ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0013.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis; thematic analysis; Outcomes assessment; Qualitative Research; Patient reported outcome measures
Online: 3 January 2017 (11:32:52 CET)
Background. The Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ) is widely used to measure functional ability in persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The instrument was developed with limited involvement from persons with RA, and their perception of the instrument has not been studied in depth. The aim of this study was to explore how persons with RA experience the use of the HAQ in care. Methods. Forty persons with RA were purposefully recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were then analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis. Results. The participants questioned the relevance of the HAQ but nevertheless experienced that the instrument had a profound effect on their understanding of health and how care is delivered. The analysis resulted in three themes: Problems with individual items, meaning of the summative score, and effects on care and health perceptions. Conclusions. To make the HAQ relevant to persons with RA, it needs to be revised or to include an option to select items most meaningful to the respondent. To ensure relevance, the HAQ update should preferably be co-created by researchers, clinicians and persons with RA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0262.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: research ethics; longitudinal methodology; youth; phone survey; COVID-19; low- and middle-income countries
Online: 21 June 2020 (11:17:06 CEST)
In this paper, we draw on recent experiences from the Young Lives study to discuss some of the ethical and practical challenges facing longitudinal cohort studies in low- and middle-income countries in the time of coronavirus. We argue that COVID-19 has instigated an ‘ethics of disruption’ for social researchers across the world, and for longitudinal cohort studies like Young Lives, this requires navigating three core considerations: first, managing research relationships and reciprocity within an observational study design; second, maintaining methodological continuity and consistency across time; and third, balancing an immediate short-term response to COVID-19 against the longer-term perspective. We refer to the study’s plan to implement a new COVID-19 phone survey to illustrate how the team are navigating this altered ethical terrain.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0111.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Library & Information Science Keywords: improve citations; research tools; research visibility; research impact; documents publishing; highly cited
Online: 26 June 2017 (04:20:47 CEST)
Researchers, journals, and universities want to receive more citations for their scholarly publications. However, a paper citations depend on its quality, visibility and author’s online profile. Research support documents (unpublished papers, white papers, project reports, datasets, software, posters, online resources and teaching materials) can be additional source for increasing the author’s visibility. To enhance research visibility and impact, the full range of scholarly output should be available online on the open access platform. With open access platform, key research findings are made accessible immediately to the scientific community. Therefore, the publicly available research support documents may result in receiving more citations in addition to the published papers. In this paper we conducted a simplified three stages study on the benefits of research support documents publications on open access platform. We also elaborated on approaches of improving your research visibility and impact through these document.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0291.v1
Online: 22 December 2019 (02:25:27 CET)
The night has historically been neglected in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. To some extent, this is not surprising, given the diurnal bias of human researchers, and the difficulty of performing work at night. The night is, however, a critical element of biological, chemical, physical, and social systems on Earth. Moreover, research into social issues such as inequality, demographic changes, and the transition to a sustainable economy will be compromised if night is not considered. Recent years, however, have seen a surge in research into the night. We argue that “night studies” is on the cusp of coming into its own as an interdisciplinary field, and when it does, the field will consider questions that disciplinary researchers haven’t yet thought to ask.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0598.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Reinforcement Learning; Simulation; Health Services Research; Operational Research
Online: 24 July 2020 (14:45:33 CEST)
Background and motivation: Combining Deep Reinforcement Learning (Deep RL) and Health Systems Simulations has significant potential, for both research into improving Deep RL performance and safety, and in operational practice. While individual toolkits exist for Deep RL and Health Systems Simulations, no framework to integrate the two has been established. Aim: Provide a framework for integrating Deep RL Networks with Health System Simulations, and to ensure this framework is compatible with Deep RL agents that have been developed and tested using OpenAI Gym. Methods: We developed our framework based on the OpenAI Gym framework, and demonstrate its use on a simple hospital bed capacity model. We built the Deep RL agents using PyTorch, and the Hospital Simulation using SimPy. Results: We demonstrate example models using a Double Deep Q Network or a Duelling Double Deep Q Network as the Deep RL agent. Conclusion: SimPy may be used to create Health System Simulations that are compatible with agents developed and tested on OpenAI Gym environments. GitHub repository of code: https://github.com/MichaelAllen1966/learninghospital
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0460.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: additive manufacturing; SLM technology; porosity research; microhardness research
Online: 22 October 2018 (04:09:54 CEST)
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing technique. It allows to produce elements with very complex geometry using metallic powders. A geometry of manufacturing elements bases only on 3D CAD data. The metal powder is melt selectively layer by layer using ytterbium laser. The paper contains results of porosity and microhardness analysis made on specimens which were manufactured during specially prepared process. Final analysis helped to discover connections between changing hatching distance, exposure speed and porosity. There was no significant differences in microhardness and porosity measurement results in the planes: perpendicular and parallel to the machine building platform surface.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0016.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: open research practices; digital humanities; scholarly communication; publication formats; infrastructure; research methodology; research tools
Online: 1 March 2020 (15:50:52 CET)
The digital transformation has initiated a paradigm shift in research and scholarly communication practices towards a more open scholarly culture. Although this transformation is slowly happening in the Digital Humanities field, open is not yet default. The article introduces the OpenMethods metablog, a community platform that highlights open research methods, tools, and practices within the context of the Digital Humanities by republishing open access content around methods and tools in various formats and languages. It also describes the platform’s technical infrastructure based on its requirements and main functionalities, and especially the collaborative content sourcing and editorial workflows. The article concludes with a discussion of the potentials of the OpenMethods metablog to overcome barriers towards open practices by focusing on inclusive, community sourced information based around opening up research processes and the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve its goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/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/preprints201709.0128.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: research-based training; methodological characteristics; development of research skills.
Online: 26 September 2017 (08:10:13 CEST)
The purpose of the article is to determine the peculiarities of using of teaching elements of research-based training at the Institute of Human Sciences of Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University. Based on the focus group methodology, the authors identify the key methodological characteristics of research-based training, which have been put into basis of analysis of educational programs for the purpose of determining the application of tasks that contribute to the development of research skills of students. The study used a method of focus group. Its purpose was to obtain the necessary information from the participants to describe the methodological basis and justification of methods, forms, indicators, etc. of research-based training system among people who are competent, have experience in this field. After that, the method of "theoretical sampling" was used, which enabled to formulate generalized characteristics according to the results of focus groups. The practical value of the study is determination of the methodological characteristics of research-based training which is the basis for the application of tasks by university teachers that promote the development of research competence of students. The research is one of the first attempts to determine the methodological characteristics of research-based training in Ukraine.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Reproducibility, Mathematical Modeling, Multiscale Modeling, Translational Research, Biomedical Research, Experimental Biology, Clinical Research Article Type: Essay
Online: 23 May 2018 (16:18:52 CEST)
The “Crisis of Reproducibility” has received considerable attention both within the scientific community and without. While factors associated with scientific culture and practical practice are most often invoked, I propose that the Crisis of Reproducibility is ultimately a failure of generalization with a fundamental scientific basis in the methods used for biomedical research. The Denominator Problem describes how limitations intrinsic to the two primary approaches of biomedical research, clinical studies and pre-clinical experimental biology, lead to an inability to effectively characterize the full extent of biological heterogeneity, which compromises the task of generalizing acquired knowledge. Drawing on the example of the unifying role of theory in the physical sciences, I propose that multi-scale mathematical and dynamic computational models, when mapped to the modular structure of biological systems, can serve a unifying role as formal representations of what is conserved and similar from one biological context to another. This ability to explicitly describe the generation of heterogeneity from similarity addresses the Denominator Problem and provides a scientific response to the Crisis of Reproducibility.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0216.v1
Online: 13 August 2018 (06:27:29 CEST)
The Mozambican dairy industry landscape is not well known because the research about it presents numerous inconsistencies. These inconsistencies are possibly due to miscommunication between scholars, entrepreneurs, the government and other actors, besides major events such as the civil war and policy changes and overall lack of coordination. This study aimed to catalog and relate the major studies and findings in the Mozambican dairy research, contextualize them historically, analyze the implications and provide hints for future researchers. Dairy research seemed intimately related to the industry’s development, and it has been dependent on the country’s sociopolitical changes and opportunities. Social and economic studies are more abundant, perhaps because the dairy industry is emerging, thriving to stand out in a very competitive environment, but there are also studies in applied sciences, especially microbiology and chemistry. There are promising directions to follow such as the improvement of herding techniques (e.g. feeding, disease control), multidisciplinary synergies or exploration of traditional dairy products such as masse. Also, it would be important for institutions to share their research through electronic platforms, even the information published prior to the existence of the worldwide web.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0066.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: applied health services research; competing organizational roles; high quality research
Online: 4 March 2020 (11:16:43 CET)
(1) Background: Applied health services research (AHSR) relies upon coordination across multiple organizational boundaries. Our aim was to understand how competing organizational and professional goals enhance or impede the conduct of high quality AHSR. (2) Methods: A qualitative study was conducted in two local health care systems in the UK, linked to a feasibility trial of a clinic-based intervention in secondary care. Data collection involved 24 semi-structured interviews with research managers, clinical research staff, health professionals, and patients. (3) Results: This study required a dynamic network of interactions between heterogeneous health and social care stakeholders, each characterized by differing ways of organizing activities which constitute their core functions; cultures of collaboration and interaction and understanding of what research involves and how it contributes to patient care. These interrelated factors compounded the occupational and organizational boundaries that hindered communication and coordination. (4) Conclusions: Despite the strategic development of multiple organizations to foster inter-professional collaboration, the competing goals of research and clinical practice can impede the conduct of high quality AHSR. To remedy this requires the alignment and streamlining of organizational goals, so that all agencies involved in AHSR develop a shared understanding and mutual respect for the progress of evidence-based medicine and the complex and often nuanced environments in which it is created and practiced.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0509.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-Cov-2; geographical regions; research interests and findings; collaborative research
Online: 22 March 2021 (10:22:44 CET)
The emergence of COVID-19 has prompted an unprecedented scientic publication with the aim of better understanding this new disease. This study assessed the scientic impact and disciplinary priorities of the published papers on the pandemic by comparing epidemiological (EP) and social sciences (SS) research interests. Papers were identified via keywords searching using Google Scholar and Scopus databases. From an initial 1720 papers, we identified 597 relevant articles, of which 347 were for EP researches and 250 for SS studies. We extracted information, such as authors' countries, and research thematic related to EP and SS. The results revealed that most papers were authored by Asian (37.5%), European (30.5%) and American (19.6%) scientists. Only 10.1% and 2.3% of authors were aliated with African and Oceanian institutions, respectively, indicating that the regions most affected by the pandemic mainly contributed to the scientic publications. In total, 26 research themes were recorded from both EP and SS studies. There was a high signicant dierence among themes in both research fields (Chi-square = 1204.3, df = 1, p-value < 0.001). EP papers mostly dealt with clinical trials (54.5%) and diagnosis (53.3%). These papers assessed the incidence and epidemiological characteristics of the disease (incubation period, symptomatic period, recovering or death), testing tests developed, drugs and vaccines used. SS papers were mainly concerned with the sociocultural analyses (78%) and economic impact (55.6%) of the pandemic. They mainly focused on behavioral changes induced by the pandemic and strategies developed to mitigate its impacts. This study highlights the difference between regions and gaps between scientific disciplines concerning the proposed responses to control the pandemic. It is important to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary studies for health emergencies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0088.v1
Subject: Keywords: graduate programs; higher education; interdisciplinary research; STEM; transdisciplinary research; urban sustainability
Online: 3 December 2020 (14:30:23 CET)
Urban settings are increasingly faced with challenges across natural and engineered environmental systems, threatening the sustainability of urban centers where >50% of the world's population resides. The pressures of aging infrastructure, water and air pollution, and environmental justice exemplify the growing need for urban professionals to employ complex scientific reasoning across disciplines where they can effectively address the multi-faceted issues of urban sustainability. Here we present an innovative model for preparing the next generation of public, private, and academic leaders to address complex problems in urban sustainability. Specifically, we outline the design and implementation of an integrated, adaptable graduate training program, with the goals of science leadership, curriculum relevancy, community impact, broader applicability, recruitment into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs and careers, and program sustainability. This program addresses human-ecosystem challenges using a transdisciplinary approach to produce scientific products in partnership with local communities, businesses, industries, scientists, and policy makers, while providing a mechanism to understand and overcome contemporary societal challenges. Students receive rigorous training in their home disciplines, coupled with training across disciplinary lines and developmental experiences, to prepare them to communicate, collaborate, and innovate in a variety of contexts. Training success is evaluated across measurable competency domains including problem definition, research methods, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. After three years the program expanded relationships across fields and professions, successfully established 18 internship opportunities with community partners, created a new dual-title PhD program open to students in 5 academic departments, and facilitated the co-production of knowledge with external partners. This model bridges the gaps between research, education, and application, providing an integrated, rigorous graduate training program that fosters collaborative problem-solving between STEM graduate students and the broader community of professionals conducting sustainability work in a post-industrial urban setting.
