ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0446.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: Kafta-sheraro national park; woody species structure; regeneration status
Online: 28 February 2020 (16:24:09 CET)
The natural vegetation study was conducted in Kafta-sheraro national park (KSNP) North, Ethiopia to explore floristic composition, structure and regeneration of woody species in the home of African elephant. In the park, the above information is not well documented which is necessary for conservation. Data were collected From August to December 2018. The vegetation data were collected from 161 quadrats of size 20m×20m, 5mx5m for shrub ̸ tree, sapling and seedling respectively. Individual trees and shrubs DBH >=2.5cm and height >=2m were measured using Tape meter and Clinometer respectively. DBH, frequency, density, basal area, and IVI were used for vegetation structure. A total of 70 woody species 46 (65.7%) trees, 18 (25.7%) shrubs and 6 (8.6%) tree ̸ shrub) were identified. The total basal area and density of 79.3 m2 ha-1, and 466 ±12.8 (S.E.) individuals ha-1 were calculated for 64 woody species. Fabaceae was the most dominant family occupied 16 species (23.0%) followed by Combretaceae 8 species (11.4%). Acacia mellifera and Combretum hartmannianum were the most dominant and frequent species. Abnormal patterns of selected woody species were dominantly identified. Regenerating status all the woody plant species was categorized as “Fair” (18.75%), “Poor” (7.81 %) and “None” (73.44%). However, there is good initiation for conservation of the park; still the vegetation of the park was threatened by firewood collection, charcoal production, fire, intensive farming, mining and over grazing. Therefore, the study area as the habitat for the population of the African elephant; the KSNP should be recommended the highest conservation priority and studied the soil seed bank of species having poor regeneration condition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0390.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Aerial laser scanning; Canopy structural complexity; Forest structure; National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON); Pulse density
Online: 23 December 2021 (11:59:27 CET)
Recent expansion in data sharing has created unprecedented opportunities to explore structure-function linkages in ecosystems across spatial and temporal scales. However, characteristics of the same data product, such as resolution, can change over time or spatial locations, as protocols are adapted to new technology or conditions, which may impact the data’s potential utility and accuracy for addressing end user scientific questions. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) provides data products for users from 81 sites and over a planned 30-year time frame, including discrete return Light Detection and Range (LiDAR) from an airborne observatory platform. LiDAR is a well-established and increasingly available remote sensing technology for measuring three-dimensional (3D) characteristics of ecosystem and landscape structure, including forest structural diversity. The LiDAR product that NEON provides can vary in point density from 2 – 25+ points/m2 depending on instrument and acquisition date. We used NEON LiDAR from five forested sites to (1) identify the minimum point density at which structural diversity metrics can be robustly estimated across forested sites from different ecoclimatic zones in the USA and (2) to test the effects of variable point density on the estimation of a suite of structural diversity metrics and multivariate structural complexity types within and across forested sites. Twelve out of sixteen structural diversity metrics were sensitive to LiDAR point density in at least one of the five NEON forested sites. The minimum point density to reliably estimate the metrics ranged from 2.0 to 7.5 pt/m2, but our results indicate that point densities above 7-8 pt/m2 should provide robust measurements of structural diversity in forests for temporal or spatial comparisons. The delineation of multivariate structural complexity types from a suite of 16 structural diversity metrics was robust within sites and across forest types for a LiDAR point density of 4 pt/m2 and above. This study shows that different metrics of structural diversity can vary in their sensitivity to the resolution of LiDAR data and users of these open-source data products should consider the point density of their data and use caution in metric selection when making spatial or temporal comparisons from these datasets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0014.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Bengal slow loris; masked palm civet; common palm civet; conservation; forest canopy; density; Satchari National Park; tropical forest; Bangladesh
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:09:08 CEST)
Tropical forests harbor complex communities that are linked together by biotic relationships. Asian forests in particular have lost many apex predators due to habitat loss. We studied a small forest patch in northeastern Bangladesh, Satchari National Park, to determine density and diversity of nocturnal mammals and evaluate their relationships. Transects were walked from February 2015 to July 2016 and density was estimated using distance sampling. Nine species of mammals (5 arboreal and 4 ground-dwelling) were encountered. Densities of the common palm civets, Paradoxurus hermaphrodites, Bengal slow loris, Nycticebus bengalensis, were the highest (19.48 and 15.03 individuals/km2). Density of small Indian civets, large Indian civets and Indian mongoose were lower (2.31-5.55 individuals/km2). Unexpectedly, a wide range of nocturnal mammals co-existed in this forest patch, in spite of fragmentation and severe disturbance. We did not find any significant association between any of the species studied, although this could be an artifact of low sample size. Conservation in Bangladesh remains a challenge due to high human population density. Thus, strict conservation measures are needed to permit the long-term survival of these species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0156.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: forest beauty; outdoor recreation; graphic elicitation technique; controlled burning; red-cockaded woodpecker, Ocala National Forest
Online: 12 April 2018 (04:46:34 CEST)
Prescribed burning and other active forest management treatments have been proven to be essential for maintaining suitable habitat conditions for many wildlife species, including the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This study examines the perception of forest management treatments of recreation users participating in various activities (hunting, hiking/backpacking, camping, off-highway vehicle riding, and canoeing/kayaking) in terms of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. We used photographic images to capture various forest management treatments of different intensity levels and times after treatments, and assessed users’ perception of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. Results indicated variation among users participating in different recreation activities, but that good quality RCW habitat offered both higher scenic beauty and higher recreation satisfaction than poor quality habitat for most user groups. Finally, recreation satisfaction was statistically equal to perceived scenic beauty from both good and poor-quality RCW habitats for most of the user groups, thus suggesting the importance of scenic beauty on forest sites in determining recreation users’ attainment of visit satisfaction. Findings conclude that forest sites developed as good quality RCW habitat in the present state also offer quality experience to recreation users, thus supporting multi-objective forestry practices in public forests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0235.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: forest resources; forest and tree species distribution; machine learning; multi-sensor data fusion; National Forest Inventory data
Online: 12 January 2021 (17:35:56 CET)
Mapping forest extent and forest cover classification are important for the assessment of forest resources in socio-economic as well as ecological terms. Novel developments in the availability of remotely sensed data, computational resources, and advances in areas of statistical learning have enabled fusion of multi-sensor data, often yielding superior classification results. Most former studies of nemoral forests fusing multi-sensor and multi-temporal data have been limited in spatial extent and typically to a simple classification of landscapes into major land cover classes. We hypothesize that multi-temporal, multi-censor data will have a specific strength in further classification of nemoral forest landscapes owing to the distinct seasonal patterns of the phenology of broadleaves. This study aimed to classify the Danish landscape into forest/non-forest and further into forest types (broadleaved/coniferous) and species groups, using a cloud-based approach based on multi-temporal Sentinel 1 and 2 data and machine learning (random forest) trained with National Forest Inventory (NFI) data. Mapping of non-forest and forest resulted in producer accuracies of 99% and 90 %, respectively. The mapping of forest types (broadleaf and conifer) within the forested area resulted in producer accuracies of 95% for conifer and 96% for broadleaf forest. Tree species groups were classified with producer accuracies ranging 34-74%. Species groups with coniferous species were the least confused whereas the broadleaf groups, especially Oak, had higher error rates. The results are applied in Danish National accounting of greenhouse gas emissions from forests, resource assessment and assessment of forest biodiversity potentials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0489.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Keywords: Sustainable Heritage Tourism; Native American Heritage Places; United States National Parks; Arches National Park; Canyonlands National Park; Hovenweep National Park
Online: 23 October 2020 (11:08:48 CEST)
Abstract: Sustainable use of Native American heritage places is viewed in this analysis as serving to preserve their traditional purposes and sustain the cultural landscapes that give them heritage meaning. The research is about the potential impacts of heritage tourism to selected Native American places at Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Hovenweep National Monument. The impacts of tourists to a heritage place must be understood as having both potential effects on the place itself and on an integrated cultural landscape. Impacts to one place potentially change other places- functions in a Native American landscape and the integrity of the landscape itself. The analysis is based on 696 interviews with representatives from nine tribes and pueblos, who in addition to defining the cultural meaning of places, officially made 349 heritage management recommendations. The U.S. National Park Service interprets Natives American resources and then brings millions of tourists to these through museums, brochures, outdoor displays, and ranger-guided tours. Native American ethnographic study participants argued that tourist education and regulation can increase the sustainability of Native American places in a park and can help protect related places beyond the park.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0391.v1
Online: 16 July 2021 (17:07:29 CEST)
Population studies have demonstrated an association between sodium (Na) and po-tassium (K) intake and levels of blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol. The aim of this study was to describe the dietary intake and distribution of Na and K in Mexicans, and their as-sociation with metabolic risk outcomes. We analyzed a national survey that included 4,219 participants. Dietary information was obtained through a 24-hour recall. Foods and beverages were classified based on the degree of processing. BP and biomarkers in blood and urine were measured. The mean intake (mg/d) of Na was 1512 in pre-schoolchildren, 2844 in schoolchildren, 3743 in adolescents, and 3132 in adults. The mean intake of K was 1616 in pre-schoolchildren, 2256 in schoolchildren, 2967 in adolescents, and 3401 in adults. Processed and ultra-processed foods (UPF) contribute to sodium intake: 49% in preschool and schoolchildren, 47% in adolescents, and 39% in adults. Adults in the fourth quartile of sodium intake had lower serum concentrations of cholesterol (181.4 mg/dL) and HDL-c (35.5 mg/dL). The Mexican population has high Na and low K intakes. There is a relationship between Na sodium consumption and cholesterol, and LDL levels. UPF contributes to almost 40% of the sodium consumed by Mexicans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0154.v1
Online: 10 May 2021 (09:56:46 CEST)
Background: Indonesia is one of the multicultural countries in the world. The diversity that exists in Indonesia is reflected in differences in race, ethnicity, culture, and religion. It is not surprising that Indonesia will face the threat of national disintegration due to differences. Therefore, Indonesia needs a concept in fostering diversity to create national resilience. Purpose: This study aims to explore how the role of archipelago insights in shaping national geostrategy resilience. Method: The method used in this research is literature review. The search for journals was carried out using the google scholar database with the keywords "archipelago insight" and "geostrategy" and "national resilience". Feasibility studies are assessed based on title, abstract, full text, and research methodology. Data analysis using narrative analysis based on research findings. Result: insight into the archipelago can be used as a basis in shaping a national geostrategy. The perspective in the concept of archipelago insight by fostering the diversity in Indonesia can create unity and integrity to form national geostrategic resilience. Conclusion: The concepts that exist in the archipelago perspective and national geostrategy can foster the diversity that exists in Indonesia. The creation of existing unity and integrity, understanding the perception of seeing differences, is not a threat to realizing national resilience in the Indonesian nation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0161.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Commitment to national; Heritage; Patriotism; Nationalism
Online: 7 December 2020 (13:56:45 CET)
This study aims to describe the commitment to national heritage, patriotism, nationalism of elementary school students in the border areas between Indonesia and Timor Leste. This research was conducted in three elementary schools, they are SD Inpres Moto Ain, SD Inpres Class Jau Halimuti, SD Kristen Nanaeklot, and SD Negeri Motabenar from June to August 2018. The subjects of this study were elementary students in the Indonesia-Timor Leste border areas precisely around Motaain City, Belu Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. The research questionnaire was adapted from Karazawa and analyzed with descripriptive statistics. The results of this study showed that the commitment to national heritage, patriotism, and nationalism of elementary students on the Indonesian border areas with Timor Leste is in the very high level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0343.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; Indonesia; National Surveillance; Registry; BELKAGA
