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Publications, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This research presents a comparative study of three countries’ higher education institutions (Spain, Italy, and Ecuador), analyzing how they have faced the global lockdown, focusing on the development of digital literacy. Results point out the necessity of enhancing aspects such as teachers’ digital skills, sources for learning that may be adapted, communication between universities and students, and teaching methodologies that should be appropriate to the current context. Conclusions suggest rethinking higher education learning and reinforcing main issues for this transformation, mainly: communication, teaching, and digital competences. View this paper
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Open Bioeconomy—A Bibliometric Study on the Accessibility of Articles in the Field of Bioeconomy
Publications 2020, 8(4), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040055 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Open access (OA) to scientific information is one of the major challenges and objectives of actual public research policy. The purpose of this paper is to assess the degree of openness of scientific articles on bioeconomy, as one of the emergent research fields [...] Read more.
Open access (OA) to scientific information is one of the major challenges and objectives of actual public research policy. The purpose of this paper is to assess the degree of openness of scientific articles on bioeconomy, as one of the emergent research fields at the crossroads of several disciplines and with high societal and industrial impact. Based on a Web of Science (WoS) corpus of 2489 articles published between 2015 and 2019, we calculated bibliometric indicators, explored the openness of each article and assessed the share of journals, countries and research areas of these articles. The results show a sharp increase and diversification of articles in the field of bioeconomy, with a beginning long tail distribution. 45.6% of the articles are freely available and the share of OA articles is steadily increasing, from 31% in 2015 to 52% in 2019. Gold is the most important variant of OA. Open access is low in the applied research areas of chemical, agricultural and environmental engineering but higher in the domains of energy and fuels, forestry and green and sustainable science and technology. The UK and the Netherlands have the highest rates of OA articles, followed by Spain and Germany. The funding rate of OA articles is higher than of non-OA articles. This is the first bibliometric study on open access to articles on bioeconomy. The results can be useful for the further development of OA editorial and funding criteria in the field of bioeconomy. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Responsible Open Science: Moving towards an Ethics of Environmental Sustainability
Publications 2020, 8(4), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040054 - 11 Dec 2020
Viewed by 936
Abstract
The integration of open science as a key pillar of responsible research and innovation has led it to become a hallmark of responsible research. However, ethical, social and regulatory challenges still remain about the implementation of an internationally- and multi-sector-recognised open science framework. [...] Read more.
The integration of open science as a key pillar of responsible research and innovation has led it to become a hallmark of responsible research. However, ethical, social and regulatory challenges still remain about the implementation of an internationally- and multi-sector-recognised open science framework. In this Commentary, we discuss one important specific challenge that has received little ethical and sociological attention in the open science literature: the environmental impact of the digital infrastructure that enables open science. We start from the premise that a move towards an environmentally sustainable open science is a shared and valuable goal, and discuss two challenges that we foresee with relation to this. The first relates to questions about how to define what environmentally sustainable open science means and how to change current practices accordingly. The second relates to the infrastructure needed to enact environmentally sustainable open science ethical and social responsibilities through the open science ethics ecosystem. We argue that there are various ethical obstacles regarding how to responsibly balance any environmental impacts against the social value of open science, and how much one should be prioritised over the other. We call for all actors of the open science ethics ecosystem to engage in discussions about how to move towards open data and science initiatives that take into account the environmental impact of data and digital infrastructures. Furthermore, we call for ethics governance frameworks or policy-inscribed standards of practice to assist with this decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Sustainable and Responsible Future of Open Science)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Concentrations of Loans by Using Book Circulation Data in Korea University Library
Publications 2020, 8(4), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040053 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 519
Abstract
In this paper, data of almost 8 million loans of books recorded for 15 years by the Korea University Library are analyzed by using big data analytic techniques. During this period, book circulation decreased with an average annual rate of decline of 4.4%. [...] Read more.
In this paper, data of almost 8 million loans of books recorded for 15 years by the Korea University Library are analyzed by using big data analytic techniques. During this period, book circulation decreased with an average annual rate of decline of 4.4%. The use factor of books in each Dewey decimal classification (DDC) class was evaluated to measure how efficiently books were used by library users. Loan frequencies of books were analyzed and meaningful results regarding loan concentrations and the half-lives of books were obtained. It was observed that 50% of the total loans in each year were for 20% of all borrowed books in that year. This phenomenon will be called the 20/50 loan rule, and the set of the top 20% most borrowed books, whose cumulative loan frequencies reach 50% of total loans, will be called a core collection. The 20/50 loan rule shows the loan concentration of library books. The extent of loan concentration gets stronger if loans for two or more consecutive years are concerned. It was found that with high probability, books in a core collection at a specific year are also categorized as a core collection in next years. Moreover, books categorized as a core collection in consecutive years have longer half-lives compared with all other circulating books. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Demonization of Islam through Social Media: A Case Study of #Stopislam in Instagram
Publications 2020, 8(4), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040052 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 785
Abstract
This article studies the process of demonization, its consequences, and how social media contribute to the formalization of its axiology. The demonization of societies aims to create social subjects that fit into the idea of the “other” by exposing them to compulsory invisibility. [...] Read more.
