30 July 2021

Special issue published: "Contemporary Issues in Management and Business Technologies"

International Journal of Learning and Change 13(4/5) 2021

  • Peculiarities of planning for service modularity
  • Comparing profit and non-profit sectors focused on continuing education and its impact evaluation
  • Fuzzy methods of stakeholder prioritisation in the context of stakeholder management
  • Game experience as a moderator in gamified online purchasing settings
  • Measuring the impact of diverse factors on reverse e-logistics' performance in Lebanon
  • The green employer external branding
  • Digital transformation outcomes in higher education: pilot study in Latvia
  • The impact of employee training and development on tacit knowledge transfer and the mediating role of trust
  • Digital platforms: drivers for competence and competitiveness growth
  • Assessment of the factors of sustainable competitiveness growth of the companies in Latvia and Lithuania
  • Efficiency assessment of business models: the conceptual framework in the context of Industry 4.0
  • Company innovation potential and how to measure it

Special issue published: "Driving Business Growth Through Digital Transformation"

International Journal of Management Practice 14(4) 2021

  • The B2B digital marketing practice - towards an exploration of the 'hidden'
  • FinTech effect: measuring impact of FinTech adoption on banks' profitability
  • Accessibility of primary healthcare services at primary health centre level in northern and central zones of Odisha
  • Proposing a model for commercial soft technology assessment in small and medium enterprises
  • Multidimensional scale of perceived social support: validity and reliability in the Indian context
  • Antecedents of Indian green consumer purchase intentions and behaviour: a review and future research directions

Research pick: Predicting COVID-19 - "Predicting the possibility of COVID-19 infection using fuzzy logic system"

There is increasing pressure on society to test people in a timely manner for infection by the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, but physical testing takes time and effort and requires people to either have a test kit at home or to attend a test centre. The burden on testing equipment and infrastructure might be lessened if there were a simple non-physical way of screening people so that those who are very unlikely to be infected need not have a definitive physical test.

New work in the International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems has turned to the concept of “fuzzy logic” to “test” people based on their symptoms to determine whether or not they have COVID-19 or not. This, of course, does not provide an answer as to whether a person is an asymptomatic carrier, but it would assist in helping a person or their healthcare worker decide on the next course of action based on their having this or another unrelated illness.

A fuzzy logic system (FLS) is an expert system that utilises the theory of fuzzy sets that Zadeh laid out in 1965. The application of fuzzy logic allows a probability to be calculated with looser rules than one might assume with a statistical analysis based on different available criteria. It can output a confidence level to a diagnosis with a degree of certainty versus uncertainty.

The team concedes that at this stage in the research, their fuzzy logic model based on publicly available databases and datasets is very much a prototype. There is no real way to distinguish the symptoms of COVID-19 from those of the common cold, pneumonia, or similar diseases based solely on reported symptoms. In order to boost the test’s accuracy to a clinically useful level, additional symptomatic and epidemiological information about the patient’s demographic and circumstances is now needed. This could then be fed into the fuzzy logic approach to adjust it based on probabilities. Moreover, in an area of high risk where there are many other confirmed cases, the uncertainty would be low.

Once the issues of accuracy and false positives and negatives are overcome through additional work, the team anticipates that a website or app might be made available to allow people to carry out a non-physical pre-medical test if they have symptoms to allow them to distinguish with confidence between the overlapping symptoms of other conditions and COVID-19 itself.

Choudhury, S.H., Aurin, A.J., Mitaly, T.A. and Rahman, R.M. (2021) ‘Predicting the possibility of COVID-19 infection using fuzzy logic system’, Int. J. Intelligent Information and Database Systems, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp.239–256.

29 July 2021

Special issue published: "Digital Transformation and Disruptive Innovation: Drivers for Future Business Growth"

International Journal of Electronic Business 16(3) 2021

  • The antecedents and consequences of brand experience and purchase intention
  • Mobile shopping apps adoption: a systematic literature review
  • The effects of cultural dimensions on mobile commerce acceptance of Vietnamese consumers
  • Digital innovation for strengthening seed market and augmenting targeted business in agriculture
  • Antecedents of the intention to use electronic payment: evidence from individual and household retailers in Vietnam

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering are now available here for free:
  • Simulation of thermo-mechanical behaviour of friction drilling process
  • Study the effect of roller hardness on the surface properties of burnished AISI 1211 steel
  • Multiple welding simulated microstructure and corrosion resistance of super austenitic stainless steel 254SMo welding heat affected zone
  • The study on kinetics of metadynamic recrystallisation of a Nb-V microalloyed non-quenched and tempered steel
  • Selection of process parameters of AISI 304 for laser processing of materials

Special issue published: "Going Digital: Transforming the Automotive Industry"

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management 21(3) 2021

  • Prospects and contradictions of the electrification of the European automotive industry: the role of European Union policy
  • Automation approaches in the automotive industry: Germany, Japan and the USA in comparison
  • Automotive value chain development in Vietnam: pathways between a new domestic carmaker, supplier development, and differing production systems
  • Digital technologies as lean augmentation: a preliminary study of Japanese automotive manufacturers
  • From protection to selective exposure: commercial demonstrations as steppingstones for upscaled technology diffusion

Research pick: Business profiling - "A web of clues: can ecosystems be profiled similarly to criminals?"

Writing in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, a team from Finland and the UK has turned to the methods of “criminal profiling” to help them understand the ecosystems of organisations.

The concept of an ecosystem is commonly associated with biological systems, often at the environmental level, a wetland, a rain forest, a river, an ocean, for instance. However, it is possible to model non-biological systems with a similar perspective to gain insights into how the components of a system are interconnected and how they depend on each other. However, there are also methods of profiling that can be used to invert the question and apply an analytical approach usually reserved for profiling criminals to the ecosystems of organisations to gain new insights.

The team writes that “In order for companies to survive, grow and maintain competitive advantage in the future, they must systematically monitor and evaluate their business surroundings.” They add that organisations cannot exist nor thrive alone, they need others around them and to operate as part of the business ecosystem. Researchers have investigated Microsoft’s computing ecosystem and Wal-Mart’s retail ecosystem but, the researchers say, there is little that has been done in the way of visualisation of business ecosystems. They explain that “without visualising the collected data, the ecosystem profile would simply be a file full of data without a perspective into the structure of the whole ecosystem.”

Profiling reveals the connections and the connectivity between “actors” in the ecosystem. “The profiling of ecosystems opens up new possibilities for research, supports managerial decision-making, and as a result enables better understanding and management of ecosystems,” the team writes. The team has carried out “web farming” and visualisation manually on a case study company using a six-step, three-phase process of building an ecosystem profile following one of the conventional ways that criminals are profiled by law-enforcement investigators.

The team hopes to develop a tool for future studies so that the web farming and profiling can be done automatically, freeing up time for observations and analysis.

Ylönen, N., Rissanen, M., Ylä-Kujala, A., Sinkkonen, T., Marttonen-Arola, S., Baglee, D. and Kärri, T. (2021) ‘A web of clues: can ecosystems be profiled similarly to criminals?’, Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp.347–373.

