30 November 2022

International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience is pleased to announce that the International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology has been indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Prof. Saeid Eslamian, Editor in Chief of the journal, says, "The International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology began in 2011 with a publication frequency of two issues per year, and now publishes eight issues annually. It was indexed by Scopus in 2013 and is now also indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index. I deeply appreciate the great assistance of IJHST's Editorial Board Members in promoting the journal for more than a decade. I would also like to thank the journal's authors across the world for sharing their experiences by submitting outstanding articles to IJHST."

Research pick: Music as diplomatic food for thought - "Instrumentality of music in cultural diplomacy between India and Pakistan"

Music has been at the heart of humanity for millennia. It allows us to express and share emotions in ways that are often difficult or impossible with spoken language. While musical tastes can vary from culture to culture there is the potential for ameliorating relationship problems through music, perhaps even at the level of international diplomacy. That is the suggestion posited in the International Journal of Public Law and Policy.

Mayank Mishra of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India, has looked at how music might act as a diplomatic conduit through which relations between India and Pakistan might be improved. In this paper, Mishra traces the evolution of music and its role in bilateral politics, as well as the day-to-day lives of the people of both countries. Where political language and discussion are fraught with the problems of misinformation and the misconstrual of what is said between two parties, music offers a shared diplomacy through its long cultural legacy in this part of the world.

Where diplomacy can be delicate, often it fails if compromise and contrition cannot be formulated in the discussions when each side faces challenges. Problems often arise where there are differences of opinion rooted in differences in culture, beliefs, knowledge, morals, laws, and, even art. However, where art, and music as one form of art, stands alone from those cultural roots it is perhaps in the potential for shared appreciation of music regardless of differences in other cultural traits.

This is not to say that music can reconcile geographical, territorial, and political differences, but through education and exchange there is the potential to highlight and appreciate its shared legacy and perhaps build on the trust the music can bring to us to allow diplomatic discussions to progress on an even footing to the benefit of all parties. Music could help advance not national interests but communication and compromise generating the much-needed goodwill to allow parties with conflicting perspectives on the challenges to come together more readily.

Mishra, M. (2023) ‘Instrumentality of music in cultural diplomacy between India and Pakistan’, Int. J. Public Law and Policy, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.75–91.

New Editor for International Journal of Healthcare Policy

Associate Prof. Julius Mugwagwa from University College London in the UK has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Healthcare Policy.

29 November 2022

Free sample articles newly available from Journal for Global Business Advancement

The following sample articles from the Journal for Global Business Advancement are now available here for free:
  • Organisational commitment, work engagement and job performance: empirical study on Nigeria's public healthcare system
  • The nexus between FDI inflows and economic development in Ghana: empirical analysis from ARDL model
  • A framework for agile project management for the water industry in developing economies
  • An assessment of employees' intention to retire in Kenya
  • Loyalty and word-of-mouth as outcomes of South African Airbnb customers' relationship quality
  • Linking sustainability reporting to sustainability performance through regulation

Special issue published: "Ushering in a New Era of Global Business Research Excellence: Taking a Leaf out of Recent Trends in the New Normal"

Journal for Global Business Advancement 15(1) 2022

  • Internationalisation and the performance of German firms
  • Determinants of the budgetary transparency of public finance in Thailand's educational sector
  • Understanding the influence of user adaptation on the continuance intention towards ride-hailing services: the perspective of management support
  • The influence of career adaptability on well-being indicators and job performance
  • The influence of employees' perceived work performance on the pro-environmental behaviours: the role of organisational identification in the Vietnamese hospitality industry
  • Poverty alleviation among Vietnamese ethnic minorities: a behavioural economics perspective

Research pick: Transport solutions for health - "Assessment of human physiology as indicators of stress when driving, biking and walking"

A team from Brazil has looked at the different stresses on the human body when walking, cycling, and driving. Their findings suggest that taking non-motorised trips is the best option in terms of health and wellbeing.

Wesley Cândido de Melo, Augusto César de Mendonça Brasil, and Rita de Cássia Silva of the Transport Graduate Program at the University of Brasília-UnB, Campus Darcy Ribeiro in Brasília discuss details in the World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research. The team examined data from volunteers – blood pressure, galvanic skin response, pulse, and breathing rate while the volunteers walked, cycled, or drove from their homes to the University of Brasília in the early morning and late afternoon along six dedicated routes for walking, cycling, and driving.

Motor transport is a growing problem in big cities in terms of congestion, pollution, and a reduction in the number of people experiencing the health benefits of self-propulsion, whether walking or cycling. Cities built to a plan based in a 1950s ethos are especially problematic in this sense as those cities were commonly designed for cars rather than pedestrians and cyclists. Rebooting and rerouting those cities will take time, money, and effort to open up the healthier route. Brasília has well over one motor vehicle for every two people in the city. However, the city also now has almost 300 miles of cycle paths. Walking and cycling offer health benefits and potentially lower stress levels than driving.

“The results show that non-motorised trips are less stressful than motorised ones, proving that when walking and cycling the traveller is free to obtain the best body conditions to reduce effort and stress, a fact explained by the cost of the minimum specific energy used during the shift,” the team writes.

de Melo, W.C., de Mendonça Brasil, A.C. and de Cássia Silva, R. (2022) ‘Assessment of human physiology as indicators of stress when driving, biking and walking’, World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, Vol. 11, No. 2.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Petroleum Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Petroleum Engineering are now available here for free:
  • A permeability model for gas flow in coal considering the water content and slippage effect
  • A technique to fight against formation damage via turbulence control for saltwater disposal
  • Selection of friction reducer for slickwater fracturing to achieve both fracking robustness and production maximisation
  • Gravitational sorption method for extraction of vanadium-containing oil from reservoirs with the use of redox polymers

28 November 2022

Research pick: Job satisfaction and the work-life balance

How does job satisfaction sit with the notion of work-life balance? Writing in the International Journal of Services and Operations Management, a research team from Portugal point out that a positive and stable work environment can improve an employee’s sense of belonging in an organisation. In parallel with such a concept, they say that can enhance commitment. The counterpoint is that this commitment and belonging should perhaps be balanced by freedom to have an active and enjoyable personal life outside of work too. However, it was not known whether the various factors connect in a positive way.

Álvaro Dias of the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias/TRIE, Carolina Feixeira of ISG Business and Economics, Leandro Pereira, Renato Lopes da Costa, and Rui Gonçalves of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, all in Lisboa, Portugal, carried out a quantitative study of survey results from workers. They found that workplace environment positively affects job satisfaction. However, perhaps surprisingly, they found that organisational commitment did not correlate with the workers’ balance between professional and personal life.

For many workers, professional and personal life is entwined more than ever. Gone are the days of people physically and figuratively clocking in and clocking off. Work pressures spill over into our free time more and more and this issue is exacerbated by the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and the inevitable expectation to respond instantaneously to any notification whether professional or personal.

