Now showing items 1-20 of 6014

    • Assessment, endoscopy, and treatment in patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis during the COVID-19 pandemic (PROTECT-ASUC): a multicentre, observational, case-control study

      Sebastian, Shaji; Walker, Gareth J; Kennedy, Nicholas A; Conley, Thomas E; Patel, Kamal V; Subramanian, Sreedhar; Kent, Alexandra J; Segal, Jonathan P; Brookes, Matthew J; Bhala, Neeraj; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-02-02)
      Background There is a paucity of evidence to support safe and effective management of patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to identify alterations to established conventional evidence-based management of acute severe ulcerative colitis during the early COVID-19 pandemic, the effect on outcomes, and any associations with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and severe COVID-19 outcomes. Methods The PROTECT-ASUC study was a multicentre, observational, case-control study in 60 acute secondary care hospitals throughout the UK. We included adults (≥18 years) with either ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease unclassified, who presented with acute severe ulcerative colitis and fulfilled the Truelove and Witts criteria. Cases and controls were identified as either admitted or managed in emergency ambulatory care settings between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic period cohort), or between Jan 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019 (historical control cohort), respectively. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis receiving rescue therapy (including primary induction) or colectomy. The study is registered with, NCT04411784. Findings We included 782 patients (398 in the pandemic period cohort and 384 in the historical control cohort) who met the Truelove and Witts criteria for acute severe ulcerative colitis. The proportion of patients receiving rescue therapy (including primary induction) or surgery was higher during the pandemic period than in the historical period (217 [55%] of 393 patients vs 159 [42%] of 380 patients; p=0·00024) and the time to rescue therapy was shorter in the pandemic cohort than in the historical cohort (p=0·0026). This difference was driven by a greater use of rescue and primary induction therapies with biologicals, ciclosporin, or tofacitinib in the COVID-19 pandemic period cohort than in the historical control period cohort (177 [46%] of 387 patients in the COVID-19 cohort vs 134 [36%] of 373 patients in the historical cohort; p=0·0064). During the pandemic, more patients received ambulatory (outpatient) intravenous steroids (51 [13%] of 385 patients vs 19 [5%] of 360 patients; p=0·00023). Fewer patients received thiopurines (29 [7%] of 398 patients vs 46 [12%] of 384; p=0·029) and 5-aminosalicylic acids (67 [17%] of 398 patients vs 98 [26%] of 384; p=0·0037) during the pandemic than in the historical control period. Colectomy rates were similar between the pandemic and historical control groups (64 [16%] of 389 vs 50 [13%] of 375; p=0·26); however, laparoscopic surgery was less frequently performed during the pandemic period (34 [53%] of 64] vs 38 [76%] of 50; p=0·018). Five (2%) of 253 patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during hospital treatment. Two (2%) of 103 patients re-tested for SARS-CoV-2 during the 3-month follow-up were positive 5 days and 12 days, respectively, after discharge from index admission. Both recovered without serious outcomes. Interpretation The COVID-19 pandemic altered practice patterns of gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons in the management of acute severe ulcerative colitis but was associated with similar outcomes to a historical cohort. Despite continued use of high-dose corticosteroids and biologicals, the incidence of COVID-19 within 3 months was low and not associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes.
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in augmented care: the molecular ecology and transmission dynamics in four large UK hospitals

      Halstead, FD; Quick, J; Niebel, M; Garvey, M; Cumley, N; Smith, R; Neal, T; Roberts, P; Hardy, K; Shabir, S; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-01-31)
      Background Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common opportunistic pathogen and molecular typing in outbreaks has linked patient acquisition to contaminated hospital water systems. Aim To elucidate the role of P. aeruginosa transmission rates in non-outbreak augmented care settings in the UK. Methods Over a 16-week period, all water outlets in augmented care units of four hospitals were sampled for P. aeruginosa and clinical isolates were collected. Outlet and clinical P. aeruginosa isolates underwent whole-genome sequencing (WGS), which with epidemiological data identified acquisition from water as definite (level 1), probable (level 2), possible (level 3), and no evidence (level 4). Findings Outlets were positive in each hospital on all three occasions: W (16%), X (2.5%), Y (0.9%) and Z (2%); and there were 51 persistently positive outlets in total. WGS identified likely transmission (at levels 1, 2 and 3) from outlets to patients in three hospitals for P. aeruginosa positive patients: W (63%), X (54.5%) and Z (26%). According to the criteria (intimate epidemiological link and no phylogenetic distance), approximately 5% of patients in the study ‘definitely’ acquired their P. aeruginosa from their water outlets in the intensive care unit. This study found extensive evidence of transmission from the outlet to the patients particularly in the newest hospital (W), which had the highest rate of positive outlets. Conclusions The overall findings suggest that water outlets are the most likely source of P. aeruginosa nosocomial infections in some settings, and that widespread introduction of control measures would have a substantial impact on infections.
    • Understanding the impact of ‘wish-granting’ interventions on the health and wellbeing of children with life-threatening health conditions and their families: A systematic review

