30 June 2022

New Editor for International Journal of Internet of Things and Cyber-Assurance

Prof. Shingo Yamaguchi from Yamaguchi University in Japan has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Internet of Things and Cyber-Assurance.

New Editor for International Journal of Information Quality

Prof. Barbara Klein from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in the USA has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Information Quality.

Research pick: Learning to combat DDOS attacks - "Machine learning combating DOS and DDOS attacks"

Denial of service (DOS) and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on computer systems are a major concern to those charged with keeping online services running and protecting systems and those who use them. Such intrusions are difficult to thwart although their effects are often obvious. As the names suggested they commonly overwhelm a system so that services cannot be provided to legitimate users.

Denial of service attacks are often carried out for malicious purposes or as part of a protest against a particular service or company. It might also be done so that loopholes in the system security might be opened up allowing a third party to extract information, such as user details and passwords, while the attack is underway. Such attacks may also be random, run by botnets and the like or even purely for the entertainment of the perpetrator without any malign intent.

Writing in the International Journal of Business Information Systems, a team from India, review the state of the art in how machine learning might be used to combat DOS and DDOS attacks.

Shweta Paliwal, Vishal Bharti, and Amit Kumar Mishra of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at DIT University in Uttarakhand, point out that the advent of the so-called Internet of Things means that there are many more unattended and unmonitored devices connected continuously to the internet that can be recruited to mount DDOS attacks. Fundamentally, a malicious third party can exploit vulnerabilities in the protocols, such as HTTP that serves web pages to legitimate users to overwhelm a system. The distributed nature of such attacks means that focusing on a single source for the attack and blocking it is not possible without blocking legitimate users. Machine learning tools, however, might make transparent those devices addressing the system through HTTP that are not legitimate and allow a security layer to block the attack.

Paliwal, S., Bharti, V. and Mishra, A.K. (2022) ‘Machine learning combating DOS and DDOS attacks’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp.177–191.DDOS

29 June 2022

Research pick: Neural network diagnoses heart disease - "Coronary artery disease classification from clinical heart disease features using deep neural network"

A deep neural network can be used to classify coronary artery disease from clinical heart disease features, according to new work published in the International Journal of Dynamical Systems and Differential Equations.

D. Rajeswari and K. Thangavel of the Department of Computer Science at Periyar University in Salem, India, explain that coronary artery disease is a major cause of death across the globe. Early detection of the disease,however, can allow timely interventions that can lower the patient’s risk of heart failure. To this end, the team has developed a prediction model that uses a neural network to process non-invasive clinical data.

The network trained on many known cases can then identify the pertinent characteristics when presented with data from a new patient and offer a prognosis that would otherwise remain hidden without major invasive, investigative work. Patients with coronary artery disease present with various symptoms including the expectedchest pain, but also fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pain in the shoulders. A definitive clinical diagnosis is complicated and usually requires electrocardiography, biomedical lab tests, patient stress and treadmill tests. A simpler approach that could be used to assess patients quickly is warranted.

The researchers have tested their system against the Z-Alizadeh Sani data set held in a repository at the University of California Irvine. The results show that their classifier improves prediction accuracy significantly and is at almost 76 per cent when compared to a well-known classifier method K-nearest neighbour. The result combined with other readily available clinical data or follow-up for a patient could be used to obtain an early diagnosis and so potentially save many lives.

Rajeswari, D. and Thangavel, K. (2022) ‘Coronary artery disease classification from clinical heart disease features using deep neural network’, Int. J. Dynamical Systems and Differential Equations, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.200–214.

28 June 2022

Research pick: Financial intelligence - "Artificial intelligence and its adoption in financial services"

The transition of many aspects of human activity into the digital realm is taking place rapidly. This is apparent perhaps nowhere more so than in financial services. Research in the International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics reports on how one particular aspect of “digital” is evolving rapidly in this realm – artificial intelligence, AI.

Renato Lopes da Costa, Miguel Cruz, Álvaro Dias, Rui Vinhas da Silva, and Leandro Pereira of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa in Lisbon and Rui Gonçalves of PIAGET Almada in Almada, Portugal, have looked at the perceptions of those in the financial services industry and AI experts on the role and potential of AI in the sector.

The team suggests that as technology evolves so rapidly there is now pressure on traditionally conservative industries to reconfigure their business models to take advantage of innovations as never before. Indeed, one of the greatest pressures is on companies to find ways to handle vast amounts of data in smart ways. AI could be a significant part of the answer to this problem.

The team points out that so far the financial services industry may well have lagged behind in adopting and adapting to algorithms and AI, whereas the transportation, cybersecurity, and entertainment industries have been early adopters where solutions to their problems almost presented themselves in navigating logistics detecting fraud and intruders, and in developing recommendation systems and the like.

As with any paradigm shift in practices in an industry, there will be winners and losers, at the present time executives of traditional corporations are perhaps anxious of the competition from new companies with AI expertise. Those older companies may well not be ready to adapt to the new landscape, but they ought to heed the warnings of other staid industries where the old, analog business models failed in the face of digitalisation. The transition to AI systems is still in the early stages even among the most innovative of companies but it will happen whether some choose to ignore it or not.

da Costa, R.L., Cruz, M., Gonçalves, R., Dias, Á., da Silva, R.V. and Pereira, L. (2022) ‘Artificial intelligence and its adoption in financial services’, Int. J. Services Operations and Informatics, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.70–86.

27 June 2022

Research pick: Mindful healthworkers in a pandemic - "Study of the role of mindfulness intervention based on stress reduction in psychological distress and self-efficacy among the health industry staff during COVID-19 pandemic"

A study in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, has looked at the psychological health benefits of adopting “mindfulness” as an intervention to help healthcare workers reduce their personal stress levels during a medical crisis, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health issues have risen to the top of the healthcare agenda in recent years and were perhaps brought even closer to the fore as COVID-19 spread around the world. Those challenged with looking after the sick and dying often had little opportunity to look after themselves in between highly stressful and demanding shifts caring for critically ill patients. A diverse and international research team from centres in China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Thailand has looked at how mindfulness as a mental health intervention affected 600 physicians and nurses working on COVID-19 wards during 2021.

Mindfulness has its roots in various cultural traditions found in religions and holistic health practices with their roots in Asia but also emerges from cultures and practices elsewhere in the world. It might be succinctly defined as “living in the moment”. This pithy state belies a much broader concept of being focused on the present, one’s current environment, and the task or recreation in hand. It is generally thought of as being a tool to allow one to detach oneself from problems and worries while they are not in one’s immediate periphery so that rather than dwelling on past happenings or future worries one is “mindful” of only those things that are immediate and require one’s attention at the present moment.