Online: 28 June 2020 (19:46:40 CEST)
Objectives: Data sharing has become a requirement of many funding bodies and is becoming a scientific standard in many disciplines. In medical research, however, data sharing can conflict with clinicians’ obligation to protect patients’ privacy. General recommendations on data sharing exist also for clinical research, but so far lack practical and Swiss-specific aspects. The objective of this document is to provide practical recommendations for all relevant aspects of data sharing in agreement with legislation in Switzerland. Methods: This document was written by members of the Swiss CTU Network, a network of academic clinical trial units. The process did not follow a formalized Delphi process. After an internal consensus round, this report is now published as pre-print for external review. A second version will incorporate external comments. We plan to publish this document as a text in progress, as we expect relevant changes in related fields such as the development of further dedicated medical repositories or methodological advances in anonymization techniques. Results: We developed principles and practical recommendations with respect to informed consent, data management plan, anonymization, data structure and format, coding of variables, metadata and documentation, version control, selection of repository, requesting and use of data. We also provide a summary of legal aspects relevant for the Swiss context. Conclusions: The intension to share data has an impact not only after a clinical trial or an observational study is completed, but also during the planning period, the conduct and the analysis phase. Clinical researchers need to be aware at the beginning of a study on how to inform patients and at least the amount of work related to preparing data for sharing, metadata, and any further documentation. This report provides details of aspects to be considered, suggests decision criteria, and provides examples and checklists, in order to support data sharing in practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0305.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: research, supervision, postgraduate, challenges
Online: 25 December 2018 (12:04:24 CET)
Postgraduate students in South Africa and other parts of the world, particularly in developing nations struggle to complete the research component of their studies. According to the National Development Plan ( 2013) it has become a requirement for South African institutions to play a pivotal role in knowledge production so as to transform South Africa from a resource-based economy towards a knowledge-based economy. In pursuit of meeting this requirement and further to increase subsidy from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), South African institutions of higher learning have been on the drive for recruiting postgraduate students en masse. One of the main problems facing South African institutions is that the number of students enrolled does not correspond to those who graduate at the end of the postgraduate programme study period. This study is a systematic review of literature on challenges in postgraduate supervision and further proposes a possible solution. Five South African institutions of higher learning’s postgraduate throughput data is carefully studied and substantiated by previous research on postgraduate supervision challenges on these particular institutions. Study findings present challenges related to research capacity development and burden of supervision at these institutions. Collaborative methods of supervision such as the C.O.S.T.A model are hereby proposed as possible solutions to the current throughput problem in South Africa.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0109.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: aflatoxin, history, research, Mozambique
Online: 7 June 2018 (10:23:53 CEST)
In Mozambique, the aflatoxin research started in 1960’s and has been carried through apparently unrelated efforts according to opportunities. However, there was a major trend divided in early epidemiological studies and recent agricultural research. Early investigators found strong correlation between aflatoxin contamination and primary liver cancer. Since then, there have been efforts to analyze the extent of contamination, especially in groundnuts and maize. More recent investigation and intervention aimed mostly to reduce the level of contamination enough to allow such commodities to gain acceptance in the international market. The current status of knowledge is still marginal but the increasing involvement of local authorities, academia and international organizations seems promising.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0059.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Metallothionein (MT); Scientific discovery; Scientific pursuit; Research strategies; upward looking research; Exploratory research; Protein function; Compensation; Moonlighting; multifunctional proteins; Vestiges
Online: 2 March 2021 (09:39:39 CET)
In the mid-1950s, Bert L. Vallee and his colleague Marvin Margoshes discovered a molecule known today as metallothionein (MT). Meanwhile MTs have been shown to be common in many biological organisms. Despite their prevalence, however, it remains unclear to date what exactly MTs do and how they contribute to the biological function of an organism or organ. Honoring Dr. Vallee’s sometimes innovative approach to research, this contribution sets out to show how philosophy of science can help us gain a clearer picture of biochemical research. We shall look into both the discovery of as well as recent research on Dr. Vallee’s beloved family of MT proteins to illustrate (i) how exploratory and upward-looking research play important roles in biochemical discoveries although they do not fit the paradigmatic approach of decomposition and struc-ture-function mapping. Besides, we shall suggest (ii) that while other biochemical molecules ex-hibit a clearly identifiable function, other research hypotheses might be worthy of pursuit in the case of MTs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0101.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Ayurveda research; good research; hypothesis generation; hypothesis testing; managing bias and sample size
Online: 7 June 2022 (09:45:11 CEST)
Ayurveda as a healthcare system has survived for thousands of years but continues to be dogged by reported lack of efficacy of the treatments in clinical trials. The reported lack of efficacy could be due to a real lack of efficacy (which then contradicts the survival of Ayurveda as a functional medical system enjoying considerable public patronage) or could be attributed to inadequacies in the efforts towards evidence generation or in a larger context the overall scientific conduct of research in Ayurveda. In an effort towards better evidence generation, there is an immediate need for standardizing the design, conduct and reporting of clinical trials of Ayurveda but it is a daunting task. For this effort to benefit the scientific endeavors of Ayurveda researchers, it should allow the researchers to be able to apply Ayurveda’s multi-component, individualized and inherently holistic approach. Statistical principles can benefit this effort. Statistical hypothesis testing (SHT) is central to these statistical principles and also aligns well with conventional scientific principles of evidence generation. Although there are challenges with SHT, good practitioners engaged in it do much more than just apply the mathematical theory behind it. As a particular example, lot of time in clinical trial designing is spent in addressing biases and designing trials prudently by minimizing the effect of such biases. SHT can benefit such an effort objectively. There is a need for Ayurveda researchers to engage deeply and mindfully about biases in study design in order to gain scientific validity and acceptability. The article highlights issues that arise in Ayurveda research, and discusses few ways of dealing with these issues using statistical principles.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0398.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: bibliometric analysis; Pubmed; rubella virus; research output; research collaboration; Biblioshiny; Bibliometrix; R-package
Online: 31 March 2022 (07:37:09 CEST)
Background: This work aimed to undertake a bibliometric analysis of the Rubella virus. Medical studies were conducted between 2000 and 2022 to discover trends, dynamics, and research outputs in the industry. Methods:A bibliometric study was performed using R software to determine research characteristics indexed worldwide and published in Rubella research in medical studies. The Rubella virus was chosen as the subject in the PUBMED database, and 374 papers from the previous two decades were reviewed. Results: There was an increase in the number of publications after 2003. The United States was the most essential countryamong all which had the most contributions on Rubella Virus. Conclusion:Rubella research has increased in the medical profession over the previous decade, with the United States leading to publications in this field.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0021.v1
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:55:47 CEST)
As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are at higher risk for conflict and violence when they are in the field. At-risk individuals include minority identities of the following: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, and/or religion. Everyone deserves to conduct fieldwork as safely as possible; therefore, it is paramount for anyone conducting fieldwork to be informed of the increased risk certain populations face when conducting field research and to define informed strategies. Research groups should adhere to best practices to minimize risk for all individuals who go into the field. Here we provide strategies that 1) acknowledge that some individuals encounter dangerous situations in the field due to their identity(ies), and 2) minimize the chance of conflict between and among researchers and other communities present at field sites. The inclusion of this document as a key resource in a research lab, a university department, or any active research or work environment sends a positive signal to at-risk individuals that their professional community acknowledges their risk and is willing to implement actions to ensure their safety. We suggest that this document be made freely available to anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in fieldwork. Supervisors who support the information in this document should publicly commit to promote a diverse and inclusive environment in order to maintain the safety of their researchers.
Online: 3 June 2020 (13:45:17 CEST)
Fungi critically impact the health and function of global ecosystems and economies. In Canada, fungal researchers often work within silos defined by sub-discipline and institutional type, complicating the collaborations necessary to understand the impacts fungi have on the environment, economy, and plant and animal health. Here, we announce the establishment of the Canadian Fungal Research Network (CanFunNet, https://fungalresearch.ca) whose mission is to strengthen and promote fungal research in Canada by facilitating dialogue among scientists. We summarize the challenges and opportunities for Canadian fungal research that were discussed at CanFunNet’s inaugural meeting in 2019, and identify four priorities for our community: 1) increasing collaboration among scientists; 2) studying diversity in the context of ecological disturbance; 3) preserving culture collections in the absence of sustained funding; and 4) leveraging diverse expertise to attract trainees. We have gathered additional information to support our recommendations, including a survey identifying underrepresentation of fungal-related courses at Canadian universities, a list of Canadian fungaria and culture collections, and a case study of a human fungal pathogen outbreak. We anticipate that these discussions will help prioritize fungal research in Canada, and we welcome all researchers to join this nationwide effort to enhance knowledge dissemination and funding advocacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Neonate; qualitative research; Southeast Asia
Online: 29 September 2016 (11:17:06 CEST)
Global coverage and scale up of interventions to reduce newborn mortality remains low, though progress has been achieved in improving newborn survival in many low-income settings. An important factor in the success of newborn health interventions, and moving to scale, is appropriate design of community-based programs and strategies for local implementation. We report the results of formative research undertaken to inform the design of a newborn health intervention in Cambodia. Information was gathered on newborn care practices over a period of three months using multiple qualitative methods of data collection in the primary health facility and home setting. Analysis of the data indicated important gaps, both at home and facility level, between recommended newborn care practices and those typical in the study area. The results of this formative research have informed strategies for behavior change and improving referral of sick infants in the subsequent implementation study. Collection and dissemination of data on newborn care practices from settings such as these can contribute to efforts to advance survival, growth and development of newborns for intervention research, and for future newborn health programming.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0043.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Anesthesiology Keywords: anaesthesia; workforce challenges; qualitative research; Pakistan
Online: 5 September 2022 (04:30:46 CEST)
Global anaesthesia workforce limitations contribute to emigration of skilled anaesthesiologists from lower- to higher-income countries, jeopardizing workforce balance and patient outcomes in Pakistan. This study aims to explore challenges experienced by anaesthesiologists in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, and necessary changes to encourage their retention. We conducted a qualitative study to examine perspectives of anaesthesiologists who chose to serve in Pakistan. We drew data from semi-structured interviews conducted with 25 purposively-sampled consultant anaesthesiologists. We analysed data thematically and distinguished the practice hurdles faced by anaesthesiologists in public and private hospitals of Punjab. The main reasons to work abroad could be broadly categorized under two inductive themes, i.e. practice hurdles in public and private sector. Both had distinct issues which compromised the number and quality of anaesthesia workforce in the country. The key outcomes were workplace security, promotion/incentive issues and gender inequalities in the government sector. The private sector had improper salaries and facilities, anaesthesiologist’s dependency on surgeons for getting work and lack of out-of-theatre practice which minimise the scope and earnings of anaesthesiologist within the country. There is a need to overcome surgeon dependency and hospital manipulation by fixing salary percentages for each surgical case and encouraging direct patient-anaesthesiologist relationships.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0254.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Morphology; insects; biodiversity research; ontology development
Online: 18 January 2022 (11:49:54 CET)
The spectacular radiation of insects has produced a stunning diversity of phenotypes. During the last 250 years, research on insect systematics has generated hundreds of terms for naming and comparing those phenotypes. In its current form, this terminological diversity is presented in natural language and lacks formalization, which prohibits computer-assisted comparison using semantic web technologies. Here we propose a Model for Describing Insect Anatomical Structures (MoDIAS) which incorporates structural properties and positional relationships for standardized, consistent, and reproducible descriptions of insect phenotypes. We applied the MoDIAS framework in creating the ontology for the Anatomy of the Insect Skeleto-Muscular system (AISM). The AISM is the first general insect ontology that aims to cover all taxa by providing generalized, fully logical, and queryable, definitions for each term. It was built using the Ontology Development Kit (ODK), which maximizes interoperability with Uberon (Uberon multi-species anatomy ontology) and other basic ontologies, enhancing the integration of insect anatomy into the broader biological sciences. A template system for adding new terms, extending and linking the AISM to additional anatomical, phenotypic, genetic, and chemical ontologies is also introduced. The AISM is proposed as the backbone for taxon-specific insect ontologies and has potential applications spanning systematic biology and biodiversity informatics, allowing users to (1) use controlled vocabularies and create semi-automated computer-parsable insect morphological descriptions; (2) integrate insect morphology into broader fields of research, including ontology-informed phylogenetic methods, logical homology hypothesis testing, evo-devo studies, and genotype to phenotype mapping; and (3) automate the extraction of morphological data from the literature, enabling the generation of large-scale phenomic data, by facilitating the production and testing of informatic tools able to extract, link, annotate, and process morphological data. This system will allow for clear and semantically interoperable integration of insect phenotypes in biodiversity studies.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0292.v1
Subject: Biology, Horticulture Keywords: agroecology; participatory research; web application; traceability
Online: 17 December 2021 (15:07:16 CET)
Agroecology, defined as the ecological science of food production is also as practical approach to design food production systems based on local concerted solutions that aim to promote synergy among the diversity of human and non human food systems elements. These two facets makes agroecology a good candidate for participatory research. Information technology should help using this information for the production of structured scientific knowledge. In this respect, there is a need for information technology that is adaptive to encompass the diversity of within and between systems and that provide benefit to farmers that feed it with data. We present MiCampoApp, a webapp that aims to join participatory research and certification in agroecology, with two roles, the farmer and the administrator. The idea to join participatory research for decision support with certification for market differentiation in single system is that much of the certification data harbors information for scientific research, and this incentivize data collection for the interest of the farmer and the community. The administrator create a model for data collection in order to solve a research question of interest for a communities or to produce traceability information to feed participatory guarantee system in a community. The farmer collects information using simple icons and produces traceability pages for research or certification purposes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0511.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: review; misinformation; online education; research; discipline
Online: 30 August 2021 (10:26:50 CEST)
Misinformation research has grown to become a critical topic in all disciplines. Since the expanding of online media, misinformation has been spreading rapidly across the globe through social media and other information systems. Paralleling the rise of academic interest in misinformation, is the emergence of online education scholarship. Interest in the online educational implications of misinformation and its impact attracts an increase in scholarship on misinformation. This article presents the results of a review of 1172 publications with “Misinformation” across disciplines and a subset of 174 misinformation literature in online education that were published between 2009 and 2021. This review answers three questions: (1) What is the overall distribution of publication activity with "misinformation" publications? (2) What methodologies have scholars used to investigate misinformation involving online education? (3) What have scholars reported about the results of studies involving misinformation in online education? The review reveals that various methodologies were used in literature focusing on misinformation online education with leading numbers of content analysis and quantitative studies. This systematic review is particularly relevant to those online educators in various disciplines who are interested in learning what scholars from their own academic disciplines are writing about misinformation.
