Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: early childhood development; stimulating parenting practices; effective early childhood reading practices; rural China; mixed methodology
Online: 8 January 2021 (13:26:49 CET)
Studies have shown that nearly half of rural toddlers in China have cognitive delays due to an absence of stimulating parenting practices, such as early childhood reading, during the critical first three years of life. However, few studies have examined the reasons behind these low levels of stimulating parenting, and no studies have sought to identify the factors that limit caregivers from providing effective early childhood reading practices (EECRP). This mixed-methods study investigates the perceptions, prevalence and correlates of EECRP in rural China, as well as associations with child cognitive development. We use quantitative survey results from 1,720 caregiver-child dyads across 100 rural villages/townships in northwestern China and field observation and interview data with 60 caregivers from these same sites. The quantitative results show significantly low rates of EECRP despite positive perceptions of early reading and positive associations between EECRP and cognitive development. Qualitative results suggest that low rates of EECRP in rural China are not due to the inability to access books, financial or time constraints, or the absence of aspirations. Rather, the low rate of book ownership and absence of reading to young children is driven by the insufficient and inaccurate knowledge of EECRP among caregivers, which leads to their delayed, misinformed reading decisions with their young children, ultimately contributing to developmental delays.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0071.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Practices; traditional knowledge; agriculture; farmers; India
Online: 6 June 2022 (08:41:19 CEST)
The traditional Agriculture Knowledge is epic information, was created by the forefathers in the past civilizations. The forefathers practiced traditional agriculture information during Harappa civilizations, Vedic and Iron Age civilizations. The present Small and Marginal farmer utilizes traditional information in the crop production & management, crop protection, farm machinery & tools, soil & water management, medicinal & aromatic plants for diseases diagnosis, animal husbandry, stored grain pests’ management, weed management and value added food product and transfers in the youth. The utilizing traditional informations in the agriculture practices are collected from the different geographical states of India. The informations are practiced in the specific activities by the farmers. The farmer utilizes compositions of natural resource in the geographical states for the crop husbandry and farm linked activities. The traditional information is more practiced by the Southern and North-Eastern Geographical zone. The farmer applies specific informations in the crop production & management, crop protection, farm machinery & tools, soil & water management, medicinal & aromatic plants for diseases diagnosis, animal husbandry, stored grain pests’ management, weed management and value added food product. The farmer preserves and transfers the information in the rural community. The farmer transmits information in the present generation for creating mobilization. The traditional agriculture information transforms agriculture resources, maintains biodiversity ethics and enlightens historical and practical approaches to the present generations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0228.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Obesity; Dietary practices; Diabetes; College students
Online: 13 May 2020 (15:26:52 CEST)
Obesity is an issue of public health concern as it contributes to chronic non-communicable diseases despite the fact that it is preventable. Dietary practices and environment have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, overweight and obesity among young people. This study aimed to assess the dietary patterns associated with obesity among Babcock University students. A descriptive cross-sectional study was used to obtain data from 391 participants. Results reveal respondent’s knowledge was 12.06 ± 2.3 translating to an 80% prevalence performance, level of perception was 37.23 ± 9.23 with prevalence of 59.0%, dietary practices was 19.6 ± 5.23 with 59% prevalence. Factors influencing dietary practices revealed mean score of 15.2 ± 4.5 with 72.3% prevalence performance. The factors identified in this study has a great influence on dietary practices of the study participants. In conclusion Babcock University students have an excellent knowledge of dietary practices related to obesity. They also had good dietary practices. The identified factors had a great influence on the study participants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0671.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Cross-Boundary Spatial Planning Systems and Practices
Online: 28 June 2021 (14:51:05 CEST)
This research has critically argued that a vigilant combination of flexibility and certainty in spatial planning can bring about the most optimum planning outcomes. Therefore, to reproachfully evaluate the core argument, this research has tried to empirically respond to the research question of which balance of government intervention and market freedom produces the optimal economic, social and spatial outcomes. This research question has been further translated into an associated central hypothesis i.e., a hybrid planning system with an optimal balance between discretionary and regulatory planning approach can bring about the desired economic, social, and spatial outcomes.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: orthodox soil science, alternative practices, corrective strategies
Online: 26 March 2019 (09:43:00 CET)
In Australia, orthodox soil scientists and alternative practitioners who promote ‘regenerative agriculture’ have not been communicating and engaging effectively with each other. Over many years scientists in CSIRO, state departments and universities have made significant achievements in mapping soil distribution, describing soil behaviour and identifying key soil properties and processes that are fundamental to healthy soil function. However, many alternative practitioners are dismissive of these achievements and highly critical of orthodox soil science. Yet many of the tools of soil science are essential to conduct evidence-based research towards elucidating how and why the exceptional results claimed by some alternative practitioners are achieved. We stress the importance of effective engagement and communication among all parties to resolve this ‘clash of cultures’.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0005.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: School manager; knowledge management practices; Organizational processes
Online: 1 October 2018 (11:38:31 CEST)
Knowledge management gains space within the school organization and can contribute satisfactorily to the quality of teaching. In everyday life the school manager intuitively uses knowledge management practices without exploiting the potentials they offer or allow. In this context, the purpose of this work is to identify the level of implementation of knowledge management practices aimed at structuring the organizational processes used by the public school manager. The methodology adopted was exploratory, with a qualitative and quantitative approach. For data collection, an already validated instrument with twenty-seven questions was used. Respondents to the questionnaires, one hundred and eleven managers of the basic education schools that make up the public school system in a city in the northwestern region of Paraná, Southern Brazil. In analyzing the results, it was only at this point that we investigated only those practices that were related to the structuring of organizational processes. This decision is justified because of the responsibilities of the school manager in the execution of his work. The results indicated that the school in its daily life, makes use of practices of Knowledge Management related to the structuring of the organizational processes and that many are already applied by the managers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0154.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; Knowledge; Practices; Perception; Veterinarians students; Nigeria
Online: 7 September 2020 (03:52:58 CEST)
Background: The novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic with an increasing public health concern. Due to the non-availability of a vaccine against the disease, non-pharmaceutical interventions constitute major preventive and control measures. However, inadequate knowledge about the disease and poor perception might limit compliance. Aim: This study examined COVID-19-related knowledge, practices, perceptions and associated factors amongst undergraduate veterinary medical students in Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional web survey was employed to collect data from 437 consenting respondents using pre-tested self-administered questionnaire (August 2020). Demographic factors associated with the knowledge and adoption of recommended preventive practices towards COVID-19 were explored using multivariate logistic regression at P ≤ 0.05.Results: The respondents’ mean knowledge and practice scores were 22.7 (SD ± 3.0) and 24.1 (SD ± 2.9), respectively with overall 63.4% and 88.8% displaying good knowledge and satisfactory practice levels. However, relatively lower proportions showed adherence to avoid touching face or nose (19.5%), face mask-wearing (58.1%), and social distancing (57.4%). Being in the 6th year of study (OR = 3.18, 95%CI: 1.62-6.26, P = 0.001) and female (OR = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.11-4.41, P = 0.024) were significant positive predictors of good knowledge and satisfactory practices, respectively. While only 30% of the respondents perceived the pandemic as a scam or a disease of the elites (24.0%), the respondents were worried about their academics being affected negatively (55.6%). Conclusion: The study revealed good knowledge and satisfactory preventive practices towards COVID-19 among Nigerian Veterinary students; albeit with essential gaps in the key non-pharmaceutical preventive measures recommended by the WHO. Therefore, there is a need to step up enlightenment and targeted campaigns about COVID-19 pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0257.v1
Online: 22 September 2019 (17:10:00 CEST)
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is a new and emerging concept in climate discourse to address the issues of climate change impacts in agriculture. Few researchers and organizations have concentrated on CSA policies and practices in Nepal. This study aims to review and analyze the policies and practices in relation to CSA and define local level CSA indicators in the Central and Western Nepal. This study adopted the scoping review of climate policies and practices in Nepal and also utilized the household survey information particularly focusing on climate adaptation relating to agriculture. Through the scoping review, it is recognized that the number of climate policies in Nepal has specifically prioritized agriculture and food security as an important thematic area. Among those policies, National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), National Framework for Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) and National Adaptation Plan (NAP) have specific sections on CSA practices, however, these policies/plans lack specific indicators. Different categories of CSA practices are common in Nepal, but many of these practices are popular as agricultural and environmental practices prior to the CSA concept and approach. The output indicators specific to CSA practices help the communities and policymakers to measure and monitor the progress of its implementation. Additional researches are required in this field to better understand the CSA concept, approaches, and mechanisms in the Nepalese context.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0257.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: street vendors, consumers, food safety, knowledge, attitudes, practices