Being mindful is not to forget or ignore any aspects of one’s life, relationships, and commitments, but to find a way to not be distracted by those issues that are beyond one’s control or observations at a given time. As an intervention, is thought to reduce undue anxiety, stress, and tension so that the mind and body can recover from the acutely stressful times. Both mental and physical stress involve raised levels of stress hormones in the body, often raised blood pressure, and other physiological changes that can be harmful if held at high levels over prolonged periods leading to chronic depression, constant anxiety, and physical harms such as heart problems.

The team found that those healthcare workers who were able to follow the practice of mindfulness saw greatly reduced anxiety levels, less depression, and an improvement in what is known as self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to carry out a required task to the best of one’s ability and to achieve particular goals.

Jaenudin, J., Komariah, A., Chupradit, S., Chupradit, P.W., Kurniady, D.A., Singh, K., Ahmed, A.A.A., Mustafa, Y.F. and Alkhayyat, A. (2022) ‘Study of the role of mindfulness intervention based on stress reduction in psychological distress and self-efficacy among the health industry staff during COVID-19 pandemic’, Int. J. Work Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.172–185.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Services Technology and Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Services Technology and Management are now available here for free:
  • Mobile shopping convenience behaviour: the quest for a conceptual framework
  • How SoLoMo-based product recommendations influence consumers' acceptance intention: the moderating role of gender
  • Central activities of solution portfolio management
  • Reputation, familiarity and use intention for e-payment services: a comparison of pure-play and click-and-mortar e-payment services
  • Design of fuzzy controlled routing protocol to save energy in ad hoc networks
  • When big data made the headlines: mining the text of big data coverage in the news media
  • To what extent does a knowledge-intensive business service firm need customer knowledge integrative activities? The case of DigiCAP

24 June 2022

Research pick: Predicting pandemic progression - "Prediction of COVID-19 spread in world using pandemic dataset with application of auto ARIMA and SIR models"

A new predictive model described in the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures suggests that we need to be conscientious in our decision-making with regard to the spread of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this infectious agent has caused.

Sunil Gupta and Durgansh Sharma of the Department of Cybernetics in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India, point out that others have used various mathematical models to help them track the spread of COVID-19 with a view to predicting the next wave in the pandemic cycle. The team has used the auto ARIMA (auto-regressive integrated moving average method) model to give them an accurate picture of the evolving pandemic as it might unfold in a future 100-day period. This could be useful for policymakers and healthcare leaders hoping to get ahead of any major outbreaks based on emerging data from the pandemic.

The model is built on data from December 2019 to August 2020 from Johns Hopkins University, the first few months of the pandemic, but can be adapted to new data now that proof of principle has been demonstrated. It can offer insight into the way the disease might continue to spread or not during the next three months from when the model is run on recent data.

Gupta, S. and Sharma, D. (2022) ‘Prediction of COVID-19 spread in world using pandemic dataset with application of auto ARIMA and SIR models’, Int. J. Critical Infrastructures, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp.148–158.

23 June 2022

Research pick: Remote learning prep - "Changes of assessment in remote learning: educators’ perceptions and findings"

Remote learning has been a growing area of education for many years, but in the early part of 2020 with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sudden new pressure as schools and other educational establishments were forced to close their doors to pupils and students in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. This emergency situation taught us many lessons about how remote learning might be made more effective and how assessment of a student’s progress through the curriculum might be made.

Writing in the International Journal of Learning and Change, Anžela Jurāne-Brēmane Vidzeme of the University of Applied Sciences in Valmiera, Latvia, has considered the perceptions of educators on how assessment has changed in the wake of remote learning. At the time, the acute problem was to cancel face-to-face classes and ensure that students studied from home. Video conferencing, email, and social media replaced the conventional teaching tools and the student’s own home became their ad hoc classroom. It was recognized at the time, that little preparation had been made for such a scenario, despite decades of warnings about a coming pandemic, and educators and students alike had to learn to cope with the new situation rapidly. Many perhaps did not and with hindsight, it is obvious that the system could have and should have been more prepared for such a crisis.

Jurāne-Brēmane describes the situation that arose in education across the globe in the wake of the pandemic as “chaotic”. There were obvious gaps in the knowledge and skills of educators plucked from the classroom and lecture theatre and plunged into this new online realm. While youngsters may well have been very familiar with the digital world, often described as they are, as digital natives, many were ill-prepared for the inversion of the conventional educational system. At this point in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we fully learn the lessons from the obvious failures of government and educational systems to ensure that we are much better prepared for a similar eventuality when it arises.

The work of Jurāne-Brēmane sought the opinions of Latvian educators and offers some conclusions from that survey that may well help when the next crisis forces students out of the classroom and back online. Specifically, the guidance offered points to how best to approach assessment of student progress on their course given that the traditional methods, such as practical work and examinations might again become inaccessible. A key finding is that there is a need to emphasise the understanding of feedback in the training and professional development of educators.

Jurāne-Brēmane, A. (2022) ‘Changes of assessment in remote learning: educators’ perceptions and findings’, Int. J. Learning and Change.

22 June 2022

International Journal of Adaptive and Innovative Systems to invite expanded papers from International Conference on Trends and Innovations in Smart Technologies (ICTIST) 2022 for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Trends and Innovations in Smart Technologies (ICTIST) 2022 (7-8 October 2022, Virtually from London, UK) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Adaptive and Innovative Systems.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Big Data Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Big Data Management are now available here for free:
  • Deep learning for prediction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using stacked auto encoders
  • Missing data imputation by the aid of features similarities
  • How integrated are cryptocurrencies
  • The use of data-driven technologies for customer-centric marketing
  • A review on ethical concerns in big data management

Research pick: Green performance and education - "Organisational resources as facilitators and inhibitors of green performance: non-linearities, interactions and international differences"

A surprising discovery about a company’s green credentials and performance is published in the European Journal of International Management. An international team from Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand has found that the educational level of female company directors correlates with positive environmental activity in that company in companies with their headquarters in Asia but not those based in Western nations. The findings could have implications for the greening of many industries across the globe.

Gayani M. Ranasinghe of the Department of Industrial Management at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, in Kuliyapitiya, Yuosre F. Badir of the Asian Institute of Technology in Pathum Thani, Thailand, and Björn Frank of Waseda University, in Tokyo, Japan, point out that companies are under increasing pressure to improve their green credentials. This pressure is not simply for the purposes of marketing, strategic performance, and profits, of course, but because our environment is under incredible stress from pollution, waste, and climate change. So-called “green” practices and performance are high on the agenda, the term umbrella term “green” alluding whimsically to plant life as a proxy for a healthy planet.