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Medical education; Linking research and education
Online: 10 July 2020 (15:59:53 CEST)
On the 30thanniversary of the Karolinska Institutet Summer Research School for High School students an evaluation was carried out of the school’s activities. The evaluation was performed by questionnaire sent to 533 former students and also by searching the KI course registration database for all former students who went on to register in under- or postgraduate education at KI. Approximately half of all former Summer School students performed their undergraduate studies at KI, predominantly in the medical program. Those were far more likely to choose a research-oriented education than their peers. KI Medical students who previously attended the Summer School were also more likely to later register for PhD education than their peers who did not attend the summer school.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0218.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: Participatory Action Research; FOSS; Change implementation
Online: 17 June 2020 (13:16:27 CEST)
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an established method to implement change in organizations. However, it cannot be applied in the open source (FOSS) communities, without adaptation to their particularities, especially to the specific control mechanisms developed in FOSS. FOSS communities are self-managed, and rely on consensus to reach decisions. This study proposes a PAR framework specifically tailored to FOSS communities. We successfully applied the framework to implement a set of quality assurance interventions in the Robot Operating System community. The framework we proposed is composed of three components, interventions design, democratization, and execution. We believe that this process will work for other FOSS communities too. We have learned that changing a particular aspect of a FOSS community is arduous. To achieve success the change must rally the community around it for support and attract motivated volunteers to implement the interventions.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0371.v1
Online: 31 October 2019 (10:09:54 CET)
This presentation is based on the article I wrote ((Lebese, 2018) where the A.C.A.I.D system was confirmed as directing human behavior in all situations. The A.C.A.I.D concept is an acronym. A stands for Attention, C for Consideration, A for Action, I for Internalisation and D for duplication. I developed the system over a period of twenty years as an impirical study, to answer a question: Why do I do what I do when I do what I do? Every behavior I exhibited followed specific steps from idea through to duplication. Once completed, I unobtrusively checked if other human beings behaved similarly. Without fail I observed that the A.C.A.I.D is a system that all humans knowingly and unknowingly follow. Through the system I could easily predict how the learners I was teaching could behave in particular situations. Also, I could assist learners who wanted change in their behaviors to know at what stage in the system that change was possible.The postgraduate scholar behaves in a predetermined manner in the research activity. Those behaviors follow an accepted protocol which invariably goes through all the stages of the A.C.A.I.D system. It starts with an idea through to the duplication step which I call “The idea on legs”. When it gets to this stage, it goes back to the beginning and sold as an idea. The system is cyclical.The A.C.A.I.D system as a framework helps the postgraduate researcher to follow an acceptable research praxis from idea interrogation through all the stages. This helps the researcher to follow acceptable predictable methodologis through research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0028.v1
Subject: Keywords: Fraud, Allegations, Ethics, Research Misconduct, Philosophy
Online: 3 January 2019 (14:26:28 CET)
In recent decades, a number of high-profile cases involving fraud as research misconduct have been in the media and resulted in severe consequences for those convicted. According to the increased cases of allegations and coverage in the media, this reflects a heightened awareness that fraudulent actions exist. Nonetheless, the Office of Research Integrity data suggests that despite the growth in the number of the cases of allegation there has not been a commensurate increase in findings of misconduct. The purpose of this paper is to explore misconduct to better understand what it entails. An analysis of misconduct from the perspective of the definitions of allegations and fraud of is conducted and potential frameworks for understanding both are considered. The paper considers serial-positioning effects of primacy and recency on allegation phenomena, as well as supervenience theory and contextualism as a lens for understanding fraud. Discussion of the relational semantics of the core aspects of fraud and de facto grouping of forms of misconduct. It is concluded that the interrogative pronouns of “what” and “when” could be used to categorize forms of misconduct laying the foundation for the next paper that deconstructs the definition of falsification according to the Public Health Service.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0084.v1
Online: 5 July 2018 (08:09:35 CEST)
The case for demand-driven research and development has received important considerations among governments, donors and programme implementing partners in development planning and implementation. Addressing demand is believed to be a bottom-top approach for designing and responding to development priorities and is good for achieving development outcomes. In this paper, we discuss the concept and application of demand driven research for development (DDRD) in Africa. We use evidence of six projects implemented under the BiomassWeb Project in Africa. We focus on parameters on level of engagement of stakeholders - whose demand is being articulated, the processes for demand articulation, capacity building and implementation processes, innovativeness of the project, reporting and sustainability of the project. We find that the nature of the institutions involved in articulation and implementation of demand-driven research and development projects and their partnerships influence the impact and reporting of demand-driven projects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0129.v1
Subject: Keywords: the violation imperative; responsible conduct of research (RCR); research misconduct; science; definition of falsification; philosophy; ethics
Online: 14 January 2019 (09:56:48 CET)
The purpose of this paper is to critique the definition of falsification as research misconduct according to the Public Health Service (PHS) in order to better understand what it entails. In support of this purpose, the approach decided upon for analysis was philosophical including framing the issue borrowing from both mereological and epistemological perspectives. Through the consideration given to parthood relations of mereology, we gained insight from a cognitive imperfection standpoint about similarities that exist between the epistemic constraints on knowledge and the nature of violations concerning research misconduct. Findings from the examination of a case study include the significance of accuracy in representation in falsification as misconduct and the core dimensions comprising an instance of falsification, which are Deliberateness, Alteration, and Inclusion. Given that either behavior or actions must occur that violate these three aspects in order to qualify as an instance of misconduct under falsification, the author proposes that, at a minimum, any revisions made to the definition of falsification stipulate what he refers to as the Violation Imperative.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0081.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Social Robot; Empirical Research; Human-Robot Interaction; Human-Computer Interaction; Ethnomethodology; Robot development; HCI; HRI; Qualitative Research
Online: 8 April 2022 (12:48:04 CEST)
This study observes, interprets, and analyses the knowledge production in the research field of Human–Robot Interaction (HRI). It intends to foreground the hidden assumptions that are often taken for granted when roboticist design and conduct their research. By doing so, this study demonstrates how these assumptions influence the result of their research. Based on data collected through sociological field observation, this study argues that the current practise in HRI research is highly anthropocentric. In short, the robots are designed to be like human instead of for human. Therefore, the human–robot relationship embodies the existing power relations between human beings. These relations generate inequality, hierarchy, and dominance, which are the opposite of the common imagination of the robotised future among roboticists. For the purpose of enabling the robotised future closer to their ideal, this study suggests that HRI researchers to go beyond the conventional methodology, to allow a human–robot relationship that realises reciprocity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0555.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: Cryptocurrencies; Blockchain; Bitcoin; Scopus; VOSviewer; Bibliometrics; Research
Online: 31 August 2021 (09:48:06 CEST)
Blockchain is a path-breaking paradigm, and cryptocurrencies are one of the main application areas of Blockchain technology. Bitcoin leads the cryptocurrency markets, both in terms of market capitalization and in scientific interest. In this paper, we performed a comprehensive bibliometric study of the Bitcoin-related literature. Using the Scopus database, we created a sample that comprises 4495 documents written in the 2011–2020 period. Furthermore, we provided insights about dimensions such as the change in the number of publications over the course of years, the main research areas, types of published documents, most important platforms and sources of Bitcoin publications, highly cited studies, productive authors, author’s countries, and finally main funders of Bitcoin-related research. Lastly, our bibliometric study manifests the current state and future path of Bitcoin literature from distinct perspectives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0698.v1
Online: 30 July 2021 (11:43:12 CEST)
Background: In an age where information is generally accessible, most of the interest these days has focused on how accessible and convenient technology can be. So small and personal, mobile devices can transform our perception of learning by combining both mobility and convenience. Mobile learning is part of the digital learning landscape alongside e-learning and serious games. However, knowledge about effective design of mobile learning experiences remains of interest with a focus on appropriate design models and the embodiments that can be implemented to achieve the intended educational outcomes. Exploring the instructor's perspective on mobile learning is essential. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the Moroccan instructors' perception and practice of mobile learning to inform the development of an ecologically valid mobile learning integration model. Methods: Higher education Instructors (n=41) were recruited to the study. The Moroccan instructors' perception and their experiences regarding their adoption of mobile learning were collected using an online survey. The analysis focused on their mobile use, perceived IT competency, and opinions on mobile learning. Results: We described most of the instructors' considerations regarding integrating mobile technologies into their teaching activities. We found that most of the mobile learning activities defined by the respondents corresponded to relatively advanced use of mobile devices. More promising, instructors have found innovative ways to use the educational potential of mobile devices. However, the prospect of mobile devices was still to challenge. No or poor Wi-Fi connection, number of devices or limited access, sometimes fees or applications incompatibility were identified as reasons and obstacles to mobile learning usage. Conclusion: Mobile learning is mostly perceived positively among Moroccan instructors allowing many applications and usage to enhance teaching and learning. In this study, a better understanding of aspects and factors influencing the integration of mobile learning in the Moroccan educational context is exposed, helping further the development of an ecologically valid mobile learning integration model. Future work on mobile learning should consider the highly paced evolution of mobile technologies, emphasizing the flexibility of integration frameworks to support instructors and learners.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0419.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: study participation; communication; survey; general research results
Online: 15 April 2021 (14:48:49 CEST)
There is a need for multimodal strategies to keep research participants informed about study results. Our aim was to characterize preferences of genomic research participants from two institutions along four dimensions of general research result updates: content, timing, mechanism, and frequency. Methods: We conducted a web-based cross-sectional survey that was administered from 6-25-2018 to 12-5-2018. Results: 397 participants completed the survey, most of whom (96%) expressed a desire to receive research updates. Preferences with high endorsement included: update content (brief descriptions of major findings, descriptions of purpose and goals, and educational material); update timing (when the research is completed, when findings are reviewed, when findings are published, and when the study status changes); update mechanism (email with updates, and email newsletter); and update frequency (every three months). Hierarchical cluster analyses based on the four update preferences identified four profiles of participants with similar preference patterns. Very few participants in the largest profile were comfortable with budgeting less money for research activities so that researchers have money to set up services to send research result updates to study participants. Conclusion: This work provides evidence of a need for funders to incentivize researchers to communicate results to participants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0172.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Qualitative research; Regulations; Ethical issues; Sustainable production
Online: 7 December 2020 (15:21:23 CET)
Italy is the leading European producer of rice. The transition to organic farming could represent a solution for environmental protection, as well as for the economic sustainability of farms, consumer safety and as a measure of climate mitigation, but it currently displays several weaknesses in the control and certification system. The objective of the current study is to propose advice for improving the control and certification scheme in the organic rice sector. To achieve this aim, we adopted a qualitative methodology based on participant observation at stakeholders’ meetings, focus groups, community-led workshops and deep interviews with relevant local actors. Findings show that there are some solutions to mitigate the weakness of the Italian certification scheme. The study also produces managerial implications to improve the Italian organic rice system.