Online: 21 May 2019 (10:08:50 CEST)
Street vended foods are ready-to-eat food and beverages prepared and/ or sold in the streets. This trade provides for 85-99% of total employment in most African countries and 50% or more is constituted by women. The preparation of street vended foods is normally under unsatisfactory conditions and these may lead to the contamination of food. This descriptive survey was conducted in Maseru around the taxi ranks amongst 141 participants (48 food handlers and 93 consumers) using a semi structured questionnaire, open ended questionnaire and observation checklist. Majority of the food handlers were females (n=35, 60%) and males constituted only (n=23, 40%). On average the vendor population that participated in this study was considered to have poor knowledge of food safety since they scored 49%±11. With regard to the consumers, 63% were males and 37% were females, and only 6% reported that they never buy street vended foods mainly due to the food safety issues and hygiene. Based on the results of this study, it is thus recommended that educational interventions be implemented. The observation study showed that they also operated under unhygienic conditions and 95% of food handlers had the incorrect knowledge that washing utensils with detergent leaves them free of contamination. Regarding the consumer perceptions, they highlighted that the trade has the potential to grow and be profitable on condition that hygiene is emphasized and infrastructure improved so as to provide safe quality food.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0397.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Children; Eating disorders; Eating behavior; Feeding practices; Obesity
Online: 16 November 2018 (10:31:50 CET)
Abstract: Given the links between parental obesity and eating psychopathology in their children, it is important to understand the mechanisms via which unhealthy relationships with eating are passed from parents to children. The aim was to review research focusing on food-related parenting practices (FPPs) used by parents with overweight/obesity. Web of Science, PubMed and PsycINFO were searched. Twenty studies were included in the review. Single studies suggest differences between parents with healthy-weight vs overweight/obesity with respect to; food accessibility, food availability and modelling. Multiple studies suggest that several parenting strategies do not differ according to parental weight status (child involvement, praise, use of food to control negative emotions, use of food-based threats and bribes, pressure, restriction, meal and snack routines, monitoring, and rules and limits). There was inconclusive evidence with respect to differences in parental control, encouragement and use of unstructured FPPs among parents with healthy-weight vs overweight/obesity. The findings of this review imply some differences between parents with overweight/obesity and healthy-weight and the use of some food-related parenting practices, however they should be interpreted with caution since research remains limited and is generally methodologically weak. The review highlights opportunities for further research and to improve current measures of FPPs and help clarify current study findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0315.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: metabolic syndrome; vegetarian; vegetarianism practices; overweight; lifestyle behaviors
Online: 20 June 2018 (08:49:24 CEST)
The prevalence and factors associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain unknown in Malaysian vegetarians. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS among vegetarians in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and its associated factors. The data on socio-demographic characteristics, vegetarianism practices, lifestyle behaviours, body weight, height, waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and blood lipid profiles were collected from 273 vegetarians. A majority of the respondents were lacto-ovo vegetarians (44.0%), females (64.8%) and Chinese (54.9%). The prevalence of MetS was 24.2%. High BP (48.7%) and high WC (43.6%) were the most common MetS components. Females had lower WC, SBP, DBP, FBG, TG and higher HDL-c (p < 0.05) as compared to males. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that advancing in age (OR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.00-1.06), and overweight and obesity (OR = 7.90, 95% CI: 4.13-15.11) were the risk factors of MetS after adjusted for sex. This study found that one in four vegetarians had MetS. The present findings emphasize the need to focus among vegetarians with older age. An intervention program to reduce BMI should be established among vegetarians, especially among those vegetarians who were overweight and obese.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0334.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: organic producer; organic practices; surveillance data; health and safety
Online: 20 September 2021 (13:40:18 CEST)
Research indicates that farmers’ demographic characteristics and production practices have safety and health implications. However, current systems do not identify organic farmers independently from conventional farmers, and literature on how organic and conventional farmers compare is very limited. We conducted a secondary analysis of 2012 Census of Agriculture data to compare organic and non-organic farms and principal operators (POs) in New Mexico (NM). Organic farms were smaller in size, and POs of farms with organic sales were significantly younger (55.8±9.5 vs. 60.5±5.5 years) and less experienced (19.5±6.8 vs. 25.2±6.8 years). Significant differences were also found in POs ethnicity, race, and primary occupation. More farms with organic sales had a female PO compared to farms with non-organic sales (27% vs. 19%). Other significant differences related to work arrangements, household income, living conditions, and access to Internet. National surveys and regional studies may not accurately typify and describe the local organic producer, which is essential in order to advance policy, develop health interventions, and properly address occupational safety and risk among organic farmers. This study makes a unique contribution to understanding the importance of surveillance and collecting place-based data that are specific to the organic producer.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: attitudes, and practices; health education; influencing factors; knowledge; norovirus
Online: 5 September 2019 (10:03:00 CEST)
This study aimed to understand the status of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of norovirus infection among primary and junior middle school students in Chizhou City, explore its influencing factors. A multistage stratified random sampling method was used to randomly select 1200 students from 8 primary and junior middle schools for the effective questionnaire survey in Chizhou City. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the possible influencing factors. Of 1176 participants, the average knowledge score of norovirus infection was (9.8 ± 3.6), and the scoring rate was 65.3%. The average attitude score was (11.6 ± 1.2), and the scoring rate was 96.3%. The average practice score was (10.4 ± 1.5), and the scoring rate was 86.9%. The difference in the average scoring rate among the three was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The four independent variables of county, education level, sex and age group statistically correlated with the knowledge score. Primary and junior middle school students in Chizhou City had a good attitude and practice compliance in the prevention and control of norovirus infection; however, their professional knowledge still needed further improvement.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0090.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; infection control practices; antibiotic resistance; pathogens; coevolution
Online: 5 August 2018 (10:18:40 CEST)
The antibiotic or antimicrobial resistance is rapidly spreading in microbes relevant to human health. Two visible major contributory factors have been the indiscriminate overuse of antimicrobials for preventing diseases in human and to enhance the productivity in agriculture sector. To mitigate the potential threat posed by post-antibiotic era, the global health stakeholders have been making extra efforts at a war footing to formulate and implement global and national plans of action. In the current article, an endeavour is made to provide a perspective to look beyond the current focus on just use of the antimicrobials. Attention has been drawn towards various obvious and not-so-obvious self-preservation infection-prevention practices in vogue from the pre-antibiotic era whose usage has been on decline in the antibiotic era for various reasons. Particularly, the practices with a clear potential to effectively decrease the spread of pathogens through contact, curtail the evolution and dissemination of the antimicrobial resistance in local environment and its introduction into the global community, should be Identified and strengthened to make them part of comprehensive hygiene and quarantine practices. Broadly, the suggestions pertaining to the personal and community hygiene including bereavement practices, isolation and quarantine of suspected pathogen carriers, and water and environment security have been made to invoke a constructive debate and discussion among various stakeholders for their evaluation and implementation to effectively delay the development of antimicrobial resistance wherever possible and disrupt its spread to pathogens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0007.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: adoption; land degradation; poisson regression; sustainable land management practices
Online: 1 May 2017 (08:33:17 CEST)
Land degradation is a serious impediment to improving rural livelihoods in Eastern Africa. This paper identifies major land degradation patterns and causes, and analyzes the determinants of sustainable land management (SLM) in three countries (Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania). The results show that land degradation hotspots cover about 51%, 41%, 23% and 23% of the terrestrial areas in Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia respectively. The analysis of nationally representative household surveys shows that the key drivers of SLM in these countries are biophysical, demographic, regional and socio-economic determinants. Secure land tenure, access to extension services and market access are some of the determinants incentivizing SLM adoption. The implications of this study are that policies and strategies that facilities secure land tenure and access to SLM information are likely to incentivize investments in SLM. Local institutions providing credit services, inputs such as seed and fertilizers, and extension services must also not be ignored in the development policies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0019.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: dietary patterns, food-frequency questionnaire, dietary, lifestyle practices, adolescents
