• Solvothermal synthesis of discrete cages and extended networks comprising {Cr(iii)3O(O2CR)3(oxime)3}2− (R = H, CH3, C(CH3)3, C14H9) building blocks

      Houton, E; Comar, P; Pitak, MB; Coles, SJ; Ryder, AG; Piligkos, S; Brechin, EK; Jones, LF (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2016-07-28)
      © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry. The synthesis, structural and magnetic characterisation of a family of related Cr(iii) cages are reported. Each member comprises {Cr(iii)3O(O2CR1)3(R2-sao)3}2- (R1 = H, CH3, C(CH3)3, C14H9; R2 = Me, Ph, tBu, C10H8) triangles linked by Na+ cations, resulting in either the discrete complexes [H3O][NEt4]2[NaCr(iii)6O2(O2C-C14H9)6(Naphth-sao)6] (1) and [Na4Cr(iii)6O2(O2CC(CH3)3)6(3,5-di-tBu-sao)6(MeCN)6] (3); or the extended networks [H3O]2[Na2Cr(iii)6O2(O2CH)6(Ph-sao)6(MeCN)2(H2O)2]n·4MeCN (2); [H3O][Na3Cr(iii)6O2(O2CCH3)6(Me-sao)6(MeCN)]n (4) and [Na2Cr(iii)3O(O2CCH3)3(Me-sao)3(H2O)6]n·3MeCN (5). Magnetic susceptibility data obtained for 2 and 4 reveal weak antiferromagnetic exchange between the Cr(iii) ions in the triangles.
    • Synthesis of an orthogonally protected polyhydroxylated cyclopentene from l-Sorbose

      Lo Re, D; Jones, L; Giralt, E; Murphy, P; School of Chemistry, National University of Ireland, Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. daniele.lore@irbbarcelona.org. (Wiley, 2016-07-06)
      © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim The use of l-sorbose in the synthesis of functionalized cyclopentene derivatives was accomplished. These cyclopentene derivatives are related to those found in naturally occurring jatrophane frameworks and in other bioactive compounds. The formation of allyl α-l-sorbopyranoside was a key synthetic step. Regioselective introduction of protecting groups was followed by the hydrolysis of the allyl glycoside to furnish a fully protected acyclic l-sorbose derivative. This acyclic intermediate was subsequently used to give an orthogonally protected polyhydroxylated cyclopentene, which has potential for further synthesis of bioactive compounds. The protected cyclopentene itself showed a clear cytotoxic activity when tested against a panel of human cancer cell lines (HT29, LS174T, SW620, A549, and HeLa cells).
    • Elucidating cylindrospermopsin toxicity via synthetic analogues: An in vitro approach

      Evans, DM; Hughes, J; Jones, LF; Murphy, PJ; Falfushynska, H; Horyn, O; Sokolova, IM; Christensen, J; Coles, SJ; Rzymski, P; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-06-10)
      © 2019 Elsevier Ltd Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is an alkaloid biosynthesized by selected cyanobacteria, the cyto- and genotoxic properties of which have been studied extensively by in vitro and in vivo experimental models. Various studies have separately established the role of uracil, guanidine and hydroxyl groups in CYN-induced toxicity. In the present study, we have prepared five synthetic analogues that all possess a uracil group but had variations in the other functionality found in CYN. We compared the in vitro toxicity of these analogues in common carp hepatocytes by assessing oxidative stress markers, DNA fragmentation and apoptosis. All the analogues tested induced generation of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and DNA fragmentation. However, the greatest increase in LPO and increase in caspase-3 activity, an apoptosis marker, was demonstrated by an analogue containing guanidine, hydroxyl and uracil functionalities similar to those found in CYN but lacking the complex tricyclic structure of CYN. We also report a crystal structure of an analogue lacking the hydroxyl group found in CYN which does not show intramolecular H-bonding interactions between the guanidine and the uracil functionalities. The observations made in this work supports the hypothesis that CYN toxicity is a result of an interplay between both of the uracil, hydroxyl and guanidine functional groups.
    • Redefining ICT embeddedness in the construction industry: Maximising technology diffusion capabilities to support agility

