 2020

  • Bio-medical analysis of breast cancer risk detection based on deep neural network
  • A review on emotion recognition in Parkinson's disease using bioinformatics
  • A study on indirect immunofluorescence image classification methods for bioinformatics
  • Query optimisation with weighted fish school search in ontological database with application of bioinformatics
  • A cloud-based secured framework for smart medical diagnosis: a survey
  • The efficacy of mechanical cervical traction for cervical spondylosis patients
  • Predicting anxiety disorders and suicide tendency using machine learning: a review
  • Wavelet-based feature extraction technique for classification of different shoulder girdle motions for high-level upper limb amputees
  • Automated EEG-based epilepsy detection using BA_SVM classifiers

6 November 2020

Thematic issue published: "The Future of the Eurozone"

International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy 6(2) 2020

  • EU diplomacy after Brexit
  • Developing a context specific model in the euro zone for data security within the financial system in anticipation for digital currencies and blockchain
  • Credit unions in Croatia: challenges ahead and far forward
  • Crisis context and the community of fate
  • Outward FDI location and economic diplomacy: the case of Greece
  • EU banking regulation on capital and liquidity ten years after the crisis: the Slovenian perspective

Special issue published: "Redefining the Frontiers of Business Research Across Globalised India"

Journal for Global Business Advancement 13(3) 2020

  • Reviewing knowledge-based dynamic capabilities: perspectives through meta-analysis
  • Unboxing Hulu: a tale of strategic alliance to survive in the sharing world
  • Insight of entrepreneurship in Indian context
  • Retailer responsiveness: a total interpretive structural modelling approach
  • Evolution of entrepreneurship education literature: a future direction for research
  • A framework for successful IoT adoption in agriculture sector: a total interpretive structural modelling approach

Research pick: Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be - "Childhood memories affecting brand loyalty and consumption behaviour among adult consumers"

Memories from childhood can be the most engaging when it comes to marketing. Feelings of nostalgia or of having a shared recognition for times gone by can be strong. Work published in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, looks at twelve variables that influence memory and brand engagement and awareness in a group of men and women in the age group 21 to 45 years.

Rajagopal of the EGADE Business School at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico, explains how childhood memories can affect how adults make their purchasing choices when it comes to consumer goods. The strongest effect is simply that of nostalgia, adults wishing to recapture the pleasures of their childhood, through rekindled brand loyalty.

Childhood memories are often retrieved when we are in adulthood during leisure time with family, friends, or in social gatherings. The narratives that emerge may well then influence engagement with the brands and products with which we become familiar as children and lead us to look again at those products in adulthood. The study was based on convenience brands familiar to those in Latin American markets. The research suggests that this effect is strongest in women who took part in the research survey.

If a person was not particularly familiar with a given brand in childhood, there will be only a weak nostalgia association and thus re-engaging with that brand in adulthood is less likely. However, ones where a strong memory is present and some degree of emotional attachment will necessarily lead to a stronger sense of nostalgia and a greater chance of said brand becoming familiar and cherished once more in adulthood.

Rajagopal (2020) ‘Childhood memories affecting brand loyalty and consumption behaviour among adult consumers’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp.400–420.

5 November 2020

Research pick: TV viewers with second sight - "The roles of motivation and media engagement in second-screen viewing experiences"

More and more of us choose to watch television while using our smartphones and tablets. This second-screen viewing behaviour often means that viewers are less engaged with the television programming and advertising than they would have been previously because there are the endless distractions of social media, for instance, on that second screen.

This change has been partly driven by the blinkered attitude of television companies to the evolving needs of their viewers. The companies, preoccupied with piracy and surveillance concerns have attempted to control content and information and to limit interaction to their official websites and to have linear programming schedules as their output. Consumers expect more and conventional broadcasting simply does not meet the modern viewer’s demands. Viewers are not sufficiently gratified by the programmed content and constantly seek alternative and parallel media consumption opportunities.

Writing in the International Journal of Mobile Communications, researchers in Taiwan have looked at second-screen viewing behaviour in the context of engagement with the “primary screen”, the television and the implications for programmers and advertisers of this increasingly prevalent behaviour.

Po-Chien Chang of the Department of Communications Management at Shih Hsin University in Taipei and Cheng-Yu Lin in the University’s Department of Radio, Television and Film, explain that traditional television viewing has become a blended experience for many viewers. Some of that second-screen activity may well be related to whatever is being shown on the television at the time. For instance, people may well be discussing a live show, sporting event, or other programming on social networks while it is being broadcast. They may well be involved in gaming or other activities associated with that show. Alternatively, the second-screen activity may be entirely independent of the traditional broadcast.

“New features and behaviour are emerging that create challenges and opportunities for attracting advertising revenues and viewer attention in the second-screen environment,” the team writes.