Online: 5 September 2016 (14:46:56 CEST)
Abstract: Objective: The aim of the study was to identify dietary patterns and its association with socio-economic, dietary and lifestyle practices among adolescents in Malaysia. Methods: A validated food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary patterns. Results: Multivariate analyses show that age and physical activity (PA) levels were emerged as positive determinants of healthy-based food pattern in Malay (All, p<0.001), whereas higher consumption of eating-out from home (EatOut) and fast food (All, p<0.05) were negative determinants. High weekly breakfast skipping (p<0.001) and EatOut (p<0.01) were positively associated with a western-based pattern, whereas age (p<0.001) and household income (p<0.05) were negative determinants. Higher frequency of daily snacking (p<0.05) was emerged as positive determinant of local-based food pattern. For Chinese adolescents, age (p<0.001), PA levels (p<0.001) and maternal education level (p<0.05) emerged as positive determinants for the healthy-based pattern, whereas high EatOut and fast food intakes (All, p<0.01) were negative determinants. Higher weekly consumption of EatOut (p<0.01), fast food (p<0.05) and carbonated beverages (p<0.05), and daily snacking practice (p<0.01) were positively associated with higher western-based food pattern, whereas age (p<0.01) was inversely associated. Conclusion: These findings suggest that unhealthy dietary and lifestyle practices could increase the risk of adherence to unhealthy western-based food pattern that is high in fat, sugar and salt contents, and consequently increase the risk of developing obesity and metabolic-related disorders during these critical years of growth.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID 19; pandemic; mining company; epidemic emergency; prevention; good practices
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:52:21 CEST)
The state of epidemic emergency in force in our country since March and the related requirement to implement various sanitary procedures constitute problems for the operation of all companies. However, the unique operation of underground mining companies increases their scale considerably. However, despite initial turbulent moments related to the occurrence of an unknown threat, it was possible to stabilise the situation in all such companies as a result of implementing various anti-threat actions. Following the initial introduction to basic properties of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the paper presents the results of the study (a case study) on actions taken in individual mining companies. There was an attempt to formulate the so-called good work practices recommended to be applied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0092.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; health practices; stress; self-care; cross-cultural study
Online: 2 February 2021 (15:09:40 CET)
The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to analyze the differential impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown (3rd April 2020) on stress, health practices, and self-care activities across different Hispanic countries, age range and gender groups. 1082 participants from Spain, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador took part in this study. Irrespective of the country, and controlling for income level, young people, especially females, suffered a greater level of stress, perceived the situation as more severe, showed less adherence to health guidelines and reported lower levels of health consciousness, in comparison to their male peers and older groups. However, in the case of self-care, it seems that older and female groups are generally more involved in self-care activities and adopt more healthy daily routines. These results are mostly similar between Colombia, Ecuador, and Spain. However, Chile showed some different tendencies, as males reported higher levels of healthy daily routines and better adherence to health guidelines compared to females and people over the age of 60. Differences between countries, genders and age ranges should be considered in order to improve health recommendations and adherence to guidelines. It would also be crucial to identify vulnerable groups to promote the adoption of health behaviors that may help in the development of effective public health strategies. Future studies should be addressed to explore the possible causations of such differences in more cultural-distant samples and at later stages of the current outbreak.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0274.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: sUAS; drone; RPAS; UAV; Data; Management; FAIR; Community; standards; practices
Online: 22 May 2019 (11:42:08 CEST)
The use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS ) as platforms for data capture has rapidly increased in recent years. However, while there has been significant investment in improving the aircraft, sensors, operations, and legislation infrastructure for such, little attention has been paid to supporting the management of the complex data capture pipeline sUAS involve. This paper reports on the outcomes of a four-year-long community-engagement-based investigation into what tools, practices, and challenges currently exist for particularly researchers using sUAS as data capture platforms. The key results of this effort are: (1) sUAS captured data – as a set that is rapidly growing to include data in a wide range of Physical and Environmental Sciences, Engineering Disciplines, and many civil and commercial use cases – is characterised as both sharing many traits with traditional remote sensing data and also as exhibiting – as common across the spectrum of disciplines and use cases – novel characteristics that require novel data support infrastructure. And (2), given this characterization of sUAS data and its potential value in the identified wide variety of use case, we outline eight challenges that need to be addressed in order for the full value of sUAS captured data to be realized. We then conclude that there would be significant value gained and costs saved across both commercial and academic sectors if the global sUAS user and data management communities were to address these challenges in the immediate to near future, so as to extract the maximal value of sUAS captured data for the lowest long-term effort and monetary cost.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0195.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: sustainable product development; sustainable design; product development practice; corporate sustainability practices
Online: 13 July 2022 (09:12:47 CEST)
There is a growing recognition of the need to incorporate sustainability considerations early-on in the product development (PD) process (PDP). As part of a case study at an engineering consultancy firm, this paper identifies considerations that influence the integration of sustainable design practices into real-world PD practices. This is informed by the first author getting embedded in the firm as an intern, and closely observing the PD workflow across various projects, conducting interviews and group discussions with a wide range of practitioners, and iteratively designing and testing various potential interventions. From literature and observation, we find that designers and engineers often struggle to identify and apply the right sustainable design methods and tools (SDMTs) to tackle the environmental impacts associated with their products. Through a human-centered design process, we co-created a reusable, modular framework of practices that aids the selection of relevant strategies, based on the environmental hotspots, stage of the PD process, and the client’s sustainability priorities. The paper further presents insights related to the framework’s real-world application and impacts in the firm, based on results of longitudinal engagement with the firm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0266.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Mycotoxins; Agricultural Practices; Mycotoxigenic Fungi; Fusarium; Oats; Cereals; Statistical Analysis; Agronomic
Online: 19 October 2021 (10:18:56 CEST)
Seven agronomic factors (crop season, farming system, harvest date, moisture, county, oat variety, and previous crop) were recorded for 202 oat crops grown across Ireland, and samples were analysed by LC-MS/MS for four major Fusarium mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin. Type A trichothecenes were present in 62% of crops, with 7.4% exceeding European regulatory limits. DON (6.4%) and ZEN (9.9%) occurrences were rela-tively infrequent, though one and three samples were measured over their set limits respectively. Overall, the type of farming system and the previous crop were the main factors identified to significantly influence mycotoxin prevalence or concentration. Particularly, adherence to an organic farming system and growing oats after a previous crop of grass were found to decrease contamination by type A trichothecenes. These are important findings and may provide valuable insights for many other types of cereals crops as Europe moves towards a much greater organic based food system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0039.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Emerging technologies; Educational Innovation; Artificial Intelligence; Robotics; Higher Education; Teaching Practices
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:03:43 CEST)
Emerging technologies have a potential future impact on the developments in higher education and teaching practices at the universities. The paper is based on the project “My future colleague robot” that aims to improve the competence of university teachers in the implementation of Emerging Technologies (ETs) in the teaching practices at the university. In this paper, we identified the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are related to the adoption of two ETs, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), in higher education. Additionally, we analyzed the perceptions of faculty about these ETs. The empirical data was collected using written essays from 18 university teachers and students. Deductive and inductive approaches with thematic analysis were used for the data analysis. The findings support the idea that previous experience related to ETs can support positive attitudes and the implementations of ET in university teaching. University teachers had optimistic expectations towards ETs accepting them as part of teaching practice development, while discussion about the negative effects of ETs was negligible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0312.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Ebola Virus Disease, knowledge, attitude, practices, wellness, men, sexual behaviour, environment.