      Goulding, Jack; Arif, Mohammed; Ezcan, Volkan (Taylor & Francis, 2020-12-01)
      Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) research often engages linear approaches for embedding/implementing/diffusing new technology into existing business systems and processes. However, developments in information and communication technology (ICT) often fail to deliver their full potential for a number of reasons. This paper presents these challenges and highlights the need to embrace equifinality as part of a structured approach for improving impact diffusion. The central tenet and foci of this work rests with the optimisation of AEC business agility. Given this, a multiple case study approach using three large construction organisations (in Turkey) was used to capture primary data from 30 respondents – representing viewpoints from three management levels: Top Management, Middle Management and First Line Management. Findings are presented in the form of a conceptual framework, the details of which highlight the constructs needed [inter alia ICT adoption/diffusion] to develop organisational: i) responsiveness, ii) flexibility and iii) corporate competence.
    • Data citation and reuse practice in biodiversity - Challenges of adopting a standard citation model

      Khan, N; Thelwall, M; Kousha, K (International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, 2019-08-06)
      © 2015 American Institute of Physics Inc.. All rights reserved. Openly available research data promotes reproducibility in science and results in higher citation rates for articles published with data in biological and social sciences. Even though biodiversity is one of the fields where data is frequently reused, information about how data is reused and cited is not often openly accessible from research data repositories. This study explores data citation and reuse practices in biodiversity by using openly available metadata for 43,802 datasets indexed in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Quantitative analysis of dataset types and citation counts suggests that the number of studies making use of openly available biodiversity data has been increasing in a steady manner. Citation rates vary for different types of datasets based on the quality of data, and similarly to articles, it takes 2-3 years to accrue most citations for datasets. Content analysis of a random sample of unique citing articles (n=101) for 437 cited datasets in a random sample of 1000 datasets suggests that best practice for data citation is yet to be established. 26.7% of articles are mentioned the dataset in references, 12.9% are mentioned in data access statements in addition to the methods section, and only 2% are mentioned in all three sections, which is important for automatic extraction of citation information. Citation practice was inconsistent especially when a large number of subsets (12—50) were used. This calls for adoption of a standard citation model for this field to provide proper attribution when using subsets of data.
    • Gum feeder as environmental enrichment for zoo marmosets and tamarins

      Regaiolli, Barbara; Angelosante, Chiara; Marliani, Giovanna; Accorsi, Pier Attilio; Vaglio, Stefano; Spiezio, Caterina (Wiley, 2020-01-15)
      Tamarins and marmosets are small‐bodied social callitrichines. Wild callitrichines feed on exudates, such as sap and gum; particularly, marmosets are mainly gummivores, while tamarins consume gums only occasionally and opportunistically. Zoo marmosets and tamarins are usually provided with gum arabic as an alternative to the exudates normally found in the wild. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a gum feeder on the behavior and well‐being of four zoo‐managed callitrichines. We studied four cotton‐top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), four red‐handed tamarins (S. midas), two pygmy marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea), and three Geoffroy's marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) housed at Parco Natura Viva (Italy). We conducted the study over two different periods, a baseline (control, without the gum feeder) and then a gum feeder (when the gum feeder was provided) period. We used continuous focal animal sampling to collect behavioral data, including durations of social and individual behaviors. We collected 240 min of observations per period per study subject, with a total of 3,120 min for all the subjects in the same period and of 6,240 min in both periods. We analyzed data by using nonparametric statistical tests. First, we found that the gum feeder promoted species‐specific behaviors, such as exploration, and diminished self‐directed behaviors, suggesting an enriching effect on tamarin and marmoset behavior. Moreover, in red‐handed tamarins, the provision of the gum feeder reduced the performance of self‐directed and abnormal behavior, specifically coprophagy. These results confirm that gum feeders are effective foraging enrichment tools for zoo marmosets and tamarins.
    • Impact of anthropogenic factors on affiliative behaviors among bonnet macaques

      Balasubramaniam, Krishna N; Marty, Pascal R; Arlet, Małgorzata E; Beisner, Brianne A; Kaburu, Stefano; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Kodandaramaijah, Ullasa; McCowan, Brenda (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020-12-01)
      Objectives: In primates, allogrooming and other affiliative behaviors confer many benefits and may be influenced by many socioecological factors. Of these, the impact of anthropogenic factors remain relatively understudied. Here we ask whether interactions with humans decreased macaques’ affiliative behaviors by imposing time-constraints, or increased these behaviors on account of more free-/available-time due to macaques’ consumption of high-energy human foods. Materials and Methods: In Southern India, we collected data on human-macaque and macaque-macaque interactions using focal-animal sampling on two groups of semi-urban bonnet macaques for 11 months. For each macaque within each climatic season, we calculated frequencies of human-macaque interactions, rates of monitoring human activity and foraging on anthropogenic food, dominance ranks, grooming duration, number of unique grooming partners, and frequencies of other affiliative interactions. Results: We found strong evidence for time-constraints on grooming. Macaques that monitored humans more groomed for shorter durations and groomed fewer partners, independent of their group membership, sex, dominance rank, and season. However, monitoring humans had no impact on other affiliative interactions. We found no evidence for the free-time hypothesis foraging on anthropogenic food was unrelated to grooming and other affiliation. Discussion: Our results are consistent with recent findings on other urban-dwellingspecies/populations. Macaques in such environments may be especially reliant on other forms of affiliation that are of short duration (e.g. coalitionary support, lip-smacking) and unaffected by time-constraints. We stress on the importance of evaluating human impact on inter-individual differences in primate/wildlife behavior for conservation efforts.
    • Numerical modelling to predict fracturing rock (Thanet chalk) due to naturally occurring faults and fluid pressure