28 July 2021

Free open access article available: "An analysis of the ethical frameworks and financial outcomes of corporate social responsibility and business press reporting of US pharmaceutical companies"

The following paper, "An analysis of the ethical frameworks and financial outcomes of corporate social responsibility and business press reporting of US pharmaceutical companies" (International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 15(3) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Digitalisation of hotels in the COVID-19 pandemic - "Digitalisation in the hospitality industry: motivations, effects and role of Covid-19"

What has been the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in the digitalisation of the hospitality industry? Domenico Morrone, Nicola Raimo, Annunziata Tarulli, and Filippo Vitolla of the Department of Management, Finance and Technology at LUM University, in Casamassima, Bari, Italy, hope to answer that question in the International Journal Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism.

The pandemic has pushed many normal activities into the online realm in unprecedented ways leading to the notion of e-tourism or smart tourism. However, the way in which hotels have been affected by the pandemic has not been investigated in detail in terms of the drivers for digitalisation until now. The team hopes to fill this gap through a case study investigation of hotel structures. Digitalisation in other realms might involve the use of information and communications technology (ICT) not only in communication and marketing areas but also in production, sales, customer relations, and beyond.

The researchers have found that the motivation is mainly concerned with a desire to improve the quality of the hotel structures, to adapt to competitors, and increase financial performance. Digitalisation has had a series of positive effects related to boosting revenues and reducing costs as well as improving corporate image. COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the digitalisation processes, the team writes.

The team suggests that digitalisation is perhaps the only way forward for hotels during the pandemic and perhaps beyond. “Through digitalisation, in fact, it is possible to guarantee and certify the sanitation of the structures, maintain social distancing, guest traceability and other measures, making people free to enjoy hotel holidays,” they write. This implementation will allow tourists to be relatively safe in hotels, allow hoteliers to resume many of their normal activities. Digitalisation will also give the hotel industry a way to face possible future crises with more security.

Morrone, D., Raimo, N., Tarulli, A. and Vitolla, F. (2021) ‘Digitalisation in the hospitality industry: motivations, effects and role of Covid-19’, Int. J. Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, Vol. 3, Nos. 3/4, pp.257–270.

27 July 2021

Special issue published: "Smart Destinations and Digital Tourism in the Age of Sustainability: The Quest for New Roots"

International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism 3(3/4) 2021

  • Social big data for sustainable smart tourism development: a conceptual framework
  • Social innovation and smart tourism in ambidextrous SME alliances: an empirical analysis of alliance performance
  • Digitalisation in the hospitality industry: motivations, effects and role of Covid-19
  • Sustainability and disability in the digital age: some experiences in Italian tourism
  • Human capital and smart tourism's development: primary evidence
  • An empirical model of long-term development for accommodation facilities: the role of smart destination
  • Application of a digital framework towards the comprehension and restoration of the thin marble envelope of the Casa delle Armi built cultural heritage
  • Study on the ecological attitudes of Italian cruise passengers
  • Passengers' perception on aviation environmental issues and its effect on sustainable tourism

Research pick: COVID-19-related xenophobia - "Classifying COVID-19-related hate Twitter users using deep neural networks with sentiment-based features and geopolitical factors"

A lot of entirely unwarranted anti-Asian sentiment in the USA and elsewhere has emerged on social media since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had its original source in Wuhan, China, but is a global problem we all must face. Researchers from China and the USA have investigated how this xenophobia can be classified on one particularly prominent social media platform, Twitter, with a view to understanding how it might best be addressed.

Writing in the International Journal of Society Systems Science, Peng Zhao and Xin Wang of the Big Data and AI Lab, IntelligentRabbit LLC, New Jersey and Xi Chen of the School of Humanity and Law, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, suggest that deep learning can be used to investigate public sentiment regarding political opinion and geographical diversity.

The team has developed a new method to classify those Twitter users posting updates with pandemic-related anti-Asian sentiment. They used a novel dataset for tracking users based on 10 million tweets. It was possible to home utilise known sentiment surrounding the US elections and geolocations. “The empirical result indicates that the political sentiments and the county-level election results make significant contributions to the model building,” the team writes. They trained a deep neural network (DNN) model with data from more than 190,000 Twitter users and were able to classify their Twitter activity as “hate” or “non-hate” with 61% accuracy, the team reports.

Such a classification should be sufficient to guide other classification systems and manual intervention to determine those users expressing xenophobic sentiment. This could then be used to decide whether any given user should be liable for further investigation, suspension, or education. The team points out that anti-Asian sentiment is not confined to the Twitter platform nor is it confined to the USA, it is seen on all platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and others with comments and posts from around the world. As such, the team adds that extracting features from the other platforms – images, voices, and videos will also be helpful in providing a multidimensional understanding of anti-Asian xenophobia and hate online in the COVID-19 context at the global level.

Zhao, P., Chen, X. and Wang, X. (2021) ‘Classifying COVID-19-related hate Twitter users using deep neural networks with sentiment-based features and geopolitical factors’, Int. J. Society Systems Science, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.125–139.

Special issue published: "Embedded Autonomous Architecture and its Connectivity for Automotives"

International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems 15(3/4) 2020

  • A hybrid approach to perform test case prioritisation and reduction for software product line testing
  • Design and modelling of hybrid fuel cell and solar-based electric vehicle
  • A hybrid three-wheeler e-gear using three-stage inverter
  • Detection of DoS attacks using machine learning techniques
  • Development of a low-cost smart vehicle start up and tracking system using Android and Arduino
  • LabVIEW-based performance improvement of servo vacuum booster using programmable logic control
  • Developing in-vehicular noise robust children ASR system using Tandem-NN-based acoustic modelling
  • Improved vehicle navigation using sensor fusion of inertial, odometeric sensors with global positioning system
  • Adaptive geodesic feedback controller design for the quadrotor

26 July 2021

Special issue published: "Data-Driven Intelligent Optimisation Methods and Applications"

International Journal of Automation and Control 15(4/5) 2021

  • Design of a PV module block using the industrial automation PLC for PV system application
  • Binary particle swarm optimisation and the extreme learning machine for diagnosing paraquat-poisoned patients
  • Recharge strategies for the electric vehicle routing problem with soft time windows and fast chargers
  • Optimised data-driven terminal iterative learning control based on neural network for distributed parameter systems
  • The impact of horizontal R&D cooperation on the climbing of the industrial cluster supply chain: from the perspective of the evolutionary game theory
  • Self-adaptive wolf pack algorithm based on dynamic population updating for continuous optimisation problems
  • Study of braking strategy considering comfort
  • Tuning of extended Kalman filter using grey wolf optimisation for speed control of permanent magnet synchronous motor drive
  • Online map fusion system based on sparse point-cloud
  • Fractional-order multi-model predictive control for nonlinear processes
  • Suppression of chaos in the spin-orbit problem of Enceladus via robust adaptive sliding mode control

23 July 2021

Special issue published: "Emerging Challenges of Public Sector Management in Transition and Emerging Economies"