Job satisfaction is only one component of a person’s mental well-being, there has to be satisfaction outside the workplace and there has to be a sturdier dividing line between professional and personal activities if a worker is to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance. It was hypothesised that somehow improving the workplace environment, which does seem to improve job satisfaction would also improve well-being associated with work-life balance. However, the team’s results suggest that this is not the case. They also add that for teleworkers and homeworkers, the issues that might exist are complicated still further where the borders between personal and professional life may well be more diffuse given that the daily commute might be just a few minutes from the living room to home office as opposed to a distinct journey from home to workplace.

Dias, Á., Feixeira, C., Pereira, L., da Costa, R.L. and Gonçalves, R. (2022) ‘The work-life balance and job satisfaction’, Int. J. Services and Operations Management, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp.401–420.

25 November 2022

European Journal of International Management to invite expanded papers from Workshop on Conducting and Publishing Empirical Research in International Business for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the Workshop on Conducting and Publishing Empirical Research in International Business (3 - 4 March 2023, Room BZ F6.00 University Club, Universitätsplatz 1 - Piazza Università, 1, 39100 Bozen-Bolzano) will be invited for review and potential publication by the European Journal of International Management.

Research pick: Better biodiesel - "Comprehensive review of biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines"

Is biodiesel truly a viable and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels derived from fossil fuels? Writing in the International Journal of Design Engineering, a team from India investigates and comes to the conclusion that the nature of biodiesel as renewable, biodegradable, and non-toxic does indeed make it a good alternative to petrochemical fuels.

Sanjay Patel and P.K. Brahmbhatt, both affiliated with Gujarat Technological University in Ahmedabad, point out that conventional diesel fuel remains one of the primary fuels for transport and many other applications. However, as with all fossil fuels, its use comes at a cost in terms of pollution, particulates, carbon emissions, and, of course, the fact that it is derived from a limited resource, oil.

Biodiesel as an alternative to conventional diesel has come to the fore in recent years as a renewable, and perhaps sustainable choice for transport. Many buses and other vehicles worldwide are now powered with biodiesel derived from biomass, either generated from waste or from crops grown for the purpose of biodiesel production. There have been concerns over the years that biodiesel was somehow less efficient than conventional diesel. Moreover, there were also concerns regarding carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides formation from biodiesel.

The team suggests that with modern biodiesel technology, these concerns are unfounded in terms of emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the exhaust gases. The higher oxygen content of biodiesel allows for improved combustion despite the lower calorific value of fuels derived from vegetable matter. However, the presence of oxygen in the fuel itself, while improving combustion raises the cylinder temperature in a diesel engine and so there is a greater concentration of nitrogen oxides produced in the exhaust gases of a biodiesel-powered engine.

This comprehensive review points to the many benefits and highlights how some of the issues surrounding biodiesel use can be circumvented by the use of blended fuels. These also have the advantage of not requiring any modification of the engine itself prior to use, something that has been an issue with standard biodiesel fuels.

Patel, S. and Brahmbhatt, P.K. (2022) ‘Comprehensive review of biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines’, Int. J. Design Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp.61–76.

24 November 2022

Free open access article available: "Correlation power analysis attack on software implementation of TRIVIUM stream cipher"

The following paper, "Correlation power analysis attack on software implementation of TRIVIUM stream cipher" (International Journal of Information and Computer Security 19(3/4) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Safer touch with antiviral coatings - "Recent development of antiviral nano-coatings for COVID-19 management – a review"

Antiviral coatings based on nanomaterials could help reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, according to new work in the International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering. The Indian team has reviewed the state-of-the-art in the context of COVID-19.

We now know the causative agent in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, is most commonly transmitted through the air from coughs and sneezes, and even just the talking and breathing of one infected person to another. However, a secondary path for transmission involves, fomites, droplets containing viral particles that have impinged on a surface that another person may touch and so pick up the infection.

Manoj Raula and Sucheta Sengupta of Amity University in Noida, India, have reviewed nanomaterials that might be used to coat surfaces that people commonly touch in the work environment, in public places, and even in the home. Nanocoatings have been developed to coat glass and plastic as well as cotton fabrics, for instance. The team’s review covers metal and metal oxide nanomaterials and how they might be used as antiviral coatings. Examples of nanoparticles being studied include precious metal nanoparticles, gold, silver, and copper, as well as materials such as perovskites.

While the world of antibacterial coatings has moved rapidly in recent years, it was the advent of COVID-19 that provided an initial motivation for the development of antiviral coatings. Such materials could have wide-ranging efficacy against other viruses, such as influenza viruses too. Events and circumstances have overtaken our concerns regarding COVID-19 transmission, however, innovation in antiviral coatings will not be wasted given the likelihood of as yet unimagined future emerging viruses exploiting fomites as a major route for their transmission.

Raula, M. and Sengupta, S. (2022) ‘Recent development of antiviral nano-coatings for COVID-19 management – a review’, Int. J. Surface Science and Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp.317–334.

23 November 2022

Research pick: Detecting stress and anxiety in a pandemic - "Suppression of positive emotions during pandemic era: a deep learning framework for rehabilitation"

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a lot of people being forced to spend more time at home, often working from home, but also essentially isolated in their homes in order to reduce the risk of spreading or catching the disease. Computer games were perhaps a blessed relief from the potential boredom of enforced indoor life and no doubt many people enjoyed the experience. Gaming and reduce stress and anxiety. However, there is a flipside in that beyond a certain point the gaming itself can sometimes reverse that relief and induce stress and anxiety.

Writing in the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, a team from India investigated the emotional response to gaming to ascertain whether there is a positive or a negative net gain. They used a deep-learning algorithm to analyse and classify electroencephalographic signals from gamers while engaged in playing. The algorithm outperformed other approaches to accurately classifying the gamers’ emotions. Indeed, the gaming scenario provides the stressors to allow them to train their algorithm to detect emotions and once trained it might in the future be used as a suppressed emotion detector in scenarious other than the computer gaming environment.

Stress and anxiety are generally considered negative emotions by definition, although they do have their place in a balanced life experience, one might suggest. Anxiety can be perceived as excitement in many contexts, which is normally considered a positive emotion, while stress may well be associated with motivation and drive, again a positive. Too much stress and anxiety, however, over prolonged periods, such as a pandemic, are generally not thought of as desirable in the context of good mental and physical health. There is the potential for serious harm if chronic stress and anxiety are not addressed and, of course, concerns about the person exposed or suffering from them to pursue detrimental life choices.

Ahona Ghosh and Sriparna Saha of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology in West Bengal, India, being well aware of the problems of chronic stress and anxiety hope their work will allow those studying stress an anxiety to non-invasive investigate these emotions in various circumstances and so perhaps develop guidance and interventions, perhaps associated with gaming, to help people in different walks of life, especially during a global crisis such as a pandemic.

Ghosh, A. and Saha, S. (2022) ‘Suppression of positive emotions during pandemic era: a deep learning framework for rehabilitation’, Int. J. Modelling, Identification and Control, Vol. 41, Nos. 1/2, pp.143–154.