      Eshiet, KII; Welch, M; Sheng, Y (Elsevier, 2018-07-30)
      © 2018 Elsevier Ltd Outcrop mapping of a chalk cliff and wavecut platform in Thanet, Southeast England show a complex fracture pattern that seems to be controlled by meso-scale strike-slip faults within the chalk. The response of these faults to changes to in situ stress and fluid pressure is thought to control the nucleation and propagation of fractures in the chalk. In this study the DEM (Discrete Element Method) technique has been employed as a follow up to previous field and numerical (boundary and finite element method) investigations to ascertain the role of the faults in the initiation and nucleation of fractures The role of fluid pressure, in-situ stress, and fault geometry are recognised as focal factors. The generation of localised areas of tensile stresses due to fluid pressure and stress perturbations have been shown to cause the initiation of fractures around the fault bends. For releasing bends, localised tensile stresses tend to occur along the central segment of the fault bend, whereas for restraining bends, tensile stresses are more likely to develop on the outer edges of the fault bend. The dissimilarity in the fracturing process due to differences in the geometry of pre-existing faults demonstrates the significance of both fault geometry and fluid behaviour in controlling fracturing.
    • Micro-damage evolution and macro-mechanical property degradation of limestone due to chemical effects

      Li, H; Zhong, Z; Liu, X; Sheng, Y; Yang, D (Elsevier, 2018-08-31)
      © 2018 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) imaging in combination with mechanical tests are carried out to investigate the influence of chemical solutions on porosity change, micro damage and macro mechanical property degradation of limestone samples under external stress. The NMR images and T2 values for compression stage, micro damages emergence stage, micro damages development stage and fracture and collapse stage are obtained and analysed. The results of the corrosive influence of chemical solutions with different pH values and immersion periods on the mechanical property degradation of limestone samples are investigated. By choosing porosity as the damage variable, the micro damage of the samples during triaxial compression are calculated. It can be concluded that pH values of the chemical solutions change the porosity and micro damage evolution of the rock, which is the root reason for its mechanical properties degradation. The chemical erosion also has a significant influence on the micro crack propagation in the limestone samples under triaxial compression.
    • Water channel pore size determines exclusion properties but not solute selectivity

      Kitchen, Philip; Salman, Mootaz M; Pickel, Simone U; Jennings, Jordan; Törnroth-Horsefield, Susanna; Conner, Matthew T; Bill, Roslyn M; Conner, Alex C (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-12-30)
      Aquaporins (AQPs) are a ubiquitous family of transmembrane water channel proteins. A subgroup of AQP water channels also facilitates transmembrane diffusion of small, polar solutes. A constriction within the pore, the aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filter, is thought to control solute permeability: previous studies on single representative water channel proteins suggest narrow channels conduct water, whilst wider channels permit passage of solutes. To assess this model of selectivity, we used mutagenesis, permeability measurements and in silico comparisons of water-specific as well as glycerol-permeable human AQPs. Our studies show that single amino acid substitutions in the selectivity filters of AQP1, AQP4 and AQP3 differentially affect glycerol and urea permeability in an AQP-specific manner. Comparison between in silico-calculated channel cross-sectional areas and in vitro permeability measurements suggests that selectivity filter cross-sectional area predicts urea but not glycerol permeability. Our data show that substrate discrimination in water channels depends on a complex interplay between the solute, pore size, and polarity, and that using single water channel proteins as representative models has led to an underestimation of this complexity.
    • Comprehensive survey on big data privacy protection

