Open Access Institutional Repository at Robert Gordon University

    The demand for undergraduate course provision in information and library studies.

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    This paper describes two exercises designed to investigate the factors affecting the demand for under-graduate educational provision in information and library studies (ILS). The first was a survey of former and current students of the School of Information and Media at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, which examined why they had chosen to undertake an undergraduate course in information and library studies. The second was a survey of fifth and sixth year pupils at six secondary schools in North East Scotland, which gathered market research data about the appeal of a range of course and module titles, in order to determine which were attractive to prospective students. Major findings include: that former and current students were largely influenced by subject content and vocational field in their choice of course; that former students are likely to have gone into the non-conventional or 'emerging' information job market, regardless of their having come to the course with a vision of a career in a traditional library sector; and that despite Librarianship and Information Studies being an instantly recognisable and very clearly defined working environment, most prospective students surveyed do not find the course content attractive or potentially interesting. The paper concludes that the ILS profession should: collect and present evidence demonstrating the variety, challenges and satisfactions of information careers; reappraise the role of degree level qualifications in feeding into the job market; and develop routes into those sections of employment which information professionals are presently failing to enter

    Towards effective consideration of non-financial factors in the design and management of construction assets.

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    The decisive role of non-financial factors in the design and management of construction assets is highlighted and existing techniques used to include these factors in the decision-making process are critically reviewed. An effective algorithm has been developed to include non-monetary benefits of competing design alternatives in whole-life costing studies. The unique feature of the algorithm, amongst others, is that it proceeds through logical steps that can be followed and assessed by decision-makers. Details of the computer implementation of the algorithm are presented. The solution of a selected example problem is also included to illustrate the theory of the algorithm

    Comparative genetic diversity in a sample of pony breeds from the U.K. and North America: a case study in the conservation of global genetic resources.

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    Most species exist as subdivided ex situ daughter population(s) derived from a single original group of individuals. Such subdivision occurs for many reasons both natural and manmade. Traditional British and Irish pony breeds were introduced to North America (USA and Canada) within the last 150 years and subsequently equivalent breed societies were established. We have analysed selected UK and North American equivalent pony populations as a case study for understanding the relationship between putative source and derived sub-populations. Diversity was measured using mitochondrial DNA and a panel of microsatellite markers. Genetic signatures differed between the North American sub-populations according to historical management processes. Founder effect and stochastic drift was apparent, particularly pronounced in some breeds, with evidence of admixture of imported mares of different North American breeds

    Evidence-based practice in teaching: an information perspective.

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    Purpose The purpose of this research is to explore UK teachers' use of research-based information, with a particular focus on issues relating to access to information in schools, information literacy, and the role of the school librarian and school library services. Design/methodology/approach The study adopts a mixed methodology. In-depth qualitative data gathered through vignette interviews ( n=28), group exercises (four groups of between three and five teachers) and a discussion forum were supplemented by quantitative data gathered through surveys of teachers ( n=312), head teachers ( n=78), school librarians ( n=78) and school library services ( n=26). Findings Teachers' professional use of research information reflects a preference for predigested information and informal sources. Although professional bodies and government departments promote the use of research by teachers and provide a range of customised web sites for information, lack of ready local access to information and lack of time were cited as major barriers to the use of research information. Teachers also revealed uncertainties and lack of confidence in their own ability to find and evaluate such information. The findings suggest scope for more targeted provision by school librarians of both information and skills to support the professional development of teachers. However, this raises issues of priorities and resources, and needs to be seen in the context of a wider change in ethos supported by senior management. The study also raises questions about teachers' own experiences and approaches to the use of information in professional learning, and how this might impact on the provision of support for their pupils and the potential for collaborative working between librarians and teachers. Research limitations/implications The qualitative aspects of the study provided a rich source of data from teachers with varying levels of experience and involvement with the use of research information. However, a low response to the teacher questionnaire survey (10.9 per cent, overall, 312 teachers) resulted in a bias towards more research-oriented teachers in that particular data set. While the data from research-oriented teachers do appear to triangulate, it is difficult to generalise to other teachers. Therefore teacher survey data have been treated with some caution and drawn on only to aid further understanding of the issues raised in interviews and group exercises. Originality/value In focusing attention on teachers' information behaviour and information literacy, this paper provides a new perspective on the issues affecting the lack of uptake of research evidence within the teaching profession, contributes to the literature on information behaviour and information literacy in professional contexts, and contributes to the understanding of factors which may have a bearing on the development of student information literacy in schools

    Knowledge modelling for a generic refinement framework.

