31 August 2023

Research pick: Driving the Digital Silk Road - "To connect or not to connect? Responding to the Digital Silk Road in Central and Eastern Europe"

From the second century to the middle of the fifteenth century, the Silk Road, or more appropriately the Silk Routes, provided a way for trade and culture to be exchanged between Asia and Europe. The routes connected East and West across more than 6400 kilometres allowing economic, cultural, political, and religious exchange to take place. Research in the European Journal of International Management takes a look at the online successor to the Silke Routes, China’s Digital Silk Road initiative.

As China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR) gains momentum, nations in Central and Eastern Europe are at a crossroads, trying to navigate the implications of more and more integration of their infrastructure with Chinese technology. There are concerns about the economic, security, and technological ramifications across the region, but the current research reveals a map of distinct approaches. Some of these could lead to gridlock in some places or open up new routes for exploration in others.

The DSR is critical to China’s global technology push. With it, the nation and its technology giants are entwining digital prowess with economies worldwide, with Europe, a key part of its ambitions. The unasked question is whether Europe should get on board or be more cautious of hitching a ride with Chinese technology.

Ágnes Szunomár of the Institute of Global Studies at Corvinus University of Budapest and Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies in Budapest, Hungary, has probed the responses of central and eastern European nations to the DSR challenges and opportunities. Some countries are cautiously sceptical while others are entertaining more and more collaboration.

The motivation, however, is not solely technological, nor even economic, but politically driven. Indeed, security concerns and the influence of US diplomacy as well as Germany’s technology and stance have often rerouted the roadmap for other nations hoping to navigate the DSL. At least one prominent company has led to various countries to stray from the map and yet others to follow the route almost by rote.

For the DSR initiative itself, Chinese companies themselves could pivot the European response by emphasizing the global nature of the emerging technology and the opportunities and downplaying the national nature of the initiative. However, changing Western perceptions and alleviating security concerns remain formidable challenges. Even a journey of 6400 kilometres must begin with a single step.

Szunomár, A. ‘To connect or not to connect? Responding to the Digital Silk Road in Central and Eastern Europe’, European J. International Management.

30 August 2023

Research pick: Reviewing the Internet of Things - "Data-intensive IoT new product development: a review and future directions"

A review in the International Journal of Product Development has considered the various factors leading to success in the design and production of Internet of Things (IoT) or “smart” devices.

Product development is a dynamic realm in which the integration of data science into the creation of new products, especially those linked through the Internet of Things (IoT), represents a multifaceted challenge. While data-driven product development seeks to harness the potential of sensor data to generate value, the intricacies and complexities of this endeavour can lead to uncertainties in the world of innovation where developers reach dead-ends and U-turns are not uncommon.

Elisabeth Häusler, Wolfgang Kremser, and Veronika Hornung-Prähauser of the Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft in Salzburg, and Franz Huber of Seeburg Castle University in Seekirchen am Wallersee, Austria, have undertaken a review of the literature in this area into to piece together the apparently fragmented research landscape. Apparent from this review is that there is an obvious gap in the literature: a lack of a standardized framework to guide managers through the intricate process of developing data-intensive IoT products.

The researchers have categorized existing knowledge into three main areas: the geographical distribution of literature, the nature of contributions made, and the organization of literature based on a data value chain approach. The value chain outlines the sequential stages involved in creating data-intensive IoT products, taking into account aspects such as design, product development, and innovation. The review thus highlights diverse contributions, models, frameworks, and taxonomies, each offering unique perspectives on IoT product development.

There is enormous research interest in IoT product development, but as the review shows, there is no cohesive process model. The team suggests that there is an urgent need for a structured approach that could weave data analytics into the development process seamlessly reconciling the technical intricacies and the social dynamics. The review also highlights the significance of data accuracy and the broader data quality factors that lead to value for the businesses involved.

Häusler, E., Kremser, W., Hornung-Prähauser, V. and Huber, F. (2023) ‘Data-intensive IoT new product development: a review and future directions’, Int. J. Product Development, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp.265–292.

Free open access article available: "Data-intensive IoT new product development: a review and future directions"

The following paper, "Data-intensive IoT new product development: a review and future directions" (International Journal of Product Development 27(3) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

29 August 2023

Free open access article available: "VirSen1.0: toward sensor configuration recommendation in an interactive optical sensor simulator for human gesture recognition"

The following paper, "VirSen1.0: toward sensor configuration recommendation in an interactive optical sensor simulator for human gesture recognition" (International Journal of the Digital Human 2(3) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Optimising gesture recognition system design - "VirSen1.0: toward sensor configuration recommendation in an interactive optical sensor simulator for human gesture recognition"

Research published in the International Journal of the Digital Human reveals a new model for computerised human gesture recognition. The tool, VirSen1.0, developed by Kana Matsuo, Chengshuo Xia, and Yuta Sugiura of the Department of Information and Computer Science at Keio University in Yokohama, Japan uses cutting-edge sensor simulation and user-centric design to overcome various obstacles and open up new ways for people to interact with technology.

Gesture recognition technology has long been plagued by the conundrum of efficiently configuring and placing the requisite sensors, interpreting the results, and ensuring the accuracy of the machine learning system that will recognise those gestures. The team has developed VirSen1.0, as a virtual environment paired with a tailor-made user interface to underpin the development of gesture recognition systems. In training, the system generates sensor data and synchronizes this with an avatar’s movements to train the model’s classifier. Thus, it can assign and configure sensors that will be able to quickly and accurately provide the necessary data for gesture recognition and the assignment of meaning to those gestures.

The team explains that the breakthrough with VirSen1.0 lies in its ability to overcome the intricacies of sensor influence. It does this by using a permutation feature importance (PFI) technique, a tool that illuminates the impact of individual sensors on the classifier’s performance. A user study demonstrated efficacy of the PFI approach but also highlighted how version 1.0 might be improved. Indeed, whereas trial-and-error in sensor placement will remain important, the next version of the system will build on those kinds of successes and failures and allow users to configure a system optimally based on previous experimental setups.

As the gap between human gestures and machine comprehension narrows, the impact of this kind of development could find wide application in the development of gesture recognition, which in turn will have use across a range of industries, in healthcare, and in recreation.

Matsuo, K., Xia, C. and Sugiura, Y. (2023) ‘VirSen1.0: toward sensor configuration recommendation in an interactive optical sensor simulator for human gesture recognition’, Int. J. Digital Human, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.223–241.