This article studies the process of demonization, its consequences, and how social media contribute to the formalization of its axiology. The demonization of societies aims to create social subjects that fit into the idea of the “other” by exposing them to compulsory invisibility. This research’s main objective was to examine how demonization is used as a weapon of oppression to devalue specific individuals through the hashtag #StopIslam and Instagram’s role in this process. The methodology used for this purpose has consisted of an empirical and quantitative analysis of the most recent (1 January 2020–31 July 2020) posts on Instagram with #StopIslam, analyzing the images and the content. The study has determined how, through social media manipulation, erroneous ideas are transmitted that prevent the Islamic collective’s integration, especially in European countries. The conclusions will reflect hate speech and how the Islamic world’s demonization results in the Muslim community’s stigmatization, racism, and Islamophobia. Although there are different articles related to demonization and hate speech, there are not many scientific resources that explain these variables on Instagram and how it affects the inclusion of the Muslim community in Europe, significantly when the time spent on the Internet is growing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research Ethics, Open Science and CRIS
Publications 2020, 8(4), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040051 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 974
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how current research information systems (CRIS) take into account ethical issues, especially in the environment of open science. The analysis is based on a review of the literature on research information management, CRIS, open science [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how current research information systems (CRIS) take into account ethical issues, especially in the environment of open science. The analysis is based on a review of the literature on research information management, CRIS, open science and research ethics. The paper provides a framework for the assessment of CRIS on two levels: are CRIS (= their data model, format, functionalities, etc.) compliant with ethical requirements from the research community, funding bodies, government, etc., i.e., can they appropriately process data on research ethics (protocols, misconduct, etc.), and which are the ethical issues of the development, implementation and usage of CRIS? What is the impact of new ethical requirements from the open science movement, such as integrity or transparency? Can CRIS be considered as ethical infrastructures or “infraethics”? Concluding this analysis, the paper proposes an empirical approach for further investigation of this topic. The originality of the paper is that there are very few studies so far that assess the implications of research ethics and open science on the CRIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Publication Ethics and Research Integrity)
Open AccessArticle
A Scientometric Overview of Global Dinoflagellate Research
Publications 2020, 8(4), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040050 - 25 Nov 2020
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Understanding the evolution of scientific literature is a critical and necessary step for the development and strengthening of a research field. However, an overview of global dinoflagellate research remains unavailable. Herein, global dinoflagellate research output was analyzed based on a scientometric approach using [...] Read more.
Understanding the evolution of scientific literature is a critical and necessary step for the development and strengthening of a research field. However, an overview of global dinoflagellate research remains unavailable. Herein, global dinoflagellate research output was analyzed based on a scientometric approach using the Scopus data archive. The basic characteristics and worldwide interactions of dinoflagellate research output were analyzed to determine the temporal evolution and new emerging trends. The results confirm that dinoflagellate research output, reflected in the number of publications, is a fast-growing area since the mid-1990s. In total, five research subareas emerged using a bibliometric keywords analysis: (1) “symbiosis with coral reefs”, (2) “phylogeny”, (3) “palynology”, (4) “harmful algal blooms” and (5) “nutrition strategies”. Dinoflagellate publications were modeled by fish production (both aquaculture and fisheries) and economic and social indexes. Finally, directions for future research are proposed and discussed. The presented scientometric analysis confirms that dinoflagellate research is an active and important area with focus on mitigating economic impacts, especially in regard to fish production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Open Academic Book Publishing during COVID-19 Pandemic: A View on Romanian University Presses
Publications 2020, 8(4), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040049 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 953
Abstract
In the context of the 2020 public health crisis that discourages exchanges of physical objects in society, university-led publishing needed to rethink its operations. Worldwide the opening of quality scholarly content proved to be a solution. University presses reacted rapidly and offered books [...] Read more.
In the context of the 2020 public health crisis that discourages exchanges of physical objects in society, university-led publishing needed to rethink its operations. Worldwide the opening of quality scholarly content proved to be a solution. University presses reacted rapidly and offered books according to the open access model. The present research aimed to map the editorial landscape of Romanian university presses, to identify the main features displayed online by the university presses parented by public universities and to highlight the readiness of these players to further open access academic books, especially in the time of the COVID-19 crisis. The quantitative approach investigated the availability of e-books in the university presses’ portfolios, including the alignment to the open access scholarship movement, the use of social media accounts to promote the presses and the response of the presses to the challenges of the health crisis. Out of the 46 active university presses, only six had open book titles in their portfolios and only one genuinely responded actively to the challenges posed by the need for electronic formats in 2020. Unless Romanian university presses modernize and restructure their modus operandi, they can prove irrelevant in the post-crisis period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Sustainable and Responsible Future of Open Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Literacy and Higher Education during COVID-19 Lockdown: Spain, Italy, and Ecuador
Publications 2020, 8(4), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040048 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1727
Abstract
Digital literacy constitutes the basis for citizenship in order to be effective and efficient in the 21st Century in professional and personal lives. The set of skills and competences integrating digital literacy are expected to be guaranteed in higher education. During the lockdown [...] Read more.