In addition to the discovery that superior green performance among Asian companies correlated with having well-educated female directors, the team also found that financial “slack” and the intensity of research & development (R&D) exert a non-linear effect on a company’s green performance. The new work solidifies diffuse findings from the research literature regarding the various financial and non-financial factors that affect a company’s green performance, the team suggests. The findings were based on the green revenue scores recorded in the international publication Newsweek’s green rankings survey. Additionally, the team applied cross-classified hierarchical linear modelling of multi-source data from 156 companies included in that survey.

Ultimately, the team suggests, having more female directors and better-educated directors on the company board can help a firm to achieve “a superior green performance by altering its environment-related decision outcomes”.

“We stress the importance of having a strategic configuration of organisational resources that supports the firm in developing a unique set of human, relational and technical capital and of other capabilities that drives green performance as a key basis of competition in today’s corporate world,” the team concludes.

Ranasinghe, G.M., Badir, Y.F. and Frank, B. (2022) ‘Organisational resources as facilitators and inhibitors of green performance: non-linearities, interactions and international differences’, European J. International Management.

21 June 2022

Special issue published: "Information Management in the Information Age"

International Journal of Information Technology and Management 21(2/3) 2022

  • Optimisation decision model of enterprise financial risk management combining stochastic demand
  • Research on integrated management of sales and inventory information in circulation enterprises based on case-based learning
  • Research on efficiency evaluation of financial refinement management based on DEA
  • Mobile payment risk prediction of communication operators under new business model
  • Establishment of business risk information value assessment model based on RAROC
  • Research on real-time acquisition method of logistics location information of electric commerce based on ranking threshold
  • Research on visualisation transmission method for business innovation strategy data based on structural characteristics
  • Early warning method for enterprise financial informatisation caused by tax difference
  • Research on digital management method of market information based on fusion information
  • Trajectory information acquisition method for library borrowing behaviour based on RFID technology
  • Feature extraction modelling of enterprise innovation behaviour data based on morphological gradient
  • Information supervisory model for financial risk prevention and control based on twin-SVM
  • Integration technology of logistics information resources in electric power enterprises based on web services

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Higher Education and Sustainability

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Higher Education and Sustainability are now available here for free:
  • Education for cultivation of awareness as an important factor of raising environmental consciousness
  • Preparedness of higher education institutions for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4: the case of Nepalese universities
  • Role of Yemen higher education institutes in rebuilding the post-war Yemen
  • Exploring the utilisation of theoretical basis in existing campus sustainability appraisal tools

New Editor for International Journal of Applied Cryptography

Associate Prof. Weizhi Meng from the Technical University of Denmark has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Applied Cryptography.

Research pick: Artificial intelligence in the automotive industry - "Changes in productivity and labour relations: artificial intelligence in the automotive sector in Portugal"

Artificial Intelligence, AI, is set to be a generationally disruptive innovation just as with previous industrial revolutions. Research in the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management looks at how the automotive sector might be affected in terms of job losses and changing roles within the industry driven by AI.

António B. Moniz, Marta Candeias, and Nuno Boavida of the Nova University of Lisbon, Campus de Campolide, in Lisboa, Portugal, suggest that sustainability policies, protectionism, and consumers preferences are already leading to major changes in the automotive industry. AI, however, with its broad-spectrum, problem-solving algorithms could revolutionise the kind of industrial robotics used in the automotive industry as well as the software and data communication tools used there. It could even radically change the design and development processes making many workers wholly redundant but creating novel roles in much lower numbers.

The researchers have looked at how AI might enhance product quality, reduce or at least control costs, and improve productivity. They have also examined the implications for human resources in terms of productivity and industrial relations. Their findings based on the collection of new data as well as secondary statistical analyses put various case studies in the automotive industry into context.

They found that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portuguese automotive industry was growing and the size of the total workforce increasing. Moreover, the trend towards increasing automation in the industry has not yet had an impact on employment. Their explanation is that to use the innovations in this sector requires highly skilled workers capable of implementing the automation, including AI, and ensuring that it ultimately boosts productivity and profit. However, the converse of this finding is that the less educated, less skilled employees may struggle to maintain their place in the workforce as technology adapts around them if they cannot keep pace with the rapid changes we see in this, and indeed many other industries.

Moniz, A.B., Candeias, M. and Boavida, N. (2022) ‘Changes in productivity and labour relations: artificial intelligence in the automotive sector in Portugal’, Int. J. Automotive Technology and Management

20 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems are now available here for free:
  • Cryptographic algorithm for protection of communication in drones control
  • New type NP-CSMA of adaptive multi-priority control WSN protocol analysis
  • Research on key indicators and regional comparison of green data centre
  • Design and realisation of vehicle security and protection system based on multi-task polling processing
  • Estimating equations under IPW imputation of missing data

Research pick: A model of sustainable healthcare - "Toward a sustainable social healthcare enterprise development model"

What might a sustainable social healthcare enterprise look like as a mode of public healthcare delivery? Research from Thailand seeks to answer that question in the International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management.

Nuttasorn Ketprapakorn of the School of Business at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Sooksan Kantabutra of Center for Research on Sustainable Leadership in the College of Management at Mahidol University, both in Bangkok, explain that while there are many concepts covered in the research literature on social enterprise and sustainable enterprise little is found by way of theoretical models in this area. Researchers and practitioners alike need a model that allows this area to be developed.

Specifically, the team points out that the United Nations reported in 2020 that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for some 41 million deaths annually, almost three-quarters of all deaths. As such, the team has focused on exploring the role of a sustainable social healthcare enterprise in pursuing good health and well-being for all to reduce these figures. A model of sustainable social healthcare should help considerably in this regard.

The team has used a sociological research approach known as grounded theory to study the issues. They took Theptarin Hospital as a useful case study through which to develop their theoretical model of a sustainable healthcare enterprise. Theptarin is a small hospital founded in 1985 and having 80 in-patient beds. It is well known for its research into diabetes and its training in this area of medicine. Earlier work demonstrates that it is a sustainable healthcare enterprise. The team also points out that it has previously been described as meeting 15 of the 19 sustainable leadership elements.

The team developed a concept through their work that suggests that a healthcare enterprise might be sustainable if it incorporates five key factors: inspiring a social vision, developing a widely shared organisational culture, creating relevant knowledge, generating a national momentum, and having an international impact. Their study has implications for management and the future development of research in this area beyond the developing world.

Ketprapakorn, N. and Kantabutra, S. (2022) ‘Toward a sustainable social healthcare enterprise development model’, Int. J. Productivity and Quality Management.