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    Refinement tools assist with debugging the knowledge-based system (KBS), thus easing the well-known knowledge acquisition bottleneck, and the more recently recognised maintenance overhead. The existing refinement tools were developed for specific rule-based KBS environments, and have usually been applied to artificial or academic applications. Hence, there is a need for tools which are applicable to industrial applications. However, it would be wasteful to develop separate refinement tools for individual shells; instead, the KrustWorks project is developing reusable components applicable to a variety of KBS environments. This paper develops a knowledge representation that embodies a KBS's rulebase and its reasoning, and permits the implementation of core refinement procedures, which are generally applicable and can ignore KBS-specific details. Such a representation is an essential stage in the construction of a generic automated knowledge refinement framework, such as KrustWorks. Experience from applying this approach to Clips, PowerModel and Pfes KBSs indicates its feasibility for a wider variety of industrial KBSs

    Studying actions in context: a qualitative shadowing method for organizational research, Qualitative research [online], 5(4), pages 455-473.

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    Shadowing is a qualitative research technique that has seldom been used and rarely been discussed critically in the social science literature. This paper has pulled together all of the studies using shadowing as a research method and through reviewing these studies has developed a threefold classification of different modes of shadowing. This work provides a basis for a qualitative shadowing method to be defined, and its potential for a distinctive contribution to organisational research to be discussed, for the first time

    Patients' lived experiences with antineoplastic medicines for the management of malignant solid tumours: a systematic review.

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    Background: Antineoplastic medicines affect the patients’ physical and psychosocial well-being posing challenges for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. However, little is known about the patients’ lived experience with medicines (PLEM) for antineoplastic treatment. It is the lived experience that gives meaning to each individual’s perception of a particular phenomenon which is influenced by internal and external factors relevant to the individual. Objectives: To critically appraise, synthesise and present the available evidence of patients’ lived experience with antineoplastic medicines prescribed for the management of malignant solid tumours. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in six electronic databases for articles published in English with no date restrictions. The search terms were related to beliefs, practice and burden in relation to patient, antineoplastic medicines, tumours and lived experience. Study selection, quality assessment and data extraction were performed independently by 2 reviewers. Research findings were analysed using narrative and meta-synthesis approaches. Results: The search retrieved 31,004 articles with only 10 studies satisfying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These studies were published between 2005 and 2016 in Europe (n=6), America (n=3) and Asia (n=1). Nine themes were identified to contribute to the patients’ lived experience with antineoplastic medicines. These were (a) influence from family members, healthcare professionals, media and culture, (b) general attitude towards medicine, (c) accepting medicine, (d) modifying or altering medicine regimen or dose, (e) medicine characteristics, (f) medicine routine, (g) medicine adverse events, (h) medicine and social burden and (i) healthcare associated medicine burden. Patients tend to undergo a continuous process of reinterpretations of their experience with medicines throughout their treatment journey. Conclusion: The use of antineoplastic medicines has a profound effect on the patients’ lives. Further longitudinal in-depth studies are required to provide deeper insight into PLEM and support patients in their treatment journey

    Barriers and facilitators to patient uptake and utilisation of digital interventions for the self-management of low back pain: a systematic review of qualitative studies.

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    Objectives: Low back pain (LBP) is a leading contributor to disability globally. Self-management is a core component of LBP management. We aimed to synthesise published qualitative literature concerning digital health interventions (DHIs) to support LBP self-management to: (1) determine engagement strategies, (2) identify barriers and facilitators affecting patient uptake/utilisation and (3) develop a preliminary conceptual model of barriers and facilitators to uptake/utilisation. Design: Systematic review following PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Data sources: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, DoPHER, TRoPHI, Web of Science and OT Seeker, from January 2000 to December 2018, using the concepts: LBP, DHI and self-management. Eligibility criteria: Peer-reviewed qualitative study (or component) examining engagement with, or barriers and/or facilitators to the uptake/utilisation of an interactive DHI for self-management of LBP in adults (community, primary or secondary care settings). Data extraction and synthesis: Standardised data extraction form was completed. COREQ (Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative research) checklist was used to assess methodology. Data was synthesised narratively for engagement strategies, thematically for barriers/facilitators to uptake/utilisation and normalisation process theory was applied to produce a conceptual model. Results: We identified 14 191 citations, of which 105 full-text articles were screened, and five full-text articles from four studies included. These were from community and primary care contexts in Europe and the USA, and involved 56 adults with LBP and 19 healthcare professionals. There was a lack of consideration on how to sustain engagement with DHIs. Examination of barriers and facilitators for uptake/utilisation identified four major themes: IT (information technology) usability–accessibility; quality–quantity of content; tailoring–personalisation; and motivation–support. These themes informed the development of a preliminary conceptual model for uptake/utilisation of a DHI for LBP self-management. Conclusions: We highlight key barriers and facilitators that should be considered when designing DHIs for LBP self-management. Our findings are in keeping with reviews of DHIs for other long-term conditions, implying these findings may not be condition specific