Free sample articles newly available from European Journal of Industrial Engineering

The following sample articles from the European Journal of Industrial Engineering are now available here for free:
  • The charging infrastructure design problem with electric taxi demand prediction using convolutional LSTM
  • Scenario-based stochastic shelter location-allocation problem with vulnerabilities for disaster relief network design
  • Effects of variable setup cost, reliability, and production costs under controlled carbon emissions in a reliable production system
  • A decision-support model for dock and transport management after inbound logistics disruptions in the automotive sector
  • Solving an integrated mathematical model for crew pairing and rostering problems by an ant colony optimisation algorithm
  • Solving a stochastic programming with recourse model for the stochastic electric capacitated vehicle routing problem using a hybrid genetic algorithm
  • Optimal control of a multi-supplier and multi-buyer supply chain system with JIT delivery
  • Scheduling the capacitated identical parallel machines problem: a new formulation with sequence-dependent setup costs and different due dates
  • Buyback and risk-sharing contracts to mitigate the supply and demand disruption risks
  • Redesigning multi-echelon integrated distribution networks using the Lagrangian relaxation heuristics
  • A sustainable closed-loop supply chain in a two-period: a game theory approach
  • A systematic literature review of the design of intermodal freight transportation networks addressing location-allocation decisions

Free open access article available: "Verification of manikin motions in human-industrial robot collaborative simulations"

The following paper, "Verification of manikin motions in human-industrial robot collaborative simulations" (International Journal of the Digital Human 2(3) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

28 August 2023

Research pick: Safeguarding the workplace - "Organisational safeguarding: a new imperative for management?"

Safeguarding should become a core objective in organizational management, representing a paradigm shift in workplace well-being, according to work published in the International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management.

The concept of “safeguarding” has transcended its traditional association with children and vulnerable individuals, and is now reshaping the very fabric of how businesses function. The incidence of workplace bullying, emotional abuse, and harassment of all kinds seems to be on the rise in almost every sector. As such, the new study emphasizes the pressing need for organizations to put safeguarding at the heart of management practices.

Vitumbiko Andrew Ngwira of the University of Zambia and Abubaker Qutieshat of Oman Dental College in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, offer a conceptual paper challenging convention and scrutinizing the various factors surrounding safeguarding. While humanitarian organizations have long embraced safeguarding for beneficiaries, the study highlights that this approach should extend to employees as well. The team draws insights from various sources to address the issues of workplace safety and harassment. They call for the establishment of policies and mechanisms to be put in place that not only prevent abuse but also foster an environment conducive to overall workplace safety.

Critical to making such a paradigm shift is a rebooted definition of organizational management itself. Beyond the established pillars of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling, safeguarding emerges as a crucial fifth element. The team points out that recent high-profile cases and allegations even in the charitable sector, underscore the urgency. The team points out that organizations failing to consider an important issue in the modern business environment risk not only their integrity but also their societal impact and financial stability.

With a safeguarding ethos embedded in the business core, organizations can evolve a workplace that empowers the individual, so that those experience abuse or at risk of abuse can voice their concerns openly or anonymously without compromising their position within the organisation. Without this ethical stance, employees and their health suffer, bullying-induced burnout becomes a significant threat to the organisation, and the potential is there for productivity and profitability to plummet.

A safeguarding ethos can then resonate through the entire organization, from beneficiaries to employees, clients to affiliates so that all stakeholders are safer and more secure. Such an improved state of being for any organisation should then be reflected in greater all-round well-being and potentially improved outcomes for the organisation itself.

Ngwira, V.A. and Qutieshat, A. (2023) ‘Organisational safeguarding: a new imperative for management?’, Int. J. Business Continuity and Risk Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.272–283.

24 August 2023

Call for papers and an invitation to join the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Creative Computing

The following invitation comes from Prof. Sam Goundar, Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Creative Computing:

Dear Esteemed Academics and Researchers,

We hope this message finds you well and thriving in your scholarly pursuits. We are excited to introduce you to the International Journal of Creative Computing (IJCrC), a dynamic platform dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering innovation in creative computing.

Invitation to join the Editorial Board

We extend a warm invitation to you to become a part of our esteemed Editorial Board. As a respected scholar in the field, your expertise and insights would be invaluable in shaping the direction and quality of research presented in our journal.

Call for Papers

We also invite you to submit your latest research findings and insights to IJCrC. Our journal offers a unique platform for disseminating innovative research that can make a lasting impact.

We look forward to your invaluable participation in shaping scholarly discourse and fostering intellectual growth. Should you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at sam.goundar@gmail.com

Warm regards,
Prof. Sam Goundar
RMIT University, Vietnam
Editor in Chief, International Journal of Creative Computing

22 August 2023

Special issue published: "Defining Frontiers of Business Research in New Globalised Vietnam"

Journal for Global Business Advancement 15(6) 2022

  • The impact of firm life cycle on abnormal earnings in financial statement quality: evidence from Vietnam
  • Consumer cosmopolitanism for Vietnamese young consumers: development and validation of a scale measurement
  • Do green practices elicit a guest's loyalty? Empirical evidence from Vietnam
  • Determinants of students' satisfaction with e-commerce services in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Systematic review and bibliometric analysis of the relationship between social identity theory and purchase intention in the past, present, and future
  • Life satisfaction and country loyalty among Korean residents in Vietnam: seeking determinants related to tourism

21 August 2023

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Reliability and Safety

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Reliability and Safety are now available here for free:
  • Reliability analysis by Markov model and stochastic estimator of stochastic Petri nets
  • Reliability assignment of a heavy-duty CNC machine tool spindle system based on fault tree analysis
  • Availability assessment of repairable Markov systems with an uncertain inspection period incorporating (M/M/s): (∞/FCFS) queue
  • Performance of batch service queue model with second optional service, repairable breakdown and standby server
  • Blast resistance prediction of clay brick masonry wall strengthened with steel wire mesh, and C-FRP laminate under explosion loading: a finite element analysis
  • Post COVID-19 electrical load shedding on Cameroon's northern interconnected grid: causes, safety impact and solution proposals

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation are now available here for free:
  • Defining characteristics of the most innovative companies
  • Research innovation and commercialisation incentives on the beginning and development of engineering education in the West and in Turkey
  • The relational dynamics in the extended teams of academic spin-offs: a Norwegian case-study
  • 'Selling the monster' or the relevance of cultural-cognitive conditions in creating demand for innovation: the case of COVID-19 vaccines and beyond
  • Evaluation of barter system in the defence industry

18 August 2023

Research pick: Predicting financial crises in e-commerce - "Research on e-commerce neural network financial accounting crisis early warning model combined with partial least squares"

A study in the International Journal of Computational Systems Engineering has investigated the e-commerce landscape and how it is affected by financial crises. The insights from the study offer a financial accounting crisis early warning system that companies might use to predict and pre-empt economic turmoil.