Free open access article available: "Unintentional non-compliance or sheer ignorance of aircraft safety regulations: a critical analysis of a safety occurrence in Australian general aviation"

The following paper, "Unintentional non-compliance or sheer ignorance of aircraft safety regulations: a critical analysis of a safety occurrence in Australian general aviation" (International Journal of Reliability and Safety 15(3) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

17 June 2022

Special issue published: "The Impact of Nanomaterials in Smart Construction Materials"

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties 16(1) 2022

  • Accurate prediction of nano impermeability and antifreeze concrete ratio in high-rise buildings
  • Modelling study on the influence of nano admixture on the strength of high-rise building concrete
  • Fatigue damage identification method of cement-based nanocomposites based on strain mode
  • Experimental analysis on crack resistance of plant nanofiber concrete under dry and cold environment with large temperature difference
  • Study on improvement effect of waterborne two-component polyurethane on radioactive pollution of building decoration materials
  • Study on microstructure evolution and toughening of coarse grain heat affected zone of 690 MPa grade bridge steel
  • Study on micro compression characteristics of nano carbon fibre reinforced concrete
  • Mechanical properties and crack detection method of nano concrete

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control are now available here for free:
  • Social spider optimisation based identification and optimal control of fractional order system
  • Position tracking and balancing control of ball balancer system using intelligent controllers
  • Track planning of multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle in the complex environment space
  • Assessing the feasibility of underwater vehicle controllers in underactuated hovercrafts via simulations
  • Differentially flat trajectory generation and controller design for a quadrotor UAV
  • H∞ model reduction of discrete-time 2D T-S fuzzy systems in finite frequency ranges
  • FPP detector for small product defect detection
  • Optimal fractional order control for nonlinear systems represented by the Euler-Lagrange formulation

16 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business are now available here for free:
  • A contextual approach to women's entrepreneurship in Latin America: impacting research and public policy
  • A global review of female entrepreneurial finance
  • Differences in the financial approach to entrepreneurship from a gender perspective
  • Antecedents and consequences of work-family conflicts: Italian women entrepreneurs' experiences
  • Entrepreneurship education and gender: the man-made entrepreneur

Special issue published: "Smart Computational Intelligence and Optimisation Method Applications to Electrical Power Engineering"

International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications 13(2) 2022

  • A novel modified random walk grey wolf optimisation approach for non-smooth and non-convex economic load dispatch
  • XGBoost regression model-based electricity tariff plan recommendation in smart grid environment
  • Frequency regulation of hybrid power system using firefly algorithm
  • Speed control of battery and super-capacitor powered EV/HEV using PID and fuzzy logic controller
  • Implementation of β-chaotic mapping to improved elephant herding optimisation to dynamic economic dispatch problem

Research pick: The pandemic in The Gulf - "Economical and psychosocial effects of COVID-19: evidence from the GCC economies"

A study in the Global Business and Economics Review looks at the economic and psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nations of the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council).

Talla M. Aldeehani of the Department of Finance and Financial Institutions in the College of Business Administration at Kuwait University, in Kuwait, and Moid U. Ahmad of Scholeio Education in the National Capital Region (NCR), India, explain that they have investigated how government support may have ameliorated the detrimental psychosocial and economic effects of the pandemic on individuals and industry.

The team surveyed citizens of the GCC states and used moderation-mediation techniques and other analytical tools to draw conclusions from the data obtained. The GCC, more formally the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf is an intergovernmental political and economic union that comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The fundamental conclusion is that government support significantly reduced stress levels in individuals during the period studied, October to December 2020. Loss of earnings caused by the pandemic being a major stress factor for workers with men aged 50 and over being worst affected economically. This period coincided with the second wave of infection from the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and would have seen enforced lockdowns, quarantine, hospitality closures, and other restrictions in place in many places in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

The researchers say that the conclusions they have drawn might have relevance to nations beyond the GCC. They suggest that policymakers might best serve their citizens and businesses by putting in place a technological framework and other measures to ensure a more effective response to a future pandemic.

Aldeehani, T.M. and Ahmad, M.U. (2022) ‘Economical and psychosocial effects of COVID-19: evidence from the GCC economies’, Global Business and Economics Review, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp.457–469.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies are now available here for free:
  • Detection of various categories of fruits and vegetables through various descriptors using machine learning techniques
  • Feature selection on educational data using Boruta algorithm
  • Empirical estimation of various data stream mining methods
  • Deep learning for apple diseases: classification and identification

15 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties are now available here for free:
  • Long-term performance of concrete using additives
  • Effect of short carbon fibres on the fresh state and compressive strength properties of self-compacting concrete
  • Effect of different sintering conditions on microstructural characterisation of Co-Cr metal laser powder
  • Translucent α- and α/β-SiAlON ceramics: study on investigation of the relationship between phase diversity and optical properties
  • Mechanics study of automotive aluminium alloy materials based on elastohydrodynamic model

Special issue published: "Safeguarding Democracy and Human Rights in the Digital Age"

International Journal of Electronic Governance 14(1/2) 2022

  • Sensitive data hiding in financial anti-fraud process
  • Exploring data subjects' knowledge on the rights GDPR guarantees: an exploratory research in Greece
  • Big data analytics in e-government and e-democracy applications: privacy threats, implications and mitigation
  • Privacy issues in Android applications: the cases of GPS navigators and fitness trackers
  • Online participation and crowdsourcing as a solution to mitigate news bias
  • Combating fake news in social networks through the active participation of users: the approach of EUNOMIA project
  • Advanced digital skills towards interoperable e-government services: European and Greek case studies
  • Design issues of a pan European smart cross border 'dream like' e-Gov primary healthcare medical service
  • The examination of voter opinions on the implementation and use of i-voting: the case of Poland
  • A method for assessing the degree of openness of Semi-Open Data initiatives: applied to the justice domain
  • Revised forensic framework validation and cloud forensic readiness

Research pick: Electronic word-of-mouth - "Impact of electronic word-of-mouth on brand relationship and purchase intention: the case of the smartphone industry"

A word-of-mouth recommendation for a product or service is often the best possible marketing. You purchase a product that suits your budget, find it also suits your needs, and then tell your friends or contacts about it, who then go on to make their own purchase.

In the world of always-on and always-connected communications tools such as email messaging, and social media, companies can now benefit from electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) recommendations. They can benefit passively or they can actively encourage recommendations from their customers. Fundamentally, word-of-mouth recommendations are perceived as more trustworthy than advertising messages pushed on putative customers by a company.

