30 September 2022

Research pick: Reporting attacks - "Machine learning techniques for automated policy violation reporting"

Most intrusions on our devices and computers through malware, third-party attacks, and other infractions tend to go unreported unless one is particularly tuned into the information security world and knows the procedures needed to get the message to the right people. Research published in the International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, looks at how machine learning might be used to automate the process of reporting policy violations on a system.

Albara Awajan, Moutaz Alazab, Issa Qiqieh, and Mohammad Wedyan of Al-Balqa Applied University in Al-Salt, and Salah Alhyari of JEPCO in Amman, Jordan, point out that computer and mobile devices users frequently face security incidents and violations of their systems and data. They point out that a unified approach to reporting such malicious activity could, to some degree, address this growing problem. They have now proposed an automated client-server citizen reporting system framework based on machine learning techniques that could help.

The system can classify images a user wishes to use to accompany a report and can be used to report any cyber-crime incidents such as bank account intrusion, credit card fraud as well as phishing and pharming attacks on their devices. Tests demonstrated that the new framework is fast, convenient, and performs effectively and efficiently with different mobile devices using the common Android operating system. Classification accuracy is 95.4% and a prediction time of just 5.30 seconds.

The team is now optimising the framework as well as investigating how it might be extended to other additional smartphone operating systems such as Apple iOS, Windows Phone, and the Huawei operating system.

Awajan, A., Alazab, M., Alhyari, S., Qiqieh, I. and Wedyan, M. (2022) ‘Machine learning techniques for automated policy violation reporting’, Int. J. Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp.387–405.

29 September 2022

Free open access article available: "Rammed earth as bi-modulus material: experimental and analytical investigations through Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam models"

The following paper, "Rammed earth as bi-modulus material: experimental and analytical investigations through Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam models" (International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation 7(5) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Sidestepping chemophobia - "Consumer awareness regarding harmful chemicals in everyday products"

Chemophobia is rife, often driven by ignorance and scientific illiteracy it fires an activist agenda that can often be very misguided and targeting the wrong issues entirely. An unfortunate lack of engagement in science education and a greater number of policymakers with a non-scientific than a scientific background also feed the problem.

And yet we rely on thousands of different chemicals every day – natural and synthetic – and in order to maintain our lifestyles, the benefit-risk equations are generally well balanced. There are exceptions to that rule and the serious problems caused by the misuse or the overuse of certain chemicals ought to be addressed. Indeed, there are substances in everyday products that might best be replaced, but for market pressure, and a lack of consumer interest or the very activism that broadly follows the out-dated “all-chemicals-are-bad” trope.

Rekha Joshi, Aditi Sahni, and Manjary Chaudhary Malik of the Indira Priyadarshini Government Girls P.G. College of Commerce in Uttarakhand, India, consider consumer awareness of harmful chemicals in everyday products. Writing in the International Journal of Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence, the team points out that some substances present in everyday products, such as cleaning fluids, represent a serious risk to human and environmental health if misused or disposed of inappropriately.

A detailed and structured survey of 100 consumers in the Nainital District of Uttarakhand revealed, not chemophobia, but an awareness of potentially harmful substances in a range of everyday products. Concern about those substances was high, although it must be added, perhaps not sufficiently high that the consumers would stop using said products. There is very much a pressing need to improve awareness and understanding of the myriad chemicals used in everyday consumer products. This awareness cuts both ways in that consumers need to understand the benefits versus the risks associated with the products they use. Moreover, it is the consumer that can nudge the market away from those products that use particularly harmful substances to alternatives.

“The majority of those surveyed believe it is everyone’s responsibility to decrease the usage of products that include compounds or chemicals that are hazardous to human health and the environment,” the researchers report.

The commercial world will, for the sake of profits, almost always move to sell alternatives if sales flatline. Given that social media and access to limitless information are available to most consumers, the opportunities for corporate greenwashing are much reduced and this can only benefit human health and the environment if it removes from the market problematic chemicals provided the consumer can maintain their lifestyle with the alternatives offered.

Joshi, R., Sahni, A. and Malik, M.C. (2022) ‘Consumer awareness regarding harmful chemicals in everyday products’, Int. J. Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp.351–361.

28 September 2022

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:
  • Energetics and stability of hydrogen sulphide adsorption on defective carbon nanotube
  • First principle investigation of the structural, electronic and optical properties of methylammonium lead iodide: implications for photovoltaic applications
  • Numerical simulation and experimental study on non-uniform strain during hot compression of aluminium alloy
  • Prediction on the operation performance of axial piston pump at low suction pressure

Special issue published: "Innovative Solutions for Achieving Maximum Impacts in Various Global Markets"

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development 14(2) 2022

  • Firm resources and internationalisation performance
  • Effect of sexual appeal in marketing communication on aggression and sexual aggression: a theoretical perspective and future research directions
  • Filling the market orientation-business performance: the mediating effects of social media, business ties and political ties
  • Returns and volatilities of cotton futures markets: impacts of participants' contract positions
  • Deciphering organisational culture: case study of a diversified conglomerate in Saudi Arabia
  • Revival of Kashmiri saffron industry: an exploratory study

Free open access article available: "Numerical simulation of transient flow with column separation using the lattice Boltzmann method"

The following paper, "Numerical simulation of transient flow with column separation using the lattice Boltzmann method" (Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal 22(5) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Spicing up the saffron industry - "Revival of Kashmiri saffron industry: an exploratory study"

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It is made from the “threads” or styles of saffron crocus flowers and it takes half a million or so to produce just one kilogram of saffron. It is a delicate spice with uses in perfumery for its scent, cosmetics for its colour, and, of course, in many different cuisines, such as Indian and Arab, where it can add both gentle seasoning and delicate colour to food. Its history stretches back thousands of years perhaps to Central Asia where wild forms of the saffron crocus would have been known to ancient people.

Saffron remains a desirable culinary commodity and in modern-day India, almost 6000 hectares are dedicated to growing the crocus for its threads. Most of that land lies in Kashmir with Pompore at its heart and well known as the hub of the country’s saffron industry, an industry that produces 5 tonnes of the spice annually. This represents a not insignificant proportion of the world production of 300 tonnes, although Iran dominates with 90 percent of world production.

Writing in the Journal of International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, a team from India has explored how the saffron industry in Kashmir might be reinvigorated and perhaps take a larger share of the global market. Asifat Shafi and Parvez Ahmad Mir of the Islamic University of Science and Technology in Kashmir point out that saffron from their region is highly regarded.

The researchers explain that the quality of the product depends on high concentrations of three chemical components – crocin, which is a pigment, safranal, an odorant, and piccrocrocin, which helps gives saffron its unique taste. High-quality saffron, they explain, has at least 190 milligrams per kilogram of crocin, 70 mg of picrocrocin, and 20-50 mg of safranal. They add that adulteration of the product is one of the many problems facing the saffron industry whereby quality is compromised by the addition of inferior ingredients or substitutes.

In addition, those involved in the industry have seen decreased production year on year, there is a lack of entrepreneurial intention, a less than impressive ability to compete globally, and often a lack of awareness among all stakeholders in the industry regarding the uses of saffron, particularly in the area of traditional medicine.