The global pandemic underscored the vulnerability of businesses and economies, making the need for astute financial foresight more crucial than ever. Xiaoyang Meng of the Accounting Institute at Jiaozuo University in Jiaozuo, China, has looked specifically at the impact on China and has devised a novel system that melds adaptability and prediction. The approach uses partial least squares (PLS) analysis, a sophisticated data analysis technique, and integrates it with the backpropagation (BP) neural network. The model can then discern the indicators of impending financial distress within the e-commerce sector. Meng has demonstrated the model’s proficiency on historical data for eleven financially sound enterprises and nine that were teetering on the brink of financial crisis and shown that the model could reveal the early signs of financial distress with an accuracy surpassing 90 percent and for some tests an accuracy of 98 percent.

The implications of this research may well be far-reaching. In an era where economic turbulence threatens the stability of even the most robust business, Meng’s PLS-BP model offers a grounded means to identify an imminent crisis and so put in place strategies that might avert it.

Meng acknowledges that the model as it stands has some limitations. While the early detection methodology offers good levels of precision, it is essentially a static approach. To better navigate real-world financial ecosystems, she proposes the integration of the model with system dynamics theory. This could potentially then offer a dynamic early warning system capable of adapting to the ever-evolving intricacies of e-commerce.

Meng, X. (2023) ‘Research on e-commerce neural network financial accounting crisis early warning model combined with partial least squares’, Int. J. Computational Systems Engineering, Vol. 7, Nos. 2/3/4, pp.96–105.

17 August 2023

Research pick: Reshuffling shipping - "Container transaction type prediction: a seaport case in Turkey"

A study of a container shipping terminal in Turkey, published in the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, demonstrates how it is possible to predict with almost 90 percent accuracy the transaction types that will be needed once an inbound container vessel docks at the quayside before it arrives and so reduce the need for logistics planners to shuffle containers unnecessarily.

Container reshuffling is a necessary evil at container terminals the world over. The approach attempts to solve the problem of uncertainty surrounding the transactions that will need to be carried out on hundreds and thousands of incoming containers arriving from distant ports. The problem is exacerbated by changes that occur in cargo ownership in transit, details going missing overseas, and other disruptions that mean inventory and manifest may not match the logistics planned by the container port for the next vessel.

Given that the new generation of supersized container ships can carry almost 25000 containers, it is obvious that reshuffling is a big issue for a busy port where several container ships may be docked within a relatively short period of time and all require unloading of inventory in as timely and efficient a manner as possible. Reshuffling can wreak havoc on port efficiency, leading to delays, operational inefficiencies, and even lost containers.

Elifcan Dursun and Sule Gungor of Tarsus University in Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey turned to the Cross Industry Standard Process for Data Mining (CRISP-DM) framework. They have used its strategic approach to develop a predictive model that could preclude the need for container reshuffling by allowing the planners and logistics managers to be almost wholly confident in their allocation of inbound containers.

While a Turkish port was used as a case study, the approach could be a guiding light for other ports grappling with similar uncertainties regarding transaction types and relying on container reshuffling as their modus operandi. By harnessing data mining techniques to predict transaction types, the new predictive model all but eliminates the disruptions that are normally caused at ports by the need for container reshuffling.

Dursun, E. and Gungor, S. (2023) ‘Container transaction type prediction: a seaport case in Turkey’, Int. J. Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 17, Nos. 1/2, pp.41–59.

Special issue published: "Sustainable E-Commerce in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation"

International Journal of Computational Systems Engineering 7(2/3/4) 2023

  • A method of forecasting cross-border e-commerce stocking for SMEs based on demand characteristics and sequence trends under sustainable development strategy
  • Business model innovation and development path selection of international cultural trade under circular economy
  • Research on e-commerce personalised transaction processing model based on reinforcement learning
  • Exploring the costing method of steel enterprises based on PSO algorithm under the concept of sustainable development
  • Research on e-commerce neural network financial accounting crisis early warning model combined with partial least squares
  • Data mining research on sustainable business model innovation of enterprises based on particle swarm algorithm
  • Visualisation and analysis method of enterprise financial expenditure data based on historical database
  • Influence of technology optimisation based on machine learning algorithm on financial management innovation of e-commerce enterprises
  • A study on the impact of personalised recommendation algorithms in webcasting on the development of rural e-commerce entrepreneurship
  • A comprehensive survey on recommender system techniques
  • Machine learning in financial risk forecasting and management for trading firms
  • Research on credit risk assessment of e-commerce enterprises based on improved multi-objective clustering algorithm
  • A study on corporate financial crisis prediction strategy based on particle swarm improved fuzzy clustering method from accounting perspective
  • The construction of college students' job recommendation model based on improved k-means-CF
  • The impact of green supply chain management on sustainability performance in Chinese manufacturing companies
  • Text document categorisation using random forest and C4.5 decision tree classifier

16 August 2023

Research pick: India battles toxic air - "Toxic air, choked ecosystem: paradox of economic growth vs. ecosystem sustainability"

Cities across India face escalating air pollution. Now, a study in the International Journal of Sustainable Society looks at the inherent conflict in reconciling economic growth with ecological sustainability. Sunil Barthwal of the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India, scrutinizes the multifaceted efforts of citizens, industries, and government to address the issues. In his paper, Barthwal highlights the delicate balance between economic needs and sustainable development as well as emphasising the concentrated pockets of pollution experience in northern Indian cities. There are many quick fixes being suggested but a long-sighted vision is needed, the work suggests.

Barthwal points out that as air quality falls, so sales of domestic air purifiers rise. This has sparked an economic boom in the air purifier market but such devices solve a very local problem in the home while being built from non-renewable resources and running on electricity that is often generated using fossil fuels rather than sustainable power sources. This kind of quick-fix generates profits but draws even greater attention to a gaping hole in the policy framework. A broader, more comprehensive strategy is needed to address the roots of the issue, Barthwal’s work suggests.

We are globally at a tipping point in terms of emissions and pollution. Research in this area repeatedly sounds a consistent clarion call especially for emerging economies. Those rapidly developing regions could seize the opportunity in these critical moments and help steer their economic models towards a sustainable future in a way that seems to be beyond many of the entrenched economies of the developed world. Economic objectives and ecosystem preservation ought to be the parallel paradigms driving development. Prosperity can no longer be in opposition and at the expense of the environment. We can no longer tolerate wealth without health.

Barthwal, S. (2023) ‘Toxic air, choked ecosystem: paradox of economic growth vs. ecosystem sustainability’, Int. J. Sustainable Society, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.239–252.

15 August 2023

Research pick: Avoiding big trouble in little coffee shops - "Business sustainability for small coffee shops: the role of leader and quality"

In the midst of Indonesia’s burgeoning coffee shop scene, a formidable challenge has emerged for independent establishments, according to research in the International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management. Many of the problems and their solutions percolating through could well provide lessons for independent businesses in other sectors across the region as well as elsewhere.

Mukhamad Najib and Farah Fahma of the IPB University in Indonesia suggest that the market is becoming increasingly fierce. Survival for small, independent coffee shops must evolve to establish a solid and sustainable footing and simultaneously focus on a quality-based ethos, offering excellent service, and ensuring business longevity. The researchers add that strong leadership is emerging as a critical factor in this world.