Online: 13 July 2021 (15:54:36 CEST)
Background: The study assessed men’s role in the preparedness against emerging pandemic of Ebola Virus Disease in Ogun State, Nigeria. It examined the changes in men’s hygiene practices as response to the news of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. Methods: The data were extracted from a 2015 Cross-Sectional Survey on wellness, knowledge, attitude and practices towards the control and prevention of Ebola Virus Disease. The respondents (466 male) in the main survey were selected using simple random sampling technique within two enumeration areas (EAs). Results: The results revealed high level of knowledge of EVD but over 70% were not aware of centre for EVD treatment, 60.2% believed they are not susceptible to EVD. The practice of handshaking reduced, eating of hunted animals decreased only marginally by 6.9% and washing with soap increased by 4%. Conclusion: The study provides helpful information for public health policy especially in terms of behavioral risk factors that are prone to Ebola virus infections or other communicable diseases. It emphasises regular hand washing with soap and sanitizing agents and recommended that availability of treatment centres and vaccines that can enhance effective response in curtailing further health emergencies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0260.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Community Radio; Holistic Development; Integrated Development; Sustainable Development; Community Radio Practices
Online: 10 December 2020 (12:59:05 CET)
Community radios play a paramount role in the development of the community. Community radio stations have been highly engaged in addressing social, economic, cultural, educational, health, environmental, sanitation, and disaster issues effectively and strategically using local languages in context. Community radios are also used to express, and share indigenous views, thoughts, ideas, problems, and perspectives of local people. The purpose of this analysis is to explore the role of community radio for integrated and sustainable development in Ethiopia. It used a systematic narrative review. Nine research works and five assessments report were selected purposively and analyzed in a quantitative approach. Currently, in Ethiopia, there are 50 community radio stations that received broadcast licenses from Ethiopian Broadcast Authority with four types of licensing and broadcasting in 29 local languages. Community radio helps the community to identify their common goals, create holistic plans, monitor the progress of their developmental activities, and guide on sustainable development. It contributes to integrated and sustainable development in a collaborative and creative process that cultivates the social, economic, and political conditions needed for the community to succeed which aimed to improve and sustain the livelihoods of the community. However, the media can’t achieve its target goal to support the development activities and bring holistic development of the community. As a result; this review paper focuses on reviewing how Ethiopians use community radios for holistic development. And it suggested the way how we can use community radios for the prospective holistic development in Ethiopia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0188.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: sickle cell disease; knowledge assessment; practices; physicians; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 14 June 2020 (17:29:23 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease is a major public health issue in the DRC while it is still poorly understood by health professionals. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of Congolese physicians treating sickle cell disease (SCD) in order to identify areas for improvement in clinical care. Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted on Congolese physicians using a questionnaire. Participants were evaluated on a pre-established answer grid. Results: A total of 460 physicians participated, including 81 women (18%) with an average age of 35 years (range 25–60 years). Most physicians were general practitioners. Although self-assessment of their level of knowledge on SCD was estimated as average to good, less than half of the participants (n= 460; 46%) reported adequate management of vaso-occlusive crisis but only 1% of them had received specific training on SCD. Most physicians reported difficulties both in terms of diagnostic (65%) and management (79%) options of SCD patients. This study showed also that 85% of them did not have access to diagnostic tools for SCD. Conclusions: Insufficient knowledge on SCD, poor diagnostic and treatment options may contribute to morbidity and mortality of patients living in the DRC. Interventions aiming at improving physician’s knowledge, patient’s follow-up and treatment access are needed. Specific training alongside existing programs (HIV, malaria), early diagnosis of the disease, and creation of patients’ advocacy groups should improve SCD patient’s care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0315.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Dryland cropping system; Management practices; Nitrogen budget; Nitrogen input; Nitrogen output.
Online: 17 September 2018 (14:21:48 CEST)
Studies on N balance due to N inputs and outputs and soil N retention to measure cropping system performance and environmental sustainability are limited due to the complexity of measurements of some parameters. We measured N balance based on N inputs and outputs and soil N retention under dryland agroecosystem affected by cropping system and N fertilization from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Great Plains, USA. Cropping systems were conventional tillage barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.)-fallow (CTB-F), no-tillage barley-fallow (NTB-F), no-tillage barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) (NTB-P), and no-tillage continuous barley (NTCB). Nitrogen rates to barley were 0, 40, 80, and 120 kg N ha-1. Total N input due to N fertilization, pea N fixation, soil N mineralization, atmospheric N deposition, nonsymbiotic N fixation, and crop seed N and total N output due to grain N removal, denitrification, volatilization, N leaching, gaseous N (NOx) emissions, surface runoff, and plant senescence were 28 to 37% greater with NTB-P and NTCB than CTB-F and NTB-F. Total N input and output also increased with increased N rate. Nitrogen sequestration rate at 0 to 10 cm averaged 22 kg N ha-1 yr-1 for all treatments. Nitrogen deficit ranged from 5 to 16 kg N ha-1 yr-1, with greater deficits for CTB-F and NTB-P and higher N rates. Because of increased grain N removal and reduced N loss to the environment and N fertilizer requirement, NTB-P with 40 kg N ha-1 can enhance agronomic performance and environmental sustainability while reducing N inputs compared to other management practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: breastfeeding; feeding practices; infant feeding; nutrition; malnutrition; pediatrics; primary health care
Online: 9 January 2018 (05:23:01 CET)
Infant malnutrition remains as an important cause of death and disability, Haiti has the highest prevalence in America, so preventive strategies are needed. Our objective was to assess infant and young children malnutrition in Haiti and to study an association to World Health Organization (WHO) recommended feeding practices adherence. Cross-sectional study of children younger than 2 years old, recruited at Saint Espri Health Center, Port Au Prince (August to September 2014). We registered feeding practices, social and demographic data, and performed anthropometry (WHO-2006 standard). We evaluated 278 infants and young children, 8.08 ± 6.5 months old, 53.2% female. 18.35% had underweight; 13.31% were stunted and 13.67% had moderate or severe wasting. Malnutrition was associated to male gender, older age, lower education of mothers and higher number of siblings. The adherence to WHO recommended practices for breastfeeding was from 11.8 to 97.9% and was related to a lower prevalence of malnutrition. For complementary food, adherence was 9.7 to 90.3%, also associated to lower malnutrition. Conclusion: Prevalence of infant and young children malnutrition in this Haitian Health Center population was high, related to some risk factors. The adherence to WHO recommended feeding practices was associated to a better nutritional status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0333.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Urban; rural; COVID-19; Knowledge; Attitudes; Practices; vaccine acceptability; Vaccine hesitancy; Kenya
Online: 18 August 2022 (07:46:00 CEST)
An important step towards COVID-19 pandemic control is adequate knowledge and adherence to mitigation measures, including vaccination. We assessed the level of COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices among residents from an urban informal settlement in the City of Nairobi (Kibera), and a rural community in western Kenya (Asembo). A cross-sectional survey was implemented from April to May 2021 among randomly selected adult residents from a population-based infectious diseases surveillance (PBIDS) cohort in Nairobi and Siaya Counties. Factors associated with the level of COVID-19 KAP, were assessed using multivariable regression methods. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was 83.6% for the participants from Asembo and 59.8% in Kibera. The reasons cited for vaccine hesitancy in Kibera were safety concerns (34.0%), insufficient information available to decide (18.0%), and a lack of belief in the vaccine (21.0%), while the reasons in Asembo were safety concerns (55.0%), insufficient information to decide (26.0%) and lack of belief in the vaccine (11%). Our study findings suggest the need for continued public education to enhance COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices to ensure adherence to mitigation measures. Urban informal settlements require targeted messaging to improve vaccine awareness, acceptability, and uptake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0186.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: sharing economy; sharing workers; human resource management practices; service performance; work engagement
Online: 10 May 2021 (12:39:44 CEST)
Based on the Organizational Support Theory, this study examines the relationship between human resource management practices and service performance of sharing workers by demonstrating the mediation role of work engagement. We tested this theoretical model using an in-person interview questionnaire survey of 318 downwind drivers. Results showed that: (1) the main effect of human resource management practices of sharing workers on service performance was significant; (2) work engagement played a prominent mediation role between human resource management practices and service performance of sharing workers; (3) the mediation role of employee vigor between the platform incentives and the performance of employee services was significant; (4) employee dedication had an obvious and indirectly positive mediating effect between sharing workers' dimensions of human resource management practice and their service performance; (5) employee absorption on the mediation role between the various dimensions of the sharing human resources management practices (platform support, platform incentives and platform constraints) and employee service performance was significant. This study has important value for the study on human resource management practices in the context of sharing economy, and provides practical enlightenment for employee management of the sharing economy platform.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0201.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; emotion-focused coping; infection control practices; perceived stress; relation-ship-focused coping