Online: 22 September 2022 (10:41:18 CEST)
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a vector-borne disease caused by parasitic helminths and constitutes a serious public health issue in tropical regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infected cases in Southeast Asia constitute 50% of the estimated 120 million infections globally. In Indonesia, LF is caused by all filarial species, and in 2018, 236 districts from a total of 514 districts in the entire country were declared as endemic areas. The global program to eliminate filariasis has been running for the last 19 years and has been conducted as a full national initiative for the last 8 years in Indonesia. The study describes the surveillance of LF cases and prevalence in Indonesia for the past 17 years (2001-2017) – during the global and national LF elimination programs-, using national registry-based data. The data demonstrates that the national program has been largely effective in the areas it has been active the longest, while there are provinces lagging behind in the successful suppression of LF. The high geographical fragmentation of the country with the associated ecological parameters relating to LF incidence, likely play an important role in maintaining the highly varied incidence rate across Indonesia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0230.v1
Online: 10 September 2020 (09:04:18 CEST)
This work investigates the utility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Water Model (NWM) for water management operations by assessing the total inflow into a select number of reservoirs across the Central and Western U.S. Total inflow is generally an unmeasured quantity, though critically important for anticipating both floods and shortages in supply over a short-term (hourly) to sub-seasonal (monthly) time horizon. The NWM offers such information at over 5,000 reservoirs across the U.S., however, its skill at representing inflow processes is largely unknown. The goal of this work is to understand the drivers for both well performing and poor performing NWM inflows such that managers can get a sense of the capability of NWM to capture natural hydrologic processes and in some cases, the effects of upstream management. We analyzed the inflows for a subset of Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) reservoirs within the NWM over the long-term simulations (retrospectively, seven years) and for short, medium and long-range operational forecast cycles over a one-year period. We utilize ancillary reservoir characteristics (e.g. physical and operational) to explain variation in inflow performance across the selected reservoirs. In general, we find that NWM inflows in snow-driven basins outperform those in rain-driven, and that assimilated basin area, upstream management, and calibrated basin area all influence the NWM’s ability to reproduce daily reservoir inflows. The final outcome of this work proposes a framework for how the NWM reservoir inflows can be useful for reservoir management, linking reservoir purposes with the forecast cycles and retrospective simulations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0115.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Health Status; National Survey; KSA; School Health; Students
Online: 7 September 2021 (09:59:44 CEST)
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) established a National School-based Screening Program (NSBSP) for health screening of school-going children. Students from specific grades were systematically screened for several health problems including obesity, visual and auditory problems, dental cavities, scoliosis, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of these health problems among primary school students based on secondary data obtained from the NSBSP. We included 444,259 screened school children from the 1st and 4th grades of 50% of the selected schools (both private and public) across the KSA during the academic year 2018-2019. Among them, the most prevalent health problems identified were dental cavities (38.7%), eye refractory errors (10.9%), and overweight and obesity (10.5%); the less prevalent problems included ADHD (2.81%), auditory problems (0.6%), and scoliosis (0.48%). A greater prevalence of most health problems was observed in girls than boys. The NSBSP successfully aided the detection of health conditions with high and low prevalence among primary school students in the KSA, and thus, identification of health problems of specific concern. Implementation of effective school health services for the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of these health problems is imperative.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0254.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance; CwPAMS; National Action Plans; Pharmacy; One Health
Online: 18 July 2022 (09:03:53 CEST)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health problem threatening safe, effective healthcare delivery in all countries and settings. The ability of microorganisms to become resistant to the effects of antimicrobials is an inevitable evolutionary process. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobial agents has increased the importance of a global focus on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). This review provides insight into the current AMS landscape and identifies contemporary actors and initiatives related to AMS projects in eight African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), which form a network of countries participating in the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme. We focus on common themes across the eight countries, including the current status of AMR, infection prevention and control, AMR implementation strategies, AMS, antimicrobial surveillance, antimicrobial use, antimicrobial consumption surveillance, a one health approach, digital health, pre-service and in-service AMR & AMS training, access to and supply of medicines, and the impact of COVID-19. Recommendations suitable for adaptation are presented, including the development of a national AMS strategy and incorporation of AMS in pharmacists’ and other healthcare professionals' curricula for pre-service and in-service training.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0516.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: REDD; Carbon Stock; MRV; Remote Sensing; Sal; Sub-national
Online: 22 March 2021 (11:17:20 CET)
United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCC) conventions in their conference of parties (COPs) has continuously considered and agreed reducing emission level in order to minimize the impact of global climate change. Reducing emission due to deforestation and degradation (REDD) ,was considered as one of the major activities in this regard during Kyoto protocol in 2009 which laid foundation for the participating countries to be compensated financially for reduced carbon emission. Mexico convention -2012 required the countries to develop and implement a transparent and consistent monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) process. Later in Paris agreement-2015, the parties agreed to limit the global warming to 2 degree centigrade and with further efforts to 1.5-degree centigrade furthering entailing the parties to prepare and communicate nationally determined contributions (NDCs) every five years. Nepal aimed to decrease the average annual deforestation rate by 0.05 percent from existing 0.44 percent in the terai region and 0.1 percent in the Chure. Nepal decided to develop its forest reference level (FRL) in national level for the historical period 2000-2010 considering Carbon dioxide and carbon pools above and below ground. As per the Forestry Sector Strategy, Nepal aims to increase carbon stock growth by at least 5% by 2025 as compared to 2015 and decrease mean annual deforestation rate to 0.05. After major change in administrative division in Nepal, forest management responsibility has shifted down to the Sub-national level. But forest resource studies have not been conducted yet in these levels. Despite a small country, Nepal has at least four clear physiological regions. The amount of carbon stock stored by different forest type are different depending upon species distribution, carbon volume and density for each species, and their distribution along ecological and physiological regions. Sal (shorea Robusta), for example, having one of the highest carbon densities, is a major forest types in Nepal. The purpose of this study was to generate forest map of the country, calculate carbon stock, gain and loss, and their rate in each province due to deforestation/afforestation using remote sensing data. Further Sal forest map was generated and its contribution in carbon stock was calculated using averaged national carbon density as well as using regional density method. According to the study, around 5.1 million hectares of Nepali land was forest in 2015 increasing from 4.2 million hectares in 2005. However, Sal forest has decreased during the same period. Province 1 contributed the maximum (130 Tg) and Province 2 the minimum (40Tg) of Carbon stock in 2015. Using the conventional method of calculation with national average density (108.08 t/ha), a total of 36.7T CO2 yr-1 carbon sink was observed in the Country. Whereas, with the new approach of calculation, a total of 44.7 T CO2 e of carbon sink per year was estimated during the same period. This approach holds potential for qualifying as an MRV process of Nepal. The subnational level forest and carbon statistics produced during this study can be important assets for the better forest governance. This can also pave way for policy formation and preparation of action plan for sustainable forest management and intervention strategy and obtaining better financial incentives participating in the reduction of emission due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) plus programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0661.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: national parks; ecosystem service value; natural infrastructure; natural capital
Online: 29 October 2018 (07:11:30 CET)
The annual budget for the United States National Park Service was roughly three billion dollars in 2016. This is distributed amongst 405 National Parks, 23 national scenic and historic trails, and 60 wild and scenic rivers. Entrance fees and concessions generate millions of dollars in income for the National Park Service; however, this metric fails to account for the total value of the National Parks. In failing to consider the value of the ecosystem services provided by the National Parks we fail to quantify and appreciate the contributions our parks make to society. This oversight allows us to continue to underfund a valuable part of our natural capital and consequently damage our supporting environment, national heritage, monetary economy, and many of our diverse cultures. We explore a simple benefits transfer valuation of the United States national parks using National Land Cover Data from 2011 and ecosystem service values determined by Costanza (et al). This produces an estimate suggesting the parks provide $84 billion / year in ecosystem service value. If the natural infrastructure 'asset' that is our national park system had a budget comparable to a piece of commercial real estate of this value, the annual budget of the National Park Service would be roughly an order of magnitude larger at something closer to $30 billion rather than $3 billion.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0431.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: LULC Products, systematic review, Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Online: 23 July 2018 (15:33:55 CEST)
A large variety of remote sensing-based land use/land cover (LULC) products are currently available on national and global scales. This literature review and in-situ validation study evaluates the suitability of these products for local scale applications in the complex terrain of the Ethiopian mountains. For the review, 146 research papers were analyzed. Most studies (73%) have been published since 2013 and are based on individually computed maps. Not a single study relied on readily available LULC products. Nine readily available LULC products with 20, 30, 300, 500 and 1,000 m spatial resolution have been identified at national and global scales. To complement and extend this body of research, the recent (since 2013) LULC products were validated using 185 ground truth points collected in the Bale Mountains National Park between 1,500 and 4,385 m a.s.l. The results indicate a rather poor overall accuracy (<50%).
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; public authorities; social media; trust
Online: 11 October 2021 (11:04:14 CEST)
This study aimed to examine trust in information provided by public authorities and financial measures put in place to address the impact of COVID-19. Using a cross-national approach among four Western countries; the United States of America, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom provides an analysis of responses related to trust and how they were associated with age group, gender, education level, employment status, size of place of residence, infection sta-tus, and social media use. When controlling for all included variables in logistic regression analyses, the likelihood of having trust in the public authorities’ information was higher for women, those with higher levels of education, and those living in urban areas. Being infected with the coronavirus, and spending more time daily on social media was associated with lower likelihood reporting trust in information. Although policies implemented to respond to eco-nomic concerns varied cross-nationally, higher age, identifying as female, being employed, liv-ing in a city, and lower levels of social media usage were associated with higher likelihood of trusting in the financial measures put in place to counteract the economic effects of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0411.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: concerns; coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; social distancing; social media
Online: 18 February 2021 (11:02:48 CET)
COVID-19 has been a global healthcare concern impacting multiple aspects of individual and community wellness. As one moves forward with different methods to reduce the infection and mortality rates, it is critical to continue to study the impact that national and local ‘social distancing’ policies have on the daily lives of individuals. The aim of this study was to examine loneliness in relation to risk assessment, measures taken against risks, concerns, and social media use, while adjusting for sociodemographic variables. The cross-sectional study collected data from 3469 individuals from USA, UK, Norway, and Australia. Loneliness was measured with the de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Multiple linear regression was used in the analysis of associations between variables. The results showed that concerns about finances were more strongly associated with social loneliness, while concerns about the future was more strongly associated with emotional loneliness. Longer daily time spent on social media was associated with higher emotional loneliness. In conclusion, pandemic-related concerns seem to affect their perceptions of loneliness. While social media can be used productively to maintain relationships, and thereby prevent loneliness, excessive use may be counterproductive.