      Heath, Gemma; Screti, Cassandra; Pattison, Helen; Knibb, Rebecca (SAGE, 2021-12-31)
      This review aimed to explore how wish-granting interventions impact on the health and wellbeing of children with life-threatening health conditions and their families, using any study design. Six electronic databases (Medline; PsycINFO; CINAHL; Embase; AMED; HMIC) were systematically searched to identify eligible research articles. Studies were critically appraised using a Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Findings were synthesised narratively. Ten papers were included, reporting studies conducted across five countries, published from 2007-2019. Study designs were diverse (four quantitative; two qualitative; four mixed method). Results indicated improvements to physical and mental health, quality of life, social wellbeing, resilience and coping for wish children, parents and siblings. In conclusion, wish-granting interventions can positively impact health and therefore, should not be discouraged; however, more research is needed to define and quantify the impact of wish-fulfillment and to understand how it can be maximized.
    • Phase Transformation Dynamics in Sulfate-Loaded Lanthanide Triphosphonates. Proton Conductivity and Application as Fillers in PEMFCs.

      Salcedo, Inés R.; Colodrero, Rosario MP; Bazaga-García, Montse; López-González, M; Del Río, Carmen; Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Demadis, Konstantinos D.; Hix, Gary B.; Furasova, Aleksandra D; Choquesillo-Lazarte, Duane; et al. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2021-03-25)
      Phase transformation dynamics and proton conduction properties are reported for cationic layer-featured coordination polymers derived from the combination of lanthanide ions (Ln3+) with nitrilo-tris(methylenephosphonic acid) (H6NMP) in the presence of sulfate ions. Two families of materials are isolated and structurally characterized, i.e., [Ln2(H4NMP)2(H2O)4](HSO4)2·nH2O (Ln = Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Er, Yb; n = 4–5, Series I) and [Ln(H5NMP)]SO4·2H2O (Ln = Pr, Nd, Eu, Gd, Tb; Series II). Eu/Tb bimetallic solid solutions are also prepared for photoluminescence studies. Members of families I and II display high proton conductivity (10–3 and 10–2 S·cm–1 at 80 °C and 95% relative humidity) and are studied as fillers for Nafion-based composite membranes in PEMFCs, under operating conditions. Composite membranes exhibit higher power and current densities than the pristine Nafion membrane working in the range of 70–90 °C and 100% relative humidity and with similar proton conductivity.
    • Domestic researchers with longer careers generate higher average citation impact but it does not increase over time

      Maflahi, Nabeil; Thelwall, Michael (MIT Press, 2021-12-31)
      Information about the relative strengths of scholars is needed for the efficient running of knowledge systems. Since academic research requires many skills, more experienced researchers might produce better research and attract more citations. This article assesses career citation impact changes 2001-2016 for domestic researchers (definition: first and last Scopus journal article in the same country) from the twelve nations with most Scopus documents. Careers are analysed longitudinally, so that changes are not due to personnel evolution, such as researchers leaving or entering a country. The results show that long term domestic researchers do not tend to improve their citation impact over time but tend to achieve their average citation impact by their first or second Scopus journal article. In some countries, this citation impact subsequently declines. These longer-term domestic researchers have higher citation impact than the national average in all countries, however, whereas scholars publishing only one journal article have substantially lower citation impact in all countries. The results are consistent with an efficiently functioning researcher selection system but cast slight doubt on the long-term citation impact potential of long-term domestic researchers. Research and funding policies may need to accommodate these patterns when citation impact is a relevant indicator.
    • Backtranslation feedback improves user confidence in MT, not quality