Research in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research looks at the relationship between eWOM, brand relationships, and purchase intention in the smartphone industry. Samer Elhajjar of the University of Balamand in Tripoli, Lebanon, used structural equation modeling to analyse the results from 350 questionnaires. “Structural equation modelling is a statistical method made up of multivariate techniques that study the relationships between dependent and independent variables according to the proposed hypothesis,” explains Elhajjar.

The participants in the study were men and women from different age groups, lifestyles, backgrounds and income levels. His study reveals a strong connection between brand and eWOM and suggests ways in which companies might utilize what might be seen as a universal tool of communication between businesses and customers. The study fills an obvious gap in the research literature, suggests Elhajjar.

“It is vital for brands to integrate the reality of digital culture into their own,” Elhajjar writes. ” A number of factors determine the need for brands to continually evolve, especially in an era of digital communication.” This applies to almost any product or brand. Moreover, those brands that have adapted to and adopted a social media presence and increased audience engagement can more often reap the rewards of eWOM than those companies that have ignored it.

Elhajjar, S. (2022) ‘Impact of electronic word-of-mouth on brand relationship and purchase intention: the case of the smartphone industry’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp.263–279.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics are now available here for free:
  • Changing the rules of the game in academic publishing: three scenarios in the field of management research
  • Investigating the mediating role of advertisement morality for organisational values and ethics towards television advertisements: the path analysis modelling method
  • Capital structure and firm performance: the role of corporate governance
  • An analysis of strategic and economic values of business ethics
  • Mediation effect of reputation on the stakeholders' centric CSR and financial performance relationship
  • Can new corruption legislation drive guanxi out of business? - Western and Chinese multinational managers' perceptions
  • 'It's the most ethical job I have ever had': complaint handling and fair decision making in the financial industry

14 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of System of Systems Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of System of Systems Engineering are now available here for free:
  • Hypergraph model for wireless sensor networks supervision design
  • Military operational evaluations: credible data and decision making
  • Ten Views: towards a process meta-model in a system of systems context
  • A comparison of the system engineering standard and INCOSE Complexity Primer

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation are now available here for free:
  • Earnings management, corporate social responsibility and governance structure: further evidence from Egypt
  • The effects of R&D expenditure and earnings management on stock options: evidence from market competition
  • The impact of corporate governance and accruals flexibility on the interaction between earnings management strategies
  • Political connections, government ownership, and earnings management: evidence from Jordan
  • The trade-off between accrual-based and real earnings management: evidence from Jordan
  • The effectiveness of board of directors and family ownership: interaction and impact on the discretionary accruals
  • Are Tunisian firms managing their earnings through asset sales following the 2011 uprising?

Research pick: SME crisis management - "Pandemic threats: how SMEs can respond to the challenges from global crises"

Very few businesses have not been affected detrimentally by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Research in the International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, looks at how small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) might respond to such a crisis and rise to the challenges it brings.

Ratan J.S. Dheer of the Department of Management at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, USA, and Aidin Salamzadeh of the Faculty of Management at the University of Tehran, Iran, explain how we have seen the laying off employees, supply disruption, financial uncertainties, and company closures across SMEs in the wake of the pandemic. However, the picture of the impact of the crisis on SMEs remains incomplete. As such, we do not yet have a clear understanding of the full impact of the disease on this sector of the commercial world. Without a complete picture, we cannot hope to address the ongoing problems holistically nor find ways to cope when the next such crisis arises, as it inevitably will.

In their research paper, the team discuss key measures that might be implemented to mitigate the negative effects on SMEs. They discuss the advantages and the limitations of those measures and ultimately offer not a complicated nor extensive framework but a simple roadmap by which smaller companies might navigate their route through a future crisis and the external shocks it brings.

The team explains that there are two important measures that might be put in place before a crisis occurs. The first is to accept organisational vulnerability, forewarned is forearmed. Secondly SMEs should be proactive in scanning the environment, ever watchful of indicators of a coming crisis.

Once a crisis has hit, then mitigation measures are needed. First, SMEs must evaluate the scope of the crisis and how they might cope, if they can. Secondly, SMEs must renew their focus on innovation in order to take advantage of opportunities that arise in the wake of the crisis. SMEs must also keep communications channels open with their stakeholders and at the same time display resilience and empathy as appropriate.

In the post-crisis world, SMEs must engage in learning while recovering from the crisis. It is perhaps a cliché but lessons must be learned if an SME is to move forward in the post-crisis world and be ready for a future crisis. The team also offers advice for policymakers that might be heeded if they are to help the SMEs cope, especially in the post-crisis stage.

SMEs must also prepare and learn to help themselves. Nevertheless, there remains a need to support SMEs so that society and the economy might emerge into the post-crisis world in a better position than might be seen if no measures were taken. “Now is the time for scholars and policymakers to act,” the team asserts. They suggest that the agenda they have set in their paper could stimulate further research into crisis management.

Dheer, R.J.S. and Salamzadeh, A. (2022) ‘Pandemic threats: how SMEs can respond to the challenges from global crises’, Int. J. Globalisation and Small Business, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.1–17.

13 June 2022

Research pick: The Polygons of Fraud - "The Fraud theories: Triangle, Diamond, Pentagon"

In the bad old days of fraud – corruption, non-disclosure of information, self-dealing, cover-ups, lying, insider trading, and embezzlement were rife. They still are, but they have been given a digital edge by modern technology. This has made crime easier for many more people, but conversely, technology has also provided new tools for detection and prevention.

Research published in the International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation looks at the world of fraud in the online realm and shows that it remains a multidimensional and complex world of crime driven, commonly, by greed, sometimes by necessity, but also by a failure of morality that exploits its victims heartlessly. The study author Parvati T. Soneji of the Department of Commerce at Banasthali Vidyapeeth in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, hopes to unravel some of the complexities of modern fraud.

In the world of business, says Soneji, “The desire for achievements, fear of losing one’s job, challenges meeting financial targets for bonuses, unhealthy competition, and criminal collaborations” might all lead a person into instigating or participating in financial fraud. There are many factors that might lead someone in management to take this route, personality traits, beliefs and attitudes, social customs, institutional rules and regulations, ethical values, and even the organisational culture within which they work.

Soneji addresses fraud theory through the simple triangle of opportunity, pressure, and rationalization. In this theory, a putative white-collar fraudster spots a loophole or opening that gives them the opportunity, the factors that influence them in deciding whether or not to exploit the opportunity apply the pressure, and post-fact they might then explain away their decision and actions to alleviate their guilt.

This simplistic triangle is expanded to a four-cornered diamond that adds capability, whether or not the would-be fraudster has the knowledge and skills to carry out the fraud. Finally, a fraud pentagon adds the very personal notion of the potential criminal’s character in terms of their level of arrogance. With all five factors in place in the fraud pentagon, the committing of the crime is almost inevitable.