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management 7(4) 2021

  • Determinants in the prevention of bad financial management: case study Republic of Kosovo
  • Labour market transition of youth in developing economies: the case of countries in South East and Eastern Europe
  • Role and impact of public debt in financing budget deficit and economic growth - with special study in Kosovo
  • Informal street vendors' behaviour at Car-Free Day in Indonesia
  • Kosovo's nation branding through private and public sector cooperation
  • Financial stability of pension systems in transition countries
  • Total quality management for changes of staff capacity in higher education: a model to follow in the public sector
  • Perspective of counselling in social services: the case of Republic of North Macedonia
  • Impact of the fiscal policy on economic growth: an analytical approach from the Republic of Kosovo

Special issue published: "Finance, Technology and Sustainability"

International Journal of Business Performance Management 22(2/3) 2021

  • The effect of financial inclusion on unemployment reduction - evidence from non-oil producing Arab countries
  • Financial literacy knowledge assessment among college students in Hyderabad, India
  • Bank strategy determinants under relationship lending: evidence from the Moroccan credit market
  • How can inclusive growth be enabled from financial technology?
  • Management of investment hybrid portfolio
  • Capital market based on blockchain technology and the efficient market hypothesis: theoretical and conceptual analysis
  • Performance of ethical and conventional investment funds: comparison and contingencies
  • Do Islamic stock indices perform better than their conventional counterparts?
  • Access to venture capital in Africa: the role of public institutions and corporate governance
  • Determinants of value creation through mergers and acquisitions in the MENA region
  • Do single takeovers outperform corporate acquisition programs? Evidence from the French stock market
  • Business process reengineering and Nigerian private sector organisations change management
  • An evaluation of knowledge intensive business services industry efficiency: the Italian case

Research pick: Grandma’s obsolescent broom - "Modelling and characterisation of the obsolescence process"

Research published in the International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management has looked at the concept of obsolescence. A. Sánchez-Carralero and C. Armenta-Déu of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain explain how they have developed a model to simulate the obsolescence process that leads to the need to replace durable goods.

The team shows how the benefits of replacement eventually outweigh the various costs of maintaining the original item nudging the user towards replacing the aging item. The model takes into account servicing as well as an irreparable failure that is the end-point of obsolescence in one sense.

“Prediction of obsolescence is difficult since many factors intervene in the process,” the researchers explain, “some depend not on technology or market aspects but on user perception.” They add that it is possible to model the obsolescence process and predict when an item may become unusable and so need replacing using sophisticated statistical models such as Bayesian analysis. Such analyses might even be used to optimise the manufacturing process itself. Of course, in a modern, capitalist society, consumerism is key to growth and so obsolescence is necessary if a company is hoping to have repeat sales from users once they and their competitors have saturated the market.

As such, the much-derided, and the perhaps unethical notion of “planned obsolescence” is prevalent. In this, the manufacturers design their durable goods to essentially have a lifespan limited by factors they might control rather than the lifespan being governed by the way in which a user uses the item. There is an amusing and universal tale of the broom one’s grandparent used the same broom throughout their lives bought with their first home, used daily and only having had 6 replacement heads and 7 replacement shanks!

Obsolescence is essentially entropy, the tendency of a system to move towards disorder and chaos. Understanding the obsolescence process of more sophisticated systems than a broom can help in the marketing of new products as well as perhaps allowing manufacturers and sellers to predict their future profits based on a model of obsolescence for their products and the reliability and replaceabilty of those products. Brooms wear out and have to be replaced, even Grandma will admit that.

Sánchez-Carralero, A. and Armenta-Déu, C. (2021) ‘Modelling and characterisation of the obsolescence process’, Int. J. Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.140–158.

22 July 2021

Free open access article available: "The manifesto of money (the neutrality of money)"

The following paper, "The manifesto of money (the neutrality of money)" (International Journal of Critical Accounting 12(3) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Malware detection for Androids - "DroidMD: an efficient and scalable Android malware detection approach at source code level"

There are numerous malware detection and antivirus apps for mobile devices running the Android operating system. However, a team in China introduces a new approach that can detect malicious activity at the source code level. They provide details in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security.

Junaid Akram, Majid Mumtaz, Gul Jabeen, and Ping Luo of The Key State Laboratory of Information Security at Tsinghua University, explain how their approach is not only scalable but offers self-optimisation of the signature set as it detects malicious apps by reading their source code. The team has developed a prototype of their software, DroidMD. They have tested it against almost 30000 applications of which 3,670 are already identified as malware. It is reliable because it analyses only the code and has a high detection accuracy of 95.5%. The team points out that one of the unique characteristics of their software is that it can detect malware that is a clone or “near-miss” of known viruses and malware. Conventional antivirus and malware detection often fails to detect such malware where the software signature may well be only marginally different from the original virus.

Given that there are millions of users downloading thousands of apps every day, it is imperative that an effective and reliable approach to controlling malware be found to slow the assimilation of devices into bot nets and other malicious networks and reduce the risk of user data and privacy being compromised by malware.

“In our future work, we will make DroidMD more resilient for minimising the obfuscation and improving its run time. Meanwhile, we will extend it for other programming languages to detect malware or malicious code fragments from source code to overcome security threats,” the team writes.

Akram, J., Mumtaz, M., Jabeen, G. and Luo, P. (2021) ‘DroidMD: an efficient and scalable Android malware detection approach at source code level‘, Int. J. Information and Computer Security, Vol. 15, Nos. 2/3, pp.299-321.

21 July 2021

International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation to invite expanded papers from International Agriculture Innovation Conference (IAIC 2021) for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Agriculture Innovation Conference (IAIC 2021) (3-4 September 2021, Tokyo, Japan) will be invited for review and potential publication by the
International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation.

Special Issue published: "Marketing Challenges and Opportunities in Emerging Economies" (includes free Open Access article)

International Journal of Economics and Business Research 22(2/3) 2021

  • Revisiting marketing strategy in emerging markets: a study of Amazon.com Inc.
  • An exploratory study identifying motives and barriers to ethical consumption for young Indian consumers
  • Eco-friendly products purchase intention: a comparison of theory of planned behaviour and social cognitive theory
  • Does organic food consumption matter to young consumers? A study on young consumers of India
  • Does commuting drive employee turnover? A select case of women employed in the Indian retail industry
  • Role of top management in business model innovation due to technological changes in emerging market
  • Managing employee turnover: findings from the AHP model
  • To buy or not to buy green: the moderating role of price and availability of eco-friendly products on green purchase intention
  • Young working women's purchase intention towards organic cosmetic products
  • Twitter and radio indicators of election outcomes: a study of Indian elections
  • Financial analysis method based on astrology, Fibonacci, and Astronacci to find a date of direction inversion: JCI and future gold prices (empirical study of the JCI-IDX and gold prices, period of 2008-2017) [OPEN ACCESS]

Free open access article available: "Financial analysis method based on astrology, Fibonacci, and Astronacci to find a date of direction inversion: JCI and future gold prices (empirical study of the JCI-IDX and gold prices, period of 2008-2017)"

The following paper, "Financial analysis method based on astrology, Fibonacci, and Astronacci to find a date of direction inversion: JCI and future gold prices (empirical study of the JCI-IDX and gold prices, period of 2008-2017)" (International Journal of Economics and Business Research 22(2/3) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: The Nigerian pandemic imperative - "The imperative of research and development in Nigeria: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic"

The industrialised world has responded in disparate ways to the emergence of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the ensuing pandemic it caused, COVID-19. Technology was repursosed to track and monitor the disease and research and development focused on the development of vaccines and investigated pharmaceutical and physical interventions to treat the disease.