      BinJubier, Mohammed; Ahmed, Abdulghani Ali; Ismail, Mohd Arfian Bin; Sadiq, Ali Safaa; Khan, Muhammad Khurram (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019-12-25)
      In recent years, the ever-mounting problem of Internet phishing has been threatening the secure propagation of sensitive data over the web, thereby resulting in either outright decline of data distribution or inaccurate data distribution from several data providers. Therefore, user privacy has evolved into a critical issue in various data mining operations. User privacy has turned out to be a foremost criterion for allowing the transfer of confidential information. The intense surge in storing the personal data of customers (i.e., big data) has resulted in a new research area, which is referred to as privacy-preserving data mining (PPDM). A key issue of PPDM is how to manipulate data using a specific approach to enable the development of a good data mining model on modified data, thereby meeting a specified privacy need with minimum loss of information for the intended data analysis task. The current review study aims to utilize the tasks of data mining operations without risking the security of individuals’ sensitive information, particularly at the record level. To this end, PPDM techniques are reviewed and classified using various approaches for data modification. Furthermore, a critical comparative analysis is performed for the advantages and drawbacks of PPDM techniques. This review study also elaborates on the existing challenges and unresolved issues in PPDM.
    • Experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate pharmacy students in community pharmacies in the United Kingdom

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, patrick; Singh, Amardeep (Pharmacy Management, 2020-01-05)
      Pharmacists in the UK are a resource at many levels of patient care, regularly providing expert clinical advice with and without appointment or signposting to appropriate help or support. The NHS is under increasing pressure to deliver services and pharmacists play an increasing role in helping people understand how to use their medication, along with providing healthy living advice. The recent development of pharmacists employed in general practice has broadened possible career pathways. Preparing pharmacy graduates to develop smoothly into these roles requires pharmacy education to adapt and evolve. One possible innovation is the introduction of experiential learning modules in the curriculum, similar to that provided to other healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, physician associates, etc. Workplace-based learning would align the attainment of professional competencies during the undergraduate course to reflect the future roleThe paper examines the inclination of community sector pharmacists to provide experiential learning through a survey of stakeholders and pharmacists. It was found that pharmacists value workplace experiential learning opportunities and liked the concept of students arriving trained and validated in certain services prior to placement. Placement students would have the opportunity to contribute something back to their placement site. The survey underpins the need to examine current gaps of pharmacy education curriculum, why the change is required, and the models that could possibly be used to deliver that change.
    • Ageing, old age and older adults: a social media analysis of dominant topics and discourses

      Makita, Meiko; Mas-Bleda, Amalia; Stuart, Emma; Thelwall, Mike (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2019-08-13)
      Whilst representations of old age and older people in traditional media have been well documented, examinations of such representations within social media discourse are still scarce. This is an unfortunate omission because of the importance of social media for communication in contemporary society. In this study, we combine content analysis and discourse analysis to explore patterns of representation on Twitter around the terms ageing, old age, older people and elderly with a sample of 1,200 tweets. Our analysis shows that ‘personal concerns/views’ and ‘health and social care’ are the predominant overall topics, although some topics are clearly linked with specific keywords. The language often used in the tweets seems to reinforce negative discourses of age and ageing that locate older adults as a disempowered, vulnerable and homogeneous group; old age is deemed a problem and ageing is considered something that needs to be resisted, slowed or disguised. These topics and discursive patterns are indeed similar to those found in empirical studies of social perceptions and traditional media portrayal of old age, which indicates that social media and Twitter in particular appears to serve as an online platform that reproduces and reinforces existing ageist discourses in traditional media that feed into social perceptions of ageing and older people.
    • Anthropomorphizing atopy: Tweeting about eczema

      Thelwall, Saheeda; Thelwall, Michael (Wolters Kluwer Health, 2020-12-01)
      Atopic dermatitis or eczema affects a substantial minority of children and adults. Patients may treat their symptoms through skin care regimes and/or diet restrictions and/or prescribed topical corticosteroids. The patient perspective is important because of the longterm self-administered treatment regime and the potential psychological effects on relationships from a visible disease. This paper assesses the potential of public social media data to give new insights into patient perspectives through a thematic analysis of a random sample of 400 tweets from 2019 matching the query, “my eczema”. Whilst the most common use of Twitter is to announce a flare-up, it is also used to express anger and discuss possible treatments. New themes not previously reported include the use of humor to discuss the condition and giving eczema agency: discussing it as if it had a will of its own. These may be defense strategies against the potential of eczema to strike at any time or the fear of negative reactions or blame from friends. This highlights importance of nurses and others helping patients to deal with the psychological effects of eczema.
    • Environmental cleaning mission Bioconversion of oxidatively fragmented polyethylene plastic waste to value-added copolyesters

      Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline; ITOHOWO EKERE, ANABEL; Johnston, Brian; Zięba, Magdalena; Chaber, Paweł; Adamus, Grazyna; Barsi, David; AMARO, LUCÍA PÉREZ; Chiellini, Emo; Radecka, Izabela; et al. (Teknoscienze s.r.l., 2019-12-20)
      The innovative recycling method, we are proposing, relies upon the controlled oxidative fragmentation of waste LDPE plastic to the inexpensive substrates for future sustainable production of PHAs with the aid of Cupriavidus necator. LDPE oxidized fragments (PE-F) were obtained from the re-engineering LDPE film by means of pro-oxidant/pro-degradant additives, followed by treatment under natural UV light. Cupriavidus necator was grown in either tryptone soya broth (TSB) or basal salt medium (BSM) supplemented with PE-F for 48 h. PHA production was higher in TSB supplemented with PE-F (29%) than in TSB alone (only 0.6%). No PHA was detected in either BSM alone or BSM supplemented with PE-F. The recovered PHA was characterized using GPC, NMR, and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). These analytical tools applied confirmed that the resulting PHA was a terpolymer having an average molar mass of 624 kg/mol and consisting of 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB), 3-hydroxyvalerates (HV) and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (HH) co-monomer units randomly distributed along the chain backbone.
    • Contextual deep learning-based audio-visual switching for speech enhancement in real-world environments

      Adeel, Ahsan; Gogate, Mandar; Hussain, Amir (Elsevier BV, 2019-08-19)
      Human speech processing is inherently multi-modal, where visual cues (lip movements) help better understand speech in noise. Our recent work [1] has shown lip-reading driven, audio-visual (AV) speech enhancement can significantly outperform benchmark audio-only approaches at low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). However, consistent with our cognitive hypothesis, visual cues were found to be relatively less effective for speech enhancement at high SNRs or low levels of background noise, whereas audio-only cues worked well enough. Therefore, a more cognitively-inspired, context-aware AV approach is required, that contextually utilises both visual and noisy audio features, and thus more effectively accounts for different noisy conditions. In this paper, we introduce a novel context-aware AV framework that contextually exploits AV cues with respect to different operating conditions to estimate clean audio, without requiring any prior SNR estimation. The switching module is developed by integrating a convolutional neural network (CNN) and long-short-term memory (LSTM) network, that learns to switch between visual-only (V-only), audio-only (A-only), and both audio-visual cues at low, high and moderate SNR levels, respectively. For testing, the estimated clean audio features are utilised using an enhanced visually-derived Wiener filter (EVWF) for noisy speech filtering. The context-aware AV speech enhancement framework is evaluated under dynamic real-world scenarios (including cafe, street, bus, and pedestrian) at different SNR levels (ranging from low to high SNRs), using benchmark Grid and ChiME3 corpora. For objective testing, perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) is used to evaluate the quality of the restored speech. For subjective testing, the standard mean-opinion-score (MOS) method is used. Comparative experimental results show the superior performance of our context-aware AV approach, over A-only, V-only, spectral subtraction (SS), and log-minimum mean square error (LMMSE) based speech enhancement methods, at both low and high SNRs. These preliminary findings demonstrate the capability of our proposed approach to deal with spectro-temporal variations in any real-world noisy environment, by contextually exploiting the complementary strengths of audio and visual cues. In conclusion, our deep learning-driven AV framework is posited as a benchmark resource for the multi-modal speech processing and machine learning communities.
    • Cognitively inspired feature extraction and speech recognition for automated hearing loss testing

      Nisar, S; Tariq, M; Adeel, A; Gogate, M; Hussain, A (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-02-13)
      © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Hearing loss, a partial or total inability to hear, is one of the most commonly reported disabilities. A hearing test can be carried out by an audiologist to assess a patient’s auditory system. However, the procedure requires an appointment, which can result in delays and practitioner fees. In addition, there are often challenges associated with the unavailability of equipment and qualified practitioners, particularly in remote areas. This paper presents a novel idea that automatically identifies any hearing impairment based on a cognitively inspired feature extraction and speech recognition approach. The proposed system uses an adaptive filter bank with weighted Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients for feature extraction. The adaptive filter bank implementation is inspired by the principle of spectrum sensing in cognitive radio that is aware of its environment and adapts to statistical variations in the input stimuli by learning from the environment. Comparative performance evaluation demonstrates the potential of our automated hearing test method to achieve comparable results to the clinical ground truth, established by the expert audiologist’s tests. The overall absolute error of the proposed model when compared with the expert audiologist test is less than 4.9 dB and 4.4 dB for the pure tone and speech audiometry tests, respectively. The overall accuracy achieved is 96.67% with a hidden Markov model (HMM). The proposed method potentially offers a second opinion to audiologists, and serves as a cost-effective pre-screening test to predict hearing loss at an early stage. In future work, authors intend to explore the application of advanced deep learning and optimization approaches to further enhance the performance of the automated testing prototype considering imperfect datasets with real-world background noise.
    • Apprenticeship for craftspeople in the construction industry: A state-of-the-art review