The team has surveyed stakeholders in the Kashmiri saffron industry and their findings suggest that the industry might well be revived by cultivating entrepreneurial intention, introducing public-private partnership, and creating awareness among all stakeholders of the potential for a wide variety of products containing saffron. With the governmental development of the Saffron Spices Park and improved distribution channels, the team says Kashmiri saffron has the potential to become a leading global brand. Ultimately, this will benefit the Indian economy as a whole.

Shafi, A. and Mir, P.A. (2022) ‘Revival of Kashmiri saffron industry: an exploratory study’, J. International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.243–260.

27 September 2022

Research pick: 400x faster plagiarism detection - "Optimisation of plagiarism detection using vector space model on CUDA architecture"

In a world where so much information is so readily available to students, educators and student assessors must constantly fight against plagiarism. The time and effort required by an examiner potentially faced with hundreds of essays to check for such problems however small is huge. Semi-automated tools exist for identifying plagiarism in a sample of text but these too take up computing resources and are often unwieldy and more suited to single documents.

Writing in the International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications, a team from Australia and Sri Lanka has developed a new computational approach to plagiarism detection that uses vector space and exploits the architecture of graphics processing units and their compute unified device architecture (CUDA) rather than a conventional computer chip, a central processing unit, CPU.

Jiffriya Mohamed Abdul Cader of the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education Sammanthurai, Akmal Jahan Mohamed Abdul Cader of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Hasindu Gamaarachchi of the University of New South Wales, Australia, and Roshan G. Ragel Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka explain that conventional serial testing of 1000 documents can take half an hour.

The prototype of their GPU approach improves on that significantly, taking just 36 seconds to process the same dataset and flag any plagiarized sections of text. However, the reserchers further optimized their prototype and were able to reduce processing time to just 4 seconds for one thousand documents. That’s almost 400 times faster than conventional approaches. Such speed would be a boon to examiners faced with hundreds if not thousands of student-submitted documents to check for plagiarism.

The next step will be to test the same approach on text found in other kinds of document rather than simply straight-text essays, including notebooks, assignments, reports, theses, and such.

Mohamed Abdul Cader, J., Mohamed Abdul Cader, A.J., Gamaarachchi, H. and Ragel, R.G. (2022) ‘Optimisation of plagiarism detection using vector space model on CUDA architecture’, Int. J. Innovative Computing and Applications, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp.232–244.

26 September 2022

Research pick: Share and share alike - "A bibliometric analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the sharing economy"

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the so-called sharing economy? A bibliometric analysis published in the International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology finds the answer.

There is a growing body of research literature that has investigated the impact of the pandemic on many different aspects of life. Jian Feng and Zhenfeng Liu of the Shanghai Maritime University in Shanghai, China, have focused on the literature published that reports on the sharing economy. They used data from the Web of Science covering the years before the pandemic (2008 to 2019) and the pandemic years (2020 to 2021) to reveal what they refer to as the research themes, scholarly communities, evolution paths, and research hotspots in this developing area of social science.

Despite the idea of sharing being as old as humanity, the term “sharing economy” was most likely coined only in 2008 by Stanford Law School professor, Lawrence Lessig, although the term may well have been used prior to his work. The sharing economy is now generally understood to refer to those novel entrants into industry and various marketplaces that have disrupted the received wisdom about commerce and occasionally usurped the conventional business models. For instance, organisations such as Airbnb in hospitality, Uber and DiDi in transportation, Gridmates in energy, MediCast in health, WeWork in office work, and MakeSpace in logistics.

The Shanghai study revealed that four new research themes were updated, perhaps not unexpectedly, including research into COVID-19 itself in the second tranche of research papers. The team explains that COVID-19 affected not only traditional sectors, such as accommodation, tourism, and transportation but also had an impact on luxury sharing, fashion rental, logistics, food delivery, and the festivals industry.

The team points out that despite the misery, morbidity, and mortality associated with COVID-19 it also represents a transformational point in economics whereby sustainable development goals might be approached more rapidly than in the pre-pandemic era, at least in terms of those companies and organisations in the sharing economy. It remains that the ongoing pandemic is forever presenting new problems and challenges for digital technologies, risk management, supply chain, operation management, and technological innovation among the companies of the sharing economy and their stakeholders. Nevertheless, the inherently innovative nature of such companies means they are quick to rise to those challenges.

Feng, J. and Liu, Z. (2022) ‘A bibliometric analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the sharing economy’, Int. J. Web Engineering and Technology, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp.170–202.

22 September 2022

Research pick: How to train doctors in a pandemic - "Medical education in Covid-19 pandemic: e-learning based professionalising activities"

One of the great ironies of lockdowns, border closures, and self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic is that medical students, as with so many other people in education, were forced online for their ongoing studies. Medical education, as with many other vocational areas of learning, requires its students to be very hands-on, at least for a fairly large part of the time. Research in the International Journal of Innovation in Education, has looked at medical education in Italy as it was affected by the pandemic.

Benedetta Agnelli, Silvia Oldani, Valeriano Vinci, Mattia Loppini, Ferdinando Cananzi, Damiano Chiari, and Licia Montagna of the Humanitas University in Milan, and Fabrizio Consorti of the Sapienza University of Rome, discuss how practical activities were relocated online so that students could continue to learn the requisite methodological and cognitive skills associated with medicine. Among those skills are understanding patient history (anamnesis), clinical reasoning, procedural skills, case discussion, and such. They discuss their experience of Professionalising Activities in the form of e-learning and reveal the advantages and limitations so that others in medical education might learn from this experience.

Professionalising Activities are a vital part of the practical training at Humanitas University and so the pandemic presented many major challenges to the educators there hoping to train their undergraduate medical students to be good doctors. Thankfully, innovative technology at this point in history made it possible, despite pandemic lockdowns, for medical students to continue their training online albeit with some limitations.

The team suggests that given the situation of the crisis in which humanity found itself e-learning allowed training to be undertaken in such a way that students could improve reflection and self-learning aspects of their education in a way that traditional training did not necessarily facilitate.

Agnelli, B., Oldani, S., Vinci, V., Loppini, M., Cananzi, F., Chiari, D., Montagna, L. and Consorti, F. (2022) ‘Medical education in Covid-19 pandemic: e-learning based professionalising activities’, Int. J. Innovation in Education, Vol. 7, Nos. 3/4, pp.193–208.