Online: 21 April 2022 (10:06:24 CEST)
Background: COVID-19 has placed tremendous pressure on the global public health system and has changed daily life. Aim: To examine the relationships between the perceived threat, perceived stress, coping responses and infection control practices towards the COVID-19 pandemic among university students in China. Methods: Using a cross-sectional survey, 4,392 students were recruited from six universities in two regions of China. Methods: Data were collected via an online platform using self-reported questionnaires. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to predict the variables on COVID-19 infection control practices. Results: Pearson correlation coefficients showed a significant negative relationship between perceived stress and COVID-19 infection control practices. A significant positive relationship was observed between wishful thinking and empathetic responding, and infection control practices. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that gender, geographical location, perceived stress and emotion-focused and relationship-focused coping responses were predictors of COVID-19 infection control practices. Conclusions: The findings suggest that university students displayed moderate levels of stress, using wishful thinking and empathetic responses as coping strategies. Counselling services should therefore emphasise reassurance and empathy. Male university students tended to be less compliant with social distancing. Both counselling and public health measures should recognise the importance of gender differences. Nurses should integrate these findings into future health program planning and interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0083.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: management and control practices; corporate governance; internal control; compliance; conformity; Social Health Organization (SHO)
Online: 4 March 2022 (14:06:21 CET)
To determine the adequacy of management practices in Social Health Organization (SHO) in face of compliance guidelines established by Brazilian organizations. This was qualitative research. Data were gathered through interviews and documentary analysis and were analyzed through the interpretation of significances and content analysis. The entity structures the compliance function based on three axes: a) normative - institutionalization of the integrity program, ethical conduct, internal controls and risk management; b) commercial - institutionalization of mechanisms aimed at transparency and accountability of the funds raised. However, the Covid-19 pandemic generated unforeseen contingencies such as accountability for funds from private donations; c) organizational - adherence by top management in maintaining a structure for inspection and control of the institution’s processes and behaviors in the market in which it operates. Based on the analysis of documents there is 76% adequacy of adherence of management practices to the compliance guidelines. It is concluded that organizations that depend on resources and understand that the subsidies they receive, whether government, whether public or private donations, will make the necessary efforts to ensure high levels of compliance, their choices and conduct preserve their image and the achievement of greater credibility and legitimacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0016.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: open research practices; digital humanities; scholarly communication; publication formats; infrastructure; research methodology; research tools
Online: 1 March 2020 (15:50:52 CET)
The digital transformation has initiated a paradigm shift in research and scholarly communication practices towards a more open scholarly culture. Although this transformation is slowly happening in the Digital Humanities field, open is not yet default. The article introduces the OpenMethods metablog, a community platform that highlights open research methods, tools, and practices within the context of the Digital Humanities by republishing open access content around methods and tools in various formats and languages. It also describes the platform’s technical infrastructure based on its requirements and main functionalities, and especially the collaborative content sourcing and editorial workflows. The article concludes with a discussion of the potentials of the OpenMethods metablog to overcome barriers towards open practices by focusing on inclusive, community sourced information based around opening up research processes and the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve its goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0171.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: best management practices; critical source areas; SWAT; SWAT-CUP; SUFI-2; dez river basin
Online: 17 January 2019 (03:10:52 CET)
Best management practices (BMPs) are a way to control pollution in river basins. Prioritization of BMPs helps improve efficiency and effectiveness of pollution reduction, especially in critical source areas (CSAs) that produce the highest pollution loads. Recently, the Dez River, Khuzestan, Iran, has become highly eutrophic from overuse of fertilizers and pesticides. Dry and irrigated farming produce 77.34% and 6.3% of the total nitrogen (TN) load, and 83.56% and 4.3% of the total phosphorus (TP) load in this basin, respectively. Residential, pasture, and forest land uses account for 16.36% of the TN and 12.14% of the TP load cumulatively. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was implemented to model the Dez River basin, and evaluate the applicability of several BMPs including point source elimination, filter strips, livestock grazing, and river channel management, in reducing the entry of pollution loads to the river. Sensitivity analysis and calibration/validation of the model was performed using the SUFI-2 algorithm in the SWAT Calibration Uncertainties Program (SWAT-CUP). CSAs were identified using individual (sediment, TN, TP) and combined indices, based on the amount of pollution produced. Among the BMPs implemented, filter strips were most effective in reducing TN loads (59%), and, increasing the D50 of particles for river channel management was most effective in reducing TP loads (49%).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0699.v2
Subject: Keywords: smart material systems; augmented material; creative practices; fashion design; smart experience; smart aesthetics; technology
Online: 2 November 2018 (02:34:10 CET)
During the last decade, smart materials have increasingly impacted on several niches, among which that of one-off/limited edition experimental fashion. Thanks to their performativity, due to the implementation of Smart Materials Systems, they have reached indeed catwalks as well as museums and galleries. As boundaries between what-is-art and what traditionally was not supposed to be art are now turning into osmotic membranes, zooming on how smart materials are highly contributing to outline the new creative landscape can provide with interesting and compelling issues. Introducing three different areas of experimental fashion, named Multi-sensory dresses, Empathic dresses, and Bio-smart dresses and accessories, respectively covering the world of in-Lab experiments and design collaborations in relation to the application of advanced smart materials systems, the article discuss some of the implications in term of Design Thinking and Design Aesthetics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0036.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: Organizational loyalty, human resource management practices, structural equation modeling, employee turnover and employee retention
Online: 6 October 2017 (10:00:34 CEST)
The role of human resource management practices and organizational loyalty dealing with employee retention has been widely explored and examined in the existing literature. The majority of human resource management researchers have focused on the role of policies and practices in different sectors related to employee retention. However, less attention has been given to identifying the practices and procedures common across all industries and sectors. The present study attempts to determine and examine the most important constructs like HR practices and organizational loyalty of employee retention management and proposes a comprehensive structural equation model to measure the impact of these constructs on employee retention. After an extensive review of the literature, organizational loyalty, and human resources management practices like recruitment and selection, compensation and benefit, training and development, supervision and evaluation have been identified as four essential practices dealing with employee retention and are common across all industries. These practices constitute the component factors of an employee retention management predicting employee’s turnover intentions. The survey method was adopted, and the original data obtained through the self-administered questionnaire. The valid one hundred and eighty-nine (189) respondents analyzed by using Lisrel 8.7, Structural equation model (SEM) analysis results shows that human resource management practices and organizational loyalty have strong positive impact on employee retention. This study tends to assist human resource managers and decision makers in selecting the appropriate motivating factors to retain and satisfy their employees
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0135.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Machine Learning Applications; Quality Assurance Methodology; Process Model; Automotive Industry and Academia; Best Practices; Guidelines
Online: 3 March 2021 (14:11:09 CET)
Machine learning is an established and frequently used technique in industry and academia but a standard process model to improve success and efficiency of machine learning applications is still missing. Project organizations and machine learning practitioners have a need for guidance throughout the life cycle of a machine learning application to meet business expectations. We therefore propose a process model for the development of machine learning applications, that covers six phases from defining the scope to maintaining the deployed machine learning application. The first phase combines business and data understanding as data availability oftentimes affects the feasibility of the project. The sixth phase covers state-of-the-art approaches for monitoring and maintenance of a machine learning applications, as the risk of model degradation in a changing environment is eminent. With each task of the process, we propose quality assurance methodology that is suitable to address challenges in machine learning development that we identify in form of risks. The methodology is drawn from practical experience and scientific literature and has proven to be general and stable. The process model expands on CRISP-DM, a data mining process model that enjoys strong industry support but lacks to address machine learning specific tasks. Our work proposes an industry and application neutral process model tailored for machine learning applications with focus on technical tasks for quality assurance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0198.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: behavior change; fertilizer application; theory; systems science; sugarcane; social norms; extension services; agronomy; management practices.