New research published in the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development has looked at the response from a developing nation, Nigeria. This nation has, not unlike many others with fewer resources and less money to spare, not yet contributed in a significant way to R&D into the coronavirus and our response to the pandemic. Through a case study, the team has gleaned lessons that might be applied to lessen the crisis in Nigeria of the next pandemic.

Morolake Bolaji, John O. Adeoti, and Joshua Adeyemi Afolabi of the Innovation and Technology Policy Department at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), in Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria, explain that Nigeria may have the capability but has remained a “laggard in R&D spending as well as R&D activities, particularly in the health sector.” One might suggest that the term “developing nation” can only be applied if that country is active in the areas that lead to development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, the team suggests, reinforced “the imperative for Nigeria to significantly and urgently increase its R&D spending not only to combat subsequent health challenges but also to facilitate rapid structural transformation and economic development.” A country that fails to rise to such crises and challenges by boosting its Sciencebase will inevitably continue to suffer the worst consequences of such a pandemic.

The team has five recommendations. The first is that the government must increase the nation’s R&D budget. Secondly, health infrastructure needs considerable improvement. The third recommendation is that public R&D needs to integrate more effectively with the private sector to improve technological results. Fourthly, the government must improve the transfer of the currently limited R&D “outputs” to the end-users. Finally, education in science and technology must be given a boost through governmental scholarships that focus on problem-solving rather than promotion.

Bolaji, M., Adeoti, J.O. and Afolabi, J.A. (2021) ‘The imperative of research and development in Nigeria: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic’, Int. J. Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.168–189.

20 July 2021

Special issue published: "Extending the Theory for Global Strategic Risk Management Perspectives"

International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management 11(2/3) 2021

  • The roles of transformational leadership, innovation climate, creative self-efficacy, and knowledge sharing in fostering employee creativity in the public sector in Vietnam
  • Price sensitivity as a moderating factor between the effects of airline service quality and passenger satisfaction on passenger loyalty in the airline industry
  • Exploration of institutional theory in green supply chain initiatives for healthcare industries in Malaysia
  • Identifying the key beliefs of private university students towards joining the Malaysian Armed Forces
  • The moderating effect of crisis experience on the relationship between transformational leadership, decision-making styles and crisis management in Yemen organisations
  • A meta-analysis of continuous technology usage behaviour
  • Framework for adoption of information communication technology by small and medium-sized enterprises in developing economies
  • A review of big data analytics on customer complaints in the electricity industry
  • Systematic analysis regarding leadership in healthcare
  • An analysis on public participation in an agrarian reform program in Jenawi Sub-district of Karanganyar Regency
  • The impact of climate on price fluctuations to the income of leek farmers in Sajen village, Pacet, Mojokerto
  • Virtual travel community: does information quality matters?

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology are now available here for free:
  • Resource distribution and performance of complex systems
  • Coupling pressurised water reactor to large scale SWRO desalination plants: an economic assessment
  • The state of progress and associated challenges in the global deployment of small modular reactors
  • Illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials: separating myths from realities
  • The proposed drafting process for nuclear security regulations: Egyptian case study

Research pick: Caring during the COVID crisis - "Rethinking occupational welfare policies in long-term care organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic: an organisational ethics approach"

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to distort our perceptions of normal as the days and weeks and months go by. The occupational welfare of those caring for the elderly in residential carehomes has been an important aspect of the new-normal as those not-for-profit organisations that offer those services must look after their carers to ensure consistent care of their customers.

New research in the International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting, has looked at how we might rethink occupational welfare in the long term by adopting an organisational ethics approach.

Giorgio Mion, Angelo Bonfanti, and Francesca Simeoni of the University of Verona, Italy, and Cristian Loza Adaui of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, have used the Fondazione Monsignor Alessandro Marangoni as a case study to examine the ethical questions of the new-normal. This NPO organisation adopted occupational welfare policies, enabling it to manage the early COVID-19 outbreak without negative consequences, the team writes.

The team points out that many NPOs offering care services to the elderly have suffered badly in the wake of the pandemic because their customers were particularly susceptible to infection with the causative coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the ensuing disease COVID-19, which had a high mortality rate in this cohort. This was especially so prior to the development of working vaccines and efficacious therapies for the disease. The team adds that long-term care (LTC) organisations needed to implement strategic and operational policies to safeguard the health of employees and residents, the team writes, these policies concern both healthcare and managerial/organisational aspects. This was especially true in the north of Italy where the negative impact of the unfolding pandemic in the first few weeks of 2020 was relentless.

Many NPOs in this sector reorganised their internal spaces, adopted flexible working, as well as engaging in effective communication with stakeholders and family members, all at the same time as endeavouring to comply with new lockdown and other laws aimed at halting the spread of the disease and reducing hospitalisations and deaths.

The team has highlighted the positive outcomes obtained by the Marangoni Foundation in its management of the pandemic emergency through the implementation of extraordinary occupational welfare policies. “The activities implemented were related to the ethical dimensions of management in terms of their effects on individuals, managers, the organisation and society,” the team explains. These were “decisive for meeting the most urgent needs particularly during periods of crisis,” the team adds. The researchers point out that it was the empowerment of workers that was critical for enhancing organisational performance during the pandemic especially given that safety protocols often limited some voluntary activities.

Mion, G., Bonfanti, A., Simeoni, F. and Loza Adaui, C.R. (2021) ‘Rethinking occupational welfare policies in long-term care organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic: an organisational ethics approach’, Int. J. Managerial and Financial Accounting, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.48–63.

Improved Clarivate Citation Reports and Impact Factors for Inderscience Journals

Inderscience's Editorial Office is pleased to announce that 2021's Journal Citation Reports from Clarivate Analytics have revealed advances in impact factors for many Inderscience journals, including the European Journal of Industrial Engineering, European Journal of International Management, International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, International Journal of Exergy, International Journal of Global Warming, International Journal of Mobile Communications, International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, International Journal of Technology Management, International Journal of Web and Grid Services, and Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics.

The Editorial Office would like to congratulate and thank all editors, board members, authors and reviewers involved, and is pleased to see their endeavours rewarded in these latest Citation Reports.

16 July 2021

Research pick: Saving the rhino - "Ethical leadership is not black and white: a case study on stakeholders and African rhino conservation"

“Rhinos are a charismatic symbol of Africa’s thriving wildlife,” so says a team writing in the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, “but their future is threatened.”

There is growing demand for rhino horn and thus increased poaching. The animals’ plight is not helped by corruption and ineffective protection. Deirdre Dixon, Raymond Papp, Chanelle Cox, Melissa Walters, and Julia Pennington of the University of Tampa in Florida, USA, point out that thousands of these magnificent beasts are killed simply for their horn every year. Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa are at the forefront of the problem, but scant attention is paid to understanding the position and viewpoint of the local people.