      Zouhar, Vilém; Novák, Michal; Žilinec, Matúš; Bojar, Ondřej; Obregón, Mateo; Hill, Robin L; Blain, Frédéric; Fomicheva, Marina; Specia, Lucia; Yankovskaya, Lisa (Association for Computational Linguistics, 2021-12-31)
      Translating text into a language unknown to the text’s author, dubbed outbound translation, is a modern need for which the user experience has significant room for improvement, beyond the basic machine translation facility. We demonstrate this by showing three ways in which user confidence in the outbound translation, as well as its overall final quality, can be affected: backward translation, quality estimation (with alignment) and source paraphrasing. In this paper, we describe an experiment on outbound translation from English to Czech and Estonian. We examine the effects of each proposed feedback module and further focus on how the quality of machine translation systems influence these findings and the user perception of success. We show that backward translation feedback has a mixed effect on the whole process: it increases user confidence in the produced translation, but not the objective quality.
    • Is research with qualitative data more prevalent and impactful now? Interviews, case studies, focus groups and ethnographies

      Thelwall, Michael; Nevill, Tamara (Elsevier, 2021-12-31)
      Researchers, editors, educators, librarians, and publishers need to understand the mix of research methods used in their field to guide decision making, with qualitative research apparently threatened by big data. In response, this study assesses the prevalence and citation impact of academic research 1996-2019 that reports one of four common methods to gather qualitative data: interviews; focus groups; case studies; ethnography. With minor exceptions, the prevalence of qualitative data has increased, often substantially, since 1996. In addition, all 27 broad fields (as classified by Scopus) now publish some qualitative research, with interviewing being by far the most common approach. The citation impact of interview and focus group research mostly decreased over time, whereas of case study citation impact increased, and ethnography was above average in its two core subject areas. This suggests that methods teachers, researchers, editors, librarians, and publishers should be increasingly open to the value of qualitative data.
    • Allometric association between physical fitness test results, body size/shape, biological maturity, and time spent playing sports in adolescents

      Giuriato, Matteo; Kawczynski, Adam; Mroczek, Dariusz; Lovecchio, Nicola; Nevill, Alan; Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2021-04-06)
      Regular participation in strength and conditioning activities positively correlates with health-related benefits in sports (team and individual). Maturity offset (MO) is a recognized parameter in fitness outcome assessment. The aims of the present study are to analyze cross-sectional allometric development of motor performances in a sample of adolescents and relate scaled motor performance to the estimated amount and type of physical activity and biological maturity status in 771 subjects aged 14-19 years. Three physical fitness components were evaluated using field tests (standing broad jump, sit-ups, shuttle run). Extra hours of sport after school (EHS) and MO were the covariates. The model to predict the physical performance variables was: Y = a · Mk1 · Hk2 · WCk3 · exp(b · EHS + c · MO) · ε. Results suggest that having controlled for body size and body shape, performing EHS and being an early developer (identified by a positive MO slope parameter) benefits children in physical fitness and motor performance tasks.
    • New working practices: a scientometric review

      Oladinrin, Olugbenga; Jayantha, Wadu; Moses, Tochukwu (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2021-06-30)
      Study on New Working Practices (NWPs), which is the subject of this review paper, has created a large body of literature. Studies in this research area are progressing quickly and it is important to stay abreast of new trends and essential factors in the growth of mutual awareness. This study aims at evaluating the global scientific output of New Working Practices (NWPs) research and exploring their hotspots and frontiers from 1980 to 2018 (pre-COVID-19), using bibliometric methods. 850 relevant articles were retrieved from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) and were used for the analysis. Scientometric method and Citespace VI were used to analyse the bibliometric data. Reference citation and co-citation networks were plotted, while keywords were used to analyse the research hotspots and trends. There is a significant increase in the number of annual publications with time. The United Kingdom (UK) ranked highest in the countries with most publications, and the leading author is Friedhelm Nachreiner based on publication counts. The most cited author/organization is the UK Department of Health. Performance, work, and flexible working are the research hotspots, while flexible working arrangement represents the prominent research domain. The study offers valuable references for researchers, industry practitioners and policymakers.
    • Factors influencing a primary school teacher’s delivery of athletics