Special issue published: "Machine Learning in Bio-Signal/Image Analysis"

International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control 41(1/2) 2022

  • Classification of magnetic resonance images of brain using concatenated deep neural network
  • Relevant gene selection using ANOVA-ant colony optimisation approach for malaria vector data classification
  • A novel framework for segmentation of uterus fibroids in ultrasound images using machine learning models
  • A hybrid model for the identification and classification of thyroid nodules in medical ultrasound images
  • Mathematical modelling for prediction of spread of corona virus and artificial intelligence/machine learning-based technique to detect COVID-19 via smartphone sensors
  • Quantum Grey Wolf optimisation and evolutionary algorithms for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
  • An improved ensemble learning approach for the prediction of cardiovascular disease using majority voting prediction
  • An ensemble-based approach for image classification using voting classifier
  • Optimising processes and generating knowledge by interpreting a new algebraic inequality
  • Map matching navigation method based on scene information fusion
  • Control points searching algorithm for multiple mobile robots
  • Sensorless DC-link voltage regulation strategy for single-phase grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems
  • Suppression of positive emotions during pandemic era: a deep learning framework for rehabilitation
  • A new method of multi-robot cooperative exploration

22 November 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management are now available here for free:
  • A study on the servant leader's psychological health
  • Time-based hypercompetition
  • Intelligent control method for traffic flow at urban intersection based on vehicle networking
  • The challenges of capability maturity model integration application in the dynamic environment
  • The intelligent monitoring method for bidirectional referral information resource in hospital based on big data

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Design Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Design Engineering are now available here for free:
  • A solution for joint pain and body relief through portable exercise machine
  • Robust optimisation of spherical roller bearings based on dynamic load rating
  • Integrated approach for an artificial intelligence-based generative product design
  • Advanced fuzzy logic controller design for a sustainable energy system

Research pick: Machine learning offers older folks the healthy drinks option - "Design of a machine learning to classify health beverages preferences for elderly people: an empirical study during COVID-19 in Thailand"

Machine learning can be used in the classification of health-drink preferences for older people, according to research published in the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The work undertaken in Thailand during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that the complexities of preference and dietary requirements could be used to help health drinks manufacturers develop products that will be better received by the target market. Moreover, the same work could guide older people and carers and healthcare workers allowing them to stick more closely to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for such products in terms of nutritional and other benefits.

Athakorn Kengpol and Jakkarin Klunngien of King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok explain that as the world population continues to “age”, there is a pressing need to address the nutritional requirements of this growing demographic. With a larger number of older people, there is likely to be a greater incidence of chronic health complaints and nutritional problems. Advances in medicine can address some of the illnesses to varying degrees. However, nutrition plays an important role in staving off illness or helping in the maintanance of general health despite the common issues of multiple conditions.

The emergence of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the ensuing world pandemic it caused complicated this issue still further. The WHO offered guidance on how older people, who would likely be more vulnerable to the potentially devastating symptoms of the disease, might be protected. Part of the guidance was focused on improved nutrition.

The team’s work has led to a decision-support system based upon a machine learning model for classifying the beverages. A neural network trained using particle swarm optimisation could then be incorporated into a drinks vending machine to guide users to the most appropriate health beverage.

Kengpol, A. and Klunngien, J. (2022) ‘Design of a machine learning to classify health beverages preferences for elderly people: an empirical study during COVID-19 in Thailand’, Int. J. Industrial and Systems Engineering, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp.319–337.

21 November 2022

Special issue published: "Scientific Machine Learning Application in Engineering Science"

International Journal of Hydromechatronics 5(4) 2022

  • Theoretical analysis and numerical study on a flexible piezoelectric wave energy converter
  • Integrated intelligent Jaya Runge-Kutta method for solving Falkner-Skan equations with various wedge angles
  • Surrogate models in machine learning for computational stochastic multi-scale modelling in composite materials design
  • A review article: isogeometric boundary element analysis in engineering applications
  • Accurate computational modelling for impacts of microcapsule size and interfacial fracture properties on the fracture of self-healing concrete

Research pick: Platoon driving not such a drag - "On aerodynamic drag reduction of road vehicles in platoon"

There are numerous incentives for developing semi-autonomous vehicles. For instance, if cars can be coordinated into platoon formation for motorway driving there is the potential to increase road capacity, reduce traffic congestion, and lower the risk of collisions. There is also the possibility that formation driving in this way could also reduce aerodynamic drag and so improve total fuel economy for the vehicles in the platoon.

Research in the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing examines this concept and investigates how vehicle shape, separation distance, and the number of vehicles in a platoon affect aerodynamic drag. Wei Gao, Zhaowen Deng, and Ying Feng of the School of Automotive Engineering at Hubei University of Automotive Technology in Shiyan, China, and Yuping He of the Department of Automotive and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, carried out simulations and wind tunnel tests.

The investigation shows that irrespective of the number of vehicles in a platoon, the average aerodynamic drag on each is less than the drag measured on a vehicle driving in isolation. The more vehicles in a platoon the more beneficial is the average drag reduction on total fuel economy. Cars with what is described as a “squareback” shape as opposed to notchback or fastback, have the most to gain in fuel economy when driving in platoon, with an average drag reduction of almost 20% being observed.

The team suggests that the improved fuel economy of having semi-autonomous vehicles driving in a platoon formation on long motorway journery is worth investigating further in developing intelligent transportation systems that retain the freedom of a personal vehicle on which many people are still hooked.

Gao, W., Deng, Z., Feng, Y. and He, Y. (2022) ‘On aerodynamic drag reduction of road vehicles in platoon‘, Int. J. Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp.1-24.

Special issue published: "New Energy Vehicles’ NVH and Lightweight and Control Technologies"

International Journal of Vehicle Design 88(2/3/4) 2022

  • Research on vehicle window buffeting mechanism and noise control
  • Lightweight design of a body-in-white structure using a hybrid optimisation approach
  • A mathematical model for vibration analysis of a parallel hybrid electric bus powertrain
  • A clustering-based simplification of massive automobile-bodies point cloud for lightweight design
  • Establishment of mathematical model of inner tooth profile curve and simulation based on dual phase silent chain
  • Investigation on energy consumption of electric vehicle with micro gas turbine as a range-extender under various driving cycles
  • Multi-objective optimisation of automobile sound package with non-smooth surface based on grey theory and particle swarm optimisation
  • Unified AHP-TOPSIS and DEA technique for the adoption and performance evaluation of green transportation alternatives in India
  • Sound quality evaluation of pure electric vehicle with subjective and objective unified evaluation method
  • Multi-disciplinary design optimisation considered fluid-structure interaction and life prediction applied in the lightweight carbody structure

18 November 2022

The human face of cybersecurity - "Human side of cybersecurity: an empirical study"

New work in the International Journal of Business Information Systems looks at the human side of cybersecurity. We might think of cybersecurity as being mostly about firewalls, antivirus software, spam filters, and dDOS detection, but it is often social engineering and human failure that leads to breaches of computer systems and networks rather than sophisticated malware.

Rajesh Kumar Upadhyay of the Graphic Era Hill University, Dehradun, and Anurag Singh and Brij Mohan Singh of the India and College of Engineering Roorkee surveyed professionals, non-professionals, and students working and studying in the educational sector of the Uttarakhand region. They hoped to explore the relationship between awareness of computer security issues and human behaviour. They focused on various personality traits to determine whether there were correlations between those and a person’s understanding of cybersecurity. The team points out that while an organization or individual can put in place policies and tools to protect from intrusion that happens digitally it is almost impossible to protect against social engineering without ongoing education of users who might succumb to the dubious and persuasive skills of the confidence trickster.