In order to investigate the issues from an ethical stance, the team has conducted qualitative interviews with local ranchers, conservationists, and the general population, and used analytical tools to extract meaning from their data. As they offer in the title of their paper the ethical issues are not “black and white”.

The poachers are at odds with the rangers and conservationists, the locals are often at odds with the wildlife itself. The conservationists vehemently disagree with any rhino hunting and want to secure the future of the species. Others are less concerned with such matters and more concerned with their own life and livelihoods.

“Given the different stakeholder vantage points, it is difficult to find common ground and unanimously agree upon one solution for the rhino crisis. However, we can apply ethical frames to foster understanding of each stakeholder group and use these vantage points to explore a combination of solutions,” the team writes.

The team offers a range of further discussion points and frames questions that might improve education and understanding in and around this sensitive subject.

Dixon, D., Papp, R., Cox, C., Walters, L.M. and Pennington, J.R. (2021) ‘Ethical leadership is not black and white: a case study on stakeholders and African rhino conservation’, Int. J. Teaching and Case Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.176–188.

15 July 2021

Research pick: COVID-19 demonizing tourism - "The effects of COVID-19 in the tourist society: an anthropological insight of the trivialisation of death and life"

Many of the effects of national lockdowns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will be enduring across society. Work published in the International Journal of Tourism Anthropology looks at one aspect of those effects and their impact on a vast and important industry, tourism.

Raoni Borges Barbosa and Jean Henrique Costa of the State University of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal, Brazil, Bintang Handayani of the University of Malasia Kelatan, Malaysia, and Maximiliano Korstanje of the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, pose some central questions regarding our sense of the “new normal” with regard to measures such as social distancing and how it affects human relation and activities. They also consider the domestication and perhaps trivialisation of death as the pandemic continues.

“In the pre-pandemic world, tourists were valorised as ambassadors of the civilised order, but now they appear to be demonised as potential carriers of a lethal disease,” the team writes. They liken the perception of disease-carrying tourists to our perception of the terrorist threat where life for many is lived in fear of threats that may well be hiding in plain sight. The team adds that the unparalleled effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the closure of borders, travellers stranded for months away from home, geopolitical conflict between nations, as well as a rising chauvinist and separatist world view that demonises the once positive notion of the so-called global village. Moreover, they suggest, “The new normal symbolically equates to the banality of life and the normalisation of death.”

One day this pandemic will pass into history as all previous pandemics have done, our descendants may, to paraphrase poet Neil Peart, “read of us with sadness for the seeds that we let grow”.

Barbosa, R.B., Costa, J.H., Handayani, B. and Korstanje, M.E. (2021) ‘The effects of COVID-19 in the tourist society: an anthropological insight of the trivialisation of death and life’, Int. J. Tourism Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp.179–192.

14 July 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting are now available here for free:
  • Conceptualisation of customer experience: the case of mobile telecoms services in Morocco
  • The phenomenon of tax evasion and undeclared work in Greece. Causes and the role of control mechanisms
  • Strategy and capital budgeting techniques: the moderating role of entrepreneurial structure
  • Investor sentiment, stock price, and audit quality
  • The determinants of XBRL adoption: a meta-analysis

Special issue published: "Essays on Sketching The Role Of Economics in a Post-Virus World – Part 1"

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education 11(3) 2020

  • Economists: neither emperors nor dentists
  • Virus eco2nomics: never let a serious crisis go to waste - what are the questions? Inspirations for plural, heterodox, and progressive research programs from a European perspective
  • Change is always as a last resort change in habits of thought: for a new biodiversity of cognition in the face of today's crisis
  • Economics education in a post-pandemic world
  • Teaching labour economics: moving from microeconomics to social provisioning
  • Decentering efficiency in teaching economics
  • Who is afraid of post-growth?
  • COVID-19, universities, and economics
  • The unexpected victory of modern monetary theory and its consequences
  • Should democracy be part of the definition of economics? COVID policies in a broader context

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation are now available here for free:
  • Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity: assessing growth impacts and interdependencies
  • Global challenges and research gaps for third-party logistics: literature review
  • Role of food safety and quality in Indian food supply chain
  • Automaker in Brazil: integration of small business operations as suppliers

Research pick: Mobile movie marketing - "Marketing theatrical films for the mobile platform: the roles of web content/social media, brand extension, WOM, and windowing strategies"

Mobile devices have become a major viewing platform for movies in recent years. Indeed, for many consumers they are the main outlet for such content as traditional cinema and television become less attractive to them for a wide variety of reasons, such as cost, accessibility, and content availability.

New research in the International Journal of Mobile Communications, looks at the various routes corporate marketing departments can take in terms of promoting movie content to mobile users. The web, social media, brand extension, electronic word of mouth, and timing and regional “windowing” strategies are all reviewed to discern what time of marketing works best in the mobile world and which approaches are likely to be less successful.

Sang-Hyun Nam of the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, Hun Kim and Byeng-Hee Chang of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, and Sylvia Chan-Olmsted of the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA have based the current study on movie industry data from South Korea. The team points out that this country has one of the most established mobile industries and is the first market in the world to approach mobile saturation. Other countries, one might suggest, are always playing catch-up with the technological advances taking place in South Korea. As such, understanding the successes and failures of companies there as well as consumer response and behaviour might provide a way to predict what might happen in the future elsewhere.

The team reports that certain web content activities, brand extensions, celebrity and star power, sequels, and movie length can influence significantly the performance of a movie on mobile platforms. They also found that there were clear differences in the impact of each marketing approach depending on the specific platform used. Website content and activity continues to play an important role in the performance of movie releases on mobile platforms by providing consumers with advance information and insight regarding a given movie release.

Social media and eWOM provide a type of peer review that engages putative consumers prior to theatrical once a movie has already created some buzz online. However, this buzz does not translate to take-up on mobile platforms in the way it once did with theatrical release of movies. It all contributes to branding for a movie’s stars. Indeed, the present study has demonstrated that the most effective tools are the movies stars themselves and the existence of sequels. It is these factors that influence mobile viewers the most in whether they will watch a particular release.

“Our results here confirm that brand extension, especially via co-branding with stars and the adoption of an established movie franchise, benefits movie marketers by positively leveraging the existing equity in affecting consumers’ attitudes, quality perceptions, and purchase intentions toward the extended product,” the team writes.

Nam, S-H., Kim, H., Chang, B-H. and Chan-Olmsted, S.M. (2021) ‘Marketing theatrical films for the mobile platform: the roles of web content/social media, brand extension, WOM, and windowing strategies’, Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp.413–438.