Online: 8 December 2020 (10:06:35 CET)
Research focused on understanding wider systemic factors driving behavioral change is limited with a dominant focus on the role of individual farmer and psychosocial factors for farming practice change, including reducing fertilizer application in agriculture. Adopting a wider systems perspective, the current study examines change and the role that supporting services have on fertilizer application rate change. A total of 238 sugarcane growers completed surveys reporting on changes in fertilizer application along with factors that may explain behavior change. Logistic regressions and negative binomial count-data regressions were used to examine whether farmers had changed fertilizer application rates and if they had, how long ago they made the change, and to explore the impact of individual and system factors in influencing change. Approximately one in three sugarcane growers surveyed (37%) had changed the method they used to calculate fertilizer application rates for the cane land they owned/managed at some point. Logistic regression results indicated growers were less likely to change the basis for their fertilizer calculation if they regarded maintaining good relationships with other local growers as being extremely important, they had another source of off-farm income, and if they had not attended a government-funded fertilizer management workshop in the five years preceding the survey. Similar drivers promoted early adoption of fertilizer practice change; namely, regarding family traditions and heritage as being unimportant, having sole decision-making authority on farming activities and having attended up to 5 workshops in the five years prior to completing the survey. Results demonstrated the influence of government-funded services to support practice change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0209.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: agronomic practices; agrobiodiversity; aflp; climate change; cluster analysis; genetic diversity; moringa oleifera; food and nutrition security
Online: 18 October 2019 (07:34:50 CEST)
Evaluation of agronomic practices, genetic diversity and population structure of Moringa oleifera (Lam.) is crucial to its sustainable utilization to ensure food and nutritional security. Four agronomic practices of field preparation and soil analysis, regeneration, weeding and pruning, as well as harvesting, were adopted. Genetic diversity and population structure of 20 populations were evaluated using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer pairs (E-ACC/M-CAC and E-ACA/M-CAG). The effects of agronomic practices on leaf quantity production were evaluated using standard procedures. The physico-chemical and morphological data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while genetic diversity, population structure, dendrogram reconstruction, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were analyzed from the AFLP genetic data. Significant effects (P ≤ 0.05) of agronomic practices on the quantity of leaf production were recorded across the accessions. The two primer pairs generated a total of 80 alleles with a mean major allele frequency of 0.0250. Gene diversity and polymorphic information content (PIC) values were high with a mean of 0.98 and 0.974, respectively. The Gst value of 0.0490 indicated that 5 % of the total genetic divergence was among the population while 95 % within the population. Dendrogram reconstruction with genetic distance ranging from 0.87 to 0.96 segregated the accessions into eleven clusters while PCA generated six cluster groups. Field preparation and physico-chemical soil properties, regeneration, weeding and pruning, and stand development, as well as harvesting, influenced the leaf yield and genetic diversity observed in this study. The genetic data revealed that some accessions were clustered along eco-geographical lines while others grouped disparately. Identified potential parent genotypes with valuable and desirable genetic traits can be exploited for commercial, breeding and conservation purposes to ensure sustainable utilization of the species in Nigeria.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0131.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin-D; 25-OH-D; screening; physician practices; low value care; test overutilization
Online: 16 March 2018 (07:14:14 CET)
The role of vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of non-skeletal health issues has received significant media and research attention in recent years. Costs associated with clinical management of low vitamin D (LVD) have increased exponentially. However, no clear evidence supports vitamin D screening to improve health outcomes. Authoritative bodies and professional societies recommend against population-wide vitamin D screening in community-dwelling adults who are asymptomatic or at low risk of LVD. In order to assess patterns of physician management of LVD in this conflicting environment, we conducted a scoping review of three electronic databases and gray literature. Thirty-eight records met inclusion criteria and were summarized in an evidence table. Results from seven countries showed a consistent increase in vitamin D lab tests and related costs. Many vitamin D testing patterns reflected screening rather than targeted testing for individuals at high risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Interventions aimed at managing inappropriate clinical practices related to LVD were effective in the short term. Variability and controversy were pervasive in many aspects of vitamin D management, shining light on physician practices in the face of uncertainty. Future research is needed is needed to inform better clinical guidelines and to assess implementation practices that encourage evidence-based management of LVD in adult populations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0048.v2
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: thermal desalination; reverse osmosis; advanced heat transfer fluids; sustainable desalination practices; integrated solar thermal nanofluids based desalination
Online: 9 January 2020 (08:39:19 CET)
Desalination accounts for 1% of the total global water consumption and is an energy-intensive process, with the majority of operational expenses attributed to energy consumption. Moreover, at present, a significant portion of the power comes from traditional fossil fuel-fired power plants and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with power production along with concentrated brine discharge from the process, pose a severe threat to the environment. Due to the dramatic impact of climate change, there is a major opportunity to develop sustainable desalination processes to combat the issues of brine discharge, greenhouse gas emissions along with a reduction in energy consumption per unit of freshwater produced. Nanotechnology can play a vital role to achieve specific energy consumption reduction as nanofluids application increases the overall heat transfer coefficient enabling the production of more water for the same size desalination plant. Furthermore, concentrated brine discharge harms the marine ecosystems, and hence, this problem must also be solved to support the objective of sustainable desalination. Several studies have been carried out in the past several years in the field of nanotechnology applications for desalination, brine treatment and the role of renewable energy in desalination. This paper aims to review the major advances in this field of nanotechnology for desalination. Furthermore, a hypothesis for developing an integrated solar thermal and nanofluid sustainable desalination system, based on the cyclic economy model is proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0276.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: occupational health and safety education; quality of health and safety education; health and safety education best practices
Online: 24 November 2019 (13:14:27 CET)
Research into professionalization in health and safety has recently gained in interest. Graduate training is one of the factors that determines or conditions the role of the safety professional, thus intervene in the professionalization process. This article is the result of a workshop and the discussions of nine academic directors of safety education programs about quality evaluation. This article introduces the issue with a historic overview of safety education, presents a synthesis of nine selected education programs, discusses quality evaluation of health and safety education programs, propose a quality evaluation frame and finally, proposes a process for designing a quality safety education program with an associated model of the learning objectives. The outcomes are interesting for everyone who is interested in health and safety education and quality evaluation and will give insights into how safety professionals are educated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0499.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: SDGs; urban inequality; urban governance; inclusive development; participatory geospatial methods; citizen-generated data; data practices; urban indicators
Online: 29 November 2018 (03:16:51 CET)