Cybersecurity is an enormous challenge worldwide, the team emphasizes. The team has now looked at extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness of personality and how this relates to an individual’s perception and understanding of cybersecurity with a view to educating where there are gaps in knowledge or where a particular personality type might well be more susceptible to social engineering than another. Fundamentally, we all have different attitudes to cybersecurity and this can thus be an issue within an organization. However, the team did find that conscientious extroverts tended to be more aware of the issues and more likely to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity than others with different personality traits, and this was regardless of gender.

The team suggests that organizations ought to improve their security awareness among their users as well as instigate practices to help thwart social engineering attacks.

Upadhyay, R.K., Singh, A. and Singh, B.M. (2022) ‘Human side of cybersecurity: an empirical study’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp.408–422.

17 November 2022

Research pick: Don’t eat the yellow snow - "Characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in fresh snow in the Changping district, Beijing"

Don’t eat the yellow snow, it’s good parental advice to every child playing in their local winter wonderland, but there’s a good reason not to eat any snow – it could be contaminated with high levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution a team from China has analysed snow in the Changping District for 16 priority PAHs. Their worrying analysis reveals that the total PAH content of their samples were all at the high-risk level in terms of environmental health.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon are organic compounds (compounds of carbon other than carbon dioxide and carbonates) that are composed of multiple aromatic rings. The term “aromatic” in this context refers to the way in which the carbon atoms are held together in those rings, although etymologically it does refer to the strong odour of the simpler aromatic compounds, such as benzene.

The simplest PAH is naphthalene, which resembles two benzene rings joined, anthracene and phenanthrene contain three such rings, there are many more with more rings in various arrangements. Many of these molecules are volatile, inflammable, toxic and carcinogenic. They are commonly formed through partial combustion of fuels such as coal and biomass and are present in fossil fuels.

The team’s analysis revealed that the most common PAHs in the snow samples contained 4 or 5 rings. PAHs with 3 or 6 rings were next highest concentration, followed by naphthalene and its derivatives. The team suggests that it is rather worrying that the PAHs are present at risky concentrations in snow. Snow persists and is often ploughed to the side of roads. When it thaws the PAH content will be carried into the drainage system and beyond.

“It is interesting and should be noted that fresh snow, which is a naturally occurring substance as one important way of water circulation, was proven to be able to absorb and dissolve PAHs especially for high molecular weight molecules and multiring molecules, and can be monitored to trace pollution sources from the air in a short duration in cities,” the team writes.

Wan, Y-Y., Fei, J-J., Zhang, Y., Shi, S-X., Dong, L. and Zhang, Z-H. (2021) ‘Characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in fresh snow in the Changping district, Beijing’, Int. J. Environment and Pollution, Vol. 69, Nos. 3/4, pp.277–304.

16 November 2022

Research pick: Is football coming home? - "A holistic strategic perspective of football industry stakeholders"

A new study in the Journal of International Business and Entrepreneurship Development aims to identify in detail the various stakeholders in the world of professional football. George Yiapanas, Alkis Thrassou, and Demetris Vrontis of the School of Business at the University of Nicosia in Nicosia, Cyprus, have looked at the growth of this “industry” and its impact on business and society.

The team explains how football clubs operate in a dynamic multi-level setting with a wide range of stakeholders that are often demarcated simplistically but in reality represent a granular and very diverse group. Indeed, the ever-shifting relationships between a football club and those stakeholders is very much the heart of the dynamic.

From fans and followers to management and owners, from the players and coaches themselves to the advertisers and broadcasters and the broader media, suppliers and financiers, national and international regulators and advocacy groups. Ensuring that a club is sustainable and goes from strength to strength in terms of winning matches and retaining follower interest is key to maintaining strong relationships with many of the other stakeholders. To underpin the stakeholder relationships, clubs need to understand who their stakeholders are, what roles and involvement each has, and how this all fits together with their seasonal activities. This new research delves into the details of the stakeholder realm in the world of professional football.

“This study significantly contributes to the football industry policymakers and practitioners a detailed analysis and robust knowledge of the relationships between the industry’s stakeholders and the football clubs,” the research team writes.

“Managing stakeholders is all about creating as much value as possible, without resorting to trade-offs,” the team writes. To spin a cliché or two, at the end of the day, in this game of two halves it is obvious that it is not only the club that scores the most goals that wins, but the one that engages with its stakeholders to mutual benefit the most effectively.

Yiapanas, G., Thrassou, A. and Vrontis, D. (2022) ‘A holistic strategic perspective of football industry stakeholders’, J. International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp.349–377.

Research pick: What a difference a dayflower makes - "Growth and accumulation of Cu and Zn by Commelina communis under Cu, Zn and their combined pollution"

The pretty and delicate Asiatic Dayflower, Commelina communis, the individual blooms of which last a mere 24 hours, hence the name, can quickly soak up toxic copper ions from contaminated soil. The plant, which is native to much of East Asia and the northern part of Southeast Asia, is known as yazhicao but is known as a noxious weed outside the region.

A team at Wuhan University of Science and Technology writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution describes how they have grown potted specimens on the plant in soil contaminated with copper and zinc. These two metals are commonly found in the ground around industrial and brownfield sites and there are many efforts to find simple, effective, and often biological methods to efficiently remediate such sites. Plants that accumulate the metals directly from the soil might be grown on such a contaminated site and once they have matured, they can be harvested for processing. Such processing might simply involve safe disposal of the now-contaminated plant matter or else extraction of the absorbed metal ions depending on the economics.

Zhiqiang Pan, Shuqin Zhang, Dajun Ren, Xiaoqing Zhang, and Shuang Liu found that C. communis was much more tolerant of copper than zinc. However, there was a synergistic effect of each metal on the absorption of its counterpart at low soil concentration. Conversely, at high-contamination levels of both metals, the plant’s ability to assimilate copper was reduced.

Such facile biological methods for the remediation of soils around industrial sites, mines, and other areas, contaminated with heavy metals could help reduce the environmental harmful effects of such contamination. Left untreated soluble heavy metal ions represent a long-term environmental hazard as well as affecting detrimentally local ecosystems, the associated food chains, and more widely through contamination of groundwater. The demonstration of hyperaccumulation of copper ions from contaminated soil by C. communis points to this species as being a potentially rather useful tool in the development of concerted efforts at phytoremediation of contaminated brownfield and other sites.

Pan, Z., Zhang, S., Ren, D., Zhang, X. and Liu, S. (2021) ‘Growth and accumulation of Cu and Zn by Commelina communis under Cu, Zn and their combined pollution’, Int. J. Environment and Pollution, Vol. 69, Nos. 3/4, pp.197–211.

