Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Did the Research Faculty at a Small Canadian Business School Publish in “Predatory” Venues? This Depends on the Publishing Blacklist
Publications 2019, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7020035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The first ever quantitative paper to claim that papers published in so-called “predatory” open access (OA) journals and publishers were financially remunerated emerged from Canada. That study, published in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing (University of Toronto Press) in 2017 by Derek Pyne [...] Read more.
The first ever quantitative paper to claim that papers published in so-called “predatory” open access (OA) journals and publishers were financially remunerated emerged from Canada. That study, published in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing (University of Toronto Press) in 2017 by Derek Pyne at Thompson Rivers University, garnered wide public and media attention, even by renowned news outlets such as The New York Times and The Economist. Pyne claimed to have found that most of the human subjects of his study had published in “predatory” OA journals, or in OA journals published by “predatory” OA publishers, as classified by Jeffrey Beall. In this paper, we compare the so-called “predatory” publications referred to in Pyne’s study with Walt Crawford’s gray open access (grayOA) list, as well as with Cabell’s blacklist, which was introduced in 2017. Using Cabell’s blacklist and Crawford’s grayOA list, we found that approximately 2% of the total publications (451) of the research faculty at the small business school were published in potentially questionable journals, contrary to the Pyne study, which found significantly more publications (15.3%). In addition, this research casts doubt to the claim made in Pyne’s study that research faculty members who have predatory publications have 4.3 “predatory” publications on average. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Drug Delivery Systems: Study of Inclusion Complex Formation between Methylxanthines and Cyclodextrins and Their Thermodynamic and Transport Properties
Biomolecules 2019, 9(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9050196 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Thispaper presents an analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of inclusion complexes together with some structural interpretation of drug–carrier molecule interactions in aqueous multicomponent systems comprising methylxanthines and cyclodextrins. The determination of apparent partial molar volumes (Φv) [...] Read more.
Thispaper presents an analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of inclusion complexes together with some structural interpretation of drug–carrier molecule interactions in aqueous multicomponent systems comprising methylxanthines and cyclodextrins. The determination of apparent partial molar volumes (Φv) from experimental density measurements, both for binary and ternary aqueous solutions of cyclodextrins and methylxanthines, was performed at low concentration range to be consistent with their therapeutic uses in the drug-releasing field. The estimation of the equilibrium constant for inclusion complexes of 1:1 stoichiometry was done through the mathematical modelling of this apparent molar property. The examination of the volume changes offered information about the driving forces for the insertion of the xanthine into the cyclodextrin molecule. The analysis on the volumes of transfer, Δ, Φv,c and the viscosity B-coefficients of transfer, ΔB, for the xanthine from water to the different aqueous solutions of cyclodextrin allowed evaluating the possible interactions between aqueous solutes and/or solute–solvent interactions occurring in the solution. Mutual diffusion coefficients for binary, and ternary mixtures composed by xanthine, cyclodextrin, and water were measured with the Taylor dispersion technique. The behavior diffusion of these multicomponent systems and the coupled flows occurring in the solution were analyzed in order to understand the probable interactions between cyclodextrin–xanthine by estimating their association constants and leading to clearer insight of these systems structure. The measurements were performed at the standard (298.15 ± 0.01) K and physiological (310.15 ± 0.01) K temperatures. Full article
Open AccessReview
Diabetes and Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery: Difficulties, Risks and Potential Complications
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050716 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide. Diabetic patients are at risk of developing cataract and present for surgery at an earlier age than non-diabetics. The aim of this study was to review the problems associated with cataract surgery [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide. Diabetic patients are at risk of developing cataract and present for surgery at an earlier age than non-diabetics. The aim of this study was to review the problems associated with cataract surgery in a diabetic patient. Corneal complications in diabetic patients include delayed wound healing, risk of developing epithelial defects or recurrent erosions due to the impairment of epithelial basement membranes and epithelial–stromal interactions. Diabetic patients present lower endothelial cell density and their endothelium is more susceptible to trauma associated with cataract surgery. A small pupil is common in diabetic patients making cataract surgery technically challenging. Finally diabetic patients have an increased risk for developing postoperative pseudophakic cystoid macular edema, posterior capsule opacification or endophthalmitis. In patients with pre-proliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema or iris neovascularization adjunctive therapy such as an intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injection, can inhibit exacerbation related to cataract surgery. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Decreasing Trends of Secondary Primary Colorectal Cancer among Women with Uterine Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050714 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The current study examined trends, characteristics, and outcomes of women with uterine cancer who had secondary colorectal cancer. This is a retrospective study utilizing the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program between 1973–2013. Among uterine cancer (n = 246,272) and colorectal cancer [...] Read more.
