Research Picks extra – November 2015

Indian balancing act

Researchers at Pondicherry (Central) University have investigated the issues surrounding the so-called work-life balance among dual-career couples in India, and specifically those people working in knowledge-based organizations. Earlier work suggested that balancing career and personal life offers a severe dilemma for couples. Now, the Pondicherry team has provided empirical evidence to support this finding and also shown that demographic characteristics affect the severity of the dilemma experienced by couples attempting to find balance. There are important differences related to gender and family structure, the team reports, in terms of personal satisfaction with one’s work-life balance and how this affects overall quality of life. “Dual-career couples in India are helplessly caught in the act of juggling between professional and personal lives as they cannot afford to compromise on one for the sake of the other,” the team concludes. Inability to manage time, improper delegation of work and home priorities, succumbing to the pressures of long work hours, physical and mental ill-health due to stressors are problems many dual-career couples in this preliminary study of 155 such couples in Chennai face.

Delina, G. and Raya, R.P. (2016) ‘Dilemma of work-life balance in dual-career couples – a study from the Indian perspective’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.1–27.

 

Facial manipulation

Computer scientists in Taiwan have devised a new computer program that can seamlessly “morph” one face into another, a popular animation task for the entertainment industry and commonly used in pop music videos, fantasy and science fiction movies and TV shows and much more beside. The same software might also have application in education and other areas, such as demonstrating the evolution of the human face through prehistory or showing how a person might age. The team’s flexible approach provides users with control points and a guiding mode to allow one face to be morphed into a second more smoothly and more realistically than is possible with some other techniques. The team adds that the system has no limit to the shape, size, and plane rotation of the faces in both the source image and the target image and so can allow faces viewed from different angles to be morphed into each other.

Kao, Y-T., Yang, F-W. and Lin, H.J. (2015) ‘Flexible facial morphing’, Int. J. Computational Science and Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp.312–321.

 

All grapes, no wrath

There are several wine-producing nations with a long history, Italy among them. None of them seem to have a long-term vision of how this heritage might be exploited for tourism and to improve sales of wine and associated products. Now, Italian business experts have developed a scientific framework that could support the development of wine tourism by allowing the various ” stakeholders” to understand, design, and develop a wine tourism structured system based on service-dominant logic. The same framework could also offer insights for “New World” wine producers in California, Australia, South Africa and those in the developing nations of South America and Asia.

Festa, G., Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A. and Ciasullo, M.V. (2015) ‘A value co-creation model for wine tourism’, Int. J. Management Practice, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp.247–267.

 

Hijacked journals

A warning to the scientific community to be on the look out for fraudulent “hijacked” journals commissioning paid research papers comes from researchers writing in the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning. The problem first detected in 2012 is different from the increasingly well-known concept of predatory journals established to piggyback in the advent of the open access movement in publishing. Instead, hijacked journals duplicate the website and details of a legitimate journal and then send spam email to potential paying “authors” in what amounts to a high-brow phishing attack on academics. There is a significant difference between them…hijacked journals are not academic journals at all, they use fake websites to make their fake journals appear authentic and essential defraud unwary academics out of their money on the pretext of requesting author charges for publication of a paper.

Dadkhah, M. and Maliszewski, T. (2015) ‘Hijacked journals – threats and challenges to countries’ scientific ranking’, Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.281–288.

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.