Special issue published: "Managing, Governing, Performing and Strategising in Various Contexts and Areas: Ex Ante and Ex Post Conceptual and Empirical Responses to Covid-19 Pandemic"

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development 14(3) 2022

  • Entrepreneurial intentions in times of economic recession: the dual role of environment
  • Exploring the attitudes and views of pre-primary and primary school teachers for climate change education
  • Corporate governance mechanisms and earnings management
  • Measuring technical efficiency of Greek red suckler cow breed's farms in Central Macedonia region using a data envelopment analysis model
  • A holistic strategic perspective of football industry stakeholders
  • Applied strategic management by managers in the hotel and tourism industry in Cyprus and Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic

14 November 2022

Special issue published: "Islamic Banks: Novel Topics and Challenges"

International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance 15(3) 2022

  • Islamic banks' merger: the case of Bank Syariah Indonesia
  • Sharia supervisory board, maqasid syariah, and accounting-based performance: evidence from Indonesia
  • Do mosques use Islamic bank services? Evidence from Indonesia
  • Do business models in Islamic bank matters? The effect of business models on bank performance and stability
  • The determinants of deposits in Islamic and conventional banks: an Indonesian study
  • Do intellectual capital and financing matter for the profitability of the Islamic banking industry in Indonesia?

Research pick: PERMA work - "Working from home, COVID-19 and multi-dimensional model of well-being theory"

Well-being and mental health issues have been high on the agenda for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. One particular aspect where problems have been seen to arise is among people obliged to work from home where the normal day-to-day interactions of the workplace were suddenly withdrawn from their lives. A team from Brunei has looked at well-being theory in this context and discusses their findings in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion.

Muhamad Azuwan Juna, Muhammad Anshari, Norainie Ahmad, and Mahani Hamdan of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam explain how well-being theory considers five variables involved in a person flourishing or otherwise: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Taken as a whole these variables are often abbreviated as the trademarked term PERMA. The term comes from the writings of psychologist and self-help author Martin Seligman (b. 1942).

The researchers point out that the research evaluation of PERMA and finding the optimal state is lacking, particularly during the COVID-19 period when countless people were either furloughed or obliged to work from home. The changes applied to the public and private sectors, the team adds. Some research has suggested that for many people working from home there are many perceived benefits, including increased productivity, job satisfaction, reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and better mental health. For others, the reverse was seen and for yet others, the picture was unclear. There were, of course, conflicts and problems for many people forced to work from home in terms of work environment, the intercalation of work into family life, communication problems, work intensity, and other personal and working issues. One important finding in the current work was perceived equity between the genders, an issue where there is commonly enormous disparities in the conventional workplace.

The team concludes that the work-from-home ethos, beyond the pandemic, can be beneficial for both employer and employee, but employers need to ensure that the new-normal if it is sustained must be beneficial to both sides or be revised markedly to ensure that it is. Productivity and positive work outcomes must be upheld but not at the price of compromising the well-being and mental health of the employee.

Juna, M.A., Anshari, M., Ahmad, N. and Hamdan, M. (2022) ‘Working from home, COVID-19 and multi-dimensional model of well-being theory’, Int. J. Work Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.230–259.

11 November 2022

International Journal of Structural Engineering indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience is pleased to announce that the International Journal of Structural Engineering has recently been indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Special issue published: "Advanced Technologies in Lifelong Learning"

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 32(6) 2022

  • Multimedia-assisted oral English teaching system based on B/S architecture
  • Optimisation design of distance education resource recommendation system based on hierarchical linear model
  • Cloud storage system of teaching resources based on internet of things
  • Design of an interactive platform for online audio-visual teaching of English based on augmented reality technology
  • Application of fuzzy AHP in the evaluation of students' cognitive ability
  • Formative assessment method of English language application ability based on consistency assessment
  • Research on the integration and optimisation of MOOC teaching resources based on deep reinforcement learning
  • A study of the teacher-student interaction in a flipped classroom of college oral English based on mobile learning
  • Research on the teaching quality evaluation model of distance education in colleges based on analytic hierarchy process

Research pick: Down on the farm? There’s an app for that - "Uzhavan app’ as a conduit to reduce the digital divide by fostering vital agricultural extension services in the state of Tamil Nadu, India"

Agriculture in the developing world can reap considerable benefits from the use of modern information and communications technology. A mobile application launched by the government of Tamil Nadu is a case in point. Research published in the International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation discussed how the app, known as Uzhavan, can reduce the digital divide by fostering extension services in the sector.

S. Aravindh Kumar of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication at Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University in Bikaner, Rajasthan and C. Karthikeyan of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, discuss how the Uzhavan app can improve yields. The team’s survey of users revealed that most of them are educated and had frequent contact with extension agents. Moreover, those users were media savvy and well acquainted with social media too all of which appear to reduce the time they take to find the information they need.

The Uzhavan app operates in Tamil and English and has a small footprint in terms of the required computing resources on one’s mobile device. Almost six million users have downloaded it from the Apple and Google Play online stores. Once a farmer has downloaded it and registered with the service, they have access to a wealth of useful information across agricultural services such as access to information subsidies, information on the fertilisers and feedstock sector, equipment hire, market prices for their products, pertinent weather forecasting, and agricultural news, as well as information on their extension official.

The team explains that this free app is a major step taken to reduce the digital divide by delivering high-quality, timely, and accurate agricultural information and extension services for a large population of farmers who would otherwise have scant access to extension workers who can help them get the best from their land. The researchers found that many users of the Uzhavan app have numerous suggestions for how it might be improved, which they detail in their paper. Nevertheless, they suggest that the efforts of the state government of Tamil Nadu have through the launch of the app begun to cover a large population of farmers with limited extension workers.

Kumar, S.A. and Karthikeyan, C. (2022) ‘‘Uzhavan app’ as a conduit to reduce the digital divide by fostering vital agricultural extension services in the state of Tamil Nadu, India’, Int. J. Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.1–27.

10 November 2022

Research pick: That’s entertainment - "Influence of post types on Facebook engagement: the moderating roles of brand category and brand internationalisation"

How companies make the most of their presence on social media has lagged behind growth in the very technology they use, according to work published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising. Mathupayas Thongmak of Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, has looked at Facebook post engagement across nine brand categories, including food, fashion, electronics, and telecommunications services, in Thailand. Fundamentally, despite various brands employing different strategies, the most successful were essentially those that entertained visitors to the brand page.

While Facebook was not the first online social networking site, it is the most widely used worldwide with almost 3 billion active monthly users by the third quarter of 2022. That’s approximately 3/8ths of the world’s population. Such numbers represent a large commercial market that a brand might access through the network. Thongmak points out that globalisation has increased the level of competition between international brands and local brands, but consumers have different opinions on each and so a different response to social media activity from those brands. There has been little research so far to investigate the disparities.

There are four questions that Thongmak’s study hoped to answer with respect to consumers in Thailand. First, what post types do brands in each category and global/local brands post on their Facebook pages? Secondly, how do post types affect fan engagement (likes, comments, shares) in Facebook brand pages? Thirdly, how do fan engagement metrics influence each other? Finally, how do brand categories and brand internationalisation affect the link between post types and fan engagement? Thongmak collected and analysed 1,574 posts from 183 Facebook pages in nine brand categories. She found that different content types were used in brand categories and brand groups.

Thongmak concludes that entertaining posts garner the most engagement from consumers and that brands need to use that to generate greater positive word-of-mouth recommendations for their products and services on social media.