21 September 2022

Special issue published: "Synthesis and Characterisation of Nanomaterials: The Latest Advances and Prospects"

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties 16(2/3) 2022

  • Study on corrosion resistance of high strength nano ceramic coated reinforcement
  • Feature extraction method of nano-carbon fibre reinforced concrete structure based on strength mechanical analysis method
  • Evaluation method for corrosion resistance of rebar coated with active porcelain glaze
  • Study on pharmaceutical purity detection method of polymer biomaterials
  • The influence of nano clay content on the strength of cement concrete
  • An energy saving effect evaluation of nano thermal insulation coating for building exterior wall
  • Flexural mechanical properties of carbon fibre reinforced reinforcement under cyclic loading
  • Strength prediction method of fibre nano concrete based on particle swarm optimisation
  • Study on microstructure damage characteristics of asphalt mixture based on multivariate feature extraction
  • Wear detection of carbon fibre composite automobile brake pads based on bilateral filtering

Special issue published: "Current Trends in Environmental Entrepreneurship, Energetic Management and Technology"

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal 15(2/3/4) 2022

  • Performance of binary and ternary blends of gasoline, pyrogasoline and ethanol in spark ignition engines
  • Application of adsorbent materials to remove heavy metals in leachate from a municipal landfill treatment plant
  • Clean-up treatments for syngas obtained by gasification of coal, lignocellulosic biomass or municipal residues
  • The influence of domestic heating systems in indoor air quality in homes of a region of Northeastern Portugal
  • Assessment of thermal comfort and indoor air quality in an operating theatre environment
Additional papers
  • Extraction of red seaweed (Eucheuma spinosum) as raw material of hydrogel
  • Structural strengthening using natural fibre composite - a review
  • Sustainable practices impacting employee engagement and well-being
  • Do board member duties of care, loyalty, and obedience matter in a disaster?

20 September 2022

Special issue published: "Recent Advances of Construction and Building Materials"

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology 65(3) 2022

  • Experimental studies of the interfacial shear mechanical behaviour of geosynthetics-soil
  • Evaluation of in-soil creep characteristics of HDPE geogrid using the time-stress superposition method
  • Optimisation of mix proportions for the cemented sand and gravel in cold region
  • Influence of fibre type on unconfined compressive strength of fibre-reinforced cemented soil under freeze-thaw cycling
  • A causal time-varying analysis method for assessing impacts of cracks on service states of concrete dams
  • A time-dependent swelling constitutive model for reliability analysis of anhydrite tunnel
  • Dynamic displacement response analysis of bridge in the impact vibration of slight and frequent vehicle bump

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration are now available here for free:
  • Application of machine learning approach on improving quality of semi-trailer truck air suspensions
  • Modes pairing strategies for model updating procedure performed on spatially incomplete modal data
  • Reduction of torque ripple, vibration and noise in switched reluctance motors focusing on electric vehicle applications: a survey Karunakaran Vijayalakshmi; Kandadai Nagaratnam Srinivas
  • Design and analysis of semiactive mount for multi-flow path MR fluid
  • Improved fuzzy-PID integrated control for vehicle active suspension based on road excitation
  • Experiment on engine sound propagation path using a compact microphone array

Special issue published: "Sustainable Business Models for the Growth of Indigenous Businesses in Africa"

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development 18(5/6) 2022

  • Effect of innovation on agricultural-based micro, small and medium enterprises survival in Nigeria
  • The role of skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development in improving economic independence among serving corp members in Ibadan North Local Government, Oyo State
  • Obstacles facing women-owned enterprises: a case for sub-Sahara African women
  • Techno-entrepreneurship - pathway to sustainable business performance: empirical evidence from SMEs in Ogun state, Nigeria
  • E-service quality dimensions and customer satisfaction among users of automated saving platforms in a typical developing economy
  • Contributions of Industry 4.0 to the performance of entrepreneurship in Katsina State, Nigeria
  • Does entrepreneurship financing contribute to industrial development in Nigeria? Evidence from small and medium scale enterprises
  • Assessment of capital, investments and trade flows in West Africa: directions for economic efficiency
  • Economic growth and unemployment in Nigeria: an empirical perspective
  • Small-scale enterprise: exploring social adaptation of survival among traders in Akure, Nigeria
  • Innovative leadership styles: innovative entrepreneurial leadership and sustainable economy - a case study of Asia, Europe and America
  • Operational efficiency in higher education in Nigeria: a scale development
  • Sustaining entrepreneurship development through an entrepreneurship agricultural dynamic curriculum

Research pick: The personality of social media users - "Exploring the effects of personality characteristics and demographic factors on WeChat involvement among adults"

A study in the International Journal of Mobile Communications has investigated what personality traits and demographic factors are associated with use of one of the most well-known apps in China, the instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app WeChat.

WeChat was developed by Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent and first released in 2011. It has more than a billion active monthly users and is often described as China’s “app for everything”. It has a lot of functionality, which is not uncommon among social media apps, allowing users to swap text messages, make phone calls, carry out video conferencing, broadcast messages to groups, reveal location information to other users, play video games, and share photographs and videos. Apps like WeChat are essentially an always-on digital multi-tool for many people.

Hua Pang of the School of New Media and Communication at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China, has looked at whether it is possible to predict who might use WeChat based on standard personality traits such as extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience as well as their demographic characteristics. Data from a web-based survey of adults in China was subject to correlation analysis and multiple hierarchical regression analysis.

The findings suggest that extraversion is most commonly associated with the likelihood of WeChat use in men and women, as one might expect, and this was especially true among young users. Men with neuroticism were also inclined to be heavy users, Pang found. Pang also found that older people who self-reported as being open to new experiences were also likely to be WeChat users. The work reaffirms the findings of other studies in this area and points to new avenues that might be explored to look at the subtleties of social media use as it relates to personality and demographics.

Pang H. (2022) ‘Exploring the effects of personality characteristics and demographic factors on WeChat involvement among adults’, Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp.590–608.

16 September 2022

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education to invite expanded papers from 4th International Conference on Educational Innovation and Philosophical Inquiries (ICEIPI 2023) for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the 4th International Conference on Educational Innovation and Philosophical Inquiries (ICEIPI 2023) (7 August 2023, University of Oxford, UK) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education.

New Editor for The Botulinum Journal

Dr. Fabrizio Anniballi from Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the The Botulinum Journal.

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education to invite expanded papers from 18th Education and Development and Development Conference (EDC2023) for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the 18th Education and Development and Development Conference (EDC2023) (5-7 March 2023, Bangkok, Thailand) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education.

Research pick: Ha Noi rocks electronic waste - "Current status of e-waste management in Vietnam"

Electronic waste is an enormous, and growing, problem around the world, with unimaginable numbers of broken and obsolete devices and gadgets being fed into a waste stream that threatens to become a deluge. Not only is the problem one of waste and loss of rare and costly materials, but many of the materials, the metals in particular, represent an environmental threat if they enter ecosystems.

Regulations at the national and international level attempt to address the problem of electronic waste with different degrees of success. Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, has looked at the problem from the perspective of Vietnam where it is estimated that more than ten million units of electronic waste are generated each year.

The study looks at how Vietnam manages its electronic waste under regulations introduced in 2015 on the retrieval and treatment of discarded products and extended producer responsibility. Moreover, it considers how these policies fit into the 2020 law on environmental protection and how the pros and cons of these local regulations and laws might help guide policymakers in other developing nations that are also facing the growing problems of e-waste.

Nguyen Trung Thang and Duong Thi Phuong Anh of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) in Ha Noi, Vietnam, and Sunil Herat of Griffith University, Nathan Campus in Queensland, Australia, point out that poor handling of electronic waste is a serious concern in terms of environmental health and human health.