13 July 2021

Special issue published: "Advanced Functional Nanomaterials and Applications"

International Journal of Nanotechnology 18(5/6/7/8) 2021

  • Influence of solvent on morphological texture and catalytic activity of SnO2 nanoparticles
  • Synthesis of dip coated bismuth vanadium oxide (BiVO4) with iron oxyhydroxides (FeOOH) for photoelectrochemical water splitting applications
  • Protonation of qunioxaline-tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) based derivatives: substituent effect on charge-transfer complexes
  • Solvent composition induced structure control of cadmium sulphide nanoparticles and investigations on photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue
  • Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 as promising nanoparticles for arsenic removal from aqueous solution
  • Effective synthesis of metal loaded nitrogen doped multi walled carbon nanotubes for the degradation of Congo Red dye
  • Iron oxide slag nanocomposites in removal of hexavalent chromium
  • Removal of anionic dye Eriochrome Black-T using nanocomposites derived from slag
  • Synthesis of ZnO-Ni flower like nanostructure for gas sensing application
  • Influence of nano alumina addition on the properties of SiC refractories
  • Hydrothermal synthesis of silicon nanosphere embedded on carbon nanotubes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries
  • Graphene quantum dots doped conducting polymer nanocomposite for high performance supercapacitor application
  • Mesoporous CuO nanocatalysts for oxidative degradation of persistent organic pollutants
  • Antimicrobial activity study of Ag-ZnO nanoflowers synthesised from neem extract and application in cotton textiles
  • Biogenic systems of mesoporous silica and its potential application in agrochemical delivery system
  • Fabrication of biocomposite sheets from silk cocoons for tissue engineering applications
  • Ethanolic bark extract of Terminalia arjuna mediated biogenic silver nanoparticles and their antimicrobial and anticancer activities
  • Influence of dispersion technique/time on dispersion stability, aspect ratio and morphology of multi-walled carbon nanotubes
  • Influence of nickel dopant concentration on structural, optical, magnetic and electrochemical properties of TiO2 nanoparticle
  • Structural, dielectric and magnetic properties of double perovskite-La2CoNiO6 ceramics synthesised by wet chemical route
  • Role of water temperature in laser induced breakdown at nickel-water interface for generation of nickel oxide nanocolloids
  • Synthesis, characterisation of nanoporous AlSiO4-5 and AlSiO4-12 catalysts, and its green catalytic application of CO2 decomposition
  • Hybrid piezoelectric nanogenerator based on PVDF film and vertically aligned ZnO nanorods for energy harvesting applications
  • Radiative 3D-MHD flow of an aqueous ethylene glycol nanofluid past a two-way exponentially extending lamina
  • A flexible and wearable joint motion sensor using triboelectric nanogenerators for hand gesture monitoring
  • Thermally radiative flow of a viscoelastic nanofluid with Newtonian heating
  • Analysis of forced convective heat transfer through nanofluids around a square cylinder using Eulerian-Eulerian mixture modelling
  • Carrier depletion type PIN phase shifter in silicon MZM for 200 Gbps operation
  • Improved logic performance with semiconducting graphene nano mesh double gate field effect transistor
  • Modelling the effect of crack formation on the actuation behaviour of ionic polymer metal composite

Research pick: Peppermint spray for vigilant driving - "The effect of peppermint odour on fatigue and vigilance in conditional automated vehicle"

Drivers of conditionally automated vehicles become fatigued more quickly than drivers of completely manual vehicles, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Performance. They are investigating ways to counteract this effect and so reduce the risk of fatigued drivers being involved in a road traffic accident. One promising approach is to use olfactory stimulation, specifically exposing the driver to the odour of peppermint periodically.

Qiuyang Tang, Gang Guo, and Mengjin Zeng of Chongqing University in Chongqing, China, have looked at how olfactory stimulation with peppermint odour affects fatigue and more critically vigilance in drivers. They looked at subjective and objective variables with a group of 34 volunteers some of whom were tested with peppermint exposure and others with simply air. They found that those drivers given a puff of peppermint odour reported a lower feeling of fatigue compared to the drivers given a puff of unscented air. Indicators of reaction time and ocular variables also supported that the drivers’ vigilance increased during the peppermint stimulation but not with air exposure.

Given the advent of self-driving and conditionally automated vehicles, it is critical that the “driver” be relieved of the main duties of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator, and brakes, under normal conditions but be present in a supervisory capacity and ready to take back control from the vehicle’s computer when the automated driving system meets its system limitations or when conditions change and so to avoid a collision or other accident.

The team points out that peppermint can be a little too pungent for some drivers and so an additional less noxious smell might be mixed with the olfactory stimulant, the team’s testing roadmap includes such a modification. They also point out that stimulation with the odour of peppermint has little effect on drivers if they are not fatigued. The researchers have also focused on how one might determine whether a driving supervisor in a conditionally automated vehicle is tiring or falling asleep. As such, one day the vehicle’s sensors may well be programmed to detect driver fatigue and release an appropriate stimulant at an opportune time to ensure that safety is prioritized.

Tang, Q., Guo, G. and Zeng, M. (2021) ‘The effect of peppermint odour on fatigue and vigilance in conditional automated vehicle‘, Int. J. Vehicle Performance, Vol. 7, Nos. 3/4, pp.266-278.

Special issue published: "Data-Driven Innovation: The Future of New Product Development in Digital Markets"

International Journal of Product Development 25(2) 2021

  • A personalised recommendation algorithm of user preference products based on Bayesian network
  • Error correction method of enterprise product cost accounting based on machine learning algorithm
  • Risk prediction of information leakage in new product development stage based on data driven model
  • Automatic adjustment method of sports equipment parameters based on dynamic data drive
  • Resource sharing method of new product development in the digital market based on blockchain
  • Performance evaluation method of social public sports goods development based on fuzzy comprehensive evaluation
  • Optimisation of data transmission delay of heart rate monitoring equipment in sports
  • Market product demand forecasting method based on probability statistics and convolution neural network
  • A weighted knowledge super network model for collaborative product innovation based on adjacency matrix

12 July 2021

International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism to invite expanded papers from APAN 52 Virtual Meeting and Conference for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the APAN 52 Virtual Meeting and Conference (2-6 August 2021) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics are now available here for free:
  • Solving the e-commerce logistics problem using anti-predatory NIA
  • A privacy preservation model for big data in map-reduced framework based on k-anonymisation and swarm-based algorithms
  • A knowledge-based diagnosis algorithm for broken rotor bar fault classification using FFT, principal component analysis and support vector machines
  • Attention-based word-level contextual feature extraction and cross-modality fusion for sentiment analysis and emotion classification

9 July 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Planning and Scheduling

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Planning and Scheduling are now available here for free:
  • New heuristics for the balanced k-Chinese postmen problem
  • A hospital staff scheduling problem under stochastic operation times
  • Planning and management of major sporting events: a survey
  • A random keys genetic algorithm for a bicriterion project selection and scheduling problem
  • Two-machine flow shop scheduling with synchronous material movement
  • Single machine scheduling to minimise number of expedited jobs

Free open access article available: "Characterising the sweet corn postharvest supply chain: travel from Senegal to the UK"

The following paper, "Characterising the sweet corn postharvest supply chain: travel from Senegal to the UK" (International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation 8(1) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation are now available here for free:
  • Correlation between physicochemical changes of seeded and seedless watermelons during postharvest storage
  • Factors influencing the adoption of pre-harvest practices among mango farmers in Embu and Machakos counties, Kenya
  • Photosensitisation combined with ozone gas delays the postharvest ripening of stored tomato
  • Post-harvest deterioration of green billeted and green whole stalk sugarcane in Northeast Thailand
  • Climate change impacts on yield and financial performance of agro-plantation companies in Malaysia Md. Mahmudul Alam; Yusnidah Ibrahim; Md. Shahin Mia Vol.7 No.1 15-28 Free access
  • Development and evaluation of an online grading system for pinto beans using machine vision and artificial neural network

Research pick: Post-pandemic food security - "Covid-19 and food security in Southeast Asia"

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked lives and wreaked havoc on economies around the world. Part of the problem has been our solution to disease. The measures, such as social, business, and educational lockdown and border controls that are aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 – have disrupted the supply of agricultural food products to markets and consumers.