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: research; public health; innovation; decision making; review
Online: 21 October 2020 (11:26:17 CEST)
SIGNIFICANCE Putting worth on research and selection of studies by importance are crucial in medical innovation. Practical applications include choosing personal study topics, publication review, study grant selection, and decisions of spending or misspending billions in public health. Multiple studies raised alarm that current methods perform poorly in reproducibility, prediction of best research and objectivity. I propose using the metrics how much disease burden is reduced and calculating objective, numerical research value. The concept is that worth of medical research is not subjective but can be reproducible and numerically quantified. The method increases transparency by giving decision makers an externally accountable proof, and frees peer reviewers to check scientific integrity. Its numerical form can capture small differences important in competition between studies. ABSTRACT Finding value and selecting knowledge by importance are crucial in medical innovation. Applications include individuals designing research, funding organizations selecting grants, journals – publications, institutions – priorities in public health and health policy, and decision makers spending or misspending billions of research funds. Currently finding value of knowledge is done by peer review together with checking scientific integrity. Multiple studies raised alarm that it performs poorly in prediction of highest citations, bias, transparency and quality. The resulting problems include perception of slow medical progress and wasting funds and time. I introduce a standard, objective and numerical method for finding value of medical research. It measures disease burden prevented by new knowledge contained in a study or a publication. In its simple form, it is calculated by multiplying disease prevalence, disease burden, and efficacy of the therapy. It can be modified for risk of failure, multi-disease effect and for ethical considerations. The process is described step-by-step in terms common in medical practice. A quick estimate is often sufficient. The advantage is objectivity, since it is calculated from real world data. This gives transparency and externally accountability of decision making. The second advantage is a numerical form. This can measure small differences in research value which, in sharp competition, determine which studies are selected. A researcher can calculate the value of own future effort. Institutions might ask to provide it at submission. The method is also applicable to broad policy analysis, objective evaluation of scientific achievement and bibliometric studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0111.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: consumer preferences; coffee market; coffee; research results
Online: 6 September 2018 (05:59:23 CEST)
The article addresses the issue of consumer preferences for types of coffee in Poland (ground coffee, instant coffee, coffee beans, instant coffee mixes and instant cappuccino). The main source of the study is the results of primary research conducted using a structured interview (CAPI—Computer Assisted Personal Interview) on a nationwide sample of 800 coffee consumers. The research was conducted by Grupa IQS Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw in January 2016 for the MOKATE Group based on the assumptions and guidelines developed by the authors of the article. The main purpose of the article is to present the identified coffee consumer preferences in Poland with regard to various kinds of coffee. The results of the research which have been included in the article indicate, among others, ongoing changes in the preferences of Polish consumers regarding their coffee choices. They prove that Polish consumers are drinking ground coffee more and more often. The consumption of instant coffee is decreasing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0024.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Citizenship, Young People, Participatory Research, Political Participation
Online: 1 August 2018 (14:23:21 CEST)
This paper provides a synthesis of qualitative studies, examining youth empowerment projects and initiatives which have encouraged young people to have a voice in local, regional and national political debates. Specifically, the article examines the role of UK youth services in building the spirit of citizenship in young people against the challenging question of the changing behaviour pattern and profiles of young British electorates. To do this, the paper draws on four case studies to help rethink the critical moments for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in their journeys towards citizenship. The article, presents the advantages and limitations of the youth sector to enrich and furnish the spirit of citizenship in today’s youth and argues for a more innovative role in the part played by the state in an era of austerity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0015.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: iodine; pregnancy; qualitative research; awareness; perceptions; nutrition
Online: 2 February 2018 (07:29:44 CET)
Iodine is essential for thyroid hormones synthesis and normal neurodevelopment; however, 60% of pregnant women do not meet the WHO recommended intake. Using a qualitative design, we explored perceptions, awareness and experiences of pregnancy nutrition, focusing on iodine. Women in the perinatal period (n=48) were interviewed and filled in a food frequency questionnaire for iodine. Almost all participants achieved the recommended 150 μg/day intake for non-pregnant adults (99%), but only 81% met the increased demands of pregnancy (250 μg/day). Most were unaware of the importance, sources and recommendations of iodine intake. Attitudes to dairy products consumption were positive (e.g. helps with heartburn; easy to increase). Increased fish consumption was considered less achievable, with barriers around taste, smell, heartburn and morning sickness. Community midwives were the main recognised provider of dietary advice. The dietary advice received focused most often on multivitamin supplements rather than food sources. Analysis highlighted a clear theme of commitment to change behaviour, motivated by pregnancy, with desired focus on user-friendly documentation and continued involvement of the health services. The study highlights the importance of redirecting advice on dietary requirements in pregnancy and offers practical suggestions from women in the perinatal period as the main stakeholder group.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0078.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: health data science; clinical trials; research participant reporting; personal health data diary; personal private webserver; research data integrity
Online: 6 June 2018 (09:40:35 CEST)
We describe how clinical researchers can exploit the Android cell phone as an economic platform for the gathering of data from clinical trial participants. The aim was to provide a solution with the shortest possible learning curve for researchers who are comfortable with setting up web pages. The additional requirement is that they extend their skills to the installation of a local webserver on the cell phone and then use four simple PHP templates to construct the clinical research data collection and processing forms. Data so collected is automatically written to local csv files on the cell phone. These csv phones can be retrieved from the device by the researcher simply by plugging the cell phone into their desktop PC and accessing the cell phone memory in just the same way as they would a USB memory stick. The results are presented as a list of recommended Android Apps along with settings that have proved to provide a stable combination likely to be easily used by clinical research participants. We have made a limited ‘user trial’ of this approach with satisfactory feedback received. We have concluded that this approach will reward researchers with a solution that is user friendly, will provide transcription free data and that is more than cost competitive with the conventional error prone/poor compliance ‘paper based participant form – researcher transcription’ cycle.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0336.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater; research; surveillance
Online: 25 March 2022 (03:30:23 CET)
Background: In the span of just two years, tracking the COVID-19 pandemic through wastewater surveillance has advanced from early reports of successful SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in untreated wastewater to implementation of programs in at least 60 countries. Early wastewater monitoring efforts primarily originated in research laboratories and are now transitioning into more formal surveillance programs run in commercial and public health laboratories. A major challenge in this progression has been to simultaneously optimize methods and build scientific consensus while implementing surveillance programs, particularly during the rapidly changing landscape of the pandemic. Translating wastewater surveillance results for effective use by public health agencies also remains a key objective for the field. Objectives: We examine the evolution of wastewater surveillance to identify model collaborations and effective partnerships that have created rapid and sustained success. We propose needed areas of research and key roles academic researchers can play in the framework of wastewater surveillance to aid in the transition of early monitoring efforts to more formalized programs within the public health system. Discussion: Wastewater surveillance has rapidly developed as a public health tool Clinical testing programs are ramping down and home testing is on the rise, making wastewater monitoring important for future surveillance of COVID-19. Our experience in initiating and implementing wastewater surveillance programs in the United States has allowed us to reflect on key barriers and organizational challenges and draw useful lessons. As wastewater surveillance programs are formalized, the working relationships developed between academic researchers, commercial and public health laboratories, and data users should continue and should promote knowledge co-development. While wastewater surveillance has demonstrated utility for tracking COVID-19, there remain technical challenges and open scientific questions that researchers are equipped to address, which will contribute to building robust surveillance programs that provide public health practitioners with new insights into population health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0127.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Apoptosis; preclinical research; diabetes type 2; HIPPO pathway
Online: 8 November 2021 (11:45:49 CET)
Diabetes mellitus is a heterogeneous disease of complex etiology and pathogenesis. Hyperglycemia leads to many serious complications, but also directly initiates the process of β cell apoptosis. A potential strategy for the preservation of pancreatic β cells in diabetes may be to inhibit the implementation of pro-apoptotic pathways or to enhance the action of pancreatic protective factors. The HIPPO signaling pathway is proposed and selected as a target to manipulate the activity of its core proteins in therapy - basic research. MST1 and LATS2 as major upstream signaling kinases of the Hippo pathway are considered as target candidates for pharmacologically induced tissue regeneration and inhibition of apoptosis. Manipulating the activity of components of the HiPPO pathway offers a wide range of possibilities, and thus is a potential tool in the treatment of diabetes and the regeneration of β cells. Therefore, it is important to fully understand the processes involved in apoptosis in diabetic states and to fully characterize the role of this pathway in diabetes. Therapy consisting in slowing down or stopping the mechanisms of apoptosis may be an important direction of diabetes treatment shortly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0085.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Legal research; Disruption; Legal AI tools
Online: 5 October 2021 (13:04:06 CEST)
Legal research is an indispensable skill for lawyers. Therefore, it is always necessary for lawyers to engage in legal research in due course of trying to alleviate various legal problems. Although the purpose and methodology of the research may vary from lawyer to lawyer, doing research is a common activity. As a result, the quest to assess the impacts of artificial intelligence (hereinafter ‘AI’) on legal research allows one to measure the influence of AI on the legal profession in general. Moreover, with the advent of Legal AI, it is now evident that the legal profession is not immune from disruption. According to the above, this article discusses the impacts of AI on research in the legal profession in general in accomplishing various lawyerly tasks by different legal professionals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0536.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE); repetition; iteration
Online: 26 January 2021 (11:37:54 CET)
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students with opportunities for the same gains that apprenticed research with faculty members offer. As their popularity increases, it is important that critical elements of CUREs are supported by thoughtful design. Student experiences in CUREs can provide important insights into why CUREs are so effective. We present evidence from students who participated in CUREs at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as from graduate teaching assistants for an introductory lab course that included a CURE. Students and teaching assistants describe repetition as a valuable element in CUREs and other laboratory experiences. We used student work and open-ended interviews to identify which of five previously described elements of CUREs students found important. Because repetition was particularly salient, we characterized how students described repetition as they experienced it in courses that contained full-length or “micro”-CUREs. In prompted interviews, students described how repetition in CUREs provided cognitive (learning concepts) and practical (learning technical skills) value. Recent graduates who had participated in CUREs at each level of their Biology education were particularly aware that they placed value in repetition and acknowledged it as motivational in their own learning. Many students described repetition in metacognitive terms, which also suggests that as students advance through laboratory and CURE curricula, their understanding of how repetition supports their learning becomes more sophisticated. Finally, we integrated student descriptions to suggest ways in which repetition can be designed into CUREs or other laboratory courses to support scientific learning and enhance students’ sense of scientific identity.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0342.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Undergraduate research experience; diversity; equity; inclusion; science communication
Online: 12 November 2020 (11:31:22 CET)
Ecology is working to face its colonial roots and institutional inequities. As we build more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) institutions we must work to support new ecologists by empowering them with the knowledge and tools to succeed. Undergraduate research experiences (UREs) are critical for a student’s professional and interpersonal skill development and key for recruiting more diverse groups of students to ecology. Here, we highlight DEI dimensions of a URE in ecology, acknowledge safety considerations for field ecology, including harassment and assault, and provide tools to support the URE. This is written primarily for all URE students and secondarily for their advisors. We welcome students from underrepresented groups and encourage allyship from students from non-underrepresented groups. After reading this paper, we hope that all students feel more confident and excited about their URE and that advisors see how to improve DEI in their lab.
Subject: Keywords: undergraduate, research, COVID-19, CUREs, interest, communication, identity
Online: 24 September 2020 (18:14:34 CEST)
Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) provide active and authentic scientific involvement to tens of thousands of students each year. Through this process, CUREs offer the benefits of increased learning outcomes, improved equity, and increased retention in STEM. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, research and teaching labs have limited capacity. Some universities are closed for in-person learning altogether, and others are likely to face emergency shut-downs throughout the year. In this setting, the inability to conduct experiments limits a core aspect of CUREs. Without experimentation as a basis for student engagement, interest, and broader relevance, true course-based research this year becomes a major challenge. We suggest that this limitation provides a moment to enhance CUREs with research-enriching learning activities that are obtainable while away from the bench. In this essay we outline a variety of these student-centered activities and review their benefits in terms of student interest, learning, and equity. While useful during emergency teaching transitions during COVID-19, we make the case that these new evidence-based practices for CUREs will also be helpful for the enrichment of research-based learning beyond the current crisis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0310.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Scientific research; Frauds; Reliability; Distrust; Distributed Ledger Technologies
Online: 26 June 2020 (12:18:41 CEST)
Frauds and misconducts have been common in the history of science. Recent events connected to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how the risks and consequences of this are no longer acceptable. Two papers, addressing the treatment of COVID-19, have been published in two of the most prestigious medical journals. In both, the authors declared to have analysed electronic records from a private corporation, which apparently collected data of tens of thousands of patients, coming from thousands of hospitals. Both papers have been retracted a few weeks later. When such events happen, the confidence of the population in scientific research is likely to be weakened. The objective of this paper is to highlight how the current system endangers not only the reliability of scientific research, but also the very foundations of the trust system on which modern healthcare is based. Having shed the light on the dangers of a system without appropriate monitoring, we propose to improve the research process using the promising aspects of the distributed ledger technology which, thanks to the characteristics of immutability, decentralization and transparency, appears among the best solutions to avoid the repetition of the mistakes linked to the recent and past history of research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0035.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: research data management; FAIR; file structure; file system
Online: 3 April 2020 (15:56:22 CEST)
Storing scientific data on the file system in a meaningful and transparent way is no trivial task. In particular when the data have to be accessed after their originator has left the lab the importance of a standardized file structure cannot be underestimated. It is desirable to have a structure that allows for the unique categorization of all kinds of data from experimental results to publications. It has to be accessible to a broad variety of workflows, e.g., via graphical user interface as well as via command line, in order to find widespread acceptance. Furthermore, the inclusion of already existing data has to be as simple as possible. We propose a three-level structure to organize and store scientific data that incorporates the full chain of scientific data management from data acquisition to analysis to publications. Metadata are saved in a standardized way and connect original data to analyses and publication as well as to their originators. A simple software tool to check a file structure for compliance with the proposed structure is presented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0107.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: cultural institutions; cultural services; consumer behaviour; research results
Online: 6 September 2018 (03:38:43 CEST)
This is a theoretical and empirical article. Basic issues related to consumer behaviour on the market of cultural services are presented in the first part of the article. The second part presents the brief characteristics of consumers of cultural services in Poland, as well as an analysis of their market behaviour. For this purpose, surveys were conducted on a group of 2599 consumers of the cultural offer. Research was conducted in Katowice - the largest city in the Silesia region in Poland. The article also highlights the main trends in consumer behaviour on the market of cultural services in Poland in particular: increasing mobility of the consumers of the cultural offer, growing diversity in the methods of acquiring information about cultural events and increase in the importance (purchasing power) of consumers in the retirement age in the market of cultural services. In the last part of article authors indicate on the resulting implications for sustainable cultural management in Poland - particularly marketing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0564.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Linguistics Keywords: orthographic literacy; questionnaire research; Croatian orthography; (de)standardisation
Online: 30 July 2018 (08:05:51 CEST)