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: foreign national prisoners; prison activities; multiculturalism; prison staff decision; motivation
Online: 26 October 2020 (08:45:11 CET)
The article presents the trends in penitentiary work with convicts of different cultures, focuses on their activation, individualisation of work, and organizational difficulties. The purpose of the research has been to discover the ways in which prison staff react to situations requiring flexibility justified by cultural differences of the inmates. The research questions have included: How does prison staff respond to the needs of culturally different inmates? How do the respondents’ reactions correlate with professional experience? Based on the literature, a hypothesis has been established that prison staff avoids individualized treatment of convicted foreigners. Despite the perceived differences in culture, religion, and their different mentality, prison procedures aim at uniformity. Tendencies towards resistance and stiffness to the needs of culturally different people become prevailing. The research method used has included a diagnostic survey (n = 232, F: 40, M: 192) conducted in prison officers in Poland. The written interview technique has been used, where the respondents has reacted to 3 situations of convicts, reflecting their national, religious, and cultural distinctiveness. In their responses, the respondents have decided on the way of action in the situation, as well as their motivation. The operationalization of the source material has been performed in two ways. There has been applied the content analysis method according to the grounded theory (B.G. Glaser, A.L. Strauss), resulting in the creation of categories marking actions and motives. A multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) of the built categories has been carried out using the Statistica program, as well as the correlation analysis of variables with the Cramer's V coefficient. The results of the analysis show statistically created, indicated manners of reacting that have occurred in the studied sample. Additionally, they point out an independent variable - seniority, which has correlated with the quality of the response.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: corticolous; Dong Nai; Nam Cat Tian National Park; Porinaceae; taxonomy
Online: 8 April 2019 (13:30:10 CEST)
An identification key to twenty-nine species of Porina known from the country is provided. In addition, new records of Porina interstes, P. nuculastrum, and P. rhaphidiophora are described from the protected rain forests in southern Vietnam. A detailed taxonomic account of each species is provided and supported by its ecology, distribution, and illustrations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0147.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Decentralization; National Health Service; Regional Health Administration; Primary Health Care; Portugal
Online: 11 July 2022 (03:46:45 CEST)
The Portuguese health system has a universal, public, general National Health Service (NHS), tending towards free healthcare access. Created in 1979, this delivery model developed from the integration and complementarity between the different response levels (primary, hospital, continuing, and palliative care). However, over these 40 years, the initially centralized system underwent a decentralization process with the creation of Regional Health Administrations in the five mainland administrative regions. Since then, the entire NHS has settled around this new organization. The most recent step started in 2018 with decentralizing primary health care skills to 190 municipalities. This paper presents the various critical issues involved in the latest gradual decentralization process in health, intending to bring services closer to the citizens, and more focused on their needs. The article identifies and discusses the implications of this experience based on the steps foreseen in the already published legal texts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0428.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Agenda 2030; sustainability goals; national environmental quality objectives; industry; integration; implementation
Online: 19 May 2021 (07:36:12 CEST)
Abstract This article examines the implementation of the Swedish national environmental quality objectives and discusses what can be learnt for the equivalent process for the set of global UN 2030 goals (SDGs), established in 2015. The empirical basis is a study on 50 large companies in Sweden and their use of these objectives in their policy formulation. The SDGs are crafted with a broader approach than the Swedish national environmental quality objectives. Therefore, the SDGs probably better reflect the agenda of the business community since they have a global character, cover the whole spectrum of important sustainability issues and provide a mutual agenda for the business community world-wide. More than 90 percent of the large companies in the study have explicitly committed themselves to the SDGs, only 1-2 years after they were published, whereas similar commitments hardly exist for the national environmental quality objectives, even 20 years after its establishment. A large majority of the large companies in this study know about the SDGs, have actively endorsed them, and started to adjust their activities accordingly. At the end, the results of these endorsements remain to be seen.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0520.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; physical distancing; psychological outcomes; social distancing
Online: 19 April 2021 (22:23:02 CEST)
The aim of the study was to examine the use of video-based communication and its association with loneliness, mental health and quality of life in older adults (60-69 years versus 70+ years) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Norway, UK, USA and Australia during April/May 2020, and 836 participants in the relevant age groups were included in the analysis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between use of video-based communication tools and loneliness, mental health and quality of life within age groups, while adjusting by sociodemographic variables. Video-based communication tools were found to be more often used among participants aged 60-69 years (60.1%), compared to participants aged 70 or above (51.8%, p < 0.05). Adjusting for all variables, use of video-based communication was associated with less loneliness (β = -0.12, p < 0.01) and higher quality of life (β = 0.14, p < 0.01) among participants aged 60-69 years, while no associations occurred for participants in the oldest age group. The use of video-based communication tools was therefore associated with favorable psychological outcomes among participants in their sixties, but not among participants in the oldest age group. The study results support the notion that age may influence the association between use of video-based communication tools and psychological outcomes amongst older people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0667.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Zinc deficiency; children; non-pregnant women; national micronutrient status survey; Nepal
Online: 25 December 2020 (14:22:32 CET)
Zinc deficiency, a common malnutrition in children and women is a global public health problem.Burden of zinc deficiencyis more in countries with low meat and high cereal food consumption like Nepal. Nationally representative data on zinc status in Nepal is lacking at present. This study analysed the data from the recent Nepal National Micronutrient status survey 2016(NNMSS-2016) to determinethe prevalence of zinc deficiency and associated risk factors among children aged 6-59 months (n=1462) and non-pregnant women aged 15-49 years(n=1923) from three ecological zones, Hill, Terai, and Mountainof the country. Venous blood was collected from the participants to measure micronutrients such as zinc, markers of anaemia, vitamin A, and markers of inflammation. Stool was collected to assessthe soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) and Helicobacterpylori infection. Socio-demographic, household and other relevant information were collected by a structured questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to examine the predictors of zinc deficiency among the participants.The overall zinc deficiency in children was found to be 22.9% while it was higher in non-pregnant women (24.7%). Predictors associated with zinc deficiency among enrolled children in the study were,living in rural areas (AOR=2.25, 95% CI, [1.13, 4.49]),occurrence of diarrhoea during the two weeks preceding the survey (AOR=1.57, 95% CI, [1.07, 2.30]), household wealth quintile (AOR= 0.48, 95% CI,[0.25, 0.92]) and vitamin A status (AOR=0.49, 95% CI,[0.28, 0.85]. Risk factors associated with zinc deficiency among the non-pregnant women were being underweight (AOR=1.60, 95% CI,[1.15, 2.23]), fever occurrence during two weeks preceding the survey (AOR=1.45, 95% CI,[ 1.06, 1.99]), H. pylori in the stool (AOR=1.32, 95% CI, [1.03, 1.70]), being rich (AOR=0.64, 95% CI,[0.42, 0.98]) and being in the risk of folate deficiency (AOR=0.60, 95% CI,[0.37, 0.96]). We conclude that community focused intervention programs including health and nutrition counselling and livelihood opportunities focusing groups at high-risk may improve the zinc status in Nepal.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0282.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: National Licensing Exam; EMLE Framework; Exam Logistics; Exam Set up; Egypt
Online: 13 October 2020 (13:59:51 CEST)
Background: Although National Licensing Examinations (NLEs) may be a costly process, they can predict better performance for many following years. The current licensing requirements will not entail and new requirements will be requested. Therefore, this study suggests a framework for the development of the Medical Licensing Exam by exploring the opinions of Egyptian medical practitioners and educators regarding the exam format and criteria. Objective and methods: to describe the needed steps to develop the EMLE through a two-phase exploratory mixed-method study that had been conducted among the Egyptian medical sectors: medical practitioners and educators. Results: There were 50 clinical and academic educators shared in the online discussion about EMLE development. Then, a survey was carried out on 266 participants with various working places in which 198 of the participants were staff in the Higher Education Ministry and 68 physicians in the Ministry of Health. The input from both had contributed to the development of the following framework that is divided into two main sections; the Exam Logistics and the Exam Set up. The exam Logistics included the exam committee, prerequisites for the exam, the admission criteria and fees, and the validity of the license. While the Exam Set up included exam setting, structure, standard-setting, pass marks and reset policy. Conclusion: A Multidisciplinary team resources for the exam setting. Fairness and objectivity were highlighted through several factors; development of the exam blueprint, types of assessment methods, post-exam analysis, and standard-setting. Finally, the reset policy, fees, and validity of the license were recommended with a student-centered perspective that was suggested for the exam committee.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0345.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: food safety; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; ACEII; agricultural security; national security
Online: 16 September 2020 (03:57:36 CEST)
Coronavirus is now a significant human pathogen with the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Until now there has been no data to support a threat to agricultural industries. Using a comparative genomic protein analysis, this study examined the angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACEII) gene of 17 animal species with an emphasis on agriculture. To determine viral vulnerability the 20 known SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)/ACEII receptor interaction sites were compared to determine their potential susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With the known bat host’s (XP_032963186) number of binding sites as a threshold, we note that ALL animal species examined in this study contained significant numbers (≥10) of SARS-CoV-2 binding sites and could be at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The data from this study suggest SARS-CoV-2 imposes a grave threat to the safety and security of the agricultural industry. Urgent studies are needed to determine if infected animals can transmit SARS-CoV-2 before and/or after processing.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0199.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: Ecotourism; Sustainability; Island Tourism; Penghu National Scenic Area; Tourist Service System
Online: 15 February 2020 (14:45:47 CET)
In order to increase the number of tourism in ecotourism, enhance the ecotourism attractions. It is essential to construct the ecotourism service system for the Penghu National Scenic Area because the ecology system is sensitive and frangible. This study adopts the Fuzzy Delphi method and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to establish an index framework of ecotourism service system of Penghu National Scenic Area. The results indicated that there are 4 dimensions which include 21 factors service attributes are identified as the service system for traveling. The findings are concluded as follows:(1)the security management capability is the main principle for ecotourism service system;(2)the ecological diversity is fundamental for the marine environment and the core resource for ecotourism;(3)the transportation capacity and environmental quality need to improve; (4)the marine environmental resources is the most important item for sound ecotourism development; (5)the enhancement of the operation willingness of local communities can promote ecotourism development;(6)the natural resources should be protected to provide an ideal recreational environment for ecotourism;(7)the development of ecotourism needs to support local conservation to achieve sustainability. The perspectives of sustainability and service system are involved to support the value of this study, which can continuously sustain Penghu archipelago.