    An investigation into contemporary tobacco smoking behaviour in Nigeria: the impact of cultural transference on consumer behaviour and usage intentions.

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    Tobacco has continued to be a global threat, particularly in developing countries. While it appears that the demands for tobacco products have continued to fall in many developed countries, tobacco growing and consumption is posited to become increasingly concentrated in developing countries. Studies have consistently linked the increase to its commercialisation by the tobacco industry and globalisation is acknowledged to play a vital role in its evolution. Although the emerging area of study to understand this phenomenon has focused on the economic, policy implementation and health behavioural aspects, behavioural issues such as the impact of the change in the global environment on tobacco use behaviour is unclear. This relatively unexplored issue is therefore the subject of this research. This thesis investigates the effect of the current anti-tobacco regime in major developed countries on the usage of tobacco products in developing countries. The research argues that the change in tobacco use behaviour on a global level - where tobacco is increasingly becoming less socially acceptable - is capable of influencing tobacco use behaviour in developing countries. The core theoretical focus is on consumer behaviour, particularly cultural values and personality traits, and the impact of cultural transference on tobacco usage intention. The study adopted an interdisciplinary approach for rigorous review and integration of a body of texts critical to current knowledge on contemporary tobacco use behaviour. It deployed the research technique in a single setting in a focused attempt to draw parallels with existing theories and models, and to extend the theory within the field of consumer behaviour through triangulation. The data collection methods for the study consisted of a combination of mixed-method research. The first method for this research is an in-depth interview in the form of a series of focus groups, followed by the use of a questionnaire. The justification for this is the richness and depth of information gained from the analysis of multiple sources of data available to the researcher within a single setting. The findings from the research show a subtle link between tobacco use behaviour in Nigeria and the ongoing events in the global environment. It demonstrated that while the global environment may influence individual tobacco use behaviour, individuals make decisions against the backdrop of interpretation of the global environment, within the constraints of their local environment. This study contributes to the utilisation of global consumer culture to advance tobacco use control. It also identifies and recommends areas for future studies

    Biophysical study of CdTe quantum dots interactions with albumin and antibody as the base of photodynamic therapy.

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    Photodynamic therapy is a relatively new type of cancer treatment, or eventually it is used at the elimination of undesirable pathogenic microorganisms. Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconducting nanocrystals with a size of 2-20 nm and can be used in photodynamic therapy. Two types of CdTe QDs were prepared by microwave synthesis (500 W), typical absorption spectra had maxima 'green = 554 nm, - yellow = 580 nm. The determined size of the generated nanoparticles ranged between 5 - 10 nm. CdTe QDs were further studied by fluorescence analysis at excitation wavelength - = 250 nm to obtain emission maxima (?em552) for green and (?em582) for yellow nanoparticles. Interaction study of CdTe QDs with bovine serum albumin (BSA) and with polyclonal chicken antibodies against sarcosine (AntiSar) was performed. BSA (100, 50, 25, 12.5, 6.3, 3.1, 1.6 and 0 'M) and AntiSar (20, 10, 5, 2.5, 1.3, 0.7, 0.3, and 0 g/L) were monitored with 1:1 addition of 50 'M QDsgreen or QDsyellow. The decrease in intensity of the normalized fluorescence signal in the presence of BSA or AntiSar was observed by 70-90%. The observed dependencies showed a linear trend (R2 = 0.9) with relative error of 9-12% calculated from 5 independent repetitions. In addition, it was possible to monitor the signal shift to shorter wavelengths at the highest applied BSA concentration by 4-16 nm. The obtained data suggest that the size of individual QDs will affect intensity of an interaction with biomolecule. Nanoconstructs should therefore be targeted according to these experimental data for their intended use. In further experiments, CdTe QDs modified with AntiSar will be used for targeted prostate cancer therapy using photodynamic effect
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