      Powers, Daniel; O’Leary, Nick; Parkes, Craig (Routledge/ASPE, 2021-04-08)
      Addressing the future recommendations of the first United Kingdom primary school-based Physical Education occupational socialisation study, this case study examined how a female primary school teacher delivered athletics and those factors influencing such pedagogical practices. Data were collected from interviews and lesson observations, analysed using a thematic inductive approach and constant comparison. An ‘educative’ sporting perspective focusing on improving practical performance with a limited attempt to improve non-practical learning was evident alongside an emphasis on ensuring appropriate pupil behaviour. Factors influencing these practices were an influential work colleague, challenging class behaviour and enforcement of school behaviour policy. Recognising the powerful influence of the workplace on the participant’s practice, school policies could encourage primary school teachers to consider attending external courses, read relevant resources, attend behavioural management courses and informally learn amongst colleagues. Future research could explore primary teachers’ delivery of other activities like dance and gymnastics.
    • Pure zeolite LTJ synthesis from kaolinite under hydrothermal conditions and its ammonium removal efficiency

      Kamyab, Seyedeh Mahsa; Williams, Craig D. (Elsevier, 2021-03-08)
      Linde type J zeolite was synthesized out of kaolinite raw material through hydrothermal reactions, once potassium hydroxide was used as an activator. The physicochemical characteristics of the synthesized zeolite were surveyed by using XRD, SEM/EDX, and FT-IR analytical methods. Moreover, the capability of Linde Type J zeolite for ammonium ion removal from aqueous solutions was evaluated in the present study through batch adsorption experiments. Further, the ammonium ion concentration in the remnant leachates was measured making use of the photometry analysis. Subsequently, Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin and Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherms were applied to describe the data obtained from the adsorption studies. The findings verified the highest R2 values of Freundlich isotherm model assuming an adsorption on the heterogeneous surface. Furthermore, the kinetic studies indicated the adsorption process follows pseudo-second-order model denoting the adsorption rate controlled by the chemical sorption. In a nut shell, Linde Type J zeolite, which was synthesized from raw kaolinite, demonstrated its brilliant performance in the process of ammonium ion sorption from aqueous solutions. This can guarantee the probable potential of LTJ zeolite in purification applications.
    • Molecular phylogenetics of sub-Saharan African natricine snakes, and the biogeographic origins of the Seychelles endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis

      Deepak, V; Maddock, Simon T; Williams, Rhiannon; Nagy, Zoltán T; Conradie, Werner; Rocha, Sara; James Harris, D; Perera, Ana; Gvoždík, Václav; Doherty-Bone, Thomas M; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-17)
      Phylogenetic relationships of sub-Saharan African natricine snakes are understudied and poorly understood, which in turn has precluded analyses of the historical biogeography of the Seychelles endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of Seychelles and mainland sub-Saharan natricines by analysing a multilocus DNA sequence dataset for three mitochondrial (mt) and four nuclear (nu) genes. The mainland sub-Saharan natricines and L. seychellensis comprise a well-supported clade. Two maximally supported sets of relationships within this clade are (Limnophis,Natriciteres) and (Afronatrix,(Hydraethiops,Helophis)). The relationships of L. seychellensis with respect to these two lineages are not clearly resolved by analysing concatenated mt and nu data. Analysed separately, nu data best support a sister relationship of L. seychellensis with (Afronatrix,(Hydraethiops,Helophis)) and mt data best support a sister relationship with all mainland sub-Saharan natricines. Methods designed to cope with incomplete lineage sorting strongly favour the former hypothesis. Genetic variation among up to 33 L. seychellensis from five Seychelles islands is low. Fossil calibrated divergence time estimates support an overseas dispersal of the L. seychellensis lineage to the Seychelles from mainland Africa ca. 43–25 Ma, rather than this taxon being a Gondwanan relic.
    • Exploring students' perceptions and opinions about an institutional hierarchy of healthcare professionals and its impact on their inter- professional learning outcomes

      Rabani, Raiharn; Key, Michelle; Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick (International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), 2021-04-06)
      Context: Institutional hierarchy is a phenomenon associated with clinical tribalism. Inter-professional learning is thought to improve a healthcare team's collaboration and communication. Aim: The aim was to evaluate student understanding of institutional hierarchy and perceptions and opinions on their participation in inter-professional learning. Method: Using a questionnaire, this study gathered the opinions of fourth year pharmacy students who had completed two inter-professional learning sessions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted. Results: Students (87.7%, n=50) were aware of the institutional hierarchy concept, listing the order as doctors, pharmacists, nurses then allied health. 61.4% (n=35) were willing to participate in inter-professional learning sessions. Students (70.1%, n=40) agreed that inter-professional learning sessions have added benefit to patient-centred care, and to understanding different healthcare roles in depth (82.5%, n=47) but failed in diminution of the hierarchical ideology. Conclusions: Inter-professional learning sessions did not change students' opinions about posiGoning of doctors as the top of the healthcare institutional hierarchy.
    • Researchers’ attitudes towards the h-index on Twitter 2007–2020: criticism and acceptance

      Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (Springer Nature, 2021-12-31)
      The h-index is a well-known indicator of the scientific impact of an academic publishing career. Its hybrid publishing/citation nature and inherent bias against younger researchers, women, people in low resourced countries, and those not prioritizing publishing arguably give it little value for most formal and informal research evaluations. Nevertheless, it is well-known by academics, used in some promotion decisions, and is prominent in bibliometric databases, such as Google Scholar. In the context of this apparent conflict, it is important to understand researchers’ attitudes towards the h-index. This article used public tweets in English to analyse how scholars discuss the h-index in public: is it mentioned, are tweets about it positive or negative, and has interest decreased since its shortcomings were exposed. The January 2021 Twitter Academic Research initiative was harnessed to download all English tweets mentioning the h-index from the 2006 start of Twitter until the end of 2020. The results showed a constantly increasing number of tweets. Whilst the most popular tweets unapologetically used the h-index as an indicator of research performance, 28.5% of tweets were critical of its simplistic nature and others joked about it (8%). The results suggest that interest in the h-index is still increasing online despite scientists willing to evaluate the h-index in public tending to be critical. Despite this, in limited situations it may be effective at succinctly conveying the message that a researcher has had a successful publishing career.
    • Detectable respiratory SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA is associated with low vitamin D levels and high social deprivation

      Livingston, Mark; Plant, Aiden; Dunmore, Simon; Hartland, Andrew; Jones, Stephen; Laing, Ian; Ramachandran, Sudarshan (Wiley, 2021-04-02)
      Background Accumulating evidence links COVID‐19 incidence and outcomes with vitamin D status. We investigated if an interaction existed between vitamin D levels and social deprivation in those with and without COVID‐19 infection. Methods Upper‐ or lower‐respiratory tract samples from 104 patients were tested for SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA in accordance with Public Health England criteria (January–May 2020) using RT‐PCR. The latest serum total 25‐hydroxyvitamin D(25‐OHD) levels, quantified by LC‐MS/MS, was obtained for each patient (September 2019–April 2020). Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) was generated for each patient. Univariate and logistic regression analyses examined associations between age, gender, 25‐OHD, IMD score and SARS‐CoV‐2 result in the total cohort and subgroups. Results In the total cohort, a positive SARS‐CoV‐2 test was significantly associated with lower 25‐OHD levels and higher IMD. A positive test was associated with higher IMD in the male subgroup and with lower 25‐OHD levels in those aged >72 years. Low 25‐OHD and IMD quintile 5 were separately associated with positive COVID‐19 outcome in the cohort. Patients in IMD quintile 5 with vitamin D levels ≤34.4 nmol/L were most likely to have a positive COVID‐19 outcome, even more so if aged >72 years (OR: 19.07, 95%CI: 1.71–212.25; p=0.016). Conclusions In this cohort, combined low vitamin D levels and higher social deprivation were most associated with COVID‐19 infection. In older age, this combination was even more significant. Our data supports the recommendations for normalising vitamin D levels in those with deficient / insufficient levels and in groups at high‐risk for deficiency.
    • Oxytocin promotes prosocial behavior and related neural responses in infantmacaques at-risk for compromised social development

      Festante, Fabrizia; Rayson, Holly; Paukner, Annika; Kaburu, Stefano; Toschi, Giulia; Fox, Nathan A; Ferrari, Pier Francesco (Elsevier, 2021-04-02)
      Although positive effects of oxytocin (OT) on social functioning are well-demonstrated, little is known about the mechanisms through which OT may drive early social development, or its therapeutic efficacy in infancy. To address these critical issues, we investigated the effects of exogenous OT on neural (EEG) and behavioral responses during observation of live facial gestures in infant macaques with limited social exposure (i.e. nursery-reared). Three key findings were revealed. First, OT increased alpha suppression over posterior scalp regions during observation of facial gestures but not non-biological movement, suggesting that OT targets self-other matching and attentional cortical networks involved in social perception from very early infancy. Second, OT increased infant production of matching facial gestures and attention towards the most socially-relevant facial stimuli, both behaviors typically silenced by early social deprivation. Third, infants with higher cortisol levels appeared to benefit the most from OT, displaying greater improvements in prosocial behaviors after OT administration. Altogether, these findings suggest that OT promotes prosocial behaviors and associated neural responses likely impacted by early social adversity, and demonstrate the potential of OT administration to ameliorate social difficulties in the context of neurodevelopmental and early-emerging psychiatric disorders, at a developmental stage when brain plasticity is greatest.
    • DFT study of ligand binding in the β1 adrenergic receptor