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: value co-creation; National Health Insurance; My Health Bank; Service Ecosystem
Online: 22 January 2020 (02:55:28 CET)
Objective: Taiwan Government’s organizations have endeavored to promote the applications of big data and open data. The “My Health Bank” is one of the measures promoted by the National Health Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare. This study proposes the perspective of the “value co-creation” with the attempt to extend the concept of service ecosystem and apply it on the platform of My Health Bank to examine whether people (patients, families, and caregivers) can promote their health literacy? Method: This cross-sectional study, with people that have registered at “My Health Bank” as subjects. Complying with the inclusion criteria, 401 questionnaires were delivered, with 391 valid ones, excluding those incompletely and inaccurately filled. Result: That the affecting factors of the co-creation of values: age, education level, annual income, and platform operation show to be significant ( p＜0.05); and gender, occupation, and resource exchange do not reach the significant level (p＞0.1). Conclusion: We found My Health Bank changed the inertia of “value creation” in the traditional medical value, it allows the traditional medical and healthcare industry to expose to the impacts of the mega trend of the internet, the transformation of the platform in a necessary trend.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0192.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Everglades National Park; stakeholders’ perceptions; social and environmental changes; sustainable management
Online: 11 July 2018 (06:23:56 CEST)
Over the last few decades, urban expansion and population shifts have modified the existing landscape throughout the U.S. Protected areas and development are compatible lenses, yet stakeholders’ involvement in decision-making is often missing from environmental governance. We examine how stakeholders living and working in proximity to Everglades National Park (EVER) perceive environmental and social changes to the park and community park relations. EVER was selected as a study site for several reasons: proximity to urban areas, rich biological diversity, largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., International Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Site, and prominence as a tourist destination for the region. Forty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with neighborhood groups, representatives from gateway communities, and conservation organizations. An analysis of the interview data generated six research themes: loss of native species, urban development, a shortage and contamination of water, hurricanes, climate change, and increased recreation use. The results of this study add to the literature by providing a better understanding of the relationships stakeholders have with national parks. The results will provide useable knowledge that may help stakeholders and public land managers design strategies related for sustainable plans for the park and its surrounding communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0044.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: sexual orientation; sexual fluidity; British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles
Online: 4 July 2022 (09:29:47 CEST)
Background: Previous study of sexual minorities has documented both instability in the sex of sex partners and incongruity among all three dimensions of sexual orientation (attraction, behavior and identification), but no attempt has been made to relate the two. How, if at all, does past change affect present incongruity? This study attempts, for the first time, to examine this question. Method: Using a representative probability sample of the British population (n = 15,162), the current dimensions of sexual orientation were compared across changes in sex partner type—opposite-sex only (O/Sex), same-sex only (S/Sex), or both opposite-sex and same-sex (B/Sex)— over three time periods—before 5 years ago (Time 1), 5 years to 1 year ago (Time 2), and the past year (Time 3)—for the nonheterosexual population. Differences and trends in population-weighted percentage frequencies stratified by sex were assessed by t-test or inspection of 95% confidence intervals. Results: Overall incongruity and instability were high: 74% of men and 85% of women did not report congruent lifetime sexual attraction, behavior and identification; of persons reporting any same-sex sex partners at Time 1, 82% reported a different partner type at Time 3. Most change (80% for women, 84% for men) involved a single partner type transition (transience) rather than multiple changes (fluidity) and movement toward increased heterosexual orientation (69%; 65% to O/Sex partners. From Time 1 to Time 3, 19% of persons with S/Sex partners moved to O/Sex partners; 0.1% of persons with O/Sex partners moved to S/Sex partners. Instability moderately reduced already high incongruity for the majority moving toward increased heterosexual orientation, but increased already low incongruity for the minority moving toward increased same-sex orientation. Among presently S/Sex partnered persons (comprising 12% of sexual minorities), incongruity was reported by 1.4% of persons with stable partnership history and 11% of persons with unstable partnership history (p=.0052). For all except presently S/Sex partnered persons (comprising 88% of sexual minorities), incongruity was reported by 97% of persons with stable partnership history and 86% of persons with unstable partnership history (p=.0000). Conclusion: For most sexual minority persons, partner type instability contributed to a modest reduction of high sexual minority orientation incongruity after moving toward increased heterosexual practice. Among current S/Sex partnered persons, however, instability strongly increased incongruity between identification and behavior or attraction. These results are consistent with minority stress theory but inconsistent with homosexual immutability, and counsel caution regarding legal restrictions on support for sexual minority persons moving toward increased heterosexual partnership.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0171.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: national park; social-ecological system; ecosystem services; tea cultivation; protected area management
Online: 11 March 2022 (14:47:43 CET)
A healthy park-people relation depends essentially on the fair and sustainable maintenance of rural livelihood. When protected area is designated, rural people may face restrictions of access to land and resource use for multiple ecosystem services. In Wuyishan of China, we analysed the role of traditional tea cultivation during consistent protected area management to find ways to maintain stability of this social-ecological system in the new national park era. We used an intensive social survey to investigate tea’s role, perception of ecosystem services and impacts on tea cultivation from consistent conservation policies. Results showed that tea cultivation brought major household income and associated with multiple culture services. Protected area management affected land use and conservation outcomes were more obvious to farmers than economic and social ones. From the perspective of a social-ecological system, tea cultivation in national should be conservation-compatible activities from which the potentially lost economic value is remedied by ecological and cultural valorisation. To sustain the resilience of the social-ecological system, we proposed a three-scale management framework to regulate biophysical elements at land plot scale, to link production and market at the mountain level, and to secure tenure and encourage community participation at the landscape level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0485.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: carbon storage & sequestration; climate change; habitat diversity; Kainji national park; protected areas; air quality
Online: 16 May 2022 (04:33:24 CEST)
Due to rising global warming and climate change, biodiversity protection has become a critical ecological concern. The rich biodiversity zones are under threat and are deteriorating, necessitating national, regional, and provincial efforts to safeguard these natural areas. The effective conservation of National Parks and Nature-protected Areas helps to improve biodiversity conservation, forest, and urban air quality. The continuous encroachment and abuse of these protected areas have degraded the ecosystem over time. While exploring the geophysical ecology and biodiversity conservation of these areas in West Africa, Kainji National Park was selected for this study because of its notable location, naturalness, rich habitat diversity, topographic uniqueness, and landmass. The conservation of national parks and nature-protected areas is a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation globally. This study is aimed at the target of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13, 2030- Climate Action, targeted at taking urgent action towards combating climate change and its impacts. The study captures both flora and fauna that are dominant in the study area. The 15 identified tree species were selected from over 30 species with 563,500,000 (an average of 3,700,000 in each sample frame) trees for every tree species/type with a total of 63% tree green canopy cover. The study areas divided into three zones were randomly sampled within a stratum of 25x25km frames divided into 150 sample frames for proper analyses using the i-Tree Eco v6.0.23. The following microclimatic data were captured and analyzed; photosynthetically active radiation, rain/precipitation, temperature, transpiration, evaporation, water intercepted by trees, avoided a runoff by trees, potential evaporation by trees, isoprene and monoterpene by trees. This study also further discusses the tree benefits of a green, low carbon, and sustainable environment within the context of biodiversity conservation considering carbon storage, carbon sequestration, hydrology effects, pollution removal, oxygen production, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There is a quick need for remotely-sensed information about the protected areas at regular intervals and government policies must be strict against illegal poaching, logging activities and other hazardous human impacts.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0422.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Rainforest; recovery; indicators; logging; grassland; shifting cultivation; forestry; national parks; traditional rights
Online: 20 August 2021 (19:02:09 CEST)
Recovery of forest after logging can be tested in many ways: the presence of particular species of fauna or flora, the similarity of the biodiversity of the recovering forest to that on neighbouring areas of undisturbed forest; or the characteristics of soils and streams whose conditions may have drastically changed during logging. Three cases of rainforest recovery after logging and clearance from Australia and Borneo exhibit different starting and different goals for recovery. Faunal indicators of recovery vary with size and with species dependence of the rainforest. Endemic forest species may have difficulty in recovering. Tree species richness and abundance may recover in two decades, but canopy closure takes longer. Compacted soils may retain low infiltration capacities for many decades. This diversity in recovery rates is confirmed when compared with those used elsewhere. Because the starting points for recovery vary, from damage by tropical cyclones and landslides, to clearance for shifting cultivation, pasture or agriculture, to post-logging conditions, universal indicators may be inappropriate. The desired endpoints of recovery also range from a “wilderness” state to a National Park for human enjoyment, biodiversity preservation, safeguarding rights of traditional forest-dwelling peoples, or a second round of selective logging.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0253.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: social media, Covid-19, cross-sectional, trans-national, mental health, loneliness, pandemic
Online: 31 May 2021 (23:10:36 CEST)
Background Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the strict national policies regarding social distancing behavior in Europe, America and Australia, people became reliant on social media as a means for gathering information and a tool for staying connected to family, friends and work. This is the first trans-national study exploring the qualitative experiences and challenges of using social media while in lockdown or shelter in place during the current pandemic. Methods This study was part of a wider cross-sectional online survey conducted in Norway, UK, USA and Australia during April/May 2020. The manuscript reports on the qualitative free text component of the study asking about the challenges of social media users during the Covid-19 pandemic in UK, USA and Australia. 1991 responses were included in the analysis. Thematic analysis was conducted independently by two researchers. Results Three overarching themes identified were: Emotional/Mental Health, Information and Being Connected. Participants experienced that using social media during the pandemic amplified anxiety, depression, fear, panic, anger, frustration and loneliness. They felt that there was information overload and social media was full of misleading or polarized opinions from which was difficult to switch off. Nonetheless, participants also thought that there was an urge for connection and learning which was positive and stressful and the same time. Conclusion Using social media while in shelter in place or lockdown could have a negative impact on the emotional and mental health of some of the population. To support policy and practice in strengthening mental health care in the community, social media could be used to deliver practical advice on coping and stress management. Communication with the public should be strengthened by unambiguous and clear messages and clear communication pathways. We should be looking at alternative ways of staying connected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0531.v2
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Sector coupling; 100% renewable; Sub-national energy model; Energy transition; Open science.