This paper discusses the impact of orthographic manuals on the state of literacy, i.e. the relation of orthographic literacy and orthographic standardisation. The established hypothesis claims that frequent changes of orthographic rules during the pupils’ primary and secondary education do not have any considerable impact on their orthographic habits. In other words, the quantity of orthographic mistakes observed during a longer period of time and in conditions of changed orthographic rules would not show significant oscillations in their spelling. In order to confirm the hypothesis, a questionnaire was conducted encompassing 41 tests among 526 students of a technical study programme during four consecutive academic years, pursuant to whose results a writing uniformity index and a categorisation of orthographic controversy into six classes is established. The Croatian language has been selected for the observation due to multiple orthographic changes in the last 30 years in the three major orthographic points: writing of the covered r, writing of d and t in front of c and č in declination of words ending in -tak, -tac, -dak and -dac, and the issue of compound or separate spelling of the negation particle and the auxiliary biti (to be). Moreover, the paper methodologically and quantitatively establishes criteria according to which the second established hypothesis on evolutionary orthographic literacy can be confirmed. The conclusions are expected to be able to contribute to the better understanding of orthographic planning and application of orthographic norms in schools.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0319.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: annexins; inflammation; wound healing; drug target; translational research
Online: 23 May 2018 (08:19:42 CEST)
The vertebrate annexin superfamily (AnxA) consists of 12 calcium (Ca2+) and phospholipid binding proteins which share a high structural homology. In keeping with this hallmark feature, annexins have been implicated in the Ca2+-controlled regulation of membrane events. In this review, we discuss several themes of potential therapeutic value, namely the regulation of the immune response and the control of tissue homeostasis, that repeatedly surface in the annexin action profile. Our aim is to identify and discuss those annexin properties which might be exploited from a translational science and specifically clinical point of view.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0133.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Music Studies Keywords: quantitative musicology, biodiversity, ecology, interdisciplinary research, music analysis
Online: 20 April 2017 (10:43:40 CEST)
This paper introduces an ecological approach to quantifying diversity in musical compositions. The approach considers notations with distinct pitches and duration as equivalents of species in ecosystems, measures within a composition as equivalents of ecosystems, and the sum of measures (i.e., the entire composition) as a landscape in which ecosystems are embedded. Structural diversity can be calculated at the level of measures (“alpha diversity”) and the entire composition (“gamma diversity”). An additional metric can be derived that quantifies the structural differentiation between measures in a composition (“beta diversity”). We demonstrate the suitability of the approach in music using specifically composed examples and real songs that vary in complexity. We discuss the potential of the approach with selected examples from a potentially ample spectrum of applications within musicology research. The method seems particularly suitability for hypothesis testing to objectively identify many of the intricate phenomena in music. Because the approach extracts information present in the compositions – it lets the songs tell their structure – it can complement more complex modeling approaches used by music scholars. Combined such approaches provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research. They can help to fill knowledge gaps, stimulate further research and increase our understanding of music.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0330.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Library & Information Science Keywords: Sensors; Sensor research; Research fields; Technological trajectories; Biosensors; Wearable sensors; Wireless sensor network; Evolution of science; Dynamics of science; Scientific development
Online: 20 September 2021 (12:19:44 CEST)
The fundamental question in the field of sensor research is new directions of scientific fields, which play a vital role in the progress of science and technology. This study confronts this question here by developing a bibliometric analysis, which endeavors to explain the evolution of sensor research and new technologies that are critical to science and society. The database of Scopus concerning scientific documents and patents is used for statistical and computational analyses in these topics. Results suggest that emerging technological trajectories in sensors are wireless sensor networks, wearable sensors and biosensors. Main characteristics of these growing research fields and technologies in sensors are described for fruitful implications of research and innovation policy directed to science advances and technological change in society.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0199.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: Blockchain; Token; Recognition; Reward; Peer Review; Research Management; NIHR
Online: 14 September 2022 (08:41:28 CEST)
Here we present a blockchain-backed token recognition system to reward the contributions that academics make to the scientific ecosystem. Recognition is important in science but current methods, systems and incentives are limited. Specifically, the traditional focus on narrow publication metrics means diverse contributions are not captured, while bias toward senior, established scientists is common. To tackle this challenge, we explore the potential of harnessing blockchain’s collaborative, decentralised and trust-brokering properties to develop a token reward system for use by research funders. Academics would be awarded tokens for undertaking common but vital tasks such as peer review, sitting on funding committees and submitting reports. These tokens would not be tradable or specifically monetisable but would serve as a validated record of scientific contribution. They would have value in professional recruitment and job placement, support grant and award applications, and inform performance appraisals and file reviews. Coordination and cooperation across multiple funding agencies in developing the platform would provide an opportunity to aggregate and standardise recognition, given academics often work with several funders. This system’s goals are to expand recognition metrics, promote efficiencies, improve the robustness of professional assessments and enable cross-funder collaboration, thereby optimising research processes and practices in a decentralised and democratised manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0198.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: thematic analysis; Indonesia; physics education research; natural language processing
Online: 10 August 2022 (09:42:09 CEST)
Emergent physics education research (PER) literatures have been disseminated through academic publications within the community. The growing body of literatures over years challenge Indonesian PER scholars to understand how the research community has been progressed and what possible future work that should be emphasized. Nevertheless, previous traditional method of thematic analysis performed serious limitation when the number of PER literatures exponentially increased. Dealing with this large volume of publications, one of the machine learning studies namely natural language processing (NLP) was employed in this study to automate our thematic analysis among Indonesian PER literatures that are still limited to be explored. One of the well-known NLP algorithm, latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), has been performed to extract Indonesian PER topics and their associated development between 2014 and 2021. A total of 852 papers (~ 4 to 8 pages each) were collectively downloaded from five international conference proceedings organized by Indonesian PER researchers. Before their topics were modeled through LDA algorithm, our data corpus should be previously preprocessed through several common procedures of established NLP studies. Findings revealed that LDA has thematically quantified Indonesian PER topics and described their distinct development over certain period. The identified topics from this study demonstrated that Indonesian PER community has established robust development in eight distinctive topics to the present. They begin with initial interest in focusing research on physics laboratory and following the research based instruction in the late 2015. Indonesian PER scholars sustained to study continuous topic on 21st century skill until 2019 which gave way to a focus on developing relevant educational technology to address several forms of students’ performance including scientific literacy and problem solving. There is still lack of Indonesian PER literatures that have been attempted to address qualitative aspects of physics teaching and learning.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0345.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Africa Phage Forum; Phages; Research; Collaboration; Network; Capacity development
Online: 24 January 2022 (11:14:10 CET)
The problem of antimicrobial resistance has created a new need for alternative/ complementary treatments. To this end, bacteriophages offer an exciting prospect, as they can infect and kill specific bacteria without harming the host. This survey aimed to evaluate the state of applied phage research in Africa, among the members of the Africa phage Forum (APF). This was a cross-sectional survey whereby a google form was created for the members of the Africa Phage forum to fill so as to access the stage of phage research in Africa. Data was collected between June and July 2021 using a structured questionnaire form. A total of 65 out of a total of 101 forum members completed the questionnaire. The survey indicated that a majority 68% of phage researchers in Africa were at the training stages of their career. Some available participants were limited (8%). Most of the members identified funding, lack of skill set, near absence of adequate laboratory infrastructure as major hurdles for phage research. Despite these challenges, 73.3% of APF members work with the ESKAPE group with the majority of its members carrying out research in Phage in Biocontrol (80%), whereas others perform research related to human phage therapy (60%). However, it appeared this research has not yet reached the stage of commercialization. Overall, Phage research is in its infancy in Africa. Key challenges included poor laboratory infrastructure, lack of capacity building in the phage field, and lack of local awareness on the significance of phages for policymakers and governments. APF could, therefore, play a role in creating phage awareness in Africa; mobilizing resources; enhancing networks and collaborations amongst APF members and beyond, especially with more experienced phage mentors in the Western countries, to greatly reduce the gap in knowledge and enhance phage research in Africa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0279.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Paramedic; Violence; Qualitative Research; Operational Stress Injury; Mental Health
Online: 19 January 2022 (16:04:48 CET)
Purpose Violence against paramedics is a complex – but underreported – problem. Extant research suggests organizational culture may play a role in sustaining cultural norms that downplay the significance and limit reporting. Our objective was to qualitatively explore paramedics’ experience with violence, with particular emphasis on understanding how organizational culture contributes to under-reporting. Approach We surveyed paramedics from a single, large, urban service in Ontario, Canada, asking participants to describe their experiences with violence, including whether – and why or why not – the incidents were reported. Within a constructivist epistemology, we used inductive thematic analysis with successive rounds of coding to identify and then define features of organizational culture that limit reporting. Findings A total of 196 (33% of eligible) paramedics completed the survey. Fully 98% of participants disclosed having experienced some form of violence; however only a minority (40%) reported the incidents to management, or the police (21%). We defined a framework within which a lack of support from management, and consequences for offenders, implicitly positions the ability of paramedics to “brush off” violent encounters as an expected professional competency. Disclosing emotional or psychological distress in response to violent encounters invited questions as to whether the individual is personally suited to paramedic work. Originality While the extant research has indicated that underreporting is a problem, our findings shed light on why – a critical first step in addressing what has been described as a serious public health problem.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0163.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: virtual reality; automotive industry; marketing research; immersive car clinic
Online: 9 November 2021 (11:01:16 CET)
Virtual reality (VR) can play a key role in automotive marketing research, lowering costs and shortening the time it takes to bring a new product to market. However, there are still few VR applications that support automotive customers' experiences during the early stages of product development. Through a systematic review of literature and patents, this study aims to identify the challenges and opportunities for the application of virtual reality in car clinics, and to categorize them into attributes. We searched through the knowledge databases of PatentScout, ScienceDirect, Springer, and IEEEXplore. We found 72 patents with a high concentration in a few inventors. The United States of America presented the greatest number of records and the most common applications related to the apparatus for automatically reading respondents' reactions in a virtual environment. In terms of articles, we found 19 research papers that discussed sixteen categories identified as challenges and opportunities for automotive marketing research: 1) cost, 2) location to customers, 3) flexibility in interactions, 4) model transportation, 5) depth perception, 6) haptic perception, 7) motion, 8) movement perception/ physical collision, 9) color and texture, 10) sound feedback, 11) product interaction/manipulation, 12) visual-spatial, 13) graphic quality, 14) intuitiveness, 15) cybersecurity and 16) cybersickness. We conclude that the automotive industry can employ virtual reality for marketing research, but relevant elements such as hardware and software definition, stimulus quality, and research objectives, among others, must be considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0241.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, JIA, Research registry, Clinical trial, DMARD
Online: 18 October 2021 (11:00:57 CEST)
Management of Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has improved tremendously in recent years due to the introduction of new drug therapies but remains complex also in terms of non-pharmaceutical issues. In order to determine the direction of scientific progress by characterizing the current spectrum of ongoing clinical research in JIA, we analyzed all ongoing studies in the field of JIA registered in clinicaltrials.gov and clinicaltrialsregister.eu concerning sponsoring, enrollment, duration, localization, and particularly objectives. Close of database was 7 January 2021. After identifying doubled-registered studies, N=72 went into further analysis. Of these, 61.1% were academia-sponsored and 37.5% by pharma industry. The majority of studies was of interventional type (77.8%), while others (22.2%) were observational. Median planned enrollments were 100 participants (interventional studies) and 175 participants (observational studies), respectively. Duration differed remarkably from one month to more than 15 years with a median of 42.5 months. 61.1% of studies were located in a single country, 38.9% were in several. Europe and North America clearly dominated study localizations. Study objectives were DMARDs (56.9%), followed by diagnostics and disease activity measurement (18.1%), and medication other than DMARD (12.5%), besides others. Studies on DMARDs were mainly sponsored by industry, predominantly interventional studies on established and novel biologics, with several on specific issues like systemic JIA and others. The spectrum of registered studies is currently centered on drug therapy and diagnostics, while other issues in JIA play a subordinated role.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0345.v1
Subject: Keywords: endometriosis; qualitative research; gynaecology; infertility; illness experience; health service
Online: 20 September 2021 (16:14:24 CEST)
Background: Endometriosis affects between 1% to 10% of women worldwide; it is associated with a significant burden on the woman, her relationships, productivity, mental health, family and society. Aim:To contribute to the current understanding of the impact of endometriosis on women’s lives by integrating qualitative research findings to explore the illness experiences of women living with endometriosis. Study design:Synthesis of qualitative data using Britten’s meta-ethnography.Methods:Six bibliographic databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus and PsycINFO) and Google Scholar were searched for peer-reviewed papers published in English language from inception of until August 6th 2021. Results: Fifteen studies were included in the data synthesis. The review included a total of 354 women from fourteen countries (including South Africa, Iran, England, Australia and United States of America), of age range 16-78 years. Subjects represented diverse ethnicities, cultures and native languages distributed across socioeconomic classes. Representation of all stages of endometriosis was included.Findings incorporate the following nine categories into a conceptual model: disease symptoms; health services experience; isolation and limited social participation; limited physical functioning; a coterie of emotions; sex and intimate relationships; infertility; work life and education; coping strategies and support. Diagnostic delays, persistent symptoms, healthcare costs and inadequate education to patients about the disease; all intersect into a web of struggles and incoherence for patients. Conclusion:Women with endometriosis living in various countries report similar illness experiences; although gender roles, culture and socio-economic status may act as mediating factors that shape an individual’s illness experience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0708.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: landscape design and planning; research-by-design; multifunctional agriculture
Online: 30 July 2021 (15:49:35 CEST)
Rural landscapes all over the world are subject to great transformations, first of all the continuous and slow depopulation of land and villages. It is a dramatic phenomenon that causes devastating consequences for environmental systems and for the tangible and intangible heritage of entire territories. The situation becomes more ambiguous when it comes to cultural landscapes, especially those internationally recognized as exceptional (i.e. inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List). In this case, the risk is to abandon agricultural production in favor of consumerist tourist economies, which can damage the territorial authenticity. In this paper we question the role of the landscape project in strengthening territorial resilience. In particular, a composite and interdependent action is proposed between landscape design and implementation of a multifunctional agriculture model, oriented towards teaching and tourism. To undertake this investigation, a master's thesis work on Landscape Architecture is examined, as an opportunity for a research-by-design method. The application case is the Italian UNESCO site of Vignale Monferrato, a depopulated rural village, characterized by abandoned land and buildings. The paper concludes by outlining replicability application scenarios for the proposed model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0105.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Antimicrobial stewardship; Antimicrobial Resistance; Community pharmacist; Qualitative research; Jordan
Online: 2 March 2021 (16:05:40 CET)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization issued a practical approach and Global Action Plan to control the threatening emerging antibacterial resistance. One of the main basis of this plan is the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASPs). This study aimed to evaluate community pharmacists’ awareness and perception towards antimicrobial resistance and ASPs in Jordan. Thus, a qualitative study was conducted through in-depth interviews with twenty community pharmacists. Convienience sampling was used in the study. Qualitative analysis of the data yielded four themes and eleven sub-themes. All the respondents showed good understanding about the causes of antimicrobial resistance. The most important causes reported by them was the non-restricted prescription of antimicrobials. Most of the pharmacists believed that they are competent to provide ASPs, however, they believed that there are several barriers against the implementation of ASPs in community pharmacies in Jordan. Barriers demonstrated by the pharmacists, including organizational obstacles, resources obstacles, and personal obstacles. As a conclusion, this study revealed several barriers against the implementation of ASPs in community pharmacies in Jordan. Incorporating ASPs in the community pharmacy settings requires proper pharmacist training, several academic disciplines team efforts, and good pharmacy practice of antimicrobial guidelines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0144.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: sexual education; affective education; health education; school; qualitative research.