      Daniel, Emmanuel Itodo; Oshodi, Olalekan; Gyoh, Louis; Chinyio, Ezekiel (Emerald, 2019-12-30)
      Purpose Apprenticeship programmes are designed to provide young trainees with essential broad-based skills. Through apprenticeships, different sectors that are underpopulated can fill up their skills gaps. Apprenticeships are particularly useful to the construction sector which has a high ageing workforce and associated lower labour productivity. However, the completion rates of apprenticeship training programmes in the construction sector remain low in several countries across the globe. Thus the study purposes to review the published research on apprenticeship training that is specifically focused on the construction sector, so as to determine the current status quo and suggest a direction for future research. Design/methodology/approach A systematic review approach was adopted. Based on a comprehensive search using SCOPUS databases, 33 relevant journal articles were identified and analysed. Findings It was found that monitoring and control is the most mentioned factor responsible for improvements in the completion rates of apprenticeship training. In contrast, the length of time required for going through the full training is the most common factor responsible for low completion rates. Three research gaps were identified, among which the dearth of studies that have focused on apprentices is training in developing countries. Research limitations/implications The gaps identified in the current knowledge on apprenticeship training would serve as a justification for future investigations. However, the scope of the review is limited to papers published in academic journals and citable through SCOPUS. Practical implications The outcomes of the study provide researchers and other relevant stakeholders with a concise report on the findings of previous studies. It also provides insight into strategies for improving the completion rates of apprenticeship training in the construction sector. Originality/value A systematic evaluation of the extant literature draws on theoretical evidence and highlights the factors that are more likely to influence the outcomes of apprentice training for craftspeople in the construction sector
    • Guest Editorial

      Goulding, JS; Arif, M (Informa UK Limited, 2017-12-04)
      This Special Issue of Architectural Engineering and Design Management invited critical debate and discourse on offsite construction with a particular focus on strategic challenges and opportunities. The offsite market is continuing to grow, with firm evidence suggesting that this trajectory is likely to continue to expand in line with increased demand. Production, manufacturing and assembly markets are now delivering conjoined synergies to support offsite. However, there is still a real need to evaluate a number of conjoined factors, including: the impact of process and business changes in design/construction/manufacturing; how new and emerging ICT solutions underpin processes to deliver integrated solutions; the impact of socio-economic drivers, including the delivery of evidence-based cost and value streams; and finally (and some might argue more importantly), the need to understand, develop and embed new skills and understanding into the offsite supply chain. These issues are certainly challenging, but are not insurmountable. This Special Issue presents additional knowledge and understanding on ‘Offsite Construction: Strategic Challenges and New Opportunities’ through 10 original and novel papers.
    • The “ological-triad”: considerations for construction management research

      Holt, GD; Goulding, JS (Emerald, 2017-06-05)
      © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to consider an “-ological” (ontological, epistemological and methodological) triad in the context of construction management (CM) research, and to explore the triad in terms of ontological/epistemological viewpoints, paradigmatic approaches to CM research and, ultimately, CM methodological decisions. Design/methodology/approach: Derivation of critical narrative and graphical models using literature synthesis combined with experiential, methodological views of the authors. Findings: Conceptions of ontology, epistemology and methodology (the “ological-triad”) demonstrate high variability – resultantly, their use in CM research is equally inconsistent, sometimes questionable and, in the extreme, sometimes overlooked. Accordingly, this study concludes that greater recognition of the “ological-triad” is called for in CM research, especially at the design stage. A framework for doing this is proffered. Originality/value: Combined study of the “ologies” within CM research uniquely consolidates previous disparate knowledge into a single, cogent, subject-specific discourse that, inter-alia, both informs and illuminates CM research challenges. It also encourages critical debate on the issues highlighted.