Online: 24 March 2021 (13:32:30 CET)
The energy transition requires integration of different energy carriers, including electricity, heat, and transport sectors. Energy modeling methods and tools are essential to provide a clear insight into the energy transition. However, the methodologies often overlook the details of small-scale energy systems. The study states an innovative approach to facilitate sub-national energy systems with 100% renewable penetration and sectoral integration. An optimization model, OSeEM-SN, is developed under the Oemof framework. The model is validated using the case study of Schleswig-Holstein. The study assumes three scenarios representing 25%, 50%, and 100% of the total available biomass potentials. OSeEM-SN reaches feasible solutions without additional offshore wind investment, indicating that they can be reserved for supplying other states’ energy demand. The annual investment cost varies between 1.02 bn – 1.44 bn €/yr for the three scenarios. The electricity generation decreases by 17%, indicating that with high biomass-based combined heat and power plants, the curtailment from other renewable plants can be decreased. Ground source heat pumps dominate the heat mix; however, their installation decreases by 28% as the biomass penetrates fully into the energy mix. The validation confirms OSeEM-SN as a beneficial tool to examine different scenarios for sub-national energy systems.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0458.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: strategy; national security; competitive gaming; wargaming; military; defense force; arboviruses; crisis management
Online: 18 March 2021 (07:20:31 CET)
The emergence of existing and novel vector-borne disease pathogens is highly unpredictable because there are so many possible causal factors of sociological, ecological, biological, behavioral and political origin. Traditional data-driven forecasting tools have limited use in circumstances featuring low-probability crises for which trend data is unreliable and non-predictive. Commercial and security sectors have been quick to adopt various forms of wargames to address this gap and provide intelligent insights on possible outcomes in the short, mid and long term future. The lack of commitment and action against vector-borne diseases by governments and local authorities requires a new approach that presents risk in terms of potential actions, possible outcomes and resulting consequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0250.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Blockchain; Decentralization; Innovation Policy; National Innovation Systems; Policy Tools; Legal and Regulatory
Online: 9 March 2021 (09:50:38 CET)
Blockchain technology can achieve decentralization, multi-party verification, anti-tampering, anonymity, traceability of transactions, and the application of distributed ledger. Countries around the world continue to seek the blockchain business models, technologies and applications, and have different visions and policies for the development of blockchain. This study conducts a comparative policy framework of theoretical analysis of the blockchain technology between the USA and China. Using the innovative policy tools proposed by Rothwell and Zegveld, the above mentioned governments are analyzed from the viewpoint of twelve policy tools. The results show that the USA and China all prefer to use “Environmental-side” policy. The USA has paid more attention to “Legal and regulatory”, “Public services” and “Procurement”. China has the highest proportion of policies in “Political tools”, followed by “Legal & regulatory”, while “Scientific and technical”, “Education” and “Overseas agent” come in third . The blockchain technology has developed vigorously among industries and its applications have gradually diversified. The results are provided to various stakeholders as a reference for policy planning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0083.v1
Subject: Keywords: Muslim women; Islam; political engagement; National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group; extremist ideologies
Online: 19 June 2017 (13:25:34 CEST)
The creation of the National Muslims Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG) in 2008 by Britain’s New Labour Government was part of a strategy which sought to engage different levels of Muslim communities beneath an overarching focus on reducing ‘Islamic extremism’. To do so however, Government acknowledged that it would need to support Muslim women to overcome some of the constraints it believed were placed on Muslim women in contemporary Britain. Deeming theology and religious interpretation to be one of those constraints, Government saw the need to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ religious and theological discourses as a priority. This article therefore offers a case study on a project that was commissioned by Government that sought to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ theological interpretations in collaboration with the NMWAG. Having gained unprecedented access to the NMWAG, its activities and engagement with Government, this article presents previously unpublished findings from that project to focus on two key themes: Muslim women, their identity and position; and theology, leadership and the participation of women. Having explored these in detail, this article concludes by critically reflecting on the way in which Government engaged and interacted with Muslim women, the role and relative success of the NMWAG and, most importantly, the extent to which the NMWAG was able to ‘influence and challenge’ interpretations of Islamic theology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0155.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: architecture; 19th century; 20th century; Nordic countries; natural stone; national romanticism; geology
Online: 25 April 2017 (04:56:44 CEST)
In the second half of the 19th century new methods for quarrying and processing natural stone are developed. In the Nordic countries Sweden, Norway and Finland this technological progress goes hand in hand with a systematic geological mapping and large-scale exploitation of natural stone deposits. As a result, new constructions are developed—changing the building practice in these countries. With the end of historicism a new architecture arises that particularly in Norway and Finland acquires a national-romantic character. This paper examines the interaction between geological exploration, commercial development, technical inventions and the development of a national-romantic architecture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0489.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Petroleum Resources; Contract Structure; Production Sharing Agreement; International Oil Company; National Oil Company
Online: 26 December 2022 (12:03:54 CET)
Most developing countries with petroleum resources are constrained in the ability to refine their oil and gas resources. This virtually results in the involvement of the International Oil Company (IOC) by the National Oil Company (NOC) of a particular nation to enter into an agreement to achieve the production of oil based on an agreed framework. However, in cur-rent development, there is little focus on the contractual agreement, particularly on the pro-duction sharing agreement by the IOC in the exploration of petroleum resources of developing countries. The primary objective of this paper is to critically explore the contract structure of production sharing agreement by the IOC in the exploration and development of petroleum resources in developing countries. Content analysis was used as the methodology of the study after examining several literatures. The findings indicate that the contract structure of the production sharing agreement (PSA) between NOC and IOC plays a significant role in the cost and risk of exploration and development of oil. In addition, it is noted that the joint committee of the NOC and IOC plays a paramount role in monitoring the operations of PSA between the NOC and IOC. Hence, from the gross oil production, the NOC gets its share as profit while IOC gets its share income tax. As an instrument of contract structure in the oil and gas sector, PSA needs further entrenchment between IOC and NOC to avoid likely issues that can emanate between the two parties in the face of current developments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0251.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Pregnancy; Birth-defect; National; PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System); Smoking; Diabetes; Depression
Online: 18 October 2022 (05:48:22 CEST)
Abstract: Objective: To assess both individual and interactive effects of prenatal medical conditions depression and Diabetes, and health behaviors including smoking during pregnancy on infant birth defects. Methods: The data for this research study were collected by the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) in 2018. Birth certificate records were used in each participating jurisdiction to select a sample representative of all women who delivered a live-born infant. Complex sampling weights were used to analyze the data with a weighted sample size of 4,536,867. Descriptive statistics were performed to explore frequencies of the independent and dependent variables. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted to examine associations among the independent and dependent variables. Results: The results indicate and significant interaction between the variables smoking and Depression and Depression and Diabetes (OR= 3.17; p-value <0.001 and OR= 3.13; p-value <0.001 respectively). Depression during pregnancy was found to be strongly associated with delivering an infant with a birth defect (OR= 1.31, P-value < 0.001). Conclusion: Depression during pregnancy and its interaction with smoking and Diabetes are vital in determining birth defects in infants. The results indicate that birth defects in the United States can be lowering Depression in pregnant women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0283.v3
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Emotional intelligence; intelligence quotient; national income; wealth code; human capital; corruption perception index
Online: 9 November 2021 (13:20:02 CET)
Background: Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of intellectual ability of performing, comprehension, and learning. Previous studies reported that intelligence measures predict various measures of job performance and income. Emotional awareness (EA) is the measure of emotional capacity to recognize and make sense of one’s emotions, as well as those of others. A high level of emotional awareness (EA) indicates one can learn from expressed emotions quickly. Both IQ and EA are important for personal and professional success.Objective: This study tests the hypothesis that the average national income rank is best predicted by the combined effect of the population's average intelligence quotient (one's ability to perform and learn) and emotional awareness (ability to recognize and make sense of emotions).Method: The population’s average intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional awareness (EA), and indices of good governance, which include corruption perception index and educational expenses for each country, were obtained from public data sources. The outcome variable was per capita gross national income. All the variables that are statistically significant in univariate analysis were included in the multivariate regression analyses but excluded from the final model if not statistically significant.Result: The total number of countries included in the final analysis was 81 because of missing values in different variables. Intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional awareness (EA) were found to be highly correlated, at 0.77 and 0.32 respectively, with the per capita gross national income. The independent effects of intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional awareness (EA) were found significant in the multivariate model after adjusting for measures of good governance. The R square value for the final multivariate model was 0.82. The corruption perception index (CPI) and educational expenses were strongly correlated with other measures of good governance such as democracy index, functioning of government, electoral process and pluralism, political participation, and civil liberty, but these variables were found not significant in the multivariate model. Conclusion: The study concludes the effect of intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional awareness (EA) are complementary to each other but intelligence quotient (IQ) is a stronger predictor than emotional awareness (EA) for gross national income or wealth. We also find that indicators of good governance, including corruption perception index and educational expenses, have important associations with per capita gross national income. This study implies a nation may build more wealth if the educational system focuses on developing emotional awareness in addition to intelligence. The study concludes the effect of intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional awareness (EA) are complementary to each other but intelligence quotient (IQ) is a stronger predictor than emotional awareness (EA) for gross national income or wealth. We also find that indicators of good governance, including corruption perception index and educational expenses, have important associations with per capita gross national income. This study implies a nation may build more wealth if the educational system focuses on developing emotional awareness in addition to intelligence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0102.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: long-haul truck; crash scenarios; GIDAS; CARE; crash causation; European national crash data
Online: 6 October 2021 (10:35:39 CEST)
This paper addresses crashes involving heavy goods vehicles (HGV) in Europe focusing on long-haul trucks weighing 16 tons or more (16t+). The identification of the most critical scenarios and their characteristics is based on a three-level analysis: general crash statistics from CARE addressing all HGVs, results about 16t+ trucks from national crash databases and a detailed study of in-depth crash data from GIDAS, including a crash causation analysis. Most European HGV crashes occur in clear weather, during daylight, on dry roads, outside city limits, and on non-highway roads. Three main scenarios for 16t+ trucks are characterized in-depth: (1) rear-end crashes in which the truck is the striking partner, (2) conflicts during right turn maneuvers of the truck and a cyclist riding alongside and (3) pedestrians crossing the road in front of the truck. Among truck-related crash causes, information admission failures (e.g. distraction) were the main causing factors in 72% of cases in scenario (1) while information access problems (e.g. blind spots) were present for 72% of cases in scenario (2) and 75% of cases in scenario (3). The results provide both a global overview and sufficient depth of analysis in the most relevant cases and thereby aid safety system development.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0532.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: National Qualification Framework; education performance; university barriers; edu-cation system; Bosnia and Herzegovina