Many developing nations are yet to understand fully the implications and develop laws to allow them to cope. In Vietnam, e-waste has not yet been well defined and much of it still enters the general waste stream. Where it is more appropriately processed, recyclers often lack the understanding or the equipment to handle it properly and to safely extract and retrieve rare and toxic materials. Indeed, so-called craft villages set up to extract metals commonly burn old gadgets, generating huge amounts of toxic fumes and using the most rudimentary of methods to retrieve and recycle metals from those devices.

The approach must change, policymakers and regulators need to take control of the electronic waste stream, educate those involved in disposal and recycling and encourage them to recognise the benefits and perhaps offer incentives so that safe and appropriate e-waste processing is more widely adopted. The team adds that the developed world needs both technical and financial assistance in this regard from the developed world to ensure its local electronic waste streams don’t simply add to a global problem.

Thang, N.T., Herat, S. and Anh, D.T.P. (2022) ‘Current status of e-waste management in Vietnam’, Int. J. Environmental Technology and Management, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp.388–405.

15 September 2022

Research pick: Chaotic image encryption - "Colour image encryption using an improved version of stream cipher and chaos"

Chaos theory can be used to encrypt, with computational efficiency, a colour image, according to work published in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing. The non-linear approach described performs far better than conventional encryption algorithms for such digital assets.

Subhrajyoti Deb of the ICFAI University Tripura, Bubu Bhuyan of North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Nirmalya Kar of the National Institute of Technology in Agartala, K. Sudheer Reddy of Anurag University, in Hyderabad, India, explain how strong encryption is essential for a wide range of digital assets, not least colour images. Traditional encryption tools can treat a file that encodes for a colour image as if it were a text document but that approach is very inefficient given the different qualities of a displayed image when compared with a text document.

As such, there is considerable waste in terms of time and computing resources when encrypting an image using encryption algorithms designed to encrypt text. Moreover, such an approach, not being optimized for an image also makes them susceptible to decryption by a third party because of the characteristics of the encrypted file, wherein it might contain excessive redundancy because of long strings with the same pixel values. Various researchers have suggested alternative approaches such as using chaos theory, cellular automata, or quantum theory, to make encryption of images more efficient and less prone to attack. Fundamentally, there is a need to randomize the pixels encoded by the image file in a reversible way that is efficient and next-to-impossible to breach without the encryption key.

The team has used a modified version of the Grain-128 cipher to address the issues facing those who need to encrypt colour images. The result is an encrypted file that has a satisfactory key space, low correlation and high randomness. The encrypted image has the appearance of random, colour noise when displayed on a screen. Overall, the improvements over traditional text encryption approaches gives the team an efficient and essentially uncrackable encrypted file that cannot be breached using standard occlusion, rotation, and noise attacks.

Deb, S., Bhuyan, B., Kar, N. and Reddy, K.S. (2022) ‘Colour image encryption using an improved version of stream cipher and chaos’, Int. J. Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp.118–133.

14 September 2022

Special issue published: "Recent Advances of Construction and Building Materials"

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology 63(3) 2022

  • Experimental studies of the interfacial shear mechanical behaviour of geosynthetics-soil
  • Evaluation of in-soil creep characteristics of HDPE geogrid using the time-stress superposition method
  • Optimisation of mix proportions for the cemented sand and gravel in cold region
  • Influence of fibre type on unconfined compressive strength of fibre-reinforced cemented soil under freeze-thaw cycling
  • A causal time-varying analysis method for assessing impacts of cracks on service states of concrete dams
  • A time-dependent swelling constitutive model for reliability analysis of anhydrite tunnel
  • Dynamic displacement response analysis of bridge in the impact vibration of slight and frequent vehicle bump

Research pick: Better biotransformations - "Homology modelling and docking studies of strictosidine ß-D-glucosidase from Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus Bunge)"

Research in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications has investigated the chemistry and behaviour of a useful natural product made by the Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus Bunge). The work could expand the repertoire of a growing area of chemical science – biotransformation – wherein nature’s molecular machinery is used to build and alter novel compounds in the laboratory.

Many natural products, by definition chemical compounds made by living organisms, have physiological activity and have been isolated from their source and researched and developed into pharmaceutical products. Indeed, approximately two in every five prescription drugs have an origin in natural products. Commonly, however, the active chemical in a living organism is modified for a particular purpose or drug profile with different, more target activity in a disease, and fewer, or less harmful, side effects, for instance. In addition, modifying a natural product is often a prerequisite to making a new pharmaceutical sufficiently different that a successful patent application can be made and a drug brought to market profitably.

In the last few decades, chemists have found ways to use enzymes to modify natural products and in turn, they have found ways to modify enzymes to make them work differently and allow them to process natural products and other molecules in different ways to generate unprecedented molecular diversity. Any one of these huge numbers of new molecules could have physiological activity that might be useful in treating particular diseases and disorders.

Piotr Szymczyk, Grażyna Szymańska, Małgorzata Majewska, Izabela Weremczuk-Jeżyna, Michał Kołodziejczyk, Kamila Czarnecka, Paweł Szymański, and Ewa Kochan of the Medical University of Łódź, in Łódź, Poland, have investigated part of nature’s molecular machinery, an enzyme known as C. roseus strictosidine β-D-glucosidase. Enzymes are proteins that act on small molecules, their substrates, and convert that substrate into another molecule used by the living organism. The team reports the structure of this enzyme from the periwinkle with a focus on the pocket in its molecular structure that binds to the substrate, the enzyme’s active site.

The team built a computer model of the periwinkle enzyme using Discovery Studio 4.1 software and a template for the enzyme based on another known enzyme from a β-glucosidase found in rice, which they modified to match the known details for the periwinkle enzyme. They could then use a second computer program – an algorithm called CDOCKER – to see how different chemical substrates would interact with the active site of the model periwinkle enzyme. They tested the natural substrate a molecule known as strictosidine and a second chemical D-glucono 1,5-lactone. This latter molecule is known to bind to the enzyme and inhibit its activity. The docking process in which substrate is put into the active site, like a key into a lock, then allowed the team to refine the structure of the periwinkle enzyme to make the fine details of the model closer to those seen in nature. To do this molecular dynamics software was used.

Ultimately, the work extends what was previously known about the periwinkle enzyme and could allow scientists to modify it in such a way to act on other substrates. Before that though, given that the natural product strictosidine itself is a useful starting material for a wide range of different molecules, the work opens up new avenues for working with this natural product.

Szymczyk, P., Szymanska, G., Majewska, M., Weremczuk-Jezyna, I., Kolodziejczyk, M., Czarnecka, K., Szymanski, P. and Kochan, E. (2022) ‘Homology modelling and docking studies of strictosidine ß-D-glucosidase from Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus Bunge)’, Int. J. Bioinformatics Research and Applications, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp.234–269.