Thongmak, M. (2022) ‘Influence of post types on Facebook engagement: the moderating roles of brand category and brand internationalisation’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 17, Nos. 3/4, pp.231–270.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation are now available here for free:
  • Determinants of farmers' participation in sales channels in Nicaragua: plantain case study
  • Symmetrical normalisation of food insecurity challenges in developing countries
  • A study of smart agriculture trends in new normal of economy: a perspective of academic genealogy
  • Impact of ICT and use of social media on supply chain of horticultural crops in India: structural equation and predictive modelling approach
  • Charcoal production and soil fertility status in savannah derivative ecological zone of Nigeria

9 November 2022

Research pick: The age of the plastic hip op - "Design and fabrication of epoxy-based hip implant"

Prosthetic joints are usually fabricated from medical-grade metals, such as titanium and ceramics. However, despite major advances on replacement hip bones made from such materials there always remains the issue of biocompatibility and ultimately corrosion caused by the physiological conditions surrounding the prosthetic. Corrosion leads to deterioration of the structure and loss of mechanical strength in the prosthetic. Ultimately, the replacement hip will itself need to be replaced with all the surgical and physical limitations that will entail.

Researchers writing in the International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation discuss an alternative material for prosthetic hip joints – the epoxy resin, which is non-toxic, biocompatible, and strong.

Ranjit Singh, Manoj Narwariya, and S. Chauhan of the IPS College of Technology and Management in Gwalior, Avadesh K. Sharma and Rajeev Singh of Rajkiya Engineering College in Mainpuri, India, explain how they have used computer modelling to design an epoxy-based prosthetic hip joint and made a prototype using liquid epoxy and a newly developed 3D-printed mould.

Tests on the epoxy hip showed it to have the ability to cope with a maximum stress of 5.22 megapascals and to be weakest at the neck of the structure, based on use of a polariscope. Compression tests showed it to have very similar mechanical properties to human bone. The epoxy hip has a bone-like elastic modulus, yield strength, and compressive strength of 5.85 gigapascals, 70.63 megapascals, and 116.97 megapascals, respectively.

The nature of epoxy materials means that they are likely to be far more biocompatible and far less prone to corrosion in the body than a conventional prosthetic hip joint. The team adds that the use of epoxy materials rather than other types of polymer avoids the issue of lower mechanical strength seen with the likes of polylactic acid, poly(l-lactide), and poly(propylene fumarate).

Singh, R., Narwariya, M., Sharma, A.K., Chauhan, P.S. and Singh, R. (2022) ‘Design and fabrication of epoxy-based hip implant’, Int. J. Materials Engineering Innovation, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp.346–359.

8 November 2022

Special issue published: "Enhancing Systemic Business Intelligence"

International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies 9(4) 2022

  • Exploring quality models applied to small and medium enterprises
  • Business intelligent connection between quality and evaluation methods: a case study
  • Implementing the Deming management method in public administration: a systemic approach
  • Employer branding in the retail industry: a systems approach
  • The value of formative evaluation in an education program
  • Systems structuring with DCSYM: case study of an SME active in media business
  • Organisational resilience through the adaptation of process-aware information systems - a System Dynamics approach
  • The architecture of non-local semantics for artificial general intelligence

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Revenue Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Revenue Management are now available here for free:
  • Application of machine learning techniques in railway demand forecasting
  • Unverifiable net assets ratio and annual report reading difficulty
  • Indonesian mutual funds: performance determinants and interaction of macroeconomic factors
  • Maximising store revenues using Tabu search for floor space optimisation
  • Data driven pricing strategies for hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 9-ending prices in retail advertisements: Indian consumers' price perception and proneness to buy

Special issue published: "Issues in Investment and Financing Decisions"

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 47(2/3) 2022

  • Testing for asymmetric nonlinear short and long-run relationships between remittances and exchange rate volatility
  • Banks' capital buffer, profitability and risk of failure: the effect of regulation, supervision and the business cycle
  • Risk management and corruption control: what impact on banking stability? A moderation analysis
  • Effects of macro-economic indicators on investment in equities
  • The effect of unconditional conservatism on the effectiveness of investment policies through overconfidence in the French context
  • Managing telecommunication customer satisfaction versus perception of service quality
  • 'Kasar' community: migration from community business
  • Towards the transformation of technological platforms' business models: the Uber example
  • Over-the-counter market and corporate bond market development
  • What drives private equity investments returns - evidence from African investments
  • Factors responsible for failure of food tech start-ups in India
  • Is technology an enabler in the growth of mutual fund sector? A comparative study of BRICS nations
  • Resistance to swelling of strategic gender disparity: support of microfinance
  • Factors that determine the level of environmental engagement of European companies: what are we doing wrong?

Research pick: Recycling and repurposing plastic waste - "Plastics waste management and its sustainable approaches – an overview"

Researchers in India have reviewed the state of play when it comes to plastics recycling in the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management. Their main conclusion is that there are huge inefficiencies in plastics recycling and that major improvements are needed to the reprocessing systems so that we might begin to address this growing problem urgently.

Soubhagya Keshari Chand of the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology (CIPET) pat of the Government of India in Odisha and Sasmita Chand of the Centre of Sustainable Built Environment at Manipal Academy of Higher Education in Karnataka, India explain that as with many other nations, plastic waste is an enormous problem thanks to huge consumption and arbitrary disposal. Even places that have recycling facilities in place are often failing to collect and process the vast majority of the plastic waste we produce.

The team points out that there are two major forms of plastics. There are thermoplastics, which can be softened by heating and remoulded into new objects. Among the thermoplastics are polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) the most abundant polymer, polyvinylchloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), and several others.

The other group is the thermosetting plastics which simply become tougher when heated, and indeed, are commonly cured into that state for use. There is no straightforward way to recycle them in the conventional sense as can be done with thermoplastics. The thermoset group includes polyurethanes, epoxy resins, polyimides, and many more. However, much research is being done into the repurposing of thermosetting plastic waste often in combination with other materials for engineering and infrastructure as useful low-density and relatively tough materials for fillers and structures.

Worldwide plastic production is almost 400 million tonnes annually, it was around 300 million tonnes a decade ago. The numbers continue to rise. Not surprisingly, it is often said that we live in the Plastic Age. Synthetic polymers came to the fore in the 1940s and our reliance on them in almost every aspect of our lives has grown ever since.

The chemical structures of wholly synthetic polymers fabricated from oil mean that while an individual piece of plastic may well be broken down into tiny fragments, micro-plastics, there is very little chance of these materials degrading chemically to molecular components and so they persist as intractable materials throughout the environment. Moreover, while they cannot be digested they can be ingested and are becoming entrenched in food chains from the animals of the deep ocean to the high flyers.

If plastics cannot be recycled, there is an alternative, photochemical degradation with ultraviolet light, which would represent a highly accelerated form of the breakdown that occurs in sunlight, but this requires a lot of power which brings its own problems unless the electricity used is from zero-carbon, sustainable source. The unacceptable alternatives to that kind of degradation or recycling of plastics are, of course, simply disposing of them in open-air dumpr, burying them in landfill, or incinerating them, which can be highly polluting, although it can be used for power generation. Recycling and repurposing plastics must be the way forward.