Online: 4 February 2021 (15:30:56 CET)
Sexual education is a part of the teaching-learning process that addresses cognitive, psychological, physical and social aspects of sexuality. The purpose of sexual education is to provide people with knowledge, abilities, attitudes and values that will help them to have good sexual health, well-being and dignity. The objective of this study was to explore the experiences and opinions of primary school teachers regarding Sexual Education in school. A descriptive qualitative study was designed based on content analysis. Twelve open-ended interviews with primary school teachers were carried out, followed by inductive data analysis using ATLAS.ti software. Two key themes emerged from the analysis: ‘In search of a comprehensive approach to Sexual Education’ and ‘Barriers to Sexual Education in schools: From the lack of training to fear of the families’. We conclude that despite the efforts to implement a comprehensive approach to Sexual Education that recognises sexuality as a right, primary school teachers face difficulties in delivering Sexual Education in schools due to a lack of training and the fear that parents will reject their children being spoken to about sexuality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0289.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: research professors; assessment; model of competencies; transformation of universities.
Online: 15 January 2021 (12:43:42 CET)
Research professors develop scientific products that impact and benefit society, but their competencies in doing so are rarely evaluated. Therefore, employing a mixed two-stage sequential design, this study developed a self-assessment model of research professors’ competencies with four domains, seven competencies, and 30 competency elements. Next, we conducted descriptive statistical analysis of those elements. In the first year, 320 respondents rated themselves on four levels: initial, basic, autonomous, and consolidated. In the assessment model’s second year, we compared 30 respondents’ results with those of their initial self-assessment. The main developmental challenge was Originality and Innovation, which remained at the initial level. Both Training of Researchers and Transformation of Society were at the basic level, and Digital Competency was at the autonomous level. Both Teaching Competence and Ethics and Citizenship attained the consolidated level. This information helps establish priorities for accelerating researchers’ training and the quality of their research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0036.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: city marketing; sustainability; mega project; Nuevo Norte Madrid; research
Online: 4 January 2021 (12:40:52 CET)
Madrid Nuevo Norte (Madrid New North) is an urban redevelopment program applied in the city of Madrid in Spain. In relevance with this, the aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, the project examines if Nuevo Norte project is aligned with the principles of sustainability. Secondly, the paper investigates the impact of Nuevo Norte on the application of city marketing strategies in Madrid. For that purposes, questionnaires were distributed through Internet in 122 urban developers and planners located in the Spanish capital. The results indicated that overall, Nuevo Norte contributes in the sustainable development of Madrid; however, concerns were identified regarding the budget and the timeline of the project. In addition, NNMP provides significant opportunities to local authorities to implement sustainable city marketing strategies, aiming to improve the competitiveness and the quality of life in the city of Madrid. To this end, it seems that city marketing, through the construction of Mega projects, should sift to sustainability, ensuring a better life for local residents and communities in general. The research is expected to assist local authorities in Spain to harness the potential of mega projects, such as Nuevo Norte, in designing city marketing strategies and to promote Madrid in an international context as a city that gives emphasis in urban sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0651.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Ageing; Qualitative Research; Primary Health Care; Loneliness; Social Capital.
Online: 25 December 2020 (10:38:50 CET)
Loneliness is a frequent negative feeling among older people. A programme aimed at alleviating loneliness among older people by promoting social capital, i.e. social support and participation, was conducted in primary health care centres in Spain. We aimed to explore participants’ experiences of loneliness and social participation before the programme, perceived programme effects and contextual influences. A descriptive-interpretative qualitative design was used. 41 persons were included comprising older people, health and social care professionals, and volunteers. Data were collected through three focus groups, 36 semi-structured interviews and participant-observation of the intervention. A thematic content analysis was applied. Older persons with diverse profiles of loneliness and participation decreased their loneliness, increased their knowledge and participation in local community assets, and developed companionship, a sense of belonging, peer support and friendship. Their mental wellbeing increased and participants could deal better with health or family problems. An empowerment process was observed. However, loneliness persisted among some widowed participants and health and social vulnerabilities hampered some impacts. Conflicts and exclusion were occasional unintended effects. The promotion of social capital in ageing to alleviate loneliness involves complex processes interrelated with health and socio-economic factors. Future programmes should be adapted to local contexts and participants’ characteristics.
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: World Trading signals; Fruits; WTO; Foreign Trade Research; Policies
Online: 13 September 2020 (15:53:54 CEST)
Fruits play an important role in human diet and to maintain better health. Globally, India ranks second in fruits production after China. Grapes, mangoes, bananas and oranges were the selected fruit crops for study purpose. The study period is from 1990 to 2018. The present study analyzed the growth rates, instability and elasticity of export quantity, prices of selected fruit crops from major producing countries in the world and also dealt with the major export destinations of Indian fruits. The results showed that an exporting countries should export grapes to Peru, Spain and Chile; bananas to the Panama, Philippines and Ecuador; mangoes to Italy, Egypt and Australia; and, oranges to Thailand, Philippines and Mexico for generating higher revenue because in global market those countries were associated with highest export price with the stability. Globally, the export price elasticity was inelastic in all countries of grapes, oranges and bananas except Italy in oranges and panama in bananas. The study found that export price elasticity of mangoes was marginally higher in the Spain and the Netherlands. The study showed that the major destinations for Indian fruits are; USA, Germany and Netherlands for grapes; USA, Belgium and Germany for bananas; USA, the Netherlands and Viet Nam for mangoes; and, Germany, France and Netherlands for oranges. Globally, the current study gave useful data to comprehend competition of prices for fruits to importing countries. This study may assist in preparing major price strategies and policies on fruits and also assisted in foreign earnings for all nations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0729.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: scientometric analysis; catalysis; bibliometric indicators; catalysis research; catalysis journals
Online: 31 July 2020 (04:36:20 CEST)
The outcomes of the present scientometric analysis of research in catalysis provide chemistry and catalysis scholars with a closer bibliometric knowledge of an old and central field of chemical research which is being reshaped by fundamental and technological advances spanning from single-atom heterogeneous catalysis to flow chemistry. Improving and widening research and education in catalysis is a strategic need for national economies. Four research policy guidelines aimed at fostering progress in catalysis research and education conclude the study.
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: mental health; health service research; burnout; public health; physicians
Online: 14 July 2020 (03:43:43 CEST)
This observational study was ordered by the Medical Practitioners’ Chamber in Warsaw. The objective of the study was to evaluate the health status of physicians in relation to their occupational duties. Professional burnout was considered relative to different features of personality. This study was initially carried out from 2005–2008, but further analysis of burnout and personality was carried out from 2017–2018. The research tools were anonymous, validated questionnaires. The sample size was based on the size of the population— the registry of the Regional Chamber of Medical Practitioners— and literature on burnout prevalence. The respondents’ work places were randomly selected from the Mazovian District register. The test on burnout was completed by 378 respondents, while 62 subjects completed a personality test. Results showed that burnout syndrome was an occupational problem for healthcare workers. Professional burnout affected as many as 42% of respondents(n = 158). It affected two age groups in particular: physicians up to 31 years old and individuals aged 41-50. Moreover, neuroticism was found to be significantly related to burnout syndrome. In conclusion, burnout syndrome is common among medical practitioners, and neuroticism may be correlated with burnout syndrome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0378.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: intestinal flora; myasthenia gravis; research progress; autoimmune disease; EAMG
Online: 23 May 2020 (16:40:23 CEST)
Human intestinal flora refers to a large and diverse microbial population present in the digestive tract of the human body, which plays a significant role in the establishment of human immune homeostasis and the normal function of the immune system. Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction, mainly involved in the anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody, cellular immune dependence, and complement1. At present, studies have found that the intestinal flora of Myasthenia Gravis is different from that of healthy people. Probiotic therapy has been shown effective in the experimental autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis animal models. This article reviews the relationship between intestinal flora and Myasthenia Gravis, to provide new ideas for further study of the pathogenesis and clinical treatment of Myasthenia Gravis.
Online: 28 April 2020 (07:50:12 CEST)
There were warnings before; nevertheless the current CoVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise: within just four month, it conquered the globe and claimed over 200'000 lives. Unprecedented governmental actions put about half of the population under curfew or lock-down. The resulting economic meltdown is expected to eliminate globally 9’000’000’000’000 (9 trillion) USD in 2020 and 2021 alone, a value roughly the size of the yearly GDP of the world’s 150 smallest economies. The resulting crises might cause mass-unemployment and a hunger pandemic later this year. This Essay analyses current statistical data of the CoVID-19 pandemic to develop a guideline for a path through the crisis, minimizing both loss of lives and economic costs. Part 1 details the current situation; part 2 develops a small set of measures, allowing a near normal life until a future vaccination campaign has reached sufficient numbers of people; and part 3 provides some important lessons for the future beyond SARS-CoV-2. The Essay leads to the following key-messages: 1) The CoVID-19 pandemic will stay for at least two more years. This is the minimum time required for a vaccination campaign to reach sufficient numbers of people. 2) The crucial element to control the pandemic is keeping case numbers under the threshold required for a functional tracing, testing & isolation (TTI) strategy. That threshold differs from country to country and strongly depends on culture and the applied tracing technology as well as available testing capacities. 3) The economic burden of a TTI strategy is moderate while fatalities are also reduced. Hence, such an approach is strongly recommended. Its implementation requires a set of simple and cost-effective measures (see figure below), which in combination seem to be sufficient to keep CoVID-2’s reproductive rate at or below 1. 4) Implementing international coordination of actions will be necessary for effective infection-chain tracing5) If case numbers are above the TTI threshold, shutdown measures remain the only option until tracing of infection chains becomes feasible again.6) In the future, neglected pandemic-related research requires a funding boost. Just 1% of the bill of the current crisis could support the research of 45’000 scientist for 20 years.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0380.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Linguistics Keywords: TESOL; English teaching; ESL; EFL; teaching methodology research interests
Online: 30 November 2019 (04:41:57 CET)
This paper provides a systematic review of the research around teaching English as a second or foreign language over the last ten years. The review aims to help second and foreign language researchers to recognize the trends that have impacted English teaching and learning research. More than 400 articles from four leading journals (TESOL Journal, TESOL Quarterly, ELT Journal, and Second Language Research) were reviewed to examine the trends and method that were used. The findings suggested that the research interests in the TESOL field have changed as many topics and trends have risen based on students’ academic and social needs. Topics such as teaching methodology, digital literacy, and using technology to teach English have dominated the research during the last decade.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0188.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Chronic Illness; ME/CFS; Management; Research
Online: 17 September 2019 (12:38:57 CEST)
We propose a framework for the understanding of the pathophysiology and management of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) that considers wider determinants of health and long-term temporal variation in pathophysiological features and disease phenotype throughout the natural history of the disease. As in other chronic diseases, ME/CFS evolves through different stages, from asymptomatic predisposition, progressing to a prodromal stage, and then to symptomatic disease. Disease incidence depends on genetic makeup and environment factors, the exposure to an insult, or repeated insults, and the nature of the host response. In people who develop ME/CFS, normal homeostatic processes in response to adverse insults may be replaced by aberrant responses leading to dysfunctional states. Thus, the predominantly neuro-immune and autonomic manifestations, underlined by a hyper-metabolic state, that characterise early disease, may be followed by various processes leading to multi-systemic related symptoms. This abnormal metabolic state and the effects of a range of mediators such as products of oxidative and nitrosamine stress, may lead to progressive cell and metabolic dysfunction culminating in a hypometabolic state with low energy production. These processes do not seem to happen uniformly; although a spiralling of progressive inter-related and self-sustaining abnormalities may ensue, reversion to states of milder abnormalities is possible if the host is able to restate responses to improve homeostatic equilibrium. Disease management and research efforts should seek to identify and apply strategies targeted at the different pathophysiological dysfunctions that characterise different disease stages. As disease presentation varies over time, no single case description, set of diagnostic criteria, or molecular feature is currently diagnostic for all patients at all times. While acknowledging its limitations due to the incomplete research evidence, we suggest the proposed framework may improve research design and health care interventions for people with ME/CFS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0195.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: higher education; research; knowledge society; critical thinking; educational policy
Online: 17 April 2019 (06:09:19 CEST)
In an era characterized by a move towards a “knowledge society”, universities are central in fostering “knowledgeability”, that is the reflexive understanding of knowledge in knowledge societies. The objective of “knowledgeability” can be met through creating a stronger link between education and research. Furthermore, overall student performance, for example in critical thinking and problem solving, can be improved if research-related activities are incorporated into the curriculum. The aim of this paper is to use inter-national examples to discuss the research- education nexus from four different perspectives, namely context, policy, im- plementation and quality, with case studies from higher education institutions in Singapore and Sweden. We suggest that different integrative technologies can be used to enhance the links, but it will be essential to consider the inputs of training, service and support in using new technology. Interestingly, the act of evaluating the link between edu- cation and research will increase awareness of this linkage by stakeholders involved in both education and research. In turn the link can be strengthened, contributing to increased quality in both education and research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0079.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Systems Management, Biomedical Research Policy, Organizational Development, Quality Management
Online: 6 March 2019 (11:42:47 CET)