The researchers surveyed 110 coffee shop proprietors and managers in Bogor, Indonesia, and then used a sophisticated analytical approach, structural equation modelling with partial least squares (SEM-PLS) to analyse the resulting data. Through this technique, they were able to gain valuable insights into the interplay between the different factors affecting success and failure.

The central finding that emerges from their data analysis, as one might expect, is that leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the culture and quality of such small businesses and elevating service standards. They add that leadership does not, however, seem to have a direct impact on business sustainability. That said, its indirect influence in fostering a culture of excellence proves to be critical and that encompasses sustainability values too.

The team suggests that their findings underscore the significance of both a quality-orientated culture and consistently superior service standards in sustaining small enterprises such as independent coffee shops in a packed and unforgiving market.

Of course, by focusing on the smaller businesses, the team concedes that there is now a need to carry out further research to ascertain whether the same findings would emerge in an investigation of larger establishments. There is also a need to incorporate cultural and geographic disparities across the region to reveal whether factors beyond the coffee counter might also affect quality, service dynamics, and success.

Najib, M. and Fahma, F. (2023) ‘Business sustainability for small coffee shops: the role of leader and quality’, Int. J. Productivity and Quality Management, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp.536–553.

14 August 2023

Special issue published: "Business Performance and Strategies in the Digital Age"

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development 15(2) 2023

  • E-commerce capability and CEO attributes: impacts on export performance
  • The relationship of relational social capital, tacit knowledge sharing and individual job performance in the Vietnamese aviation industry
  • Drivers of employee entrepreneurial intention: a study of the oil and gas sector in Qatar
  • Factors affecting Thai consumers' online purchase intention toward organic foods for health benefits and convenience
  • Effective long-term relationship management strategies to enhance value co-creation among business partners
  • Online-generated contents fostering travel destination image formation: evidence in Vietnam during COVID-19 pandemic recovery

Free open access article available: "Port choice in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: an analysis of the perspectives of exporters and importers in the container market"

The following paper, "Port choice in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: an analysis of the perspectives of exporters and importers in the container market" (International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics 17(1/2) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Inept interfaces intensify technophobia - "Technophobia and user interface usability"

Research in International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology, suggests that poor interface design and therefore usability can increase a feeling of technophobia in users. Critically, poor navigation and menus on a website, for instance, emerge as a major issue in this regard. Poorly designed interfaces can thus act as a barrier, bolstering any inherent dislike or fear of technology felt by users. The work offers important insights for designers, policymakers, and health professionals alike.

Mohanad Halaweh of Al Ain University, UAE, Lorna Uden of Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, Ahmed Mostafa Kamel of the University of Fujairah also in UAE, and Moataz Elbahi Ahram of the Canadian University in Giza, Egypt, constructed hypotheses regarding system support, navigation, and user interface design in order to look at the connections between these elements and the user experience and perception of technology. They tested their hypotheses using a purpose-designed questionnaire.

The results demonstrate that poor navigation is the biggest concern for users with visual aesthetics and support resources also being influential but to varying degrees but not critical to any distraction, frustration, and anxiety they feel. The researchers suggest that users have a heightened sensitivity to navigation issues because these are commonly rooted in an innate dependence and preference for finding paths that are intuitive and easy to follow. If users find the route fraught with obstacles or otherwise confusing, they are liable to lose their way or become apprehensive of using the technology until they set foot on the path of least resistance once again.

The team points out that the survey demographic was among otherwise computer-savvy students and faculty and so perhaps not the typical technophobe. Yet even those users can experience frustration and become disaffected by badly designed website navigation.

The work has implications for those running any kind of website but where the implications are more serious in the healthcare and government areas, where a wide range of people are likely to need to use those online services who might otherwise not use e-commerce sites or more frivolous activities. A public inclined to technophobia could lead to long-term problems in those areas of digital services. Issues of navigation need to be at the core of design to keep users on the path of least resistance rather than having them wandering off the beaten track and finding themselves in the realm of technophobia.

Halaweh, M., Uden, L., Kamel, A.M. and Elbahi, M. (2023) ‘Technophobia and user interface usability’, Int. J. Web Engineering and Technology, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp.149–164.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development are now available here for free:
  • Conceptualising the transformational power of entrepreneurship from an entrepreneurial ecosystems perspective focusing on environmentally and socially inclusive economic growth
  • Environmental entrepreneurship and inclusive growth: a three-fold approach to analysis
  • A bibliometric analysis of entrepreneurship research in Iran
  • Manufacturing firms and entrepreneurial dynamics in less developed economies: Kosovo in comparative perspective
  • Inclusion of universities, enterprises, and regions of Kazakhstan in the process of technological upgrading of the mining industry: a triple helix approach
  • Ecosystems of green entrepreneurship in perspective: evidence from Brazil
  • Revisiting innovation practices in subsistence farming: the net effects of land management, pesticide, herbicide and fungicide practices on expected crop harvest in Ethiopia
  • The characteristics of a green, innovative and transformational entrepreneur: an example of transformative entrepreneurship in an efficiency-driven economy

11 August 2023

Special issue published: "Strategic Reconcile of Lean and Green Methodologies for Sustainable Manufacturing"

International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services 9(2/3) 2023

  • A comprehensive review of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing sector: current status and future research direction
  • Empirical analysis of I4.0 implementation enablers in context of Indian manufacturing industries using DEMATEL approach
  • Analysis of green manufacturing attributes through partial least square structural equation modelling
  • Unleashing a DMAIC-roadmap for sustainable deployment of 'AI' in Indian automobile supply chains
  • Sustainable manufacturing of advanced Mg-Zn-HAp/rGO hybrid nanocomposites and evaluation of mechanical and microstructural properties
  • Perspectives of pilot testing as a lean tool: to conduct a sustainable survey in Indian textile industry
  • Establishing and analysing relationship among Green Lean Six Sigma barriers: a structural mapping approach
  • Lean work management through exploration and investigation of performance metrics: a service perspective
  • An empirical study of lean and green practices in Indian manufacturing companies: drivers and barriers
  • Operational excellence through Lean Six Sigma - a case of multi-specialty hospital
  • A state-of-the-art literature review on Lean Six Sigma from manufacturing sustainability and Industry 4.0 viewpoints
  • A framework for the systematic implementation of Green Lean Six Sigma to improve performance in the manufacturing industry
  • Strategic challenges of deploying LARG approach for sustainable manufacturing: research implications from Indian SMEs
  • A hybrid framework for sustainability-oriented PSS solution evaluation based on Pythagorean fuzzy CRITIC-CoCoSo
  • Prioritisation of the barriers in implementation of Industry 4.0 driven supply chain using DEMATEL: an Indian perspective