Chand, S.K. and Chand, S. (2022) ‘Plastics waste management and its sustainable approaches – an overview’, Int. J. Environmental Technology and Management, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp.501–518.

7 November 2022

Free sample articles newly available from Asian Journal of Management Science and Applications

The following sample articles from the Asian Journal of Management Science and Applications are now available here for free:
  • A new approach on the lowest cost problem in data envelopment analysis
  • Sourcing decision with capacity reservation under supply disruption risk
  • Multi-period stochastic lateral transshipment problem for rental products
  • A study on recommender system considering diversity of items based on LDA
  • An analytical model of website relationships based on browsing history embedding considerations of page transitions

Special issue published: "Intelligent Service Computing in Advanced Technology Management"

International Journal of Information Technology and Management 21(4) 2022

  • Network intrusion detection method based on improved ant colony algorithm combined with cluster analysis in cloud computing environment
  • An intelligent image denoising method using weighted multi-scale CB morphological filter algorithm
  • An intelligent image detection method using improved canny edge detection operator
  • Fine-grained sentiment classification based on semantic extension of target word
  • Research on evaluation of minimum backbone grid of transmission network based on differentiation planning
  • Research on control strategy of grid-connected inverter based on three-loop structure

Research pick: The road ahead - "Convolutional neural networks for obstacle detection on the road and driving assistance"

In a world of tired or momentarily inattentive drivers, vehicle safety features that mitigate against those problems can reduce the number of road traffic accidents. Work in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics looks at how convolutional neural networks can be used to analyse input from external cameras on a vehicle to detect obstacles in the road and assist the driver in avoiding them.

Ramzi Mosbah and Larbi Guezouli of the University of Batna 2 in Batna, Algeria, have focused their attention on a forward-facing camera on a car that can see the road ahead. Images acquired from the camera are fed to the system which then determines whether an unexpected object is present in the path of the vehicle. They suggest that such an intelligent driving assistance system could alert the driver or be used to apply appropriate controls to the car directly to avoid a collision.

The system uses the Canny edge detector (considered the best algorithm of its kind) and the Hough line transform to identify the edges of the road as well as the horizon and so limit the area of each image that needs to be analysed. This reduces total computation time by allowing the neural network to ignore irrelevant parts of the image. The YOLO neural network is then used to detect any objects on the road ahead in real time.

The team adds that a second camera inside the car and pointed out the driver’s face adds a second safety feature to their overall system. This second system monitors the driver’s eyes and determines whether or not they remain closed for a significant period suggesting drowsiness or that the driver has fallen asleep. At this point, the system could sound a wake alarm as well as take control of the vehicle until the driver is back in complete control, perhaps warning them that they need to stop safely and rest before continuing their journey.

High-end vehicles already have some such systems. However, there is a pressing need for this functionality to be available to the broader general consumer market. The team is also now working to develop the detection system into a mobile device, which would ultimately make it more accessible at lower cost and without the need for the extra expense that fitting cameras to lower-budget vehicles would entail. Indeed, a standalone system that use the forward- and back-facing cameras on the driver’s smartphone might be all that is required to assist.

Mosbah, R. and Guezouli, L. (2022) ‘Convolutional neural networks for obstacle detection on the road and driving assistance’, Int. J. Computational Vision and Robotics, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp.573–594.

4 November 2022

Research pick: Nanofuels for take off - "A case for oxygenated nanofluid fuels as alternative aviation fuels: thermo-physical properties and effects on engine performance"

Aviation is a big user of fossil fuels and as such a heavy producer of carbon emissions. Sustainability is high on the agenda. New work in the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation has reviewed the thermo-physical properties of an alternative to aviation fuel based on an oxygenated nanofluid.

Selçuk Sarıkoç of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Amasya University in Amasya, Turkey and Nwabueze Emekwuru of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Automotive Engineering at Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom, point out that oxygen additives make for a leaner burn in internal combustion engines so reducing pollution. The additives ensure complete and efficient combustion of the fuel. They point out that additives in the form of nanoparticles of metal and non-metal oxides can improve the combustion processes still further. Alumina, zinc oxide, titania, ceria, and silica have all been investigated as nanoparticle additives for fuels.

The team’s survey of the state-of-the-art in nanofluid-based aviation fuels reveals that oxygenated additives, such as alcohol and metal oxide nanoparticles improve the thermal and physical properties of fuels even boosting total calorific value of the fuel, accelerating the combustion process, and reducing soot formation through cleaner burning of the fuel. Overall engine performance is improved with such additives. The presence of oxygen within the fuel itself contributes significantly to the improvement in combustion. However, the team also points out that the presence of the nanoparticles leads to better heat transfer and their high surface area to volume ratio allows for more effective interaction between oxygen and the fuel molecules to boost the combustion reactions at high altitude through a catalytic effect.

Improvements in engine performance are always welcome in aviation. Such improvements can effectively boost useful load-carrying capacity, extend flight range, allow higher altitude flying, and improve fuel economy.

Sarikoç, S. and Emekwuru, N. (2022) ‘A case for oxygenated nanofluid fuels as alternative aviation fuels: thermo-physical properties and effects on engine performance’, Int. J. Sustainable Aviation, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp.369–384.

3 November 2022

Research pick: Hazardous chemicals knowledge graph - "A hazardous chemical knowledge base construction method based on knowledge graph"

An improved model for extracting risk information about hazardous chemicals from a database is reported in the International Journal of Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems.

Guanlin Chen, Qiao Hu, and Bangjie Zhu of Zhejiang University City College, Qi Lu of China National Air Separation Engineering Co., Ltd, and Kaimin Li of City Cloud Technology (China) Co., Ltd all in Hangzhou, China, are developing a model that combines word features and character features and encodes them using a bidirectional label distribution transfer model and a self-attention mechanism. The resulting knowledge graph can then provide a timely risk assessment based on inventory information in a warehouse for instance.

This knowledge graph can be coupled with the output from sensors to underpin a management system to ensure that chemicals are being stored appropriately and handled safely in such an environment. Indeed, the same system will be applicable across the whole of hazard chemical logistics – transportation, storage, handling, and delivery. The team suggests that the system could handle 100 million pieces of map data and reveal what we might call contraindications where two or more chemicals should not be stored in close proximity because of their reactions, for instance. All of this would allow facile risk assessment and reduce the number of accidents that could threaten life, property, and the environment.

Chen, G., Hu, Q., Lu, Q., Li, K. and Zhu, B. (2022) ‘A hazardous chemical knowledge base construction method based on knowledge graph’, Int. J. Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp.184–193.

New Editor for International Journal of Biotechnology

Associate Prof. Tomas Gabriel Bas from Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Biotechnology.