Based on a survey of 562 television audience participants, the team has identified four categories second-screen TV viewing behaviour: control, enrichment, sharing, and participation. From an analysis of their data, they have developed an empirical model that integrates an understanding of audience motivation, media engagement, and second-screen behaviour. From this model, they have found that mobile users who are motivated by common interests and social sharing tend to be more engaged with online activities while watching television. They also found that second screen users are often strongly immersed, if not obsessed, with their social connectivity experiences rather than any interactive features that a television program may have of its own.

Chang, P-C. and Lin, C-Y. (2020) ‘The roles of motivation and media engagement in second-screen viewing experiences’, Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp.619–640.

Special issue published: "Emerging Digitalisation Technologies and Future Trends for Intelligent Transportation Systems"

International Journal of Vehicle Information and Communication Systems 5(3) 2020

  • A scheduling heuristic in mobile distributed real-time database systems
  • Efficient transportation: future aspects of IoV
  • Collaboration of UAV and HetNet for better QoS: a comparative study
  • Clone detection using fuzzy logic in static wireless sensor network
  • Impact of wormhole attack on AODV routing protocol in vehicular ad-hoc network over real map with detection and prevention approach

4 November 2020

Special issue published: "Leadership in Organisations: Contemporary Concerns and Key Developments"

International Journal of Business and Globalisation 26(3) 2020

  • The role of leadership in developing a strong employer brand
  • Study of role of business strategy on competencies and human capital - Indian context
  • Leadership in the digital age: emerging paradigms and challenges
  • A conceptual development of spiritual leadership model
  • Use of timeline interview method for research in the area of leadership: a multi-method approach
  • Diaspora networks as drivers of Indian global technology start-ups - a case study
  • Nature of leader-member exchange model in territoriality and organisational politics
  • A perceptual study on post-acquisitions leadership disruption on human resource factors

Research pick: Mentoring the good, the bad, and the ugly - "Is a bad mentor better than no mentor?"

Mentoring is usually seen as an important part of one’s personal development whether one is in education or employment. But, research published in the International Journal of Learning and Change looks at whether no mentor is sometimes better than a bad mentor.

Jiwon Jung and Barry Bozeman of the Center for Organization Research and Design, School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, in Phoenix, suggest that the research literature in the field of mentoring in the workplace has given scant mention to the negative effects one might experience under mentoring schemes. The team analysed information from 3000 respondents – full-time workers – asked about their experiences, their job satisfaction, and salary.

The team writes that “The quality of the mentoring experience influences job satisfaction more while a mere presence of a mentor is important for the salary of the protégés.” Of course, there are many endogenous factors that affect mentees differently and perception of what is good or bad mentoring are also subjective so it is difficult to unravel the impact of mentoring on job satisfaction and salary.

The team has looked specifically at eight types of bad mentoring and offers suggestions that can explain some of the unexpected and curious findings they report. One particularly surprising finding from their research is that people working in the public sector with a mentor, unlike workers in the private and non-profit sectors, generally have a lower salary and job satisfaction compared to those who have no mentor.

Jung, J. and Bozeman, B. (2020) ‘Is a bad mentor better than no mentor?’, Int. J. Learning and Change, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp.444–475.

3 November 2020

Special Issue on: "Swarm Intelligence Techniques for Optimum Utilisation of Resources in Grid and Utility Computing"

International Journal of Grid and Utility Computing 11(6) 2020

  • A vector-based watermarking scheme for 3D models using block rearrangements
  • Entropy-based classification of trust factors for cloud computing
  • Towards self-optimisation in fog computing environments
  • Improved African buffalo optimisation algorithm for petroleum product supply chain management
  • Towards an effective approach for architectural knowledge management considering global software development
  • Hardware implementation of OLSR and improved OLSR (AOLSR) for AANETs
Regularly submitted papers
  • Dynamic group key management scheme for clustered wireless sensor networks
  • Hybrid energy-efficient and QoS-aware algorithm for intelligent transportation system in IoT
  • Analysing control plane scalability issue of software defined wide area network using simulated annealing technique
  • Energy-aware multipath routing protocol for internet of things using network coding techniques
  • Efficient variant transaction injection protocols and adaptive policy optimisation for decentralised ledger systems
  • Online information bombardment! How does eWOM on social media lead to consumer purchase intentions?

Special issue published: "Advancements in Industrial Marketing: Exploring Product-Service Innovation Strategies for Sustainability"

International Journal of Business Environment 11(3) 2020

Manufacturing technologies (digitalisation) supporting PSI

  • Exploring 3D printing technology in the context of product-service innovation: case study of a business venture in south of France
  • Cloud computing for SMEs, servitisation through contracts
  • Measuring the impact of digital capabilities on product-service innovation in Spanish industries
  • Adjusting customer journey mapping for application in industrial product-service systems
Strategic orientation to promote PSI
  • 'Avatar journey mapping' for manufacturing firms to reveal smart-service opportunities over the product life-cycle
  • Place leadership in emerging product-service systems
  • Limited evidence for servitisation in UK publishing: an empirical analysis

Special issue published: "Artificial Intelligence and Education"