Such theories of fraud can give context to the after-effects of the fraud and the evidence left behind. This might allow investigators to trace back the end result to its beginnings in order to identify the perpetrator. It might also give those who would endeavour to prevent fraud an insight into the psychological and other factors that might be exposed and addressed before a crime is committed.

Soneji, P.T. (2022) ‘The Fraud theories: Triangle, Diamond, Pentagon’, Int. J. Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp.49–60.

10 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems are now available here for free:
  • Review on NOx emissions from using biodiesel blends in diesel engines
  • Low speed performance based standards for the Nordic countries
  • A new numerical method for analysing the interaction of a bridge structure and travelling cars due to multiple high-speed trains
  • Modelling, parametrisation and validation of a truck steering-system to predict the steering-wheel torque
  • Relative navigation control of articulated vehicle based on LTV-MPC
  • Investigation of diesel oil-LPG content fuel utilisation in heavy duty diesel-engines with common rail system
  • Analysis and practical validation on a multi-linkage scissor platforms drive system for the satellite test facilities

Special issue published: "E-Commerce Innovation in Technologies and Business Models in China"

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management 5(2) 2022

  • Whether the construction of functional zones can improve the economic efficiencies of the industry: an empirical study based on the SFA-Tobit model
  • Research on the correlation between affiliated management and earnings management - from the perspective of principal-agent theory
  • Analysis of the influence of tax structure on urban innovation: based on panel data analysis of 31 provinces in China
  • Study on the development of blockchain industry in China
  • China's economic growth and macroeconomic policy options during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Comparative study on the competitiveness of China's and India's financial services trade

Free open access article available: "The impact of global sourcing in new product development processes"

The following paper, "The impact of global sourcing in new product development processes" (European Journal of International Management 17(4) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Climate communication - "The effects of natural disasters on human development in developing and developed countries"

The human suffering caused by climate change continues to grow. It is already affecting food and water security, hampering efforts at poverty reduction, and leading to a tragic loss of life through natural disasters. Research published in the International Journal of Global Warming reiterates the received wisdom that developed nations have greater resilience than developing nations. However, the work also demonstrates that resilience is greater in developing nations with higher levels of literacy among the population, higher per capita income, and more openness to international trade.

Adnan Akram, Faisal Jamil, and Shahzad Alvi of the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan, explain how during the last two decades encroaching climate change has led to thousands of natural disasters with hundreds of thousands of lives lost. The devastating impact has also made worse the lives of those living in places at the extremes where temperatures continue to rise way beyond the historical norms, and where food and water security have always been a problem but are now even more so. The terrible socio-economic conditions in which so many people live make the impact of climate-related shocks even more devastating with each event.

The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recognises well how climate change will create many more impoverished people around the world and thwart efforts at sustainable development through the remainder of this century and well into the next. There are so many problems that we must face, but one issue that could be addressed sooner rather than later is to improve communication.

The information available to those in the developing world – the citizens and the policymakers – is limited. Improved dissemination of knowledge surrounding climate change and how we might build resilience in the more vulnerable parts of the world must be a priority. Indeed, without better education around the issues and improved communication through the media, the most impoverished and vulnerable will see their suffering increase and greater environmental damage in the wake of climate change and the natural disasters it brings with it.

Akram, A., Jamil, F. and Alvi, S. (2022) ‘The effects of natural disasters on human development in developing and developed countries’, Int. J. Global Warming, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp.155–172.

9 June 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Electronic Governance

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Electronic Governance are now available here for free

  • Government to government (G2G) framework to strengthen communication among government agencies during disasters: learnings from 2015, Gorkha earthquake, Nepal
  • Adoption of social networks as Web 2.0 citizen engagement tool in the local e-government context
  • Antecedents and outcome of electronic government implementation in a service sector context
  • Governability and a technocratic approach to government as a platform: critics using the Russian case

Special issue published: "Leadership in The 21st Century and Performance Agility in Organisations: Knowledge, Effectuation and Innovation"

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation 19(1) 2022

  • Effectuation: exploring a moderating role between leadership and management innovation
  • Pooled ordinary least-square, fixed effects and random effects modelling in a panel data regression analysis: a consideration of international commodity price and economic growth indicators in 35 Sub-Saharan African countries
  • The role of policy for a more sustainable path: economic effects of sustainability indicators
  • Assessing student experience of online learning during COVID-19 crisis and identifying the factors for effective online learning environment.
  • Ownership structure management and its effect on dividend policy in the Tunisian stock exchange enterprises: an empirical study
  • Servant leadership and ambidexterity: the mediating role of talent management in pharmaceutical companies at Egypt
  • Management the new innovation source of energy biogas: a project spider case study
  • The impact of monetary and non-monetary motivation on employees' performance: a case study of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company
  • Effect of international entrepreneurship indicators on innovative performance: the mediating role of motivation
  • Protagonist of public service advertising in changing attitude in a specific territory: empirical study in COVID-19 era

Research pick: How to quit smoking online - "Comprehending the roles of perceived usefulness and satisfaction in smoking cessation online health communities: a social capital perspective"

There are any number of support networks online aimed at those with problems they wish to solve. One such problem is the need to quite smoking. Research published in the International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices, has looked at how useful online health communities are in this effort. The study found that if there is a high level of perceived usefulness, then users will be more inclined to support each other in their efforts to give up their habit.

Chenglong Li of the University of Turku in Turku, Finland, looked at perceived usefulness and how this affects satisfaction with the online community and thence the knowledge sharing and recommendation behaviour of users. Given just how ubiquitous the internet now is, such online communities could have great potential in health and other interventions. Earlier research had suggested that the success of such communities hinged on whether or not individuals stayed with the program, as it were, after they had quit smoking but left the community.

Li uses social capital theory to examine this notion further. He finds that success in the community influences a user’s knowledge sharing and their recommendation of the community to others after they themselves have quit, which affects the overall success of the community in helping everyone with their goal.

He adds that the service provider making the online community available has a positive role to play. Providers should encourage users to participate in online activities often. This should facilitate the development of shared language and commitment, he suggests. Moreover, providers might define missions and goals more clearly to strengthen the common vision among users. Such actions would boost the perceived usefulness of the community, help users in their struggle with addiction and encourage the spread of the community to other smokers.

Ultimately, widespread smoking cessation is the aim and such communities would at that point become redundant. However, as we know smoking addiction is a powerful force and smokers hoping to quit are likely to be around for many years to come and so such communities will have a role to play for the foreseeable future.