The current study examined trends, characteristics, and outcomes of women with uterine cancer who had secondary colorectal cancer. This is a retrospective study utilizing the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program between 1973–2013. Among uterine cancer (n = 246,272) and colorectal cancer (n = 421,312) cohorts, women with both diagnoses were identified, and clinico-pathological factors and survival were extracted and analyzed. There were 6862 women with both cancer diagnoses, representing 2.8% of the uterine cancer cohort and 1.6% of the colorectal cancer cohort. Among 123,940 women with uterine cancer survivors, the number with postcedent colorectal cancer decreased from 5.3% to 0.7% between 1981–2008 (relative risk reduction 87.0% p < 0.001). Similarly, of 141,801 women with colorectal cancer survivors, the number with postcedent uterine cancer decreased from 1.7% to 0.5% between 1973–2008 (relative risk reduction 71.6%, p < 0.001). In the uterine cancer cohort, women with antecedent/synchronous colorectal cancer had more high-grade tumors and advanced-stage disease resulting in poorer survival, whereas those who had postcedent colorectal cancer had more low-grade tumors and early-stage disease resulting in superior survival compared to those without secondary colorectal cancer (all, p < 0.05). In conclusion, the development of postcedent colorectal cancer following uterine cancer has decreased in recent years in the United States. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Incorporating Waste Limestone Powder into Solid Waste Cemented Paste Backfill Material
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(10), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9102076 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To effectively reuse waste limestone powder, which is a major solid waste around mines, we replaced limestone powder back into a part of cement in solid waste cemented paste backfill (SWCPB) and studied the parameters of pore structures. To optimize the pore microstructure [...] Read more.
To effectively reuse waste limestone powder, which is a major solid waste around mines, we replaced limestone powder back into a part of cement in solid waste cemented paste backfill (SWCPB) and studied the parameters of pore structures. To optimize the pore microstructure characteristics of SWCPB in mines, two different components and grade tailings were selected. The samples were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to examine the pore properties and microstructure of SWCPB. The results showed that (1) at the later curing stage, with the optimization of pore characteristics and microstructure through the limestone powder admixture, the strength of SWCFB was guaranteed at a 20% replacement degree of cement. (2) Porosity, macropore proportion, and the average pore radius all negatively correlated with limestone powder content, which were reduced by 7.15%, 46.35%, and 16.37%, respectively. (3) Limestone powder as a crystal nucleus participated in the hydration reaction and was embedded into the product to enhance the strength. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
The Introduction of the Flexible Zone Programs in the Greek Educational System: Teachers’ Perspectives
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020109 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The present paper aims at presenting the introduction of the Flexible Zone program in the context of the Greek Educational system, an innovative, modern teaching program. More specifically, Greek teachers’ views on the implementation process, the legislative framework, and the roles of the [...] Read more.
The present paper aims at presenting the introduction of the Flexible Zone program in the context of the Greek Educational system, an innovative, modern teaching program. More specifically, Greek teachers’ views on the implementation process, the legislative framework, and the roles of the school head teacher and the school counselor, as well as the difficulties tackled regarding the Flexible Zone programs are thoroughly explored through this study. In order to investigate and better interpret the findings, quantitative research was adopted with questionnaires from 135 teachers having been collected, numbered, coded, and analyzed. Topics such as the importance of in-school seminars and training sessions related to Flexible Zone programs, the significance of the head teacher, school counselor, and the school activities supervisor’s contribution, the development of the school equipment and infrastructure, as well as the overall cooperation have emerged from the findings. The present study can offer valuable insights regarding the innovative program of Flexible Zone to the international academic community and policy makers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Fatigue Behavior of Aluminum Foam Sandwich Panel via Liquid Diffusion Welding Method
Metals 2019, 9(5), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9050582 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels were fabricated via liquid diffusion welding and glue adhesive methods. The Microstructure of the Aluminum Foam Sandwich joints were analyzed by Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. The metallurgical joints of Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels are [...] Read more.
Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels were fabricated via liquid diffusion welding and glue adhesive methods. The Microstructure of the Aluminum Foam Sandwich joints were analyzed by Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. The metallurgical joints of Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels are compact, uniform and the chemical compositions in the diffusion transitional zone are continuous, so well metallurgy bonding between Aluminum face sheet and foam core was obtained. The joining strength of an Aluminum Foam Sandwich was evaluated by standard peel strength test and the metallurgical joint Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels had a higher peel strength. Moreover, a three-point bending fatigue test was conducted to study the flexural fatigue behavior of Aluminum Foam Sandwich panels. The metallurgical joint panels have a higher fatigue limit than the adhesive joining sandwich. Their fatigue fracture mode are completely different, the failure mode of the metallurgical joint is faced fatigue; the failure mode for the adhesive joint is debonding. Therefore, the higher joining strength leads to a longer fatigue life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Weighted Fourier and Wavelet-Like Shape Descriptor Based on IDSC for Object Recognition
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11050693 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This article presents an effective shape descriptor with a property of fast matching. This descriptor, called IDSC-wFW (a weighted Fourier and wavelet-like descriptor based on inner distance shape context), first rewrites shape histograms of IDSC descriptors, changing the histogram belonging to a point [...] Read more.