Online: 21 May 2021 (17:20:56 CEST)
Education is the bedrock of any nation. It is essential for individual and societal growth and development. This triggers the demand for quality education which simultaneously increases with a growing demand for quality assurance. This study investigated the role of quality assurance in achieving the expected outcome of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s higher education system. Comparative development is looked at by examining other National Qualification Frameworks. The study was based on textual reviews and descriptive analysis on student enrollment and programs of studies. Unlike the global trend, it can be seen that student enrollment is on the decline in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was found that quality assurance is an indispensable tool for strengthening the higher education system and for achieving the desired change and outcomes, that education offers. It was also found that study programs and curricula are pivotal for teaching and learning processes, and that a unified qualification framework is essential for achieving set objectives of education at all levels. The study recommended, among other things, that sound quality assurance systems as well as appropriate structure for monitoring and accreditation be put in place and be judiciously followed in order to achieve the desired outcomes in conjunction with the set objectives of higher education. Moreover, vital thoroughly analyzed pressures (i.e., democratic, economic, and systemic) barriers show signs of epistemological, political, and institutional barriers in the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0467.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Biomass; Carbon sequestration; Chaparral; NDVI; Fire frequency; Mediterranean-Type Climate Regions; National Forests
Online: 18 March 2021 (10:15:42 CET)
Chaparral shrublands are the dominant wildland vegetation type in southern California and the most extensive ecosystem in the state. Disturbance by wildfire and climate change have created a dynamic landscape in which biomass mapping is key in tracking the ability of chaparral shrub-lands to sequester carbon. Despite this importance, most national and regional scale estimates do not account for shrubland biomass. Employing plot data from several sources, we built a random forest model to predict above ground live biomass in southern California using remote sensing data (Landsat NDVI) and a suite of geophysical variables. By substituting the NDVI and precipi-tation predictors for any given year we were able to apply the model to each year from 2000-2019. Using a total of 980 field plots, our model had a k-fold cross validation R2 of 0.51 and a RMSE of 3.9. Validation by vegetation type ranged from R2 = 0.17 (RMSE=9.7) for Sierran mixed conifer to R2 = 0.91 (RMSE = 2.3) for sagebrush. Our estimates showed an improvement in accuracy over a two other biomass estimates that included shrublands, with an R2 = 0.82 (RMSE = 4.7) compared to R2 = 0.068 (RMSE = 6.7) for a global biomass estimate and R2 = 0.29 (RMSE = 5.9) for a regional biomass estimate. Given the importance of accurate biomass estimates for resource managers we calculated the mean year 2010 shrubland biomass for the four national forests which ranged from 3.5 kg/m2 (Los Padres) to 2.3 kg/m2 (Angeles and Cleveland). Finally, we compared our estimates to field-measured biomass from the literature summarized by shrubland vegetation type and age class. Our model provides a transparent and repeatable method to generate biomass measure-ments in any year, thereby providing data to track biomass recovery after management actions or disturbances such as fire.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0325.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: GIS; health Infrastructure; National Portal; COVID-19; Hot-Spot mapping; Accessibility to services
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:00:04 CEST)
This short note proposes a national Geographic Information System (GIS) - based health infrastructure to deal with epidemics and pandemics. Currently, there is no pan-India health infrastructure available that can compile, update, and report the spread of epidemic diseases. It not only curtails the opportunity of finding the real-time data on the spatial distribution of a disease but prevents one to inquire into the causes of the disease through epidemiological analysis. The proposed infrastructure in this study is a pan-India one and can broadly be divided into two parts, hotspot mapping and accessibility to services. In the first part, hospitals are proposed to act as nodes of data collection, sending data to a national GIS portal. This portal shall have the capabilities of plotting the data using map rendering services such as Google and Bing Maps. This way, hotspots can be visualized in no time, benefitting the government and common citizenry alike. The second part deals with the accessibility of citizenry to a wide range of services, i.e., healthcare services, grocery outlets, emergency services, baby food, and many other essential services of the day to day life. In order to implement this, we propose that the government need to enforce a mandatory submission of locational coordinates of all Goods and Services Tax (GST) enrolled service providers. Once the coordinates are submitted, the government can effectively control the opening and closing of services and inform the citizenry at the same time. The proposed infrastructure is going to help deal with the extraordinary situations during epidemic and pandemics similar to what the world is currently facing in the form of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Furthermore, the infrastructure can be scaled up or down as per the spread of a disease. The health-GIS platform proposed in this concept paper, shall help India in controlling and managing the epidemic more efficiently.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0104.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: GEOBIA; canga ecosystem; Carajás National Forest; mine land revegetation; satellite images; environmental assessment
Online: 8 August 2019 (12:00:50 CEST)
Remote sensing technologies may play a fundamental role in the environmental assessment of open-cast mining and the accurate quantification of mine land rehabilitation efforts. Here, we developed a systematic geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach to map the amount of revegetated area and to quantify the land-use changes in open-cast mines in the Carajás region situated in the eastern Amazon. Based on high-resolution satellite images from 2011 to 2015 from different sensors (GeoEye, WorldView-3 and Ikonos), we quantified forests, cangas (natural metalliferous savanna ecosystems), mine land, revegetated areas and water bodies. Based on the GEOBIA approach, threshold values were established to discriminate land cover classes using spectral bands, and the NDVI and NDWI indices and LiDAR digital ground and slope models. The overall accuracy was higher than 90%, and the Kappa indices varied between 0.82 and 0.88. During the observation period, the mining complex expanded; for that, canga and forest vegetation was converted to mine land. At the same time, the amount of revegetated area increased. Thus, we conclude that our approach is capable of providing consistent information regarding land cover changes in mines, with a special focus on the amount of revegetation necessary to fulfill environmental liabilities.
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: hierarchical medical system, national health insurance, healthcare-seeking behavior, reduction in hospital visits
Online: 15 July 2019 (11:56:40 CEST)
Objective: This study investigated the effect of the hierarchical medical system under the national health insurance program on resident’s healthcare-seeking behavior in Taiwan. Background: Healthcare authorities in Taiwan initiated the allowance reduction of outpatient visits at regional hospitals and higher hierarchical hospitals from 2018. The ultimate goal is to implement a hierarchical medical system and provide the residents accessible as well as consistent medical services. Methods: This research was conducted through the questionnaire survey method and data were collected between August and December 2018 from the records of subjects who had recently sought medical attention. A total of 1,340 valid questionnaires were returned. Results: Regarding the effect on healthcare-seeking behavior, the following factors were significant: being aged between 40 to 49 (p＜.1), subjects with an educational background of junior high school (p＜.05), those who were not aware of the policy (p＜.001), and an awareness about both the hierarchical medical system and the policy to reduce outpatient visits to large hospitals (p＜.001). Conclusion: The public should be made aware about the hierarchical medical system to improve healthcare.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0148.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Pinus albicaulis; whitebark pine; blister rust; national park; subalpine; Cascades; mountain pine beetle
Online: 23 February 2018 (11:08:42 CET)
Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) is a key component of subalpine and alpine ecosystems in the northern Cascades. The species survival is threatened by white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetles, fire exclusion, and climate change. Trees were monitored in permanent plots in two national parks three times between 2004 and 2016. The proportion of trees showing signs of blister rust infection increased in North Cascades National Park Service Complex from 32% in 2004 to 51% in 2016 and from 18% to 38% in Mount Rainier National Park. Mortality increased from 7% to 21% in North Cascades National Park Service Complex and 38% to 44% in Mount Rainier National Park. Annual mortality rates were calculated for three time periods: 2004-2009, 2009-2015/2016, and 2004-2015/2016. Mortality rates, annualized across the entire study period, were 1.47% in Mount Rainier National Park and 2.27% in North Cascades National Park Service Complex; these rates decreased between the first time period and the second, which could reflect blister rust resistance. Signs of mountain pine beetle were rare and limited to a few trees in individual plots. Although reproductive trees were found in most stands, densities were low and regeneration was dominated by subalpine fir.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0185.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: WiMAX IEEE 802.16e; National Broadband Project; rural area connectivity; Connectivity challenges in developing countries
Online: 18 October 2021 (12:55:20 CEST)
Amongst the advantages of using Worldwide Interoperability Microwave Access (WiMAX) technology at the last-mile level as access technology include an extensive range of 50 km Line of Sight (LOS), 5 to 15 km Non-Line of Sight and few infrastructure installations compared to other wireless broadband access technologies. Despite positive investments in ICT fibre infrastructure by developing countries, including Botswana, servicing end-users is subjected to high prices and service disparities. The alternative, the Wi-Fi hotspot initiative by the Botswana government, falls short as a solution for last-mile connectivity and access. This study used OPNET simulation Modeller 14,5 to investigate whether Botswana’s national broadband project could adopt WiMAX IEEE 802.16e as an access technology. Therefore, using the simulation method, this paper evaluates the WiMAX IEEE 802.16e/m over three subscriber locations in Botswana. The results obtained indicate that the deployment of the WiMAX IEEE 802.16e standard can solve most of the deployment issues and access at the last-mile level. Although the findings suggest that WiMAX IEEE 802.16e is more suitable for high-density areas, it could also solve rural areas’ infrastructure development challenges and provide the required high-speed connectivity access. However, unlike the Wi-Fi initiative, which requires more infrastructure deployment and less on institutional and regulatory frameworks, the deployment of WiMAX IEEE802.16e requires institutional and regulatory standards.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0556.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: National Security Strategy; Defense Policy; Arms Sales; Defense Cooperation Security Agency; Foreign Military Sales
Online: 23 March 2021 (09:11:17 CET)
The aim of the study is to characterize the U.S. and Lithuanian defense cooperation from 1990–2020 including arms procurements. Findings suggest close defense cooperation between countries at Presidential, Congressional, and Defense Ministry/Secretary levels. The most developed cooperation areas are joint participation in international operations, improvements of the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ capabilities, and an increase of the U.S. military presence in the Baltic region. An analysis of Lithuanian defense procurements between 1990–2020 indicates that the majority of defense armaments were acquired from the U.S. using the Foreign Military Sales venue while other options to obtain armaments were not used.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0142.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Alces alces; aquatic macrophytes; diet; Isle Royale National Park; moose; stable isotope analysis; ungulate
Online: 12 October 2019 (07:04:00 CEST)
Moose (Alces alces) are generalist herbivores but are important aquatic-terrestrial ecotone specialists. Aquatic macrophytes are a high-quality food source for moose during the summer, however their relative importance to moose diet is difficult to study. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen from moose hooves and forage (terrestrial plants, aquatic macrophytes, and arboreal lichen) to estimate the diet of moose at Isle Royale National Park, Michigan, USA, and to evaluate the isotopic variability along chronologies of serially sampled hooves. We hypothesized that aquatic macrophyte consumption and winter body condition (as measured by bone marrow fat content) would be greater at the eastern end of the island where aquatic habitats were most abundant. We were unable to evaluate spatial differences in aquatic macrophyte consumption, but overall, our mixing model results suggest that between 13% and 27% of summer moose diet was from aquatic sources. Among moose that died during winter, body condition was impaired and hoof δ15N (measured at the hairline) was higher at the western end of the island, where aquatic habitats are sparse. Although isotope chronologies preserved in hooves could significantly enhance our understanding of ungulate foraging ecology, interpretation of such chronologies is presently limited by our lack of knowledge pertaining to hoof growth rate and seasonal dynamics in relation to age and health. Significant isotope distinction among terrestrial plants, aquatic macrophytes, and arboreal lichens indicate that continued methodological advances in stable isotope ecology will lead to more precise estimates of the contribution of aquatic feeding to moose population dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0339.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Media Studies Keywords: National Cinema; Transnational Japanese Film; taiyōzoku; mukokuseki; ’kimono effect’; youth icons; postwar film festivals.