Free open access article available: "Empirical research on performance effects of supply chain resilience: systematic literature review, citation network analysis and future research directions"

The following paper, "Empirical research on performance effects of supply chain resilience: systematic literature review, citation network analysis and future research directions" (International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics 17(1/2) 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: "Towards Flexible Learning to Mitigate Emerging Risks"

International Journal of Innovation and Learning 34(2) 2023

  • A survey of smart learning practices: contexts, benefits, and challenges
  • The effects of tablet PC-based instruction on junior high school students' self-regulated learning and learning achievement
  • To boom and bloom? Didactic development in online distance learning: students' reflection
  • Learning in a hybrid synchronous mode: experiences and views of university students
  • Activity design for cultivating students' online inquiring minds and journalistic skills

Research pick: A puzzling approach to encryption - "A message encryption scheme inspired by Sudoku puzzle"

A novel advance in data security is discussed in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security in which the Japanese puzzle known as Sudoku promises a cryptographic system for text information that works even in situations where computational power is limited. The approach could have applications in devices with constrained computer resources such as radio-frequency identification devices (RFID), medical and healthcare instruments, remote sensing networks, and smart cards.

Shadi R. Masadeh of the Department of Cyber Security at Isra University, in Amman, Jordan, Hamza Abbass Al-Sewadi of the Computer Technology Engineering Department at Iraq University College, in Basrah, and Mohammad Abbas Fadhil Al-Husainy of the Al-Maaqal University also in Basrah, Iraq, demonstrate how the dynamic nature of the Sudoku puzzle can be used as the basis of a secret encryption key, or cipher, to unlock a new approach to securing sensitive information.

The dynamic nature of the approach significantly boosts the security of the system. The team’s experimental results demonstrate that this approach is superior to other experimental lightweight cryptography.

The strength of MESP lies in its extensive key space and its superiority in frequency analysis probability when compared to alternative techniques. While sharing a similar character count with Verma’s algorithm, MESP boasts a substantially wider key space. Furthermore, the algorithm’s flexibility is evident in its ability to accommodate a broader range of characters. This adaptability is achieved by expanding the size of the index tables, making room for all conceivable characters within a language, and even accommodating multiple languages. The system adheres to Shannon’s principles of confusion and diffusion so that the substitution and transposition steps seamlessly blend, providing a strong defence against security breaches.

In today’s landscape of symmetric cryptosystems, the fusion of ideas from the Sudoku puzzle, pseudo-random number generation, and dynamic permutation introduces a versatile and potent security technique. The implications stretch across various domains, from fortified healthcare data security to more resilient smart cards and remote sensing networks. Backed by compelling experimental results, this algorithm, which the team calls “Message Encryption (inspired by) Sudoku Puzzle” heralds a new era in lightweight cryptography, beyond its “puzzling” origins.

Masadeh, S.R., Al-Sewadi, H.A. and Al-Husainy, M.A.F. (2023) ‘A message encryption scheme inspired by Sudoku puzzle’, Int. J. Information and Computer Security, Vol. 21, Nos. 3/4, pp.399–413.

10 August 2023

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems are now available here for free:
  • Integration of human factors, cognitive ergonomics, and artificial intelligence in the human-machine interface for additive manufacturing
  • Effect of material inhomogeneity on chatter stability
  • Process concatenation to reduce thermal changes in machine tools
  • Hybrid finite elements method-artificial neural network approach for hardness prediction of AA6082 friction stir welded joints
  • Machine learning approaches towards digital twin development for machining systems
  • Performance improvement techniques for neural networks in tool condition monitoring
  • A review on process models and controller design in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells
  • Tool and process development for chambering bores with non-circular contour in highly stressed workpieces
  • Multistage tool path strategy to produce hemispherical shape using single point incremental forming process
  • Physics-based simulation models for digital twin development in laser powder bed fusion
  • Relevance of single channel signals for two-colour pyrometer process monitoring of laser powder bed fusion
  • Micro-WEDM of Ni55.8Ti shape memory superalloy: experimental investigation and optimisation
  • Virtual reality training platform for a computer numerically controlled grinding machine tool

Editor's call for papers for the International Journal of Computers in Healthcare

The International Journal of Computers in Healthcare (IJCIH) invites papers focused on innovative applications of computers and artificial intelligence in biomedicine and healthcare to bring about state-of-the-art advancements in the use of computers, artificial intelligence, knowledge-based systems, expert systems, etc. in biomedicine and healthcare. Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit articles to IJCIH so that they can share their research on the subject.

Scope of the journal

Topics include, but are not limited to, innovative classification and prediction models; decision support systems, medical knowledge sharing models and network design; the use of computers and technology in clinical social work, dentistry, medical education, nursing practice, psychotherapy and mental health; diagnostic testing; computerised medical record systems; disease monitoring and management; electronic data collection and sharing; hospital information systems; imaging techniques; clinical trials; computer-assisted health monitoring and surgery; handheld computers in clinical practice; wearable computing for health applications; security and privacy issues of electronic health records; virtual medical laboratories; computers and applications in biomedical research and medical practice; application software design and development; and biomedical information processing.

IJCIH is a fully refereed international journal publishing original articles concerning the theory and application of the computer to biomedicine and healthcare, with emphasis on novel approaches with wide healthcare significance.


The main aim of IJCIH is to provide an international forum for exchanging results of original research ideas and concepts in both computer science and artificial intelligence techniques in biomedicine and healthcare. IJCIH focuses on articles that report novel approaches of wide healthcare and biomedicine significance in the areas of decision support systems, medical diagnosis, data mining, e-health, knowledge management, information retrieval and text mining.


IJCIH provides a vehicle to help professionals, academics and researchers in medical informatics and healthcare to disseminate the latest application of computer science and artificial intelligence techniques in biomedicine and healthcare.


IJCIH publishes original research papers with specific emphasis on the use of computer science and artificial intelligence as a means to improve healthcare and biomedicine. Special issues of the journal may occasionally be published.

Submission process

All articles for this journal must be submitted using the online submissions system available via the Submitting Articles tab at www.inderscience.com/ijcih. Please follow all instructions and author guidelines.

There are no charges for publishing with Inderscience, unless you require your article to be Open Access (OA). You can find more information on OA here.

Editor in Chief
Dr. Ping Wang

Research pick: Just a jealous buy - "Examining the effects of brand authenticity and brand identification on consumers’ willingness to pay premium"

The emotion of brand jealousy can allow consumers to ignore higher prices for goods they covet.

A study in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, has investigated brand authenticity and the willingness of consumers to pay a premium price for goods to which they have a loyalty. The researchers have defined a comprehensive framework that reveals the interconnections between brand loyalty and brand jealousy and how that sits with premium pricing. The team’s concept of “brand jealousy” could, the work suggests, be a potent driver of consumer decision-making.