2 November 2022

Special issue published: "Emerging Regions and Cities: Development, Policy and Governance in the Age of Uncertainty"

International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies 16(2/3/4) 2022

  • The impact of institutional quality on enterprise location choice in the Russian regions
  • 'Smart city' concept in digital economics: practice of Russia and Kazakhstan
  • Experience of digitalisation of value added tax in the Sverdlovsk Region of Russia
  • Analysis of the regional technological and cluster environment
  • Analysis of income inequalities in Russia: a human capital approach
  • Actualisation of historic and cultural heritage as a resource for socio-cultural transformation of small and medium industrial towns
  • Losses of Russian regions from mortality due to sharp climate fluctuation
  • Regional determinants of minimum wage level: the example of Russian Federation
  • Mixt agriculture and diffused industrialisation: aspects of North-Eastern Italy economic development path
  • The impact of the location and infrastructure of organisation on competitive advantage: analysis in the light of qualitative factors
  • Path dependence and regional disparities in single-industry towns in Russia: the evidence from micro data
  • Implementation of the territories with special economic regimes in the Far East of Russia
  • Unequal development of municipalities: socio-economic paradox in Bulgaria
  • The role of regional capitals in the socio-economic development of regions
  • Economic growth modelling by technological shifts: a case of ICT/R&D-bound economic policy
  • The 4th industrial revolution and digital transformation: changes and challenges
  • The role of the FEC company technological development indicators on the way towards sustainable energy
  • Small hydropower development prospects: Chinese and Russian experience

Special issue published: "Sustainable Development of E-Environment"

International Journal of Learning and Change 14(5/6) 2022

  • The relationship between the self-learning skills and attitude of Shoubak University College students towards using the e-learning system (Moodle)
  • New e-business model: undergraduate study program search system
  • Developing a collaborative framework for wine bottling facilities
  • Bibliometric analysis of information communication technology for sustainable development: a machine-learning-based approach
  • Digitalisation and sustainable supply chain strategy: an instrument for improving efficiencies in the public healthcare sector
  • Consumer perception of innovative solutions in e-commerce
  • Factors affecting the cost of poor quality management in the South African manufacturing sector: structural equation modelling
  • Framework for electronic business development as a prerequisite for top management to gain sustainable competitive advantage
  • Risk management application in South African power utility construction projects
  • Techno-organisational factors of eHealth acceptance: a system dynamics model
Additional paper
  • Proposed resilience strategy for higher education institutions post COVID-19

Research pick: Music and sleep - "Curtailing insomnia in a non-intrusive hardware less approach with machine learning"

Many people who suffer insomnia resort to listening to music through headphones to help them nod off. There is a problem with such a strategy in that once they do fall asleep they may well spend many hours with the music playing into their ears. This could lead to long-term, irreversible, hearing problems, such as deafness and tinnitus, especially if the insomniac prefers the music to be played at high volumes despite their need to go to sleep.

Research published in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics offers a non-invasive approach to detecting when someone has fallen asleep that would allow their device to automatically mute the music, perhaps with a gentle fadeout. The approach utilizes machine learning to determine whether the user has fallen asleep without the need for the user to wear a fitness tracker device. It simply works with the smartphone operating system Android. It thus does not require the insomniac user to purchase additional hardware.

Aside, from tiredness, unhealthy sleep patterns, such as insomnia, are a risk factor for mental and physical health problems. Music is a useful intervention for insomnia for many people, although the choice of music and its duration are critical if the approach is to be effective. The international team has incorporated a music recommendation system into their software which nudges the user towards a music form that has been demonstrated to be efficacious for inducing sleep, raga, an improvisational form in Indian classical music. The team suggests that they might also incorporate a feedback system that records which particular raga were most effective at quickly inducing sleep, and so feed this data to other users to improve the system.

Millions of people the world over struggle to fall asleep and suffer problems as a consequence. The new work offers a possible technological answer that does not require hardware intervention and could help avoid hearing problems associated with one of the most common interventions for insomnia, listening to music.

Vasudevan, S.K., Raguraman, T.B. and Pulari, S.R. (2022) ‘Curtailing insomnia in a non-intrusive hardware less approach with machine learning’, Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, Vol. 14, No. 6, pp.537–549.

1 November 2022

Special issue published: "Manfred Max-Neef’s Contributions to Theory, Methods and Practice in Sustainable Development: Applications of his Work"

International Journal of Sustainable Development 25(1/2) 2022

  • The international impact of Manfred Max-Neef's scholarship: a bibliometric approach
  • Waste management in rural South Africa - perspectives from Manfred Max-Neef's human scale development framework
  • Fundamental human needs and socio-ecological transformation: a reflection on participatory action research in a context of tree plantations in Chile
  • Urban research for sustainability: developing a comparative transdisciplinary co-production approach to realise just cities
  • A novel tool for quality-of-life assessment in the household context
  • Max-Neef and sustainability: theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions
  • Self-reflexive practice through the human scale development approach - competencies needed for transformative science research
Additional paper
  • Sustainable supply chain intervention: a case-based analysis of the economics of land degradation

Free open access article available: "Enhancing the safety and reliability for loading and unloading bulk storage bags and a new bulk feeder support design structure"

The following paper, "Enhancing the safety and reliability for loading and unloading bulk storage bags and a new bulk feeder support design structure" (International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology 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: Modelling COVID-19 restrictions - "Optimal quarantine, isolation, and social distancing strategies for COVID-19 based on a mathematical model"

We are still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for many parts of the world, there has been some degree of management and control thanks to vaccines, pharmaceutical interventions, and ongoing social measures. A team from Sri Lanka has modelled the impact of quarantine, isolation, and social distancing strategies that were implemented at the height of the pandemic to help them understand what the optimal response to the disease was. The findings could help define a more effective response to the next emerging pandemic. Details are published in the International Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Optimisation.

L.W. Somathilake and M.C.S. Fernando of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Ruhuna in Matara, Sri Lanka, explain that forecasting the course taken by an emergent pathogen, such as the causative agent in COVID-19, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is important in reducing the death toll and morbidity as well as the wider detrimental effects on society, the economy, trade, and travel. Understanding the impact of control measures and the costs are critical.

The team has used the Susceptible – Exposed – Infectious – Quarantined – Recovered (SEIQR) model to find retrospectively what level and type of intervention had the greatest impact on controlling the disease. Optimisation at the lowest financial cost is critical in poorer nations. However, greater control and so fewer infections inevitably raises costs. The team suggested at the time of writing that those costs would have to be borne regardless to preclude the rise of another wave of the disease.

Somathilake, L.W. and Fernando, M.C.S. (2022) ‘Optimal quarantine, isolation, and social distancing strategies for COVID-19 based on a mathematical model’, Int. J. Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Optimisation, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp.351–369.

Special issue published: "Modelling and Analysis of Safety and Risk in Complex Systems: Part 1"

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management 24(2/3/4) 2021

  • Methodology and hardware-software complex for diagnosing diesel generator units of nuclear power plants
  • Improving the quality of corporate information systems development based on a risk-based approach
  • Methodology for supporting and making decisions on equipping the onboard equipment of a small spacecraft's motion control system
  • Distributional time series for forecasting and risk assessment
  • Integrated approach for risk assessment of alternative investments
  • How to reduce the risks of crowdfunding as an innovative mechanism of financing investment projects
  • Computer intelligent software system for optimisation of adaptive management of investment design based on deterministic and stochastic network formalisation
Additional papers
  • A conceptual framework for cooperative risk management in seaports
  • Factors affecting crash risk within the car-sharing market