Digital literacy constitutes the basis for citizenship in order to be effective and efficient in the 21st Century in professional and personal lives. The set of skills and competences integrating digital literacy are expected to be guaranteed in higher education. During the lockdown globally imposed for the COVID-19 pandemic, educational systems worldwide had to face many disruptive changes. The aim of this research is to present a comparative study of three countries’ higher education institutions (Spain, Italy, and Ecuador), analyzing how they have faced the global lockdown situation, focusing on the development of digital literacy. The methodological approach followed in this study was quantitative with an exploratory-correlational scope using a questionnaire designed ad hoc and applied in a sample of 376 students. Results point the necessity of enhancing the main aspects such as the teacher’s digital skills, sources for learning that may be adapted, communication between universities and students, and teaching methodologies that should be appropriate to the current context. Conclusions may suggest rethinking higher education learning and reinforcing main issues for this transformation, mainly: communication, teaching, and digital competences. Otherwise, digital literacy is not being guaranteed, which means higher education is not accomplishing one of its main objectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Competence in Spanish University Education and Its Use by Students
Publications 2020, 8(4), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040047 - 04 Nov 2020
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Technologies have massively burst into all fields, including Higher Education. The current students have grown up surrounded by technologies, which is reflected in their behavior. For this reason, universities have adapted by integrating digital competence into their training offer, improving learning processes and [...] Read more.
Technologies have massively burst into all fields, including Higher Education. The current students have grown up surrounded by technologies, which is reflected in their behavior. For this reason, universities have adapted by integrating digital competence into their training offer, improving learning processes and adjusting to the university profile. The objective of this work is to ascertain how digital skills are used by Spanish higher education (bachelor’s and master’s degree) students, thus verifying whether so-called digital competence is being actively used in higher education. A survey was applied to 324 individuals, highlighting among its results that the university panorama is in a situation where digital tools are very useful for its improvement. These data were collected before the global pandemic, after which the use of online tools intensified. However, the students are still not aware of all of them, or they do not use them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Abundant Publications but Minuscule Impact: The Irrelevance of Academic Accounting Research on Practice and the Profession
Publications 2020, 8(4), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040046 - 31 Oct 2020
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Criticism about the practical usefulness of academic accounting research produced in university business schools has been growing for some time. Due to accounting being an applied social science, many stakeholders question the relevance and value of research published in accounting journals to the [...] Read more.
Criticism about the practical usefulness of academic accounting research produced in university business schools has been growing for some time. Due to accounting being an applied social science, many stakeholders question the relevance and value of research published in accounting journals to the accounting profession, practitioners and society in general. This paper highlights the various areas of criticism and discusses factors which underline the issue. While most of the criticism is anecdotal, this study sets about to empirically explore practitioners’ perception of academia, and research published in academic accounting journals. To better understand the situation in accounting, a comparison of two other applied academic disciplines is undertaken, involving medical and engineering practitioners. The study found that for accounting there were major differences in the sourcing of information, and significant differences between the other two applied fields with respect to the utilisation and the need for academic material. The findings lead to the conclusion that academic accounting researchers are now nearly totally divorced from the real-world profession of accounting. If we were to take a singular view on the purpose of academic accounting research, then the current situation could leave accounting researchers very vulnerable to adverse decisions with respect to the allocation of future government funding. The conclusions of this paper propose a series of thought-provoking questions about the current state of accounting research, in the hope that it will stimulate debate and generate responses from the accounting community and other stakeholders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Factors Causing Bias in Marketing- Related Publications
Publications 2020, 8(4), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/publications8040045 - 24 Oct 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
The present paper aims at revealing and ranking the factors that most frequently cause bias in marketing-related publications. In order to rank the factors causing bias, the authors employed the Analytic Hierarchy Process method with three different scales representing all scale groups. The [...] Read more.
The present paper aims at revealing and ranking the factors that most frequently cause bias in marketing-related publications. In order to rank the factors causing bias, the authors employed the Analytic Hierarchy Process method with three different scales representing all scale groups. The data for the study were obtained through expert survey, which involved nine experts both from the academia and scientific publishing community. The findings of the study confirm that factors that most frequently cause bias in marketing related publications are sampling and sample frame errors, failure to specify the inclusion and exclusion criteria for researched subjects and non-responsiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Publication Ethics and Research Integrity)
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