Li, C. (2022) ‘Comprehending the roles of perceived usefulness and satisfaction in smoking cessation online health communities: a social capital perspective’, Int. J. Telemedicine and Clinical Practices, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp.257–275.

8 June 2022

Research pick: P2P blockchain to combat fake news - "Combating fake news in social networks through the active participation of users: the approach of EUNOMIA project"

Could users of social media provide the answer to combating fake news? That’s the question researchers from Greece hope to answer in their paper published in the International Journal of Electronic Governance.

Fake news has become a serious problem, growing in parallel with the expansion of the world of social media. The term euphemistically refers ton disinformation, misinformation, and downright lies shared online usually with a hidden political agenda. That agenda might be aimed at nudging voters to an alternative conclusion about their political persuasion, it might push them to choose a potentially harmful medical option that is not based on evidence, it might even persuade them to buy a product or service offered by one business instead of another.

The possibilities for exploiting fake news for marketers, politicians, and malicious third parties are possibly limitless given the power and speed with which social media networks can spread information and trigger viral sharing.

Panagiotis Monachelis, Lazaros Toumanidis, Panagiotis Kasnesis, and Charalampos Patrikakis of the University of West Attica, discuss a proposal of the European Union’s EUNOMIA project. In this project social media users are encouraged to participate in the evaluation of information being shared online. The system discussed brings together the concepts of peer-to-peer networking (commonly associated with distributed file sharing) and blockchain technology (usually associated with digital currencies, “crypto”, and non-fungible tokens, NFTs).

EUNOMIA is powered by an alternative social media protocol and system known as Mastodon, which allows anyone to create and build their own social media network with rules and regulations they set. There are innumerable instances of Mastodon running across the globe now. Ostensibly, any of them might be directly connected to any other, but there is always the option of controlling membership and precluding connectivity.

For the time being, they exist well outside the world of the well-known, proprietary social media sites and apps. As such, they are in many ways protected from the controlling algorithms and advertising systems of those sites. Moreover, given that they are distributed and available to anyone to setup and run, there is in one sense nothing for a commercial concern to make its fiscal prey. This can so easily happen with any of those proprietary sites, which are wholly at the whim of business concerns despite their stated ethos, whereas Mastodon sites and communities are more akin to the communal, rather than the commercial, ethic of the modern internet.

Monachelis, P., Toumanidis, L., Kasnesis, P. and Patrikakis, C. (2022) ‘Combating fake news in social networks through the active participation of users: the approach of EUNOMIA project’, Int. J. Electronic Governance, Vol. 14, Nos. 1/2, pp.131–144.

7 June 2022

Special issue published: "Anthropological Insights on Rural Tourism: Strengthening the Debate Between Rural and Tourist Studies"

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology 8(4) 2021

  • From the coast to the highlands: tourism as a field for neo-extractivism in the rural Andes
  • Mountain tourism and agriculture at the crossroads: the case of Cerdanya and Val d'Aran (Catalan Pyrenees)
  • A return to the land after tourism? Chinchero (Peru) in times of pandemic
  • Fire and smoke: savouring ethnographic encounters with sustainability in Cyprus' rural tourism spaces
  • New rurality and agritourism in Empordà, Catalonia
  • Bridging the troubled waters of tourism studies: from social capital and rural community development to livelihood sovereignty
  • The potato superstar: food sovereignty and rural tourism in the Potato Park (Cusco, Peru)
  • Food and wine tourism in rural areas: a critical theoretical reflection from the anthropology of food perspectives

Free open access article available: "An analysis of the business strategy, performance measures and organisational performance of Spanish firms during the financial crisis (2008-2010)"

The following paper, "An analysis of the business strategy, performance measures and organisational performance of Spanish firms during the financial crisis (2008-2010)" (International Journal of Applied Management Science 9(3) 2017), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Controlling the location trackers - "Privacy issues in Android applications: the cases of GPS navigators and fitness trackers"

Current statistics suggest that well over 6.6 billion of us have a smartphone, that’s almost 84 per cent of the world’s population. Many users are well aware of the privacy concerns surrounding the apps on their smartphone and choose to ignore those for the great benefits they perceive in using those apps on a daily basis. Legitimate companies generally alert their users to what might happen to their data when they install and use their apps.

Unfortunately, not all developers are as upfront. Many smartphone apps hook into all sorts of personal and private data on your phone and exploit this in marketing and the accrual of that targeted data for other purposes. Many apps share this with third parties for many different purposes. Given that electronic governance, e-governance is on the rise, there may well be risks to our personal data in terms of political intervention and control particularly in what we might refer to as rogue states. Of course, that phrase might apply to any country in the world to different degrees.

Research in the International Journal of Electronic Governance, has investigated the integrity of smartphone apps running on the Android mobile operating system that has access to the location data on your device, such as mapping tools and fitness trackers. The Android operating system represents the major share of the operating system market with almost 3 million apps available to it. Many people use such location-enabled apps – on a daily basis. The tools work only if location services are enabled and permitted on the device.

Stylianos Monogios, Kyriakos Magos, and Konstantinos Limniotis of the Open University of Cyprus in Nicosia, Nicholas Kolokotronis of the University of Peloponnese in Tripolis, Greece, and Stavros Shiaeles of the University of Portsmouth, UK, have looked at a range of apps that use smartphone location services and the GPS (global positioning system) on such devices to reveal what personal data these popular apps have access to on a smartphone.

Fundamentally, the researchers found that too many apps do not fully disclose what personal data they collect from a smartphone, what purpose it is collected, or with whom it is shared. Many of those apps process personal data in ways that are undoubtedly in breach of many different data protection rules and regulations in many different parts of the world. In addition, most of these apps are linked to advertising tracking services and it is likely that every smartphone user with such apps installed is being tracked and profiled on a massive scale entirely unbeknown to them. There may also be other privacy concerns and issues that remain hidden.

The team suggests that app developers must be forced to be fully transparent. Moreover, users must be allowed full control over their data so that they can use chosen apps without compromising their privacy so that data not needed by a given app cannot be accessed by the app, for instance. A new privacy model is needed for the app ecosystem, the researchers add. The regulators that purportedly oversee the use of our personal data in all kinds of areas should have full governance over the app developers so that such suggestions might be implemented and users are given the opportunity to take back control of their personal and private data.

Monogios, S., Magos, K., Limniotis, K., Kolokotronis, N. and Shiaeles, S. (2022) ‘Privacy issues in Android applications: the cases of GPS navigators and fitness trackers’, Int. J. Electronic Governance, Vol. 14, Nos. 1/2, pp.83–111.