Brand jealousy might better be referred to as brand envy, it is that emotional response a consumer might have when seeing someone else with a product they would themselves cherish. The work by Richa Joshi and Shampy Kamboj of the National Institute of Technology in Hamirpur, and Prerna Garg Jaipuria of the Institute of Management in Ghaziabad, India, suggests that brand authenticity and identification are intertwined with this notion of brand jealousy. Ultimately, it drives brand loyalty devotion and nudges consumers to make a purchase of a coveted item with the right label regardless of the premium price the supplier might place on such goods

The work has implications not only for the sportswear industry discussed in detail in the paper but for many other industries. Marketing departments might exploit brand loyalty and brand jealousy in their advertising campaigns and their work with so-called influencers to persuade otherwise hesitant consumers to part with their money.

Fundamentally, the work also reveals a symbiotic link between brand authenticity and customer loyalty. Consumers will commonly ignore a premium price if their reverence for a particular brand and their envy of those who have already purchased those coveted products is underpinned by authenticity.

Future work might consider how willing consumers are to pay a premium for classes of products other than big-label sportswear and the like, such as those with “green” credentials or offering social benefits.

Joshi, R., Garg, P. and Kamboj, S. (2023) ‘Examining the effects of brand authenticity and brand identification on consumers’ willingness to pay premium’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 19, Nos. 1/2, pp.1–19.

Free open access article available: "Container transaction type prediction: a seaport case in Turkey"

The following paper, "Container transaction type prediction: a seaport case in Turkey" (International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics 17(1/2) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

9 August 2023

Free sample articles newly available from Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal

The following sample articles from Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal are now available here for free:
  • Sustainable transport utilisation: a study on factors influencing electric vehicle adoption intention
  • Environmental management decision-making in Greek hotels: barriers and drivers to sustainability
  • Influence and relation of sustainability drivers in footwear manufacturing firms using structural equation modelling
  • Asian case studies on circular economy - a literature review
  • Thermal degradation analysis of light, medium and severe torrefaction of oil palm plantation residue

Special issue published: "Environmental Management and Sustainability: Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic"

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal 16(1/2/3) 2023

  • Productivity in services: analysing the crises of the 21st century in the EU
  • The effects of COVID-19 on social enterprise tourism initiatives: a multiple case study approach of the global south
  • Process innovation and sustainable production: the role of methods engineering in exporting companies
  • Examining the effect of policy shocks on environmental pollution
  • The spillover of CSR perceptions for market shaping in banking industry
  • Social vulnerability and the pandemic in Cuba: impacts on family food security from the sociology of risk
  • New horizons for manufacturing companies in Cañete: implementing a quality management model for improved productivity
  • Addressing challenges in municipal management: a strategic planning model for South Lima
  • Factors affecting the adoption of compost use by small farmers in Angola: the case of Benguela province
  • Drivers of eco-innovation in North Africa: empirical evidence from the Tunisian manufacturing sector
  • Empirical analyst of the condition of household and toxic waste in Pasirkaliki Village, North Cimahi

Research pick: No tap water radon risk for schoolchildren - "Health effect of radon gas in water on children at Al-Najaf schools"

A recent study conducted in schools in the Al-Najaf province of Iraq suggests that some drinking water in the region is contaminated with radon gas. The research, published in the International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, considers the health implications for children aged 7 to 12 years old exposed to this radioactive element through their drinking water.

Rukia Jabar Dosh, Ali K. Hasan, and Ali Abid Abojassim of the University of Kufa in Al-Najaf, Kufa, Iraq, evaluated radon concentrations in water samples gathered from 37 districts. The team used a portable RAD-7 H2O detector to determine concentrations of radon-222 in the drinking water. Their data revealed an average concentration of 0.12±0.08 becquerels per litre, with readings ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 Bq/L. To assess the putative risk to the children of primary school age, the researchers calculated the Annual Effective Dose (AED) of radon inhaled and ingested by the children. They found this to be from 0.1 to 0.4 nanoSieverts per annum, which closely tracked the recorded radon concentration figures.

Importantly, the team compared their results with international safety standards and found that the majority of the analyzed samples either met safety levels or were better than the recommended safe dose. The radon concentrations mostly fell below the globally accepted standard of 0.5 Bq/l. In addition, the AED values calculated by the team were well within the permissible limits set by major global health and safety organizations. There were just two marginal exceptions among the samples from the 37 districts.

Despite potential fears to the contrary, the study suggests that primary school children drinking tap water in this region faced minimal health risks due to radon exposure. Even in cases where radon concentrations slightly surpassed recommended limits, the associated health implications were found to be negligible, a conclusion supported by the AED results, the team reports. Importantly, statistical analysis revealed no significant correlation between radon concentrations and factors such as the age of the school or whether it was a boys’ or girls’ school.

Dosh, R.J., Hasan, A.K. and Abojassim, A.A. (2023) ‘Health effect of radon gas in water on children at Al-Najaf schools’, Int. J. Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.143–156.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies are now available here for free:
  • Heywood cases: possible causes and solutions
  • Is matching in different situations equally applicable for impact evaluation studies when using observational data?
  • An ECOSVS-based support vector machine for network anomaly detection
  • Location and time factors' effect on types of traffic accident in Kuwait
  • Detection of stragglers and optimal rescheduling of slow running tasks in big data environment using LFCSO-LVQ classifier and enhanced PSO algorithm

8 August 2023

Special issue published: "A New Era of Sustainable Cities with Data Science"

International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies 15(1/2) 2023

  • Analysis of PCS-QoL to investigate the holistic health for sustainable way of living in smart cities of 21st century
  • Effect of noise uncertainty during spectrum sensing for cognitive radio ad hoc networks
  • Improving the accuracy of real field pomegranate fruit diseases detection and visualisation using convolution neural networks and grad-CAM
  • The impact of online trading from a personal and technical perspective on trade stocks in emerging markets
  • Prognosis of urban environs using time series analysis for preventing overexploitation using artificial intelligence
  • Study of Python libraries for NLP
  • Using free open-source tools for text visualisation over unstructured corpus effectively

Free sample articles newly available from Interdisciplinary Environmental Review

The following sample articles from the Interdisciplinary Environmental Review are now available here for free:
  • 'Dream of a green tomorrow, act today': an exploratory study on environmental involvement and practices among Indian consumers
  • Marketing strategies for augmenting the use of solar streetlights - study conducted in cities of India
  • GRADISTAT in environmental sciences: a sampled review of the 21 years of the program application in environmental sciences
  • Methods for the analysis of airborne particulate matter
  • Political parties' manifesto as an anchor for prioritising environmental and climate change issues in Ghana: rhetorics and actions

Research pick: Supply-chain resilience strategies - "Empirical research on performance effects of supply chain resilience: systematic literature review, citation network analysis and future research directions"

A systematic review of the research literature into supply-chain resilience in the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics offers new insights for businesses striving to navigate these turbulent waters.