There has been a growing call for reform of the U.S. biomedical community in recent years. As a community, we face a growing list of issues including excessive waste, reproducibility, bias, inadequate training, and the absence of sustainable long-term planning that detract from the overall goal of advancing human health. In response to this debate, biomedical stakeholders have taken positive steps forward to remedy these issues. However, we must continually improve upon these steps to promote the long-term stability of the biomedical enterprise. Given the widespread interest of the scientific community in addressing these issues, there exists a unique opportunity to come together and create a new era of biomedical discovery. The completion of this exciting task requires reflection on our view and management of the system, and what the best route to sustainable change may be. Importantly, a coordinated approach that considers the collective make-up of the biomedical system and how processes and people influence collective output and create value for patients is needed. Here, these three areas and the concepts of systems theory, total quality management, and organizational development and their contribution to the management and effectiveness of biomedical discovery are discussed. Importantly recommendations are made concerning overall management strategy, process efficiency and quality research, administrative tasks, organizational cultural challenges, individual and team development, and funding strategy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0357.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Reproducibility, quality, research integrity, universities, methods, science policy, rigor
Online: 16 October 2018 (11:33:46 CEST)
In recent years, biomedical research has faced increased scrutiny over issues related to reproducibility and quality in scientific findings(1-3). In response to this scrutiny, funding institutions and journals have implemented top-down policies for grant and manuscript review. While a positive step forward, the long-term merit of these policies is questionable given their emphasis on completing a check-list of items instead of a fundamental re-assessment of how scientific investigation is conducted. Moreover, the top-down style of management used to institute these policies can be argued as being ineffective in engaging the scientific workforce to act upon these issues. To meet current and future biomedical needs, new investigative methods that emphasize collective-thinking, teamwork, shared knowledge and cultivate change from the bottom-up are warranted. Here, a perspective on a new approach to biomedical investigation within the individual laboratory that emphasizes collaboration and quality is discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0304.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: parents; children; asthma; qualitative research; psychological distress; psychological adjustment
Online: 22 May 2018 (12:21:47 CEST)
Many parents have difficulty managing childhood asthma. In Hong Kong (HK), while medication is the primary form of treatment, traditional Chinese medicine is another favored option. In addition, HK follows a dual-track healthcare system, which may pose unique experiences for Chinese parents in childhood asthma management. This qualitative descriptive study aimed to explore the experiences of HK Chinese parents in caring for their children with asthma. Methods: Fourteen HK Chinese mothers of children (aged 3-10) suffering from asthma were purposively sampled to participate in individual, semi-structured interviews. A realist approach following conventional content analysis was used to interpret the interviews. Results: The mothers expressed feelings of uncertainty, fear of asthma crises, and searching for ways to cope. These feelings triggered various strategies to control their child’s asthma. As long as the child’s asthma symptoms recurred, the mothers’ distress continued. Their distress was sometimes exacerbated by self-doubt and worries about whether they would receive adequate support from their family and healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Helping parents to understand their limits may help them be more open to varied aspects of their caregiving experiences, and thus to cope better. Psychological interventions together traditional educational training may help to alleviate parents’ psychological difficulties.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0311.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: GSEA; cocaine; addiction; enrichment analysis; bioinformatics; in silico research
Online: 24 April 2018 (08:46:31 CEST)
Cocaine addiction is a global health problem that causes substantial damage to the health of addicted individuals around the world. Dopamine synthesizing neurons in the brain play a vital role in the addiction to cocaine. But the underlying molecular mechanisms that help cocaine exert its addictive effect have not been very well understood. Bioinformatics can be a useful tool in the attempt to broaden our understanding in this area. In the present study, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) was carried out on the upregulated genes from a dataset of Dopamine synthesizing neurons of post-mortem human brain of cocaine addicts. As a result of this analysis, 3 miRNAs have been identified as having significant influence on transcription of the upregulated genes. These 3 miRNAs hold therapeutic potential for the treatment of cocaine addiction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0062.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: collaboration; leadership; push-pull technology; sustainability; transdisciplinary research; Ethiopia
Online: 5 April 2018 (04:47:49 CEST)
Transdisciplinary research approach requires that different scientists with their discipline-specific theories, concepts and methods find ways to work together with other societal players to solve a real-life problem. In order to put this into practice, Trans-disciplinary Action Research (TDR) approach was applied in this study using Push pull technology (PPT) as a boundary object. The study was conducted in Bako Tibe, Jimma arjo and Yayu Woredas (Districts) in the Oromia region of Ethiopia from August 2014 to April 2015. PPT is a biological based mechanism developed by researchers for stemborer pest control in maize. It involves inter-cropping maize with a stemborer moth-repellent silverleaf or Greenleaf Desmodium (push), and planting an attractive trap crop, Napier or Brachiaria grass (pull), around the maize crop. On farm PPT implementation was used to provide an opportunity for collaboration, interaction and learning among heterogeneous set of stakeholders comprising of researchers from Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural research and the practitioners from the ministry of agriculture and smallholder farmers/traders. The data was collected using mixed methods approach comprising of key informant interviews, Focus Group discussions, workshops, on-farm practical demonstrations and participant observations. The findings shows that; collaborative leadership provides a chance for the stakeholders to participate in the technology learning and decision making by enabling them to jointly contribute skills towards development, refinement and adaptation of PPT. In situations where there are conflicts, they are embraced and become opportunities for in-depth learning, finding solutions and adaptation rather than being sources of contradictions or misunderstandings. Leadership roles taken by farmers play a key role in terms of ability to reflect on their own practices and drawing on scientific explanations from researchers. It also enables them take lead in new technology implementation and information sharing in free and easy manner with fellow farmers and other stakeholders. Although PPT perennial nature of cropping provides opportunities for continuous stakeholder interaction and learning, it requires a personally committed leadership and formal institutional engagements for the sustainability of its activities spanning over several cropping seasons. Market forces and the involvement of private sector players also has a role to achieve this as shown from the involvement of individual farmers and traders in Desmodium and Brachiaria seed production, collection and distribution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0076.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Acanthaster; coral reefs, disturbance; management; population outbreaks; research priorities
Online: 22 August 2017 (10:20:00 CEST)
Research on the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) has waxed and waned over the last few decades, mostly in accordance with the occurrence of population outbreaks at key locations, such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This review considers advances in our understanding of the biology and ecology of CoTS based on the latest resurgence of research interest, which culminated in this current special issue on the Biology, Ecology and Management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. More specifically, this review considers progress against 41 specific research questions posed in the seminal review by P. Moran 30 years ago, as well as exploring new directions for CoTS research. Despite the plethora of research on CoTS (>1,200 research articles), there are persistent knowledge gaps that constrain effective management of outbreaks. Although directly addressing some of these questions will be extremely difficult, there have been considerable advances in understanding the biology of CoTS, if not the proximal and ultimate cause(s) of outbreaks. Moving forward, researchers need to embrace new technologies and opportunities to advance understanding of CoTS biology and behaviour, with focus given to key questions that will improve effectiveness of management to reduce the frequency and likelihood of future outbreaks, if not preventing them altogether.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0276.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Roy's Adaptation Model; Nursing Research; Nursing Clinical Practice; Nursing Theory
Online: 20 May 2022 (09:44:47 CEST)
Background: One way to demonstrate the existence of nursing is to develop a nursing theory model through nursing research which can ultimately be implemented in nursing practice. RAM is one of the most frequently used models in guiding nursing research. Roy's Adaptation Model (RAM) is one of the most useful conceptual frameworks that guide nursing practice, direct research, and influence education. Theory-guided nursing practice is fundamental in providing the framework for developing superior and quality nursing care.Objectives: This systematic review aims to critically analyze recent studies using RAM as a conceptual framework to identify the effectiveness of this model in guiding nursing research.Methods: A literature search was conducted on five databases, namely SCOPUS, PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and SAGEPub. There were no population boundaries and diagnoses involved in the study. The study is a quantitative design focused on publication between 2015-2021. The methodological quality of applying the Cochrane and JBI bias tools. The analysis uses narrative synthesis.Results: 20 studies were found out of 1,315 studies. The research population found is very diverse. The given intervention follows the conceptual framework of RAM. RAM-based interventions effectively overcome the problems experienced by patients and reduce the perceived symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.Conclusion: The conceptual use of RAM theory in nursing research has been widely reported. RAM-based interventions have a significant impact and have strong evidence-based practice in improving patient health status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0130.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Kenya; COVID-19; community representatives; self-testing; diagnostics; qualitative research
Online: 10 May 2022 (09:38:58 CEST)
Rapid SARS-CoV-2 self-tests have the potential to expand access to COVID-19 testing and improve community-level case detection, particularly in resource-constrained countries such as Kenya. However, prior to their introduction, their acceptability must be assessed. This qualitative study explored key decision-takers’ values towards SARS-CoV-2 self-testing in Kenya. Healthcare workers, representatives of civil society, and potential implementors from Mombasa and Taita-Taveta were selected as decision-takers. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data on their values towards self-testing. A thematic analysis approach was applied. Most informants considered that the Kenyan public is equipped to accept and use self-testing safely as an approach to help to reduce workload at public healthcare facilities, and know one’s COVID-19 status in a private manner. The informants emphasized the need to provide counselling to end-users, to support those needing to self-isolate, and to engage different civil society stakeholders in information provision on self-testing. Fear of stigma and of forced isolation were noted as potential deterrents to self-testing uptake for some individuals. In conclusion, there is high acceptability of self-testing in Kenya among decision-takers. However, enhanced education, counselling, and addressing deterrents to testing would be helpful to ensure effective use of SARS-CoV-2 self-testing in Kenya.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0237.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: academy; drug development; industrial pharmacy; pharmaceutical technology; research method-ology
Online: 17 March 2022 (01:56:47 CET)
The aim of this review is to present the Quality by Design (QbD) model as a suitable methodology to perform research in the academic Costa Rican institutions that teach Pharmacy. Pubmed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases were screened for original and review papers, as well as short communications published not more than 10 years ago. Publications were screened by title and abstract. Relevant references were used to develop three important themes: The University’s Research Model in Costa Rica, QbD Model, and QbD as a Research Methodology for Industrial Pharmacy in the Academy. In this sense, the QbD model is a great methodology for carrying out research projects regarding Pharmaceutical Sciences but especially for Drug Development. Academic research based on this model enables training and developing practical, scientific, and leadership skills in pharmacy students. The generated knowledge can be shared in the classrooms, which represents an ideal environment to communicate their research results and to foster collaborative work between researchers, professors, and students. The participation of all these actors allows a high level of commitment to research work, which benefits the scientific advancement of the university and society. It is important to visualize the student body as potential key actors in the research process, encouraging in them the desire to become trained scientific researchers who want to pursue a career in the academy, giving continuity to it.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0095.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: energy transition; qualitative research; housing in Bulgaria; collective decision-making
Online: 7 February 2022 (15:57:42 CET)
Stemming from the Bulgarian case study developed within a European research project (ECHOES, Horizon 2020), the paper discusses the links between: (a) the urgent need to operationalize EU energy transition policy in the housing domain; (b) the complexity of factors influencing the policy implementation in different contexts – geographical, economic, and technical but also social and cultural; and (c) the important role of the urban level in policy implementation. Under the specific spatial planning context of Bulgaria, the local collective energy-related decision-making in the housing field evolves through the interaction – formal (at the municipal level of governance) and informal (individuals, households and homeowners’ associations taking decisions on self-organization and collective action). The authors claim that interdisciplinary context-sensitive research would contribute to a better understanding for the ongoing energy-related decision-making processes at the local level and would enable the development and implementation of effective and efficient policy instruments in support of energy transition in the housing sector in Europe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0007.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: mental health; natural language processing; interdisciplinary research; mental health helpline
Online: 1 February 2022 (12:03:47 CET)
During the last two years the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world population in several ways. An important increase in mental health problems is a consequence of this pandemic that is ubiquitous worldwide. In this work we study the effect of the pandemic on the mental health of a population of teenagers and youth based on the analysis of natural language processing, machine learning algorithms and expert knowledge. The data analysed was obtained from a chat helpline called Safe time from theIt Get’s Better Foundation in Chile. The data consists of 10,986 conversations gathered from 2018 until 2020 between volunteers from the foundation and users of the platform. We compared the conversationsbefore and during the pandemic in terms of their thematic content. Our analysis found: a significantdecrease in self-image appreciation during the pandemic; a significant decrease in the quality of personalrelationships during the pandemic, and a significant increase of performance appreciation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0284.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Watershed; biogeographic patterns; microbial biogeography; biodiversity; spatial distribution; research unit
Online: 20 October 2021 (09:34:27 CEST)
Biogeography research is flawed by the poor understanding of microbial distributions due to the lack of a systematic research framework, especially regarding appropriate study units. By combining pure culture and molecular methods, we studied the biogeographic patterns of nematode-trapping fungi by collecting and analysing 2,250 specimens from 228 sites in Yunnan Province, China. We found typical watershed patterns at the species and genetic levels of nematode-trapping fungi. The results showed that microbial biogeography could be better understood by 1) using watersheds as research units, 2) removing the coverup of widespread species, and 3) applying good sampling efforts and strategies. We suggest that watersheds could help unify the understanding of the biogeographic patterns of animals, plants, and microbes and may also help account for the historical and contemporary factors driving species distributions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0166.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Saudi Arabia; energy transition; bibliometric analysis; Scopus; VOSviewer; research trends