6 June 2022

Research pick: Bag of words interprets online reviews - "A unified workflow strategy for analysing large-scale TripAdvisor reviews with BOW model"

Online reviews from customers of products and services are widespread and influential, it seems. A sale or booking can hinge on a constellation of five-star reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor or a potential customer may be deterred from parting with their hand-earned cash and disappear down a digital black hole if the reviews are anything but stellar.

Writing in the International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining, a team from Turkey, has looked at an approach to analysing reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor using a so-called Bag-of-Words (BOW) model. The BOW model is a popular tool in data mining that takes each word or set of words as a distinct feature of a text document, in this case, a review article. These distinct entities are then given a numerical weight that allows them to be balanced against each other in the analysis and so reveal the nature of the review at a quite detailed level using an algorithm to process the weights.

The team has shown successfully how this BOW model can be used to analyse reviews of hotels. Specifically, their approach has been applied to almost three-quarters of a million TripAdvisor reviews of more than one thousand hotels in different tourist regions of Turkey. Their workflow makes short shrift of the processing when compared to how such a rich lode of reviews might be mined using conventional, manual techniques.

The team explains that the approach demonstrated that building a dimensional model dataset before performing any text mining process is an optimal way in which to make the data retrieval process much more efficient and to help in representing the data by different measures of interest.

The specifics of the study revealed what might be expected of the actual hotels the reviews of which were analysed, in that hotels in the coastal Aegean and Mediterranean regions were the focus of those seeking fun and sun whereas hotels in Istanbul and other historic centres were associated more with the cultural and educational aspects of tourism in Turkey. Interestingly, those whose reviews were in English more prominently discussed bar and à la carte restaurants whereas the reviews in Turkish typically focused on the food itself.

“We conclude that adopting and automating this proposed workflow into the hotel BI systems may prove considerably beneficial, providing hotel managers with essential insights necessary to understand and track customers and competitors,” the team writes. They add that most other research in this field has focused on the Chinese and US markets and the current work adds a novel dimension to the literature.

Bektas, J. and Elsadig, A. (2022) ‘A unified workflow strategy for analysing large-scale TripAdvisor reviews with BOW model’, Int. J. Business Intelligence and Data Mining, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.102–117.

2 June 2022

Research pick: Finer fast-food - "Assessing the determinants of customer happiness and customer loyalty in fast-food restaurant"

When it comes to fast food, there is a prerequisite inherent to the name that customers receive their order quickly. In addition there are the issues of the quality of service and the fairness of the price they pay. These might all combine to drive customer happiness and thus loyalty. A new study in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management from a team in Malaysia looks at data from hundreds of fast-food consumers and applies attitude theory to understand this seemingly simply but perhaps complex equation.

The team of Emily H.T. Yapp and Bagos Wahyudi Amin Tohari of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Labuan International Campus in Jalan Sungai Pagar found that food quality, the physical environment, and price fairness affected customer satisfaction whereas the quality of service offered by the restaurant’s employees did not. The findings were based on an analysis of results from an online self-administered survey of 310 Malaysian fast-food customers.

The team alludes to how badly the COVID-19 pandemic affected the fast-food industry but suggests that for many outlets, there was a rapid rebound once lockdowns and lifestyle restrictions were lifted and the initial waves of disease had passed. People still want fast food even in the peri-pandemic world. The researchers also point out that competition in the sector is greater than ever before and so restaurateurs must rise to this challenge in terms of what they can tempt new customers, what they offer their customers in general, and how they might improve customer happiness and thus loyalty. “Fast-food restaurants have to continuously concentrate and improve their products and services through marketing strategies,” the team writes.

Ultimately, the team found food quality – freshness and taste – were key to customer happiness. If food quality is maintained at a high level and coupled with a comfortable and clean environment, then the restaurateur will have a winning recipe for success. The final key ingredient is to offer this food and service at a keen price.

Yapp, E.H.T. and Tohari, B.W.A. (2021) ‘Assessing the determinants of customer happiness and customer loyalty in fast-food restaurant’, Int. J. Sustainable Strategic Management, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp.123–138.

1 June 2022

Research pick: WhatsApp and physiotherapy - "Effect of WhatsApp-based reminders on adherence to home exercise program"

WhatsApp reminders from healthcare providers to physiotherapy patients improve adherence to home exercise regimes according to research published in the International Journal. Telemedicine and Clinical Practices.

Many physical health problems and injuries respond well to physiotherapy. However, there is usually a component of “self-medication” in the form of ongoing exercises outside the clinical setting. Patients who are improving will do better if they stick with their prescribed regime of exercises and stretches. Unfortunately, as many of us know, once we start to feel better after suffering an injury, illness, or other problem, we begin to revert to our normal daily routines and this may well not accommodate the continuation of the exercises necessary for our complete recovery. With this problem in mind, an international team has looked at how a well-known and commonly used messaging app, WhatsApp, used by millions of people on their mobile devices, might be used to ensure patients stick with their exercise program.

Chidozie Emmanuel Mbada, Mustapha Alabi Lateef, Adekola Babatunde Ademoyegun, Adewale Isaiah Oyewole, and Laminde Maikudi of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and Clara Fatoye and Francis Fatoye of Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK, explain that patient compliance with healthcare recommendations and adherence to prescribed exercises, is often a key factor in whether or not the patient makes a full recovery or the best recovery they can. Unfortunately, many patients can be forgetful or find their exercise regime burdensome. The team recognized that mobile devices have been used successfully by healthcare professionals already in many aspects of their work and so might be extended to this particular realm.

They tested a novel approach to improving patient adherence with 20 patients and also monitored 20 additional patients as a control group. WhatsApp reminders were sent three times a week to 20 patients who had been prescribed a home exercise program while the members of the control group received no reminders. All participants, whether they received reminders or not recorded their daily exercise activity in a diary.

The team assessed adherence to the program at three weeks and again at six weeks. They found a significant difference between the WhatsApp patients and the control group with the former reporting far greater adherence to their physiotherapy exercises at home than the members of the control group. The promise is obvious although the researchers concede that they did not take confounding factors such as disease type or severity, marital status, and caregiver presence into account and so follow-up work with a much bigger study group will be needed to account for such variables and to demonstrate the efficacy of WhatsApp reminders. There is also scope, perhaps to look at alternative mobile apps or even simple text messaging rather than focusing on a proprietary tool,m such as WhatsApp, which some patients may prefer not to use.

Mbada, C.E., Lateef, M.A., Ademoyegun, A.B., Oyewole, A.I., Maikudi, L., Fatoye, C. and Fatoye, F. (2022) ‘Effect of WhatsApp-based reminders on adherence to home exercise program’, Int. J. Telemedicine and Clinical Practices, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp.341–350.