13 September 2022

Free open access article available: "Household demand for private tutoring in Tunisia"

The following paper, "Household demand for private tutoring in Tunisia" (International Journal of Education Economics and Development 14(1) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Special issue published: "Business Management, Innovation and Sustainability in the Age of Possibilities"

International Journal of Business and Systems Research 16(5/6) 2022

  • The effect of experience quality on behaviour intention: the mediating role of tourists' perceived value in subak cultural landscape of Bali, Indonesia
  • The role of strategic flexibility on the influence of entrepreneurial orientation on new product development
  • Open innovation implementation to encourage corporate entrepreneurship through product-service system to sustain industrial estate firms: Indonesian evidence
  • Factors influencing innovation and operating performance in power distribution companies
  • The impact of firm-specific determinants, external factors and voluntary disclosure on capital structure: an empirical analysis of Islamic banks in Yemen
  • Evaluating equal employment opportunity in Indonesian industries to accommodate disabled workers
  • The Chinese presence in the Arab region: Lebanon at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative
  • The joint effect of digital transformation and information technology infrastructure on service quality: the role commitment to service quality as mediator and environment as moderator
  • Testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis - during the period from 1975 to 2017 in Egypt
  • Understanding the effects of digital transformation, entrepreneurial orientation, readiness for change, and innovative behaviour on performance
  • Factors that influence decision-making over online and face-to-face examination preparation training courses
  • How can fear impact economic decisions in pandemic contexts at the light of decision-making systems? An approach to the COVID-19 case
  • The effect of mobile phone penetration on e-commerce diffusion: a global perspective using structural equation modelling
  • Sales order backlog and CEO power

Research pick: Project fear - "How can fear impact economic decisions in pandemic contexts at the light of decision-making systems? An approach to the COVID-19 case"

Fear, driven partly by media misinformation, is an important emotion in the context of crises. It can lead to bad, or, at best, suboptimal, decisions, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, according to work published in the International Journal of Business and Systems Research.

José Chavaglia Neto of the Beta L Consulting Group in São Paulo, António Bento Caleiro of the Universidade de Evora, in Evora, Brazil, José António Filipe of the Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Manuel Pacheco Coelho of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and Gholamreza Askari of Semnan University in Semnan, Iran, have looked at how fear emerged in Brazil during the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A pandemic that led to serious health problems and death and economic devastation irrespective of how fearful anyone felt when the virus emerged and in the ensuing months following the World Health Organisation’s announcements regarding the pandemic.

During the early stages of the crises many people were overwhelmed with information, much of it conflicting, by nature of the very novelty of the causative agent, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and its effects. As the days and weeks and months went by, disinformation was thrown into the mix and conspiracy theories emerged. A clear picture of how events were truly unfolding was difficult to unravel. This was especially true in terms of the information shared in totalitarian regimes and spreading from there and even more so once we had pharmaceutical interventions and different vaccine responses to COVID-19.

The picture was even muddier given social isolation, lockdowns, quarantining and the closure of international borders all of which was done with the aim of reducing the rate of spread of the disease, the morbidity associated with it, and the mortality rates and so-called “excess” deaths. Nothing is yet particularly clear for many people even more than two years since the declaration of the pandemic, and many people lived in fear from the start and many still do.

Neto, J.C., Caleiro, A.B., Filipe, J.A., Coelho, M.P. and Askari, G. (2022) ‘How can fear impact economic decisions in pandemic contexts at the light of decision-making systems? An approach to the COVID-19 case’, Int. J. Business and Systems Research, Vol. 16, Nos. 5/6, pp.759–782.

Special issue published: "Advanced Analysis Technologies For Social Media"

International Journal of Web Based Communities 18(3/4) 2022

  • Social e-commerce consumer behaviour prediction model based on hierarchical polarisation characteristics
  • Data mining analysis method of consumer behaviour characteristics based on social media big data
  • SEM and fsQCA factors influencing social media users' anxiety
  • Abnormal data classification of social media based on support vector machine
  • Dynamic encryption method of personal privacy information in social network based on blockchain technology
  • Social media image classification and retrieval method based on deep hash algorithm
  • Early warning method of network public opinion communication crisis based on feature mining
  • Hotspot extraction method of multimedia network public opinion based on neural network
  • Network social media information leakage detection based on link state awareness
  • Study on personalised web design for user based on visual communication
  • A fast encryption method of social network privacy data based on blockchain

12 September 2022

Special issue published: "Latest Developments in Digital Technologies"

International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation 7(5) 2022

  • Considerations on the use of ultrasonic pulse velocity, compressive and indirect tensile tests for the quality control of statically compressed earth samples
  • Rammed earth as bi-modulus material: experimental and analytical investigations through Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam models
  • Numerical simulation of shaking table test on an adobe masonry building through nonlinear macro-element analysis
  • Analysis of the possible geometries of a disappeared Parthian adobe dome: from in-situ tests to finite element macro-modelling
  • Study of experimental behaviour of seismically retrofitted earthen structures

Special issue published: "User Experience for Advanced Human–Computer Interaction"

International Journal of Product Development 26(1/2/3/4) 2022

  • Visual communication method of graphic language in industrial product design
  • Colour difference detection method of product packaging based on local enhancement
  • Adaptive adjustment method of intelligent industrial product dimension accuracy
  • Defect detection method of product appearance design based on visual communication model
  • Personalised recommendation of smart home products based on convolution neural network
  • Product design difference perception model based on visual communication technology
  • User experience measurement methods of e-commerce products based on cloud model
  • Real-time information sharing model of product supply chain based on Internet of Things
  • User experience evaluation of intelligent sports bracelet based on multi-factor fusion
  • Evaluation method of smart bracelet health monitoring accuracy based on multi-level data fusion
  • Product 3D virtual display scene modelling based on augmented reality technology
  • Fast fusion method of virtual image of product shape based on progressive fill line algorithm
  • Study on spatial layout evaluation of game UI interface based on grey interval clustering
  • Monitoring method of use frequency of sports electronic products based on non-uniform sampling
  • Multi-objective optimisation method of human-computer interaction interface layout of music electronic products based on adaptive particle swarm optimisation
  • Human-computer interaction experience evaluation method of intelligent electronic product interface
  • An adaptive median filtering of visual product image based on gradient direction information
  • An intermediate interpolation of VR glasses display animation based on hierarchical constraints
  • Accuracy evaluation method of sports bracelet monitoring based on grey comprehensive clustering
  • Fingertip positioning and tracking method of intelligent moving bracelet based on improved Kalman filter
  • Intelligent wristband human abnormal behaviour recognition method based on machine vision

Research pick: Spotting the Spanish-speaking cyberbullies - "Detecting cyberbullying in Spanish texts through deep learning techniques"

Researchers in Ecuador are using deep learning techniques to identify the characteristics of bullying behaviour in Spanish language text on social media systems. Details are provided in the International Journal of Data Mining, Modelling and Management.

Paúl Cumba-Armijos, Diego Riofrío-Luzcando*, Verónica Rodríguez-Arboleda and Joe Carrión-Jumbo Digital School, SEK International University, Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador have extracted expressions and phrases that might commonly be used in episodes of cyberbullying from 83400 updates on one particular social network. They have used this body of text to train a convolutional neuronal network. The algorithm that emerges from this training is a tool that can then autonomically identify insults, racism, homophobic attacks, and so on.

It is perhaps well recognised that although there are huge benefits wrought by social media and social networking tools. However, as with any invention, there are always those who might seek to abuse the system for their own malicious ends. Such activity might involve the further marginalisation of vulnerable groups and young people and so it is desirable to find ways to ameliorate the risk to such groups from cyberbullies. The team writes that in Ecuador, 27% of teenagers have reported suffering marginalisation through cyberbullying, 46% have reported harassment, 17% aggressive behaviour online, and 10% have experienced extortion.