There is much discussion regarding the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) capacity to promote inclusive development. While some argue that they represent an opportunity for goal-led alignment of stakeholders and evidence-based decision-making, other voices express concerns as they perceive them as a techno-managerial framework that measures development according to quantitatively defined parameters and does not allow for local variation. We argue that the extent to which the positive or negative aspects of the SDGs prevail depends on the monitoring system’s ability to account for multiple and intersecting inequalities. The need for sub-nationally (urban) representative indicators poses an additional methodological challenge – especially in cities with intra-urban inequalities related to socio-spatial variations across neighbourhoods. This paper investigates the extent to which the SDG indicators’ representativeness could be affected by inequalities. It does so by proposing a conceptual framing for understanding the relation between inequalities and SDG monitoring, which is then applied to analyse the current methodological proposals for the indicator framework of the “urban SDG”, Goal 11. The outcome is a call for 1) a more explicit attention to intra-urban inequalities, 2) the development of a methodological approach to “recalibrate” the city-level indicators to account for the degree of intra-urban inequalities, and 3) an alignment between methodologies and data practices applied for monitoring SDG 11 and the extent of the underlying inequalities within the city. This would enable an informed decision regarding the trade-off in indicator representativeness between conventional data sources, such as censuses and household surveys, and emerging methods, such as participatory geospatial methods and citizen-generated data practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0371.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: regenerative higher education; podcasting as qualitative inquiry; ecological university; sustaina-bility transitions; regenerative education practices; regenerative education design
Online: 28 June 2022 (03:57:41 CEST)
Abstract Universities have the potential, and the responsibility, to take on more ecological and relational approaches to facilitating learning-based change in times of interconnected socio-ecological crises. Signs for a transition towards these more regenerative approaches of higher education (RHE) that include more place-based, ecological, and relational, ways of educating can already be found in niches across Europe (see for example the proliferation of education-based living labs, field labs, challenge labs). In this paper, the results of a podcast-based inquiry into the design practices and barriers of enacting such forms of RHE are shown. This study revealed seven educational practices that occurred across the innovation niches. It is important to note these practices are enacted in different ways, or are locally nested in unique expressions, For example, while the ‘practice’ of Cultivating Personal Transformations was represented across the included cases, the way these transformations were cultivated were unique expressions of each context. These RHE-design practices are derived from twenty-six narrative-based podcasts as interviews recorded in the April through June 2021 period. The resulting podcast (The Regenerative Education Podcast) was published on all major streaming platforms from October 2021 and included 21 participants active in Dutch Universities, 1 in Sweden, 1 in Germany, 1 in France, and 3 primarily online. Each episode engages with a leading practitioner, professor, teacher, and/or activist that is trying to connect their educational practice to making the world a more equitable, sustainable, and regenerative place. The episodes ranged from 30 to 70 minutes in total length and included both English (14) and Dutch (12) interviews. These episodes were analyzed through transition mapping a method based on story analysis and transition design. The results include seven design practices such as Cultivating Personal Transformations, Nurturing Ecosystems of Support, and Tackling Relevant and Urgent Transition Challenges, as well as a preliminary design tool that educational teams can use together with students and local agents in (re)designing their own RHE to connect their educational praxis with transition challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0202.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: machine learning; artificial intelligence; computer vision; cybersecurity; privacy, security; gerontology; social gerontology; internet of medical things; best practices
Online: 15 March 2022 (10:40:36 CET)
Fall prediction using machine learning has become one of the most fruitful and socially relevant applications of computer vision in gerontological research. Since its inception in the early 2000s, this subfield has proliferated into a robust body of research underpinned by various machine learning algorithms (including neural networks, support vector machines, and decision trees) as well as statistical modeling approaches (Markov chains, Gaussian mixture models, and hidden Markov models). Furthermore, some advancements have been translated into commercial and clinical practice, with companies in various stages of development capitalizing on the aging population to develop new commercially available products. Yet despite the marvel of modern machine learning-enabled fall prediction, little research has been conducted to shed light on the security and privacy concerns that such systems pose for older adults. The present study employs an interdisciplinary lens in examining privacy issues associated with machine learning fall prediction and exploring the implications of these models in elderly care and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Ultimately, a justice-informed set of best practices rooted in social geroscience is suggested to help fall prediction researchers and companies continue to advance the field while preserving elderly privacy and autonomy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0048.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: assessment; best practices; defense formats; doctoral defense; doctoral students; PhD thesis; quantitative research; student perception; viva; viva voce
Online: 2 July 2021 (10:15:51 CEST)
The doctoral defense is an important step in the doctoral journey and an essential requirement for obtaining the doctoral degree. Past research on the doctoral defense has focused solely on national practices. In this work, I investigate the potential link between the doctoral defense format based on its major and minor elements and the perception of the defense by the student. For this purpose, I first reviewed the different defense formats used internationally to extract the different elements of the doctoral defense, as well as the literature on students’ perceptions of the doctoral defense. Then, I carried out an international survey which received 297 responses, of which 204 completed surveys which I used for the analysis in this article. I first analyzed the outcomes of the survey using qualitative and quantitative methods, and then cross-correlated the outcomes of defense format to the outcomes of student perception. From this analysis, I observe that the defense elements that positively impact the students’ perception are: publication of the thesis before the defense, receiving committee feedback before the defense, knowing the recommendation of one or more committee members in advance, having the supervisor present in the audience or as part of the committee, using a dress code, and including a laudatio. The final conclusion of this work is threefold. The first conclusion is that the details of the defense format impact most the students’ perception. The second conclusion is that doctoral students on average value the defense as a positive experience. The third conclusion is that the defense format cannot influence two important aspects of how a student perceives the defense: the student’s inner life and lived experience during the defense, and the behavior of the committee members.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0050.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: antibiotics residue; antimicrobial resistance; ethno-veterinary practices; Herbal formulations; cattle health; dairy farmers; cost effective health care model
Online: 4 January 2021 (13:56:26 CET)
This study demonstrated that antibiotic residue in milk can be reduced when dairy farmers use Ethno-veterinary Practices (EVP) based on herbal alternatives to prevent and cure common clinical conditions in cattle instead of antibiotics. Of the 220 farmers selected for the study, 140 were trained and motivated to use validated herbal formulations, 80 were kept as control. Milk samples from the selected farmers (except Thirukanurpatti milk society) tested positive for antibiotic residue in the baseline survey. One year after interventions, the milk from 123 (87.86%) farmers out of 140, were without any detectable antibiotic residue, while samples from 11 farmers (7.85%) were low positive for either Beta-lactams or sulphonamides and 6 (4.29%) were positive for Beta lactams and/or sulphonamides. These 17 (11 + 6) farmers had used antibiotics along with herbal formulations. The milk samples from the control groups were positive for beta lactam and sulphonamide. There was suggestive significance of change in knowledge, attitude and practice of EVP among the farmers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A progressive reduction in the incidence of mastitis, enteritis, repeat breeding and cowpox were observed from 2016 to 2019 among the cows treated with EVP. Use of herbal alternative also resulted in a significant reduction in health care expenditure of cattle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0659.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Neonatal mortality; husbandry practices; cage inspection; pup counting method; social environment; cannibalistic behaviour; asynchrony breeding; mouse welfare, 3Rs principle.