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 30(4) 2020

  • Research on evaluation model of oral English teaching quality based on cloud computing
  • Design of virtual education experiment platform based on artificial intelligence
  • Integration model of English teaching resources based on artificial intelligence
  • Research on teaching quality evaluation method of network course based on intelligent learning
  • Design of step-by-step teaching system for English writing based on cloud network technology
  • The evaluation method of English teaching efficiency based on language recognition technology
  • Design of interactive English reading teaching system based on hybrid communication network
  • Research on evaluation method of students' classroom performance based on artificial intelligence
  • Research on integration method of AI teaching resources based on learning behaviour data analysis

Research pick: Aircraft air quality - "Volatile organic compounds in aircraft cabins"

Air quality in aircraft cabins is monitored for levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, and airborne particulates for the health and safety of passengers and crew. Researchers from Turkey writing in the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation, point out that volatile organic compounds are not monitored despite the health and other problems that can arise through exposure to some of these substances. In general, however, organic hydrocarbons are not considered worthy of consideration in assessing the atmosphere to which passengers and crew are exposed as a matter of course in an aircraft.

Veli Gokhan Demir and Enver Yalcin of Balikesir University, Ziya Sogut of the Piri Reis University in Instanbul, and Hikmet Karakoc of Eskişehir Technical University have investigated the potential sources of VOCs in an aircraft and what factors might influence concentrations in the air within the passenger and crew areas. Aircraft that fly at high altitude, such as international passenger aeroplanes are pressurized compartments, often with high occupant density, the effects of any volatile pollutants present in the air in this confined, airtight space, could ultimately have a detrimental effect on frequent flyers whether passenger or crew.

One such source of pollutants discussed by the team is from “bleed air”. Air from outside the aircraft is pressurized by the engines and pumped into the interior and recirculated to help maintain an acceptable pressure within. Bleed air can often carry components from engine oil with it. In extreme cases a so-called fume event may occur where concentrations of substances carried in with this bleed air reach uncomfortable levels inside the aircraft. Other VOCs may be present due to reactions with ozone in the aircraft or from other mechanical equipment, such as air conditioning units. Cleaning agents and even cosmetics and perfumes used by occupants can all add to the recirculating load of volatile materials to which all passengers are ultimately exposed during a high-altitude flight.

The team suggests that carbon filtration should be adopted to scrub recirculating air within an aircraft. In addition, there should be dedicated intake vents for bleed air rather than it passing through engines. Given that the presence of ozone can exacerbate the problem of other pollutants because of its reactivity, scrubbers for this compound should also be put in place. An additional factor is to avoid the intake of bleed air during takeoff when ambient pollution from engines and exhaust and service vehicles would compromise air quality for the duration of the flight.

Demir, V.G., Yalcin, E., Sogut, M.Z. and Karakoc, T.H. (2020) ‘Volatile organic compounds in aircraft cabins’, Int. J. Sustainable Aviation, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.87–111.

Special issue published: "Impact of Nanomaterials in Rapid Manufacturing for Industrial Challenges"

International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing 9(4) 2020

  • Comprehensive analysis on aluminium in sand casting by using intelligent techniques
  • Experimental prediction and investigation of spring back in 'V' bending profile process modelling using artificial neural network
  • Tool wear investigation of micro-textured and non-textured carbide inserts for machining industrial component
  • Process evaluation and optimisation of friction welding parameters on aluminium grade 6061 by direct drive friction welding method
  • Performance analysis of untreated tungsten carbide tool and cryogenically treated with oil quenched tungsten carbide tool while turning of Inconel 713C
  • Performance analysis of solar box preheaters for energy conservation in metal casting

2 November 2020

Special issue published: "Entrepreneurship in the Wine Sector"

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 41(3) 2020

  • The role of brand architecture and brand heritage for family-owned wineries: the case of Crete, Greece
  • Designing a cost accounting system at a winemaking company
  • Working capital management and profitability of wine firms in France: an empirical analysis
  • The entrepreneurship power house of ambition and innovation: exploring German wineries
  • Stories a world apart: storytelling differentiation in Napa and Stellenbosch
  • Disintermediation: the optimal distribution strategy for small wineries?

Special issue published: "The Global Governance of Corporate Social Responsibility"

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 14(4) 2020

  • 'The challenge is who rules the world': accounts and implications of transnational governance 
  • CSR governance framework of South Africa, pre, during and post-apartheid: a manifestation of ubuntu values?
  • The Chinese approach to CSR development: an analysis of CSR-government relationship in China
  • Corporate social responsibility, hydraulic fracturing and unregulated space: recognising responsibility without the law
Additional papers
  • Board characteristics, board leadership style, CEO compensation and firm performance
  • Does board structure index and ownership structure index impact on top listed Indian company's performance?

Free open access article available: "The impact of foreign capital on profitability: the case of Portuguese manufacturing SMEs"

The following paper, "The impact of foreign capital on profitability: the case of Portuguese manufacturing SMEs" (International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business 11(4) 2020), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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