Tests on the trained neural network by the team showed that it works with a high precision of more than 98 percent. The next step, which may well improve that precision, would be to draw in data from blogs and additional social media sites and to incorporate additional Spanish phrases to improve the system’s prediction capabilities.

Cumba-Armijos, P., Riofrío-Luzcando, D., Rodríguez-Arboleda, V. and Carrión-Jumbo, J. (2022) ‘Detecting cyberbullying in Spanish texts through deep learning techniques’, Int. J. Data Mining, Modelling and Management, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp.234–247.

Special issue published: "Energy Sharing and Management in Smart Cities"

International Journal of Global Energy Issues 44(5/6) 2022

  • Green building energy consumption data detection method based on Naive Bayesian algorithm
  • Jingchen Shi
  • Energy consumption monitoring model of green energy-saving building based on fuzzy neural network
  • Multi-objective optimisation method of electric vehicle charging station based on non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm
  • Power load monitoring method of high-power electrical appliances based on energy compensation
  • Load identification method of household smart meter based on decision tree algorithm
  • Optimisation of frequency response parameters of new energy distribution network based on linear correction
  • Research on energy consumption parameter optimisation of green building based on single and double-layer hybrid optimisation
  • Energy consumption prediction of new energy vehicles in smart city based on LSTM network
  • Energy consumption parameter detection of green energy saving building based on artificial fish swarm algorithm
  • A cross-regional joint operation control method of small power photovoltaic power grid and municipal power grid
  • Energy consumption prediction method of energy saving building based on deep reinforcement learning

9 September 2022

Research pick: Amusing and authentic advertisers - "A framework for enhancing the influence of Facebook advertising: the key role of personalisation and interactivity"

Personalisation and interactivity are key to boost the effect of an advertising campaign on social media, according to work published in the International Journal of Economics and Business Research. The finding has implications for how marketers and advertising teams might get the most value out of their efforts and budgets.

Taanika Arora of the Rukmini Devi Institute of Advanced Studies at the IP University in Delhi, India, has studied in detail one particularly popular area of the world of social media – the networking site, Facebook. Specifically, Arora has used Ducoffe’s web advertising model and flow theory to investigate to what extent personalisation and interactivity are determinants of purchase intention among potential consumers exposed to advertisements on Facebook.

At the time of writing this Research Pick, Facebook has almost 3000 million active monthly users. The world population is almost 8000 million, so that number represents a very large proportion of all the people on Earth, almost 40 percent of us. That, by any metric, is a vast advertising market representing a huge number of potential consumers of a product or service, even if we assume a fraction of those accounts are fake, duplicates or themselves companies with something to sell.

Arora carried out a systematic study using non-probability sampling of data obtained from more than 700 active Indian Facebook users. Structural equation modelling was used to demonstrate model fitness and to establish the validity and reliability of the adapted scales, she explains.

“The results indicate that the proposed framework is a robust tool for measuring advertising effectiveness on Facebook,” Arora writes. “This study theoretically contributes to the application of the Facebook advertising model and practically contributes influential factors for effective advertising to marketers and advertisers.” An important finding that might guide marketers and advertisers is that “credibility” and “entertainment” are critical in Facebook advertising, without the authenticity and the amusement, much is lost. In addition, advertising that is two-way or interactive helps lead potential consumers to making a purchase. The converse of all of this is that personalisation raises privacy concerns and consumers do not often tolerate any invasion of their privacy, despite being active in, to what is to all intents and purposes, the very public realm of social networking.

The bottom-line is that marketers hoping to get the most out of their Facebook advertising budget must be authentic, entertaining, and cognisant of the privacy concerns of their target market.

Arora, T. (2022) ‘A framework for enhancing the influence of Facebook advertising: the key role of personalisation and interactivity’, Int. J. Economics and Business Research, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp.305–343.

8 September 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Product Development

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Product Development are now available here for free:
  • Serious game for lean layout planning: a proposal for involving company staff within the design process
  • Implementing functional integration of products based on axiomatic design in the product concept phase
  • A meta-analysis of stability and flexibility effects on performance in product development
  • Design for ergonomics in the bicycle industry: an engineering design concept

New Editor for International Journal of Services, Economics and Management

Prof. Natalia Kryvinska from Comenius University in Bratislava has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Services, Economics and Management.

Research pick: Mental health framework - "Impact of COVID-19 on individuals’ mental health and preventive health behaviours: a conceptual framework"

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a deep impact on society, human health, and the world economy. Research in the International Journal Medical Engineering and Informatics, offers a conceptual framework for how the necessary preventative behaviours enforced and adopted during a pandemic might be associated with mental health issues that arise.

Rajesh R. Pai of the Manipal Institute of Technology in Manipal and Naganna Chetty and Sreejith Alathur of the National Institute of Technology Karnataka in Surathkal, India, point out how containment and mitigation strategies, such as closure of international borders, national and local lockdowns, quarantine for travellers, hand sanitisation and masks, were put in place soon after the realisation that the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was approaching an infection rate that would lead to a pandemic. The pandemic was, unfortunately, not halted, perhaps because many of the measures were not sufficiently timely nor enforced rigourously enough by the authorities in different countries.

However, once lockdowns were enforced, many people facing social isolation felt trapped and angry. There has, it seems, been an increase in anxiety and depression associated with the pandemic, while rates of alcohol abuse and suicide incidence have risen. Many areas of society have perhaps been affected more than others and at the least in different ways. Those in healthcare, hospitality, and marginalised communities, for instance, have all faced different kinds of pressure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team concludes from their study that while preventative health measures may well have ultimately reduced the total number of infections and deaths from this disease, the dark side is that they may have led to morbidity of a different kind through their effects on mental health. Part of the issue, the team found, was that media exposure was a significant variable in whether or not individuals adopted or accepted various measures but also induces fear and anxiety.

Pai, R.R., Chetty, N. and Alathur, S. (2022) ‘Impact of COVID-19 on individuals’ mental health and preventive health behaviours: a conceptual framework’, Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, Vol. 14, No. 5, pp.454–463.

7 September 2022

Research pick: Volatile forensics - "Volatile memory forensics of privacy aware browsers"

Research published in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security has looked at the everyday privacy and anonymisation settings in conventional web browsers and compared the enhanced functionality of browsers with greater and layered privacy control that can help hide one’s legitimate activity from prying eyes, for instance. The notion of volatile memory forensics is considered a putative way to access at least some of that activity even with privacy-enhanced browsers once criminal investigators have timely access to the laptop or other device on which the browser is running.

Privacy-enhanced web browsers help protect citizens using the internet from those who might wish to see details of their browsing habits and behaviour, perhaps relatives or so-called friends, but also government agencies with no right to access personal information, as well as third-parties with malicious intent, such as identity theft. The flip side of creating such browsers is that criminals too can use these tools to obfuscate their activities and to exploit potential victims of their crimes. The very nature of a privacy-enhanced browser might then make it very difficult for the police to investigate a crime where such a browser has been central to the activity.