      Safarian, Daryna; Simons, Megan; Evans, Rebecca G; Peterson, Larryn W; Cafiero, Mauricio (Elsevier, 2021-03-09)
      The β2-adrenergic receptor, located in the prostate region, binds noradrenaline and can influence the growth of prostate tumors. The removal of Adrb2, the gene for this receptor, can halt tumor growth and thus can serve as an alternative to chemotherapy for cancer treatment. Inhibition of the receptor may have similar effects. Comparison of β2- (PDB ID: 5X7D) and β1-adrenergic receptor (PDB ID: 2Y04) structures showed a conserved binding region on Chain A offset by approximately eight amino acids between the two receptors. The structure of the β1-adrenergic receptor with the bound partial agonist salbutamol was used to create a model of the active site of the β2-adrenergic receptor. Potential inhibitors were optimized in the receptor binding site using M062X/6-31G with relaxed amino acid sidechains. Interaction energies between the ligands and the receptor were calculated using M062X/6-311+G*. Positively charged inhibitors show greater interaction energies as compared to negatively charged inhibitors.
    • Plasma membrane calcium ATPase 1 regulates human umbilical vein endothelial cell angiogenesis and viability

      Njegic, Alexandra; Swiderska, Agnieszka; Marris, Charlotte; Armesilla, Angel L; Cartwright, Elizabeth J (Elsevier, 2021-03-26)
    • Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy on English-language Twitter

      Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan; Thelwall, Saheeda (Ediciones Profesionales de la Informacion SL, 2021-03-15)
      Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy seems likely to increase mortality rates and delay the easing of social distancing restrictions. Online platforms with large audiences may influence vaccine hesitancy by spreading fear and misinformation that is avoided by the mainstream media. Understanding what types of vaccine hesitancy information is shared on the popular social web site Twitter may therefore help to design interventions to address misleading attitudes. This study applies content analysis to a random sample of 446 vaccine hesitant Covid-19 tweets in English posted between 10 March and 5 December 2020. The main themes discussed were conspiracies, vaccine development speed, and vaccine safety. Most (79%) of those tweeting refusal to take a vaccine expressed right-wing opinions, fear of a deep state, or conspiracy theories. A substantial minority of vaccine refusers (18%) mainly tweeted non-politically about other themes. The topics on Twitter reflect vaccine concerns, but those stating vaccine refusal in non-political contexts may unsettle the wider Twitter network by reaching outside right-wing areas of Twitter.
    • Facilitating successful smart campus transitions: a systems thinking-SWOT analysis approach

      Awuzie, Bankole; Ngowi, Alfred Beati; Omotayo, Temitope; Obi, Lovelin; Akotia, Julius (MDPI, 2021-02-25)
      An identification of strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) factors remains imperative for enabling a successful Smart Campus transition. The absence of a structured approach for analyzing the relationships between these SWOT factors and the influence thereof on Smart Campus transitions negate effective implementation. This study leverages a systems thinking approach to bridge this gap. Data were collected through a stakeholder workshop within a University of Technology case study and analyzed using qualitative content analysis (QCA). This resulted in the establishment of SWOT factors affecting Smart Campus transitions. Systems thinking was utilized to analyze the relationships between these SWOT factors resulting in a causal loop diagram (CLD) highlighting extant interrelationships. A panel of experts drawn from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and South Africa validated the relationships between the SWOT factors as elucidated in the CLD. Subsequently, a Smart Campus transition framework predicated on the CLD archetypes was developed. The framework provided a holistic approach to understanding the interrelationships between various SWOT factors influencing Smart Campus transitions. This framework remains a valuable tool for facilitating optimal strategic planning and management approaches by policy makers, academics, and implementers within the global Higher Education Institution (HEI) landscape for managing successful Smart Campus transition at the South African University of Technology (SAUoT) and beyond.