Online: 18 September 2018 (09:49:29 CEST)
The Western ‘discovery’ of Japanese cinema in the 1950s prompted scholars to articulate essentialist visions understanding its singularities as a result of its isolation from the rest of the World and its close links to local aesthetic and philosophical traditions. Recent approaches however, have evidenced the limitations of this paradigm of ‘national cinema’. Higson (1989) opened a critical discussion on the existing consumption, text andproduction-based approaches to this concept. This article draws on Higson´s contribution and calls into question traditional theorising of Japanese film as a national cinema. Contradictions are illustrated by assessing the other side of the ‘discovery’ of Japanese cinema: certain gendaigeki works that succeeded at the domestic box office while jidaigeki burst into European film festivals. The Taiyōzoku and subsequent Mukokuseki Action created a new postwar iconography by adapting codes of representation from Hollywood youth and western films. This article does not attempt to deny the uniqueness of this film culture, but rather seeks to highlight the need to reformulate the paradigm of national cinema in the Japanese case, and illustrate the sense in which it was created from outside, failing to recognise its reach transnational intertextuality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0123.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Religious Studies Keywords: Protestantism; Protestant Churches; post-Soviet Russia; ethnic groups; national intelligentsia; native peoples; social activity
Online: 20 November 2017 (08:10:47 CET)
This paper considers two types of Protestant ethnic groups of some areas of Urals and Western Siberia. The first type consist of representatives of members of different ethnic groups consisting of well-educated professionals, incorporated into industrial society and associated with the intellectualism of Protestantism. The second type is represented by the indigenous peoples of the Polar Urals and Western Siberia, who use the Protestant religious organizations as tool for restoring life-sustaining elements of the native peoples’ traditional economy. I employed the inductive approach and the comparison method; during the fieldwork I used ethnographic participant observations, sociological structured interviews and closed-ended questionnaires. The empirical data have been collected in the Southern, Middle and Polar Urals and Western Siberia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0157.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: National Centralized Drug Procurement; "4+7" policy; drug price; interrupted time series; volume-based procurement.
Online: 6 April 2021 (08:18:10 CEST)
In 2019, Chinese government implemented the first round of National Centralized Drug Procurement (NCDP) pilot (so-called "4+7" policy) in mainland China, achieved a prominent price reduction of 52% on average for 25 bidding winning products. Under cross-price elasticity theory, the price behavior of pharmaceutical enterprises for policy-related drugs might change. This study used drug purchasing data from the Centralized Drug Procurement Survey in Shenzhen 2019, and applied single-group Interruption Time Series (ITS) design to examine the impact of "4+7" policy on the drug price index (DPI) of policy-related drugs. The ITS analysis showed that the DPI of winning (-0.183 per month, p<0.0001) and non-winning (-0.034 per month, p=0.046) products significantly decreased after the implementation of "4+7" policy. No significant difference was found for the immediate change of DPI for alternative drugs (p=0.537), while a significant decrease in change trend was detected in the post-"4+7" policy period (-0.003 per month, p=0.014). The DPI of the overall policy-related drugs significantly decreased (-0.261 per month, p<0.0001) after "4+7" policy. These findings indicate that the price behavior of pharmaceutical enterprises changed under NCDP policy, while the price linkage effect is still limited. It is necessary to further expand the scope of centralized purchased drugs and strengthen the monitoring of related drugs regarding price change and consumption structure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0362.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Health research policy; National health research system; COVID-19; Biomedical Research; Latin America and Caribbean
Online: 13 November 2020 (07:09:52 CET)
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is one of the worst-hit regions globally by COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, scarce literature exists that examines the research strategy of LAC in facing COVID-19. The present study aims to quantify and assess the production of COVID-19 publications in thirty-two countries in LAC during the first half of 2020. A Scopus/PubMed/LILACS search was performed to retrieve research articles related to COVID-19 published from January 1 to July 31, 2020. Subgroup analysis including only original publications was used to better ascertain the contribution of LAC countries, and standardization measures were applied to comparisons of country-specific contributions. We identified 1291 publications across the region. Overall, most articles in the region were non-original (81.6%), and the most productive countries were Brazil (43.9%), Mexico (9.14%), and Colombia (7.98%). This trend shifted to Chile after the standardization. Among original studies, the most common study design was cross-sectional (25.8%). LAC countries generate articles primarily pertaining to diagnosis and treatment (27.4%). In the subgroup analysis, however, epidemiology and surveillance was the most prevalent research focus (24.1%). LAC countries should perform more research with a higher level of evidence to inform health policy making to ease the burden of COVID-19 in the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0089.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Availability hypothesis; Ethnobotany; Ex-situ Conservation; Kruger National Park; Sustainable Development of Traditional Knowledge; Traditional medicine
Online: 6 June 2022 (13:19:18 CEST)
In ethnobotany, the availability hypothesis predicts that plants that are abundant and easily accessible to people are more likely to be medicinal than not. By protecting species diversity away from people, protected areas (PAs) may act as a limiting factor to a sustainable development of traditional knowledge concerning medicinal uses, and in so doing, PAs provide opportunity to prioritize ex-situ conservation for species that are PAs restricted. In this scenario, ex-situ conservation becomes the only chance for people to develop traditional knowledge on plants which otherwise wouldn’t be documented as traditionally useful to people. To test these expectations, we used data collected for almost 20 years of fieldworks on plant medicinal uses and their abundance inside and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. We fitted four different scenarios of structural equation models (SEMs) to the data collected. We found that total plant abundance (abundance outside + inside KNP) is a significant positive predictor of medicinal status, and so is abundance outside KNP, thus supporting the availability hypothesis. However, not only abundance inside KNP is not a direct significant correlate of medicinal status, but also the relationship between both is negative. The lack of predictive power of inside-abundance is most likely because some species are exclusively found inside KNP, and local communities do not have access to them. It also shows that the positive and direct correlation of total abundance with medicinal status is driven by outside-abundance. In addition, the negative relationships between inside abundance and medicinal status implies that abundant plants inside KNP tend to be not-medicinal, further providing evidence that PAs hinder the development of medicinal knowledge. Furthermore, when inside and outside abundance were included simultaneously in a model as two distinct variables, inside abundance was never a direct significant predictor of medicinal status, but it was so, via an indirect path mediated by outside abundance. This suggests that outside abundance is the key variable driving the development of medicinal plant knowledge. Cumulatively, our findings suggest that anything that promotes the growth of PA-restricted plants beyond the natural realized niches of these plants (ex-situ conservation) such as in botanical gardens, private gardens, in agroforestry systems, etc., is to be promoted so that people-plant interactions may continue for the benefits of ethnobotanical knowledge development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0173.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: UAV remote sensing; large wild herbivore populations; grazing pressure; functional zones; Yellow-River-Source National Park
Online: 16 October 2019 (04:30:27 CEST)
Using the Yellow-River-Source National Park (YRSNP) as a study site, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing and line transect method was used to investigate the number of wild herbivorous animals and livestock, including the kiang (Equus kiang) and Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata). A downscaling algorithm was used to generate the forage yield data in YRSNP based on 30 m spatial resolution. On this basis, we estimated the forage–livestock balance, which included both wild animals and livestock, and analyzed the effects of functional zone planning in national parks on the forage–livestock balance in YRSNP. The results showed that the estimates of large herbivore population numbers in YRSNP based on population density in the aerial sample strips, which were compared and validated with statistical data and warm season survey results, indicated that the number of kiangs and Tibetan gazelles in the 2017 cold season was 12900 and 12100, respectively. The number of domestic yaks, Tibetan sheep, and horses was 53400, 76800, and 800, respectively, and the total number of sheep units was 353200. The ratio of the number of large wild herbivores and livestock sheep units was 1:5; Large wild herbivores have different preferences for functional zones, preferring ecological restoration areas consisting mainly of degraded grassland; The grazing pressure indices of the core reserve areas and ecological restoration areas were 0.168 and 0.276, respectively, indicating that these two regions still have high grazing potential. However, the grazing pressure index of the traditional utilization areas was 1.754, indicating that these grasslands are severely overloaded; After the planning and implementation of functional zones, the grazing pressure index of YRSNP was 1.967. Under this measure, the number of livestock was not reduced and the grazing pressure nearly doubled, indicating that forage–livestock conflict has become more severe.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: oral health; dental checkup; Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES); dental care; dental service utilization
Online: 15 March 2021 (10:57:43 CET)
To identify gender- and age-related associations between adult dental checkups and unmet dental care needs, we analyzed data of 14,000 participants, ages ≥ 19, from the 7th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2016–2018) (KNHANES VII). Data was collected via self-report questionnaires and interviews. Complex sample chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis indicated 31.7% of participants had unmet dental care needs; in the prior 12months, 67.1% had not utilized dental services, and 43.3% had not received dental checkups. Odds ratios (ORs) for dental checkups and unmet dental needs were 8.87 (CI:7.80–10.09, p < 0.001) for those who used dental services and 1.28 (CI: 1.13–1.44, p < 0.001) for those who had not. Significant age-dependent associations between those not receiving dental checkups and the rate of unmet dental care include men and women aged 50–59 years (OR: 1.77; CI = 1.22–2.58 and OR: 1.43; CI: 1.02–2.02; p = 0.040, respectively) and women ≥ 70 years (OR = 1.79, CI = 1.20–2.66, p = 0.004). Reducing unmet dental care needs requires greater public health promotion and education regarding regular dental checkups; additional practical strategies could enhance dental checkup compliance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0053.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Atomic & Molecular Physics Keywords: Google Trend; Particulate Matter; National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Information System; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Big Data
Online: 2 August 2020 (18:29:51 CEST)
Depending on the characteristics of the industrial area, toxicity evaluation of human body, risk assessment and health impact assessment may directly cause cancer due to air pollution. Environmental data collection is from August 2018 to January 31, 2019, and the average, minimum, and maximum values of air pollution data respectively. According to the global data on global trends using the Big Data, high blood pressure is confirmed at 33rd place in the world, and myocardial infarction among the environmental diseases is confirmed to be lower than Korea. Disease that occurred in Jeolla province industrial complex considering the characteristics of our country was identified as representative. Air pollutants are considered to be the causes of allergic diseases in Korea. PM10 was found to be higher than the control area (28.8804348 (㎍ / ㎥), 31.7065217 (㎍ / ㎥) and 32.8532609 (㎍ / ㎥). The mean concentrations of PM2.5 in the middle and high exposure areas were lower than those of the control areas, but the highest in the intermediate exposure areas was 16.5978261 (㎍ / ㎥), 16.1086957 (㎍ / ㎥) and 17.1847826 (㎍ / ㎥) respectively. The relationship between the major variables of environmental exposure in Yeosu was confirmed to be correlated with high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, cerebrovascular, diabetes, thyroid disease, sinus infection, anemia and pneumonia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0073.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: ISIS, ISIL, DAESH, insurgency, conflict, security, non-state actor, emerging-state actor, combat simulator, geospatial, national security.