Ultimately, the ongoing pandemic is threatening food security in many parts of the world. New research published in the International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, has looked at the problem of food security facing Southeast Asia. Fundamentally, the team of Siti Fatimahwati Pehin Dato Musa of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Khairul Hidayatullah Basir of the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali both in Brunei Darussalam, have considered how food safety and hygiene might be ensured in the pandemic and beyond. They also consider how we might evolve a sustainable approach t food security now and for the future.

The team’s basic conclusion from their review and analysis of the current literature on food security and their own work is that in order for ASEAN member states to better respond to the disruption in food supply chain “there should be encouragement towards boosting self-sufficiency in food production, adopting smart and sustainable farming methods, and closer regional cooperation.” ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations and members are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The researchers add that “Governments must think a step ahead to avoid future shocks to the system and start planning for local farmers to adopt (green) technologies to help them plant and harvest even when short-handed.” This and other approaches to improving sustainability and food security will stand the region in good stead to cope when the next pandemic arises and even in the face of the potentially devastating effects of climate change and natural catastrophe.

Many of the researchers’ conclusions are focused on how South East Asian nations might respond to the current crisis, but will be equally applicable to other countries way beyond this part of the world.

Musa, S.F.P.D. and Basir, K.H. (2021) ‘Covid-19 and food security in Southeast Asia’, Int. J. Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.90–110.

8 July 2021

Special issue published: "Recent Advances in Energy-Efficient Research for Vehicle Performance Improvement"

International Journal of Vehicle Performance 7(3/4) 2021

  • Research on regenerative braking strategies for hybrid electric vehicle by co-simulation model
  • A new model predictive torque control strategy for permanent magnet synchronous hub motor of EVs
  • Study on comprehensive performance of Ni-MH power battery used in HEV at different temperatures
  • Potential and challenges to improve vehicle energy efficiency via V2X: literature review
  • The effect of peppermint odour on fatigue and vigilance in conditional automated vehicle
  • Research on modelling and simulation of single-mode power split hybrid system
  • Energy management optimal strategy of FCHEV based on the Radau Pseudospectral method
  • Control strategy of genetic algorithm for a hybrid electric container loader
  • Optimisation of the energy efficiency of a hybrid vehicle powertrain
  • Evaluation of worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure for electric vehicles using simulation

Special issue published: "Control and Management of Logistic Systems Based on Information Technologies"

International Journal of Information Technology and Management 20(3) 2021

  • Big data prediction method of traffic logistics demands based on regional differences
  • Research on regional spatial logistics information integration method based on big data
  • Intelligent classification of logistics multi-distribution resources based on information fusion
  • Research on routing optimisation of logistics distribution vehicle based on cloud model
  • Design of logistics transportation monitoring system based on GPS/DR combined positioning technology
  • Design of logistics operation management algorithm based on information technology on internet
  • Integrated equilibrium planning for emergency logistics warehouse allocation based on internet plus mode

Research pick: Driving hazards - "Individual differences predict drivers hazard perception skills"

Contrary to what one might expect less driving experience is not a risk factor for not being able to spot hazards as quickly as a more experienced driver might. A surprising new study published in the International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, looks at perception skills and how individual differences affect the ability of drivers to predict hazards.

Daniela Barragan and Yi-Ching Lee of the Psychology Department at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, explain how they recruited around 400 drivers to an online study with a hazard-perception video task. The study in contrast to much of the existing literature did not show that driving experience and risk perception are good predictors of hazard perception skills.

It is well known that drivers differ in their ability to detect and respond to dangerous events while driving. This phenomenon has been termed hazard perception and perhaps lies at the root of many road traffic accidents and could be the focus of better driver instruction and ongoing learning for drivers. The hazard perception process involves spotting a dangerous or potentially dangerous event on the road ahead, identifying the nature of the event from visual cues, working out how to respond to the event, and finally making an appropriate response or manoeuvre to avoid a collision or other unwanted outcome.

One might assume that a more experienced driver would be better at this process but the findings from this new research which suggest otherwise ought to serve as a valuable lesson to policymakers, driving instructors, the driving test authorities, and perhaps drivers themselves. The team concludes that their insight could be used to guide training programs that might be tailored to those drivers who are most susceptible to committing hazard perception errors whether they are experienced drivers or not.

With this knowledge to hand, we might give learner drivers exercises on visual perception and traffic laws during the licensing process and perhaps ongoing assessment, training, and testing might also be useful in some situations for ensuring that all road users improve their hazard perception skills and so roadway safety.

Barragan, D. and Lee, Y-C. (2021) ‘Individual differences predict drivers hazard perception skills’, Int. J. Human Factors and Ergonomics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp.195–213.

7 July 2021

Special issue published: "Sustainability in a Multidisciplinary Scenario"

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development 15(3) 2021

  • Cohesiveness, social justice, and innovativeness with environmental sanitation behaviour
  • Social exchange theory in sustainable tourism: a case study from Thailand
  • Determinants of urban residential water demand in Libya
  • Building a conducive, engaged, and learning working environment through sustainable and impactful organisational culture
  • System dynamics to assess the financial impact through the use of recycled kitchen oil in solid waste collection vehicles
  • Splitting up Dhaka city: rationales, challenges and prospects as a sustainable city
  • Integration of lean and green management: a bibliometric analysis

Special issue published: "Research on Online Learning Behaviours"

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 31(3) 2021

  • Analysis of the learners' learning behaviours in MOOC informationisation leadership
  • Research on the influence of instructor image on the learning effect of conceptual learning videos
  • Evaluation of learners' online learning behaviour based on the analytic hierarchy process
  • A study of ISEC students' online learning behaviour in ethnic universities and colleges
  • Research on curriculum construction and application in colleges under blended learning
  • Design for blended synchronous learning: the instructor's perspective
  • Bayesian network algorithms used in the assessment of learners' learning behaviour
  • Exploration of data mining algorithms of an online learning behaviour log based on cloud computing
  • Design of an online learning early warning system based on learning behaviour analysis
  • K-means clustering algorithms used in the evaluation of online learners' behaviour
  • Adaptive optimisation algorithm for online teaching behaviour

Research pick: Brain training for insomnia - "Brainwave entrainment through external sensory stimulus: a therapy for insomnia"

Might external stimuli – audiovisual and haptic – be used to train the brain to improved sleep patterns to treat insomnia? That’s the question a research team from India hopes to answer in work published in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

E. Karuppathal and R. Kalpana of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rajalakshmi Engineering College and A.V. Srinivasan of The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University explain how audio signals of differing frequencies are given to both ears, visual input to the eyes otherwise covered with an eye-mask to block external light, and periodic touch pressure to the wrist via a pressure cuff can be applied. The aim is to entrain brainwaves to match with a normal sleep pattern.