Nilay R. Mistry, Krupa Gajjar, and S.O. Junare of the National Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, explain how digital forensics is central to many a criminal investigation whether the crime happens online or offline. Critically, the wider concept of computer forensics must be able to identify, acquire, preserve, and analyse evidence from a device so that it can be presented in a court of law with the provenance that it is exactly as it was found on the device an so representative of the perpetrator’s behaviour.

The team’s work compares various privacy-enhanced browsers and the artefacts of browsing and login activity that are held and might remain in the device’s volatile memory, essentially the RAM (random access memory) or virtual memory. With their tools, they were able to obtain email addresses, visited website addresses from all the browsers tested from both a live RAM dump of the data on the device as well as a dead RAM dump, where all tabs in the browser had been closed and the browser shut down. Such access could be very important in a criminal investigation but it would be essential that investigators could seize the device before it is completely shut down otherwise the data in volatile memory, as the term suggests, would evaporate and be lost.

In addition, they were able to obtain search terms from a live RAM dump from all browsers on the test devices but not from a dead RAM dump. No downloaded images could be retrieved from either scenario from any browser, nor any passwords. However, for some purportedly privacy-enhanced browsers, the team was able to extract searches from a well-known online video service, live RAM dumps for all and with the exception of three, dead RAM dumps too.

The very minimum of evidence that would be available to investigators finding a shut down device, might be files present or cached on the device’s permanent storage and the presence of a given privacy-enhanced browser. That would not be as strong evidence as a live RAM dump of activity in the browser obtained while activity associated with a crime is underway, of course.

Mistry, N.R., Gajjar, K. and Junare, S.O. (2022) ‘Volatile memory forensics of privacy aware browsers’, Int. J. Information and Computer Security, Vol. 18, Nos. 3/4, pp.313–326.

6 September 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles are now available here for free:
  • Advancements in power conditioning units for electric vehicle applications: a review Ravindranath Tagore Yadlapalli; Anuradha Kotapati; Rajani Kandipati
  • Design and testing of a supercapacitor storage system for the flash recharge of electric buses
  • Electric vehicle transmission types and setups: a general review
  • Control and optimisation of a dual-motor coupling drive system of pure electric vehicle based on multi-island genetic algorithm
  • Analysing vibration environment of a power battery in a running electric vehicle

Research pick: Cleaning up social media - "Detection of spammers disseminating obscene content on Twitter"

Adult, or pornographic, content spam is a growing problem on social media. New research in the International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining discusses how such content might be quickly detected and removed in a timely manner.

Deepali Dhaka, Surbhi Kakar, and Monica Mehrotra of Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University) in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, India, explain how the general user experience and that of younger people using social media might be improved if obscene spam content can be filtered effectively and quickly. Machine learning tools are often the way forward in detecting particular types of content and the team has demonstrated that one such tool, XGboost, can detect adult spam content with over 90 percent accuracy. This was the most effective classification algorithm of the six tested and adapted by the team for detecting pornographic spam on Twitter.

As such, fewer than ten in every hundred updates flagged as adult spam would be false positives. The team’s approach needed to analyse just a small number of features, value system, the entropy of words, lexical diversity, and word embeddings, to be able to pluck adult spam updates from the general stream of updates on one of the most well-known social media platforms, Twitter.

Inherent in positive detection is that in general, everyday users of the platform discuss a wide variety of topics in different contexts and write and share in what might be referred to as an organic manner. In contrast, spammers and pornographic spammers, in this case, tend to have a fixed or even entirely automated approach to their updates, limited diversity of subject matter, as one would expect, and a very limited lexicon. These and other characteristics of spam messages, make them recognisable to the algorithm.

Dhaka, D., Kakar, S. and Mehrotra, M. (2022) ‘Detection of spammers disseminating obscene content on Twitter’, Int. J. Business Intelligence and Data Mining, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp.265–289.

Special issue published: "Business Diplomacy and Values"

International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy 8(1) 2022

  • COVID-19 impacts on multilateralism and diplomacy: the potential of business diplomacy
  • Business diplomacy and justification: new post-pandemic 'Rules of the Game'
  • Corporate diplomacy and sustainable internationalisation: a conceptual and empirical exploration
  • Critical revaluation of the theories of international political economy: business diplomacy, a new dimension of study?
  • International business diplomacy: mining for good practices in Latin America
  • International negotiations in a hybrid diplomatic arena: new actors, new tools - a practitioners' contribution

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Abrasive Technology

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Abrasive Technology are now available here for free:
  • Parameter analysis and modelling of grinding special-shaped granite by diamond tools based on a robot stone machining system
  • Formation mechanism for edge of disc cutter made of WC/Co cemented carbide
  • Preparation, microstructure analysis and performance evaluation of bonded magnetic abrasives
  • Performance of micro-grinding pins with different bonding while micro-grinding Si3N4
  • Experimental setup development and parametric study of electrochemical face grinding process using Ni-based superalloy

5 September 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Power and Energy Conversion

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Power and Energy Conversion are now available here for free:
  • Wind speed and power prediction using MK-PINN
  • 4E analysis and multi-objective optimisation for a solar hybrid steam power plant using ABC algorithm: a case study in Iran
  • Identification of nonlinear dynamic system using machine learning techniques
  • Improved MPPT control for single-phase grid-connected PV system

Special issue published: "Green Economy and Sustainable Development"

International Journal of Environment and Pollution 69(1/2) 2021

  • Energy poverty and energy efficiency in emerging economies
  • Spatial and seasonal variation of CO2 concentration within some selected areas of Owerri: Nigeria
  • Environmental sustainability (ES): a case study of Noamundi area in Jharkhand, India
  • The dynamic relationship between combined pollution, consumption and production of renewable electricity and sustainable development in Iran
  • Investment attractiveness of the country: social, ecological, economic dimension
  • Vulnerability of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asian countries due to the carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment based on the STIRPAT model
  • Decarbonisation drivers and climate change concerns of developed economies
  • A review of the current situation of municipal solid waste management in India and its potential for anaerobic digestion

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy are now available here for free:
  • The change management process in the contemporary environment
  • China's role in denuclearising North Korea
  • Potential impact of 'belt and road' initiative on trade of Euro-Mediterranean countries with China
  • The missing link: cities and soft power of nations
  • Compass for public/private management in turbulent times: corporate diplomacy

Research pick: World of soil - "Clustering analysis of soil microbial community at global scale"

The importance of soil cannot be stressed enough. Fundamentally, without it, we cannot grow the food we need to feed the world. Soils in different parts of the world and even from local region to local region differ enormously and understanding the composition of different soils, their structure, fungal, and microbial characteristics is vital to knowing how to get the best from this finite resource in a rapidly changing world.

Microbes play a significant role in maintaining soil fertility through the recycling of nutrients and influencing the bioavailability of those nutrients to plants, as well as altering soil structure and other characteristics of the soil.

Writing in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications, a team from Japan has carried out a clustering analysis of the bacterial profile of soils from around the world. Their work builds a global picture of different soils and how the microbiome of different soils differs from place to place. Their work utilises data from various environments worldwide (23 countries and almost 5000 soil microbiome samples) and uses the microbiome database, the earth microbiome project (EMP) to build a picture of bacteria in soils from paddy fields, vineyards, grasslands, and forests. species, and it was not suitable for examining the microbial composition in a sample.