Online: 13 March 2018 (14:37:09 CET)
This paper seeks to explain the rapid growth of the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS) and approach the question of “what is” the Islamic State? The paper offers several contributions. First is the proposal of a dynamic hypothesis that ISIS is an emerging-state actor and differs notably from traditional non-state actors and insurgencies. The theory consists of both a causal loop diagram and key propositions. A detailed system dynamics simulation (E-SAM) was constructed to test the theory. The propositions of emerging-state actor theory are constructed as synthetic experiments within the simulation and confirm evidence of emerging-state actor behavior. E-SAM’s novelty is its combination of combat simulation with endogenous geospatial feedback, ethnographic behavior in choosing sides in conflict, and details internal simulation of key actor mechanisms such as financing, recruiting and governance. E-SAM can be loaded with scenarios to simulate non-state actors in different geospatial domains: ISIS in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Taliban in Afghanistan and even expatriated ISIS fighters returning to pursue new conflicts such as in Indonesia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0116.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: thermal runaway; big-data platform; battery systems; electric vehicles; National Service and Management Center for Electric Vehicles
Online: 16 May 2017 (03:18:57 CEST)
This paper presents a thermal runaway prognosis scheme based on the big-data platform and entropy method for battery systems in electric vehicles. It can simultaneously realize the diagnosis and prognosis of thermal runaway caused by the temperature fault through monitoring battery temperature during vehicular operations. A vast quantity of real-time voltage monitoring data was collected in the National Service and Management Center for Electric Vehicles (NSMC-EV) in Beijing to verify the effectiveness of the presented method. The results show that the proposed method can accurately forecast both the time and location of the temperature fault within battery packs. Furthermore, a temperature security management strategy for thermal runaway is proposed on the basis of the Z-score approach and the abnormity coefficient is set to make real-time precaution of temperature abnormity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0184.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: technology adoption; Lorenz curves; Gini coefficient; local-national gap; Georgia; NIMBY; solar energy; community development; soft cost reduction
Online: 9 October 2018 (10:23:08 CEST)
Despite a global push in the development and implementation of widespread alternative energy use, significant disparities exist across given nation-states. These disparities reflect both technical and economic factors, as well as the social, political, and ecological gaps between how communities see energy development and national/global policy goals. Known as the “local-national gap,” many nations struggle with fostering meaningful conversations about the role of alternative energy technologies within communities. Mitigation of this problem first requires understanding the distribution of existing alternative energy technologies at the local level of policymaking. Using the State of Georgia, U.S.A. as a case study, we present a model for analyzing how existing adoption trends enable/limit conversation at the scale of local governance (i.e., county governments). Leveraging existing work on the Gini Coefficient as a metric for measuring energy inequity, we argue these tools can be applied to analyze where gaps exist in ongoing solar adoption trends. As we demonstrate, communities that adopt solar tend to be concentrated in a few counties, indicating existing conversations are limited to a circumscribed set of social networks. This information and the model we demonstrate can enable focused qualitative analyses of existing solar trends, not only amongst high-adoption areas but within communities where little to no adoption has occurred.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0217.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: energy policy; energy conservation; climate change; global safety; open hardware; open source; photovoltaic; renewable energy; solar energy; national security
Online: 15 March 2022 (14:27:35 CET)
Free and open source hardware (FOSH) development has been shown to increase innovation and reduce economic costs. This article reviews the opportunity to use FOSH like a sanction to undercut imports and exports from a target criminal country. A formal methodology is presented for selecting strategic national investments in FOSH development to improve both national security and global safety. In this methodology, first the target country that is threatening national security or safety is identified. Next, the top imports from the target country as well as potentially other importing countries (allies) are quantified. Hardware is identified that could undercut imports/exports from the target country. Finally, methods to support the FOSH development are enumerated to support production in a commons-based peer production strategy. To demonstrate how this theoretical method works in practice it is applied as a case study to the current criminal military aggressor nation, who is also a fossil fuel exporter. The results show there are numerous existing FOSH and opportunities to develop new FOSH for energy conservation and renewable energy to reduce fossil fuel energy demand. Widespread deployment would reduce the concomitant pollution, human health impacts, and environmental desecration as well as cut financing of military operations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0054.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Eurasian otter; Lutra lutra; Italian population; otter; Italy; Pollino; river; mustelid; Lao river; Pollino National Park; Mercure-Lao River
Online: 3 July 2019 (09:13:28 CEST)
Here we report recent evidence of the presence of Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the Mercure-Lao River valley, an area of great ecological interest situated in South Italy for which the last otter reports referred to spraints collected in 2002. This work contains information and a selection of photographs of otter footprints and spraints found from October 2005 to January 2019, and photographs of both a cub and an adult otter from the Mercure-Lao River area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0510.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Space Science Keywords: Winds; SCATSAT-1; NCMRWF (National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting), CCMP (Cross Calibrated Mul-ti-Platform) and Particle filter
Online: 28 January 2023 (03:03:19 CET)
Observations of ocean surface winds from Indian scatterometer SCATSAT-1 have been combined with background wind field from a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model available at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Prediction (NCMRWF) to generate a 6-hourly gridded hybrid wind product. A distinctive feature of the study is to produce a global gridded wind field from SCATSAT-1 scatterometer passes with spatio-temporal data gaps at regular synoptic hours relevant for forcing models and other NWP studies. This is done by making use of concepts from the modern particle filter technique, which does not represent the model probability density function (PDF) following the Gaussian technique. The 6 hourly hybrid wind is generated for the entire year of 2018 and is validated using the wind speed from daily gridded level-4 SCATSAT-1 winds (L4AW), Cross Calibrated Multi-Platform dataset (CCMP) and global buoy data from National Data Buoy Centre (NDBC). The results indicate potential of the technique to produce scatterometer winds at the desired temporal frequency with significantly less noise and along swath biases. The study shows the generated hybrid winds have very high quality with respect to the already existing daily product available from ISRO.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0684.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: climate analogue; climate change; model ensemble; twin region; analogue region; national forest inventories; species suitability; forest adaptation; forestry practice; Europe
Online: 29 March 2021 (11:28:36 CEST)
Climate analogues provide forestry practice empirical evidence of how forests are managed in “twin” regions, i.e. regions where the current climate is comparable to the expected future climate at a site of interest. But the uncertain future climate creates uncertainty in how to adapt the forests. We therefore investigate how the uncertainty in future climate affects tree species suitability and whether there is a common underlying pattern. Like most studies we employ different ensemble variants of RCP 4.5 and 8.5. But instead of focusing on a single point in future time, we resolve each variant in a climate trajectory from 2000 to 2100. We calculate climatic distances between the climate trajectories of our site of interest and the current climate in Europe, generating maps with twin regions from 2000 to 2100. Forest inventories from the twin regions allow us to trace the changes in the prevalence of 23 major tree species. We find that it is not the direction but rather the velocity of the change that differs between the scenarios. We use this pattern to propose a tree species suitability concept that integrates the uncertainty in future climate. Twin regions provide further information on silvicultural practices, pest management, product chains etc.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0273.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geochemistry & Petrology Keywords: heavy minerals atlas; heavy mineral maps; National Geochemical Survey of Australia; mineral network analysis; geological setting; mineral system; mineral prospectivity; critical minerals; critical elements
Online: 20 June 2022 (11:16:22 CEST)
We describe a vision for a national-scale heavy mineral (HM) map generated through automated mineralogical identification and quantification of HMs contained in floodplain sediments from large catchments covering most of Australia. The composition of the sediments reflects the dominant rock types in each catchment, with the generally resistant HMs largely preserving the mineralogical fingerprint of their host protoliths through the weathering-transport-deposition cycle. Heavy mineral presence/absence, absolute and relative abundance, and co-occurrence are metrics useful to map, discover and interpret catchment lithotype(s), geodynamic setting, magmatism, metamorphic grade, alteration or mineralization. Underpinning this vision is a pilot project, focusing on a subset of the national sediment sample archive, which is used to demonstrate the feasibility of the larger, national-scale project. We preview a bespoke, cloud-based mineral network analysis (MNA) tool to visualize, explore and discover relationships between HMs as well as between them and geological setting or mineral deposits. We envisage that the Heavy Mineral Map of Australia and MNA tool will contribute significantly to mineral prospectivity analysis and modeling here, particularly for technology critical elements and their host minerals, which are central to the global economy transitioning to a more sustainable, decarbonized paradigm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0296.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Chinese National science-sustainability paradox; Interdisciplinary and inter-institutional analysis; Environmental science mediating the energy science for sustainability; Chinese environmental science versus the American energy science
Online: 16 July 2018 (15:31:02 CEST)
The Science-Sustainability poses an interdisciplinary paradox. On the one hand, the science for sustainability has increased in OECD economies in and in China as well as in the US in particular; on the other hand; the sustainability situation has worsened (Co2 emission has risen). On the face value, the adverse correlation shows a paradox. However, without explicating the science-sustainability relationship, it leads to a premature conclusion. In this study, we have drawn on three concrete questions for concrete answers. First, whether and how interdisciplinary sciences—energy science and environmental science—contribute to the sustainability. Second, whether and how the Sino-US inter-institutional analysis varies in the science-sustainability paradox. The empirical analysis from a panel data in the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional context show mixed patterns in three ways. First, the increase in the environmental science shows an improvement in the sustainability; the energy science shows a decline in the sustainability. Second, the Chinese environmental science has a comparative advantage to American environment science for the sustainability development, and the Chinese energy science has a comparative disadvantage to the US in the sustainability development. Third, the environmental science mediates the energy science in the science-sustainability relationships. Standing alone, the increase in the energy science harms sustainability; mediated by environmental science, it benefits sustainability. The study explains the adverse role of energy science in Jevons Paradox. The study also offers some policy paths for further research how capitalisms differently innovate, form strategies, and implement the practice.