Online: 28 June 2021 (14:02:37 CEST)
Perinatal mortality is a major issue in laboratory mouse breeding. We compared a counting method using daily checks (DAILY_CHECK) with a method combining daily checks with detailed video analyses to detect cannibalisms (VIDEO_TRACK) for estimating the number of C57BL/6 pups born, died and weaned in 193 litters from trios with (TRIO-OVERLAP) or without (TRIO-NO_OVERLAP) the presence of another litter. Linear mixed models were used at litter level. To understand if cannibalism was associated with active killing (infanticide), we analysed VIDEO_TRACK recordings of 109 litters from TRIO-OVERLAP, TRIO-NO_OVERLAP or SOLO (single dams). We used Kaplan-Meier method and logistic regression at pup level. For DAILY_CHECK, the mean litter size was 35% smaller than for VIDEO_TRACK (P<0.0001) and the number of dead pups was twice lower (P<0.0001). The risk of pup loss was higher for TRIO-OVERLAP than TRIO-NO_OVERLAP (P<0.0001). A high number of pup losses occurred between birth and the first cage checking. Analyses of VIDEO_TRACK data indicated that pups were clearly dead at the start of most of the cannibalism events and infanticide was rare. As most pups die and disappear before the first cage check, many breeding facilities are likely to be unaware of their real rates of mouse pup mortality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0181.v3
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Construction practices using nanotechnology applications; nano-modified emulsion stabilisation of granular materials; nano-modified emulsion stabilised layers in highway construction; central plant
Online: 23 December 2021 (10:52:06 CET)
The introduction of any new disruptive technology in a traditionally well-established industry, such as the road construction industry, is usually associated with considerable resistance. This is especially relevant when the new technology is based on the use of granular materials traditionally considered to be of an unacceptable quality in combination with relatively new concepts such as New-age (Nano) Modified Emulsions (NME). In such cases, the fact that the material design methods are based on fundamental scientific principles and have been proven in laboratories and through Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT), may be of little influence. However, the general acceptance of new disruptive technologies, e.g. telecommunications and Information Technologies (IT), have been based on the considerable advantages it presented. The same principles are applicable to the general acceptance and use of NME stabilisation/enhancement of materials in the road construction industry. This article is aimed at the practical cost-effective demonstration of the general application of the use of nanos-silane modified emulsions in the construction of the highest order roads, i.e. inter-city multi-lane highways, lower order roads (including Low-Volume-Roads (LVR)) and even local accesses to farms and in villages/townships. The implementation of NME technologies is directly associated with ease of use, time and cost savings and the addressing and reduction of risks applicable to the use thereof.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0127.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: sustainability; Sustainable Development Goals; Africa/Ghana; women and gender; agriculture; food security; climate change; capital economics; patriarchal governance; care labor/logics/practices
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:38:58 CEST)
Africa was the only continent not to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of 50% poverty reduction. This paper asks whether Africa will fare better in meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing poverty and hunger by 2030. To answer this question we examine literature, including our field research published over the last thirteen years. We find that ‘sustainable development’ is a failed concept immersed in the contemporary global economic system that favors growth over ecosystem stability and patriarchal systems of governance that undervalue women’s capacity for sustainability in their care-work as food providers. We examine barriers to women’s farming (climate change, gender bias, limited access to land, technology, finance) and provide examples of women’s innovative strategies for overcoming these barriers in their care practices toward family and community well-being and ecosystem health. We conclude that sustainability is only possible through transformation of thinking away from approaches that value profit over people and ecosystems and toward gender-based approaches for achieving the goals laid out in the SDGs through holistic, integrative systems of ecosystem fit.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0073.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: workplace testing; economic analysis; COVID-19; asymptomatic screening; mass testing; employee population health; return to work practices; SARS-CoV-2; surveillance; workplace mitigation
Online: 6 May 2021 (11:34:57 CEST)
Background: The epidemiological situation generated by COVID-19 has cast into sharp relief the delicate balance between public health priorities and the economy, with businesses obliged to toe a line between employee health and continued production. In an effort to detect as many cases as possible, isolate contacts, cut transmission chains and limit the spread of the virus in the workplace, mass testing strategies have been implemented in both public health and industrial contexts to minimize the risk of disruption in activity. Objective: To evaluate the economic impact of mass workplace testing strategy as carried out by a large automotive company in Catalonia in terms of health and healthcare resource savings. Methodology: Analysis of health costs and impacts based on the estimation of mortality and morbidity avoided because of screening and the resulting savings in healthcare costs. Results: The economic impact of the mass workplace testing strategies (using both PCR and RAT tests) was approximately €10.44 per test performed or €5,575.49 per positive detected. 38% of this figure corresponds to savings derived from better use of health resources (hospital beds, ICU beds and follow-up of infected cases), while the remaining 62% corresponds to improved health rates due to avoided morbidity and mortality. In scenarios with higher positivity rates and a greater impact of the infection on health and the use of health resources, these results could be up to ten times higher (€130.24 per test performed or €69,565.59 per positive detected). Conclusion: In the context of COVID-19, preventive actions carried out by the private sector to safeguard industrial production also have concomitant public benefits in the form of savings in healthcare costs. Thus, governmental bodies need to recognize the value of implementing such strategies in private settings and facilitate them through, for example, subsidies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0097.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: Decision-Making Process; Creative Re-generation; Cultural and Landscape Heritage; Low Entropy Economy; Innovative Management; Creative Practices; Complex Values; Ex-Post Evaluation; PROMETHEE-GAIA method
Online: 5 January 2021 (14:11:27 CET)
According to the current European and Italian scenario related to urban re-generation, cultural and landscape heritage, valorisation is being also enhanced by the activation of innovative processes. These involve the development of methodologies and tools that are able to address decision-making processes among low entropy economy, complex values and creative practices. In this perspective, the research aims to investigate the possibilities of developing a Cultural Heritage Low Entropy Enhancement (CHLEE) approach by considering how the complex values of cultural heritage can vary not only through a physical transformation of spaces but also through a program of uses and activities able to produce new values, where the human experience is essential. This type of model modifies the objectives that characterise the valorisation of cultural heritage and landscape, recognising that the fruition is no longer “consumerist” but “experiential”. A crucial role is represented by the heterogeneity of creative practices that contribute to the identificationidentifying and implementation ofimplementing innovative management and governance models. The present paper explores the components of creative regenerative processes, based upon the ex-post evaluation of some Italian experiments, across the PROMETHEE-GAIA multi-criteria method, to understand how creative experiences are building innovation ecosystem thanks to low entropy economy and improve the ex-ante evaluation for new strategies and policies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0158.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Sponge city; Active, Beautiful, Clean water design; sustainable drainage systems; water-sensitive urban drainage systems; low impact developments; best management practices; literature mining; literature review
Online: 17 January 2018 (12:34:38 CET)
As the increase threat of flood risk and environmental safety due to the urbanization, Sponge city research has been attracting extensive attention both in practical and theoretical research field. To date, there are only scattered studies about Sponge city. Moreover, vary names of Sponge city prevalent in different countries, which leads to disconnection of literature in the same field of Sponge city. In this paper, a thorough systematic literature mining of Sponge city is presented. A literature analysis system is created, which includes literature export from Web of Sciences and systematic analysis via NoteExpress and CiteSpace. Some literature statistical results are derived. Challenges and opportunities for future research are anticipated. Our goals are to promote this promising thought, summarize past research, and identify issues for future research to create impacts on the practice of Sponge city.