It was the development of next-generation DNA sequencing that facilitated microbiome analysis and allowed scientists to determine the taxonomic composition of samples without the need to isolate and culture microbial strains from the sample. Metagenomics has given us access to the very depths of the soil. The work offers many new insights from paddy field to Mongolian grassland.

“This research is expected to deepen the understanding of the ecology of the soil bacterial flora and lead to knowledge that will be vital for soil management based on bacteria,” the team writes.

Tanaka, T., Cruz, A.F., Ono, N. and Kanaya, S. (2022) ‘Clustering analysis of soil microbial community at global scale’, Int. J. Bioinformatics Research and Applications, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp.219–233.

Footnote: A citizen/farming science project is underway globally to determine the quality of soil based on how rapidly buried cotton underwear rots in a given patch. An important investigation for the sake of soil science that can be done anyone.

2 September 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Environment and Pollution

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Environment and Pollution are now available here for free:
  • Seasonal variations of aerosol number concentration and spectrum distribution in Nanjing
  • The pilot trading of carbon emission rights and upgrading of industrial structure
  • Bench scale study of thermal remediation of barbiturate and sulphonamide co-contaminants in soil from a complex pharmaceutical waste site
  • Phytoextraction of cadmium by African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) grown under cadmium contaminated soil inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus mosseae
  • Occurrence, seasonality, and risk assessment of (anti)estrogenic compounds in bankside groundwater in Wuchang City, China
  • Particulate matter emission prediction of Beijing's Fengtai district through the box model application and statistical analysis of spatial layout grid
  • Analysis of the combined estrogenic activity of plasticisers

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management are now available here for free:
  • A context-based approach for modelling and querying versions of BPMN processes
  • Indonesia terrestrial border control information system and business processes alignment
  • Re-thinking balanced scorecard as organisational strategy performance management and measurement
  • Analysing supply chain risk management capabilities through collaborative and integrative approach
  • Data warehouse and decision support on integrated crop big data
  • Enhancing delivery of information technology projects through stakeholder sense-making

Research pick: Networking virus detectors - "One Health-inspired early implementation of airborne disease spread mitigation protocols aided by IoT-based biosensor network"

A biosensor network that can detect airborne viral particles could be put in place on animal farms and livestock markets. With appropriate analysis of the data from these internet-of-things (IoT) devices it might be possible to detect the earliest presence of a putative infectious agent that has undergone zoonosis and so made the leap from animal pathogen to a virus that can cause human disease, as occurred with the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2.

A proposal for such a network, inspired by the One-Health initiative is discussed in the International Journal of Sensor Networks. Humanity has suffered plagues for millennia as has the rest of the animal world. At the time of writing avian influenza is affecting birdlife while the COVID-19 epidemic is still very much with us. Pathogens once thought under control such as those that cause tuberculosis and polio are still with us. However, pathogens circulating in the animal kingdom can evolve into novel forms that might infect people that come into contact with them at any time.

Uche K. Chude-Okonkwo of the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park, South Africa, points out that we need to be on our guard to emerging viral pathogens. Being on guard will allow us to respond faster to the emergence of potential human pathogens originally from animal hosts sources and so put into place controls to reduce the risk of an emergent virus spreading to the wider population and causing another devastating pandemic.

Advances in biology and sensor technology coupled with technological advances in communications and devices could be the answer to a more timely response to an emerging pathogen, Chude-Okonkwo suggests. His work could form the basis of an important aspect of the One Health initiative. This global, interdisciplinary project considers how human health, animal health, and ecosystem health are all linked and have an impact on emergent pathogens and the nature of the next pandemic.

“The One Health initiative promotes the acquisition and processing of real-time health information of all the living things in a given system, as well as that of the environment to enable the timely identification of prime sources and the emergence time of infectious diseases,” writes Chude-Okonkwo. “This will enable the appropriate authority to implement intervention protocols early enough to avoid or mitigate epidemics,” he adds.

Chude-Okonkwo, U.K. (2022) ‘One Health-inspired early implementation of airborne disease spread mitigation protocols aided by IoT-based biosensor network’, Int. J. Sensor Networks, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp.215–226.

1 September 2022

International Journal of Manufacturing Research indexed by Clarivate Analytics' Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience is pleased to announce that the International Journal of Manufacturing Research has been indexed by Clarivate Analytics' Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Prof. Lihui Wang, Editor in Chief of the journal, says, "The International Journal of Manufacturing Research, launched in 2006, is dedicated to disseminating the latest advances in manufacturing research at the levels of devices, machines, processes and systems. The journal is sponsored by the Swedish Production Academy, and after more than sixteen years of valuable contributions from authors, the editorial board, the publisher and the research community, IJMR has established itself as a high-quality publishing venue for researchers worldwide. As Editor in Chief, I am delighted that the journal is now indexed by Clarivate Analytics’ Emerging Sources Citation Index, as part of the Web of Science Core Collection. Going forward, IJMR aims to further advance the state of the art in manufacturing research, in order to contribute to a sustainable and resilient environment for all."

Research pick: Better Bollywood nights - "Impact of online ratings on the box office collection of Bollywood movies"

A study published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising has looked at how online rates affect box office takings with respect to Bollywood movies.

Bollywood is, as most fans of cinema will know, a portmanteau of the words Bombay and Hollywood, it is an umbrella term for the Hindi-language movie industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The industry is an artistic and economic powerhouse, making several hundred films a year which represents the biggest contribution to the vast Indian movie industry as a whole.

Girish Taneja and Anu Bala of the Department of Commerce and Business Management at DAV University in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, point out that there is a wide range of factors that influence whether or not a particular movie becomes popular and makes good takings at the “box office”. For instance, the cast, director, and composer might influence some cinemagoers while others may choose to go and see a particular movie based on reviews in the mainstream media. Today, of course, everyone is a critic, as they say, and there are plenty of places online where a film fan might learn about whether a new movie production is worth seeing or not.

The researchers gathered national-level Bollywood movie data from various websites including, bollywoodmovies.com, timesofIndia.com, imdb.com, and bookmyshow.com. They then applied correlation and regression analysis to determine what impact the ratings for a large number of movies had on the recorded box office revenues for each movie.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the team found a strong positive correlation between good online ratings and box office takings. This was found to be the case even when the team accounted for the number of screens at different movie theatres, the “star” power of cast members, the film production budget, and even the size of the distribution company. The bottom line for Bollywood is that good reviews from the media and from cinemagoers are reflected in good takings at the box office.

The implications for film producers are simple, in order to sell a movie well, they must engage more positively with critics, reviewers, and online influencers to generate stronger, positive reviews for their output if they are to attract more cinemagoers to those movies. So much has perhaps been known since the silent era, today it is even more apposite given the world of social media and ubiquitous internet connectivity where the “everyone’s a critic” ethos can have an almost instantaneous and widespread impact.

Taneja, G. and Bala, A. (2022) ‘Impact of online ratings on the box office collection of Bollywood movies’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 17, Nos. 1/2, pp.217–230.