Supply chains stretch across continents and disruptions loom as a constant threat, the concept of supply-chain resilience is now high on the business agenda. Supply-chain resilience is the ability to adapt, respond, and recover from unforeseen problems in order to ensure business continuity and sustainability. This urgency has been amplified by the escalating frequency and impact of supply chain disturbances.

An international team has looked for critical insights for businesses striving to ensure supply-chain resilience, by carrying out an exhaustive review of the research literature. The work involved a systematic literature review and a citation network analysis. Through that the team identified and dissected three prominent strategies underpinning supply-chain resilience: agility, risk management, and reengineering, or restoration. The team was thus able to construct a framework to extract the various relationships between these different factors and how they affect supply-chain resilience building on complex adaptive system theory.

The team looked to a remarkable case study of a large Chinese e-commerce powerhouse and how it coped during the COVID-19 pandemic. They look at its adept weathering of the pandemic storm through judicious supply-chain resilience strategies involving operational flexibility, agility, collaboration, and information sharing. The team show how these measures not only shielded the company from adversity but also bolstered its overall performance.

As managers grapple with supply-chain disruptions especially in times of global crisis, the challenge is to make informed decisions amidst the uncertainty. For businesses keen on fortifying their resilience, the study offers actionable insights. It advocates for the adoption of strategies such as knowledge management, flexibility, and enhanced visibility, accompanied by strong information sharing with supply-chain partners. By adopting a multifaceted approach, companies can improve the different facets of their operations simultaneously and so improve their response to disruptions. The review underscores the pivotal roles of supply chain integration, collaboration, and supplier diversification in countering disruptions and sustaining an uninterrupted supply flow.

The same tactics can boulster supply-chain resilience and at the same time can act as catalysts for improving overall operational stability and efficiency.

Li, C.S., Wong, C.W.Y., Wong, C.Y., Boon-itt, S. and Miao, X. (2023) ‘Empirical research on performance effects of supply chain resilience: systematic literature review, citation network analysis and future research directions’, Int. J. Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 17, Nos. 1/2, pp.80–106.

Special issue published: "Soft Computing for Data Analytics, Image Classification and Control"

International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control 43(2) 2023

  • Detection of coronary artery disease using machine learning algorithms
  • Optimisation of target coverage in wireless sensor network using novel learning automata approach
  • Classification of imbalanced hyperspectral images using ensembled kernel rotational forest
  • An efficient data retrieval method for grid blockchain
  • Software reliability testing coverage model using feed-forward back propagation neural network
Additional papers
  • Recursive algorithm for interaction prediction in Hammerstein system identification with experimental studies
  • A computer vision monitoring for human fall using visible light camera and thermal imager
  • Vector control strategies for synchronous reluctance motor: constant current control, MTPA, MTPW and MPFC
  • System enhancement on perturbations and wind gusts for twin-rotor helicopter using intelligent active force control

7 August 2023

Research pick: Here comes the flood - "Flood risk: a capacity and vulnerability analysis of Newham and Hammersmith, UK"

The increasing frequency and intensity of flooding events worldwide due to climate change have drawn attention to the pressing issue of flood risk management. The loss of life can be devastating, particularly in less developed and more vulnerable parts of the world. In developed countries, the response is likely to save lives but sees a greater economic loss because of the damage to expansive and advanced infrastructure. That said, even in the developed world there is a big difference between the impact on low-income and affluent areas within the same regions.

Research in the World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, has focused on two disparate regions of London: the low-income and ethnically diverse Newham and the more affluent Hammersmith. The study reveals that Newham has a much lower level of resiliency compared with Hammersmith in terms of flood risk, despite both being equally in the Thames flood plain.

The researchers, Arzoo Hassan and Cody Morris Paris of Middlesex University Dubai in the United Arab Emirates point out that it might be argued that floods are not a wholly natural phenomenon given that they are almost always associated with the structures of roads and building in an at-risk area. Moreover, they are socially constructed disasters because those worst affected are usually the most vulnerable communities.

Certain neighbourhoods often have a higher susceptibility to damage even within geographically close urban areas, the researchers explain. Poorer and marginalized populations are, they suggest, affected the most. In addition, socio-economic inequalities exacerbate the vulnerability of a given area relative to a more affluent and less demographically diverse area and hinder the ability of the area to recover quickly from the impact of the flood. Part of the problem, of course, is the lack of money to pay for the requisite insurance policies to cover damage and replace and rebuild.

The implications of this study are profound. As flooding events become more intense and frequent, it is critical that the social construct of floods and the disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities is recognised. Investing in resilience-building measures becomes paramount, particularly in low-income areas, to ensure equitable disaster response and recovery. Indeed, tailored flood risk management strategies are needed to protect vulnerable populations and foster resilient communities.

Hassan, A. and Paris, C.M. (2023) ‘Flood risk: a capacity and vulnerability analysis of Newham and Hammersmith, UK’, World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp.187–204.

4 August 2023

Research pick: Building blocs for diverse investment - "Evolution of emerging bond markets’ cointegration: a transition from BRIC to BRICS"

Research in the International Journal of Trade and Global Markets has looked at the effects of the evolution of the BRIC economies to the BRICS bloc and the implications of that transition on investment and global trade. The work highlights the independence of leading emerging bond markets and their potential for investment diversification.

Adefemi A. Obalade of the University of the Western Cape in Bellville and Brian Nxumalo, Dylan Hoover, Grace O. Obalade, and Paul-Francois of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa used the autoregressive distributed lag model (ARDL) and Pearson correlation tests to explore long-term relationships among bond markets within these blocs. Their findings suggest that investors might explore these markets for improved portfolio diversification opportunities, despite their being within the same league of emerging economies. The team suggests that understanding the dynamics of cointegration and independence among these markets has implications for portfolio management, risk assessment, and global market exposure.

The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This economic collation became BRICS when South Africa was added in 2010. The term “BRIC” was originally coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 to cover the fast-growing economies that might dominate global finance by 2050.

Obalade and colleagues looked at the BRIC era from 2007 to 2010 and found that long-running cointegration occurred only among three of the twelve possible combinations of bond markets. For the BRICS period (2010 to 2020), there were only two long-running cointegrations among the twenty possible combinations. The implications of this are that while BRIC and BRICS may have been put together nominally, the bond markets in the emerging markets are more independent than originally thought. Indeed, the strongest connections were between China and India and Brazil and South Africa, respectively, during the two periods the team examined. The addition of South Africa to the bloc led to the evaporation of many of the connections present in the BRIC era.

The findings align with previous research that highlighted certain BRICS bond markets as providing diversification opportunities due to their lack of cointegration. However, they contrast with other studies reporting cointegration among BRICS bond markets, likely due to differences in sample periods and methodological approaches. As such, the present work suggests that despite the BRICS nations being part of a nominal bloc, investment across those markets nevertheless represents diversification.