This article presents an effective shape descriptor with a property of fast matching. This descriptor, called IDSC-wFW (a weighted Fourier and wavelet-like descriptor based on inner distance shape context), first rewrites shape histograms of IDSC descriptors, changing the histogram belonging to a point to the histogram belonging to a field, and sets the histogram of a field as a one-dimensional signal, then transforms this one-dimensional signal by using a Fourier transform and a transform similar to Haar wavelet. Finally, the two transform results are linearly combined to form a new descriptor. This new descriptor requires only a distance-based measure method during the matching stage. Experimental results on three well-known databases show that this new descriptor not only obtains accurate retrieval results but also runs fast. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spin-Boson Model as A Simulator of Non-Markovian Multiphoton Jaynes-Cummings Models
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11050695 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The paradigmatic spin-boson model considers a spin degree of freedom interacting with an environment typically constituted by a continuum of bosonic modes. This ubiquitous model is of relevance in a number of physical systems where, in general, one has neither control over the [...] Read more.
The paradigmatic spin-boson model considers a spin degree of freedom interacting with an environment typically constituted by a continuum of bosonic modes. This ubiquitous model is of relevance in a number of physical systems where, in general, one has neither control over the bosonic modes, nor the ability to tune distinct interaction mechanisms. Despite this apparent lack of control, we present a suitable transformation that approximately maps the spin-boson dynamics into that of a tunable multiphoton Jaynes-Cummings model undergoing dissipation. Interestingly, the latter model describes the coherent interaction between a spin and a single bosonic mode via the simultaneous exchange of n bosons per spin excitation. Resorting to the so-called reaction coordinate method, we identify a relevant collective bosonic mode in the environment, which is then used to generate multiphoton interactions following the proposed theoretical framework. Moreover, we show that spin-boson models featuring structured environments can lead to non-Markovian multiphoton Jaynes-Cummings dynamics. We discuss the validity of the proposed method depending on the parameters and analyse its performance, which is supported by numerical simulations. In this manner, the spin-boson model serves as a good analogue quantum simulator for the inspection and realization of multiphoton Jaynes-Cummings models, as well as the interplay of non-Markovian effects and, thus, as a simulator of light-matter systems with tunable interaction mechanisms. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Symmetry of Complex Networks
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11050692 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recently, symmetry in complex network structures has attracted some research interest. One of the fascinating problems is to give measures of the extent to which the network is symmetric. In this paper, based on the natural action of the automorphism group Aut( [...] Read more.
Recently, symmetry in complex network structures has attracted some research interest. One of the fascinating problems is to give measures of the extent to which the network is symmetric. In this paper, based on the natural action of the automorphism group Aut(Γ) of Γ on the vertex set V of a given network Γ=Γ(V,E), we propose three indexes for the characterization of the global symmetry of complex networks. Using these indexes, one can get a quantitative characterization of how symmetric a network is and can compare the symmetry property of different networks. Moreover, we compare these indexes to some existing ones in the literature and apply these indexes to real-world networks, concluding that real-world networks are far from vertex symmetric ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora gonapodyides Differently Colonize and Contribute to the Decomposition of Green and Senesced Umbellularia californica Leaves in a Simulated Stream Environment
Forests 2019, 10(5), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050434 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Plant pathogenic as well as saprotrophic Phytophthora species are now known to inhabit forest streams and other surface waters. How they survive and function in aquatic ecosystems, however, remains largely uninvestigated. Phytophthora ramorum, an invasive pathogen in California forests, regularly occurs in [...] Read more.
Plant pathogenic as well as saprotrophic Phytophthora species are now known to inhabit forest streams and other surface waters. How they survive and function in aquatic ecosystems, however, remains largely uninvestigated. Phytophthora ramorum, an invasive pathogen in California forests, regularly occurs in forest streams, where it can colonize green leaves shed in the stream but is quickly and largely succeeded by saprotrophically competent clade 6 Phytophthora species, such as Phytophthora gonapodyides. We investigated, using controlled environment experiments, whether leaf litter quality, based on senescence, affects how P. ramorum and P. gonapodyides compete in leaf colonization and to what extent each species can contribute to leaf decomposition. We found that both Phytophthora species effectively colonized and persisted on green or yellow (senescing) bay leaves, but only P. gonapodyides could also colonize and persist on brown (fully senesced and dried) leaves. Both Phytophthora species similarly accelerated the decomposition of green leaves and yellow leaves compared with non-inoculated controls, but colonization of brown leaves by P. gonapodyides did not affect their decomposition rate. Full article
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