Tests with volunteers who suffer from frequent and prolonged insomnia and non-insomniacal control subjects showed that those given the audiovisual and haptic stimuli recorded prolonged REM state sleep than they did without the stimuli. The approach offers a physical, non-pharmaceutical, approach to treating insomnia that might suit patients reluctant to turn to medication with all its putative side effects, dependencies, and costs, for their sleep deprivation.

It is envisaged that, soon after diagnosing insomnia if intervened with AVHS therapy, there could be a chance of resuming normal sleep without oral drugs, the team writes. Moreover, participants in the trials uniformly welcomed the drug-free therapy, the team adds.

The mode of action of this therapy is unknown and it may well be that the stimuli simply provide a soothing distraction that allows the person to fall asleep. Additional work will most investigate the long-term efficacy and identify any problems that might arise. It could also focus on measuring brain waves during the therapy in greater detail to determine what kind of electrical changes occur in the brain during the stimulation. Parallel studies might also look at whether a single stimulus or a combination of any two might be efficacious so that the treatment might be simplified.

Karuppathal, E., Kalpana, R. and Srinivasan, A.V. (2021) ‘Brainwave entrainment through external sensory stimulus: a therapy for insomnia’, Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp.323–333.

6 July 2021

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Vehicle Safety

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Vehicle Safety are now available here for free:
  • A comparative analysis of three typical crash tests results based on small overlap frontal collision accidents
  • Investigation of risk factors affecting injuries in reclining seat under frontal impact
  • Modelling traumatic brain injury in pedestrian involved in backover collisions
  • Stability optimal control for liquid tank under transverse excitation
  • Biomechanical performance of a bicycle helmet design on a six-year-old head impact protection

Research pick: Road sign recognition - "Road sign detection using edited shuffled frogs leaping algorithm"

Technology adds new safety features to every generation of road vehicle – seatbelts, airbags, parking sensors, and in work published in the International Journal of Vehicle Safety, the possibility of an in-vehicle road sign recognition system is discussed. Researchers from the University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia, have turned to an algorithm known as an edited shuffled leapfrog algorithm to carry out the recognition task.

There are dozens of algorithms based on biological phenomena, such as swarming and foraging. The natural algorithms used by honeybees, for instance, can be modeled in a computer to solve complex, non-linear problems, such as plotting the shortest route on a map to take into account all the essential stops. Similarly, a novel trial-and-error (meta-heuristic) algorithm that models the behaviour of frogs searching for food can be used to solve other problems.

Ameur Zaibi of the Laboratory of Automation, Electrical Systems and Environment (LAESE) and colleagues have developed Edited Shuffled Frogs Leaping Algorithm (ESFLA) to optimize the analysis of images of road signs and to correlate the output of the trained algorithm with an internal listing of the road signs a driver may encounter. The system can recognise signs with high accuracy regardless of viewing angle, light conditions, and even partial obstructions. Indeed, the team reports a detection rate of almost 97 percent compared with previous techniques developed by other researchers which have achieved between 91 and 96 percent.

If incorporated into the vehicle’s computer system, the algorithm could be used to alert the driver to road signs in a timely manner and perhaps quicker than they would see them themselves. The system could improve safety for all drivers, but would also be of great assistance to drivers on unfamiliar or foreign roads.

The next step would be to incorporate such a road sign recognition system into the controls for a self-driving vehicle so that it could have even greater autonomy than do such vehicles.

Zaibi, A., Ladgham, A. and Sakly, A. (2021) ‘Road sign detection using edited shuffled frogs leaping algorithm’, Int. J. Vehicle Safety, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.1–14

Free open access article available: "Co-positioning design for sustainability transitions, practice theory and transitions theories: towards dialogue and collaboration"

The following paper, "Co-positioning design for sustainability transitions, practice theory and transitions theories: towards dialogue and collaboration" (Journal of Design Research 18(3/4) 2020), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

2 July 2021

Research pick: Herbal classification - "Microscopic image analysis for herbal plant classification"

Approximately 40 percent of pharmaceuticals have an origin in natural products, compounds originally derived from plant and animal sources. To this day, physiological activity is keenly investigated in the substances that can be extracted from a diverse range of plants. Moreover, while herbal medicine is an endeavour in its own right, the identification of active compounds in so-called herbal remedies can provide a lead for medicinal chemists. New work in the International Journal of Image Mining describes a way to analyse images of powdered plant products, such as leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, and seeds at the microscopic level for accurate identification and classification.

Bhupendra Fataniya and Tanish Zaveri of Nirma University in Ahmedabad, India, have focused on texture features of three plants – liquorice, rhubarb, and datura (dhatura)- all of which are commonly used in herbal medicine. The team points out that the misidentification of herbal products can lead to serious health problems for patients. Classification is usually carried out by examination of the leaves and other components, but obviously this approach is not possible if the plant has been dried and ground to a powder.

In order to find a solution to this issue, the team has turned to microscopy and a convolutional neural network to allow them to examine the shape and texture of particles in a powdered herbal product. By combining textural features and using a support vector machine, K-nearest neighbour and ensemble classifier the team was able to demonstrate identification from powdered products with 94 percent accuracy. However, they were able to improve on this and achieve an accuracy of 99.8% using a cubic-support vector machine classifier.

Fataniya, B.D. and Zaveri, T. (2021) ‘Microscopic image analysis for herbal plant classification’, Int. J. Image Mining, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.1–23.

1 July 2021

Research pick: COVID-19 and the BRIC stockmarkets - "Impact of COVID on the stock market: a study of BRIC countries"

A new study published in the International Journal of Financial Markets and Derivatives has investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the stock markets in so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These nations are considered to be the rapidly growing economies with the biggest potential.

The researchers, Varuna Kharbanda and Rachna Jain of the Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies in Delhi, India, suggest that for the period of the pandemic studied the incidence of infections with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which caused the potentially lethal disease COVID-19, correlated with negative effects on the stock markets of those countries. Moreover, falls in share prices were partly blamed on pessimism in the wake of the early stages of the pandemic up to the end of May 2020.

An unprecedented modern pandemic with millions of symptomatic infections and many hundreds of thousands of deaths was inevitably to have a detrimental effect on world economies. Given that the BRIC nations account for almost 40% of the world population, 25% of the world landmass, and 20% of the total world gross domestic product (GDP), the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would have an enormous impact on those nations individually and in terms of their position in the global picture.

The research highlights just how volatile the markets are as they respond to the pandemic, this was true at the beginning and is still true at the time of writing of this Research Highlight. The team used two multivariate models to track this volatility from a point well before the pandemic in the summer of 2019 to almost the middle of 2020 well after we had begun to recognise the unfolding tragedy of this disease.

The governments of the BRIC nations have responded with relief packages, new tax rules, and by easing credit in their economies. However, the negative effects are still being felt and it is impossible to predict at this point, first, when the pandemic will end and what the long-term impact on BRIC economies and the global economy will be.

Kharbanda, V. and Jain, R. (2021) ‘Impact of COVID on the stock market: a study of BRIC countries’, Int. J. Financial Markets and Derivatives, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp.169–184.