The lack of cointegration is not surprising, given that BRICS economies respond differently to global factors. The research underscores the country-specific nature of risks associated with bond investments and the heterogeneity among BRICS member states.

Obalade, A.A., Nxumalo, B., Hoover, D., Obalade, G.O. and Muzindutsi, P-F. (2023) ‘Evolution of emerging bond markets’ cointegration: a transition from BRIC to BRICS’, Int. J. Trade and Global Markets, Vol. 17, Nos. 3/4, pp.223–233.

3 August 2023

Research pick: Robotic fire escape - "An approach into navigation and vision for autonomous fire fighting robots"

Fires threaten lives, property, and the environment. Fighting fire and rescuing those trapped by a fire is risky but essential. New research in the International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, looks at how autonomous wheeled rescue robots might be used in fire rescue. The work involves the development of a novel path-planning algorithm with an advanced fire-recognition system for indoor fires. The system offers significant benefits over conventional map-based approaches and finds the shortest and safest escape route for those trapped by the fire.

Shaun Q.Y. Tan, V.J. Karthik, A. Govind, and P.M. Rajasree of the Electronics and Instrumentation Department at RV College of Engineering in Bengaluru, India, tackled the challenge of fire recognition and localization using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) along with various image processing techniques. To optimize their CNN model effectively, they employed the particle swarm optimization (PSO) approach.

The team reports that their CNN model outperformed the MobileNet architecture, demonstrating exceptional recognition and localization accuracy on simulated indoor fire scenarios. Future work will lower the computing demands of the system as well as boosting accuracy. Indeed, a more refined model will be vital to ensure the practicality and efficacy of unmanned rescue robots in real-world emergencies. The system also be adapted to other kinds of emergencies.

The system has a limitation in that the algorithm cannot take into account potential obstacles in the path of the robot. Future improvements would incorporate local optimization techniques, ensuring seamless navigation even in complex indoor environments. With increased accuracy, adaptability, and practicality, the technology promises to become a powerful asset in safeguarding lives and property in the face of unpredictable fire emergencies.

Tan, S.Q.Y., Karthik, V.J., Govind, A. and Rajasree, P.M. (2023) ‘An approach into navigation and vision for autonomous fire fighting robots‘, Int. J. Advanced Mechatronic Systems, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.156-164.

2 August 2023

Research pick: Digging into the benefits of landfill mining - "Successful illegal dumpsite remediation: a landfill mining demonstration project at Andalusia (Spain)"

Research in the International Journal of Environmental Engineering reveals details of the first successful, large-scale landfill mining project in Andalusia, Spain.

Landfill mining is an emerging approach for the remediation of old waste sites. It allows for the re-use of valuable materials, such as plastics and metals that may have been dumped before recycling facilities were widely available. The process might also allow an entire brownfield site to be remediated sufficiently for development or even rewilding.

David Caro-Moreno, Francisco J. Rodríguez-Gallardo, and Francisco A. Jiménez-Cantizano of the Environmental and Water Agency, part of the Regional Government of Andalusia, together with Germán Coca-López of the Council of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy of Andalusia, have assessed a pilot project carried out in the town of Dehesas Viejas, Granada.

This site was an illegal hillside dumping ground for construction and demolition wastes rather than a conventional municipal landfill. The profile of materials there would be rather different from the materials found in a municipal landfill. Nevertheless, the work undertaken on this illegal dump was sufficient to revert the entire site to its natural state thus requiring no ongoing maintenance. Almost 90% of the waste materials were retrieved and found to be low-hazard and so suitable for road construction projects or backfilling conventional landfill sites that have been mined.

Where mining of conventional landfill might be required, there is perhaps a greater need for segregation of the waste materials during the recovery process with a view to their being reused or recycled. The present research nevertheless bodes well for clearing up other big flytipping or illegal landfill sites.

Landfill mining could become an effective approach to addressing the environmental hazards posed by old landfill sites. Moreover, it could offer a supply of raw materials, such as rare and difficult-to-source metals used in electronics. These could be fed into the industrial recycling and supply chains. There will, of course, be issues of contamination with hazardous materials in some landfills set for excavation and mining. With appropriate safety measures in place during the process, landfill mining has great potential for the reuse of erstwhile waste and the possibility of remediating sites either for development or repurposing as wildlife reserves, or simply ensuring that they revert to their natural state.

Caro-Moreno, D., Coca-López, G., Rodríguez-Gallardo, F.J. and Jiménez-Cantizano, F.A. (2023) ‘Successful illegal dumpsite remediation: a landfill mining demonstration project at Andalusia (Spain)’, Int. J. Environmental Engineering, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.95–122.

1 August 2023

Research pick: Mopping up amitriptyline to treat overdose - "Amitriptyline sequestration by unmodified and modified microcrystalline cellulose: a potential treatment for drug overdosing"

Research in the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials has demonstrated how Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) can be used to soak up the drug amitriptyline in cases of overdose. Amitriptyline is a commonly prescribed tricyclic antidepressant, used to manage depression, chronic pain, and mood disorders. It is, as with many prescription medicines, also a drug of abuse as well as representing a potential lethal risk to users through overdose.

Amitriptyline can have various detrimental effects if misused. It can affect breathing cause nausea vomiting and diarrhoea. It also affects the central nervous system leading to confusion, agitation, hallucinations, delirium, drowsiness, and potentially coma at higher doses. It has serious effects on the heart and cardiovascular system causing arrhythmia, hypotension (a dangerous drop in blood pressure), and even cardiac arrest.

Soma Chakraborty, Adrienne Nicole S. Bartolome, and Francisgerard A. Aguilar in the Department of Chemistry at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines, explain that sequestration, the process of capturing and removing a substance from a solution, could be used to manage amitriptyline overdose. The team has investigated the effectiveness of MCC in sequestering, or adsorbing, amitriptyline from aqueous solutions.

The results are promising showing that MCC has a 74% adsorption rate over just two hours. The researchers also found that at higher concentrations of amitriptyline, sequestration by MCC was even more effective. Their experiments with MCC modified with a well-known pharmaceutical additive seaweed extract beta-carrageenan, a natural polysaccharide, as well as nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) also showed how adsorption of amitriptyline could be enhanced when compared with unmodified MCC.

The findings hold much promise for treating accidental or even deliberate amitriptyline overdose. Prompt emergency action would see the MMC or an optimised modified version used to mop up amitriptyline in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract.

Chakraborty, S., Bartolome, A.N.S. and Aguilar, F.A. (2023) ‘Amitriptyline sequestration by unmodified and modified microcrystalline cellulose: a potential treatment for drug overdosing’, Int. J. Nano and Biomaterials, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.51–67.