Online: 11 October 2021 (14:20:22 CEST)
The article is devoted to a bibliometric analysis of scientific publications reflecting trends in scientific publications related to the energy transition of leading universities in Saudi Arabia. The universities were selected based on the presence of joint publications with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, they are: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and King Saud University. The importance of studying the experience of Saudi Arabia for Russia in the context of the energy transition was highlighted. The analysis was based on Scopus platform data related to Subject Areas: Physical Sciences. Scientists from Saudi Arabian universities are increasingly publishing with co-authors from China, India, Egypt, Pakistan, and Malaysia, while maintaining high interaction with co-authors from the United States, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Authors from the Russian Federation publish poorly with co-authors from Saudi Arabia. The trends in the topics of scientific publications were investigated, and their connection with the renewable energy topic was shown. The VOSviewer software was used to determine the main research areas using the cluster analysis method based on the co-occurrence of key terms. The analysis was done for both Author's keywords and Index keywords of the Scopus system. Graphical representation of the final choice of terms to describe research trends was proposed. TRANSLATE with x English ArabicHebrewPolish BulgarianHindiPortuguese CatalanHmong DawRomanian Chinese SimplifiedHungarianRussian Chinese TraditionalIndonesianSlovak CzechItalianSlovenian DanishJapaneseSpanish DutchKlingonSwedish EnglishKoreanThai EstonianLatvianTurkish FinnishLithuanianUkrainian FrenchMalayUrdu GermanMalteseVietnamese GreekNorwegianWelsh Haitian CreolePersian TRANSLATE with COPY THE URL BELOW Back EMBED THE SNIPPET BELOW IN YOUR SITE Enable collaborative features and customize widget: Bing Webmaster Portal Back
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0337.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: participatory research; pre-intervention; community-based intervention; alcohol use; adolescents
Online: 14 July 2021 (14:04:01 CEST)
This study explores the impact of the ‘pre-intervention effects’ of a community-based interventions. This refers to participatory research processes and parallel publicity in the media on changes in alcohol use and relevant mechanisms (rules and norms about alcohol, accessibility of alcohol in a formal setting) among adolescents before any intervention is implemented. In a quasi-experimental study, adolescent data were collected twice by means of self-report among adolescents living in two municipalities (control and experimental condition). Regression analysis showed pre-intervention main effects on adolescents’ perceived accessibility of alcohol in a formal setting. Moreover, among adolescents aged 15 years and older, the normative decline in strictness of rules and norms was less steep in the experimental condition compared to the control condition. Also, adolescents aged 14 years and younger in the experimental condition reported more weekly drinking compared to their peers in the control condition. No differential effects across gender were found. To conclude, applying a co-creational approach in the development of an intervention, not only contributes to more effective interventions in the end, but involvement of and discussions in the community at the start of intervention planning are contributing to changes in targeted factors. This implies that public discussions about the development of intervention strategies should be considered as an essential feature of co-creation in community-based interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0631.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: COVID-19; graduate students; anxiety; depression; mentorship; supervision; narrative research
Online: 29 January 2021 (15:20:29 CET)
Before COVID-19, post-secondary learning was dominated by in-person, institution-organized meetings. With the March 12, 2020 lockdown, learning became virtual, largely dependent on commercial online platforms. Already more likely to experience anxiety and depression in re-lation to their research work, perhaps no students have endured more regarding the limitations imposed by COVID-19 on their mentorship and supervision than graduate students. The in-crease in mental health issues facing graduate students has come to the attention of their post-secondary institutions. Programs have been devised with the aim of reducing these chal-lenges. However, the additional attention and funds to combat depression and anxiety have not shown anticipated results. A new approach to mitigate anxiety and depression in graduate students through mentorship and supervision is warranted. Offered here is an award-winning model featuring self-directed learning in a community based on consensus decision-making where consensus represents the adding together of different points of view rather than agreement. The approach is non-hierarchical in structure, based in narrative research. The proposed model and approach are presented and limitations considered. This model and approach are offered as a likely solution to ebb the increase in anxiety and depression in graduate stu-dents—particularly in response to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0644.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: scientific social network; knowledge network; academic research; knowledge transfer; collaboration
Online: 30 October 2020 (14:39:31 CET)
Scientific social networking sites like Researchgate or Academia.edu have become part of the work practice of academic researchers. These digital platforms have been designed precisely to encourage the exchange of knowledge between scholars and to help the expansion of collaborative networks among them. Even if studies on this topic have multiplied in recent years, there is a dearth of research on the actual impact of these platforms on scientific production. The goal of this study is to investigate the relation between the attitude of researchers towards scientific social networks and the use of knowledge in their scientific work. Data from users of the scientific social networking site Researchgate were collected. A total of 143 valid responses were received and structural equation modeling was applied for data analysis. Findings of this study confirmed that researchers use knowledge obtained from scientific social networking sites both incorporating it within their research products and to acquire new competences. In particular approaching the platform as a scientific community with a shared language and a shared vision was found to have a positive impact on knowledge use. To the best knowledge of the authors this is the first study investigating the actual use of knowledge from scientific social networking sites by academic researchers. Results help to understand the impact of these platforms on the work practice of a strategic sector like scientific research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0128.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: reinforced concrete; deep beams; Strut-and-Tie models; experimental research
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:44:20 CEST)
This paper presents the results of the experimental research and numerical analysis of three reinforced concrete deep beams with openings, designed by the Strut-and-Tie method according to the EN 1992-1-1 recommendations. All tested specimens were made in full size, with the same geometric characteristics and quality of the materials. The specimens, constructed as simply supported beams, were loaded with two concentrated forces and were tested for bending until failure. Each specimen was reinforced with different reinforcement layout determined by parameter variation within the Strut-and-Tie method. Based on the results of experimental research, it was concluded that the behavior of loaded members was in agreement with the proposed forms of the Strut-and-Tie models that were used for their design.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0125.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Research competencies; digital literacy; higher education; bibliometric analysis; educational innovation
Online: 7 July 2020 (10:09:01 CEST)
Cultivating research competencies facilitated by the use of technology in the university is crucial to boost acquisition of knowledge, educational innovation, and successful professional development. The objective of this article is to analyze the evolution and characteristics of scientific production that has had the greatest impact on the momentum of investigative competencies and their articulation within technological scenarios. Applying various selection criteria in the Scopus database, we utilized systematic, bibliometric mapping as a methodological strategy in which 250 articles related to the topic were identified, then analyzed with the semantic analysis software VOSViewer. The results indicate that there is an emerging line of research on the subject since 2016 and point to the underdevelopment of lines that associate research skills with digital literacy, information literacy, digital libraries databases, and the development of critical thinking.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0372.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Responsible Research and Innovation; responsibility; innovation; assessment; Technology Assessment; foresight
Online: 29 December 2019 (07:33:46 CET)
In the paper, the author takes stock of the conceptual reflection and empirical studies described in the current scientific literature on responsible innovation in the context of the emergence of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concept. RRI has been promoted in the European Union as a part of the Europe 2020 strategy with the objective of making research and innovation more sustainable and inclusive. As more than half of the EU’s firms declare conducting innovation activities RRI problematic becomes more relevant than ever. There remain many open questions, unresolved dilemmas and empirical white spots that call for more research in this field. This paper’s main focus is the problem of RRI acceptance as a global framework for responsible innovation and the scarcity of suitable instruments that may help industry understand and adopt this concept. The main contribution of this paper are: the critical analysis of the RRI concept and its implications for industry, proposing a concept of RRI index for innovating enterprises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0125.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: tropical cyclone; Weather Research and Forecast model; zonal Ekman transport
Online: 12 November 2019 (09:32:21 CET)
We examine the role of zonal Ekman transport along the coast of Senegal on 30 August, 2015 when the tropical disturbance associated with Tropical Cyclone Fred was located to the west of Senegal causing considerable coastal damage to coastal areas south of Dakar, Senegal. Ten-meter winds from three Weather Research and Forecast model simulations were used to estimate zonal Ekman transport, with the largest values found during the 30 August. The simulations are in agreement with limited coastal observations showing increasing southerly wind speeds during 30 August but are overestimated relative to the 3 coastal stations. The strong meridional winds translate into increased zonal Ekman transport to the coast of Senegal on 30 August. The use of a coupled ocean model will improve the estimates of Ekman transport along the Guinea-Senegalese coast. The observed damage suggests that artificial and natural barriers (mangroves) should be strengthened to protect coastal communities in Senegal.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: open health; simple rules; ethics; reproducibility; research significance; open science
Online: 11 September 2019 (13:27:26 CEST)
We are witnessing a dramatic transformation in the way we do science. In recent years, significant flaws with existing scientific methods have come to light, including lack of transparency, insufficient involvement of stakeholders, disconnection from the public, and limited reproducibility of research findings. These concerns have sparked a global movement to revolutionize scientific practice and the emergence of Open Science. This new approach to science extends principles of openness to the entire research cycle, from hypothesis generation to data collection, analysis, replication, and translation from research to practice. Open Science seeks to remove all barriers to conducting high quality, rigorous, and impactful scientific research by ensuring that the data, methods, and opportunities for collaboration are open to all. Emerging digital technologies and "big data" (see "Ten simple rules for responsible big data research") have further accelerated the Open Science movement by affording new approaches to data sharing, connecting researcher networks, and facilitating the dissemination of research findings. Open scientific practices are also having a profound impact on the health sciences and medical research, and specifically how we conduct clinical research with human participants. Human health research necessitates careful considerations for practicing science in an ethical manner. There is also a particular urgency to human health research since the goal is to help people, so doing good science takes on a different meaning than simply doing science well. It also implores the scientist to reassess the conventional view of human health research as a pursuit conducted by scientists on human subjects, and lays a greater emphasis on inclusive and ethical practices to ensure that the research takes into account the interests of those who would be most impacted by the research. Openness in the context of human health research also raises greater concerns about privacy and security and presents more opportunities for people, including participants of research studies, to contribute in every capacity. At the core of open health research, scientific discoveries are not only the product of collaboration across disciplines, but must also be owned by the community that is inclusive of researchers, health workers, and patients and their families. To guide successful open health research practices, it is essential to carefully consider and delineate its guiding principles. This editorial is aimed at individuals participating in health science in any capacity, including but not limited to people living with medical conditions, health professionals, study participants, and researchers spanning all types of disciplines. We present ten simple rules that, while not comprehensive, offer guidance for conducting health research with human participants in an open, ethical, and rigorous manner. These rules can be difficult, resource-intensive, and can conflict with one another. They are aspirational and are intended to accelerate and improve the quality of human health research. Work that fails to follow these rules is not necessarily an indication of poor quality research, especially if the reasons for breaking the rules are considered and articulated (see rule 6: document everything). While most of the responsibility of following these rules falls on researchers, anyone involved in human health research in any capacity can apply them.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0236.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Theory Of Art Keywords: holography; holograms; digital animated hologram; holographic space; practice-based research
Online: 22 July 2019 (08:44:42 CEST)
A critical context is an essential aspect of practice-based research; however, a lack of structure exists to obtain and evaluate criticism from peers. This paper presents a case study of how the ‘silent student’ critique method used in Higher Education settings in the UK (Elkins, 2014) was adapted for a holographic arts research study. A ‘silent researcher’ critique session with nine experts was held in Aveiro, Portugal, June 2018 to evaluate the author’s digital holographic artwork, on display at the City Museum. The experts asked the author critical questions about the artwork while the author remained silent. The session was filmed, transcribed and processed using a general inductive approach for analysing qualitative evaluation data (Thomas, 2006). This paper outlines the benefits and drawbacks of using this new critique method for research. The benefits included; participant’s careful response to the artwork avoiding engagement of egos of critic and researcher, the drawbacks included the difficulty of evaluating against a pre-determined research question when the discussion could not be steered. This paper evaluates the artwork critiqued describing how the work contributes to the aesthetic development of the medium of holography; which used the Z-axis of holographic space to depict a chronological narrative.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0280.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: information; end of life; humanisation; health care system; qualitative research
Online: 23 May 2019 (06:09:36 CEST)
Health information and communication are key elements that allow patients and family members to make decisions about end-of-life process and guarantee a death with dignity. Objective: To understand carers’ experiences regarding health information and communication during the illness and death of family members. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in Andalusia based on the paradigm of hermeneutic phenomenology. Participants were carers who had accompanied a family member at the end of life for over 2 months and less than 2 years. Five nominal groups and 5 discussion groups were established, and 41 in-depth interviews with 123 participants were conducted. Atlas.ti 7.0 software was used to analyse the discourses. Results: Four dimensions of the dying process emerged: differences in carers’ perceptions of information and communication, a conspiracy of silence, consequences of the absence or presence of information, and the need for a culture change. Conclusions: Poor management of health information and communication at the end of life suffering and discomfort patients and their families. The culture of denying and avoiding death is still present today. A change in education about death would better enable health professionals to care for patients at the end of life.