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Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2017, Mohammad Nurunnabi
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The vision of PSU Research Review is to make a substantial impact on both scholarship and practice in the twenty-first century via a rich stream of conceptual and applied research focused on developments in various fields (Yamani, 2017; Nurunnabi, 2017a, 2017b). The submissions in our journal arise from various parts of the world. In this journey, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Founding Editor – Dr Ahmed S. Yamani – for his tremendous and continuing support for the journal. I want to thank the members of our Editorial Board for their valuable input in raising the profile and standards of the journal, and our reviewers for their high quality reviews. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all authors included in this issue.
I am very pleased with the robust submissions to this third issue of the first volume. I am proud to present six articles and a book review that comprise a highly diverse, value-adding and contemporary set of perspectives in the domains of education and humanities. Below, I provide a capsule summary of the articles and the book review.
The first article, by Kinchin (2017), provides a conceptual framework for pedagogic frailty which can be used to support professional development of university teachers. Pedagogic frailty has been proposed as a unifying concept that may aid the integration of institutional efforts to augment teaching while at the same time maintaining the development of pedagogy. Frailty is therefore not something to be overcome as much as something to be managed over time. This unifying concept is built on a concept map and case studies of academics’ interactions with the frailty model. Kinchin has refined the model as a faculty development tool in a personalised and discipline-sensitive way. He also argues that consideration of the concept of pedagogic frailty can help academics develop an enhanced understanding of the values that underpin their professional role (p. 1). He further suggests that senior colleagues will not be able to guide and mentor junior colleagues until and unless they are able to articulate their views clearly. This paper also offers an innovative approach to faculty development and the consequence of frailty in a university.
The second article, by Keiser (2017), is based on personal experience (as a teacher and professor and engagement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and aims to advance cross cultural exchange and understanding of a major event in the mid-twentieth century in America, the civil rights “March on Washington”, to elucidate possibilities for connecting big and small (with a charge to make connections across difference). Keiser also emphasises that every moment can be an opportunity for respect and kindness, but kindness is not enough –students of all ages need to feel part of the human conversation.
The third article, by Melton et al. (2017), highlights the significance of technical security analysis and how it could be taught in conjunction with fundamental analysis at undergraduate level in order to improve investment decision-making. They also distinguish between the technical analysis (forecasting the future direction of prices based on past market data, primarily price and volume) and fundamental analysis techniques (actual facts of the company, its industry and sector may be ignored in forecasting future direction of prices). Melton et al. (2017) suggest that introducing technical analysis techniques into finance curricula would ultimately better prepare students for industry after the graduation.
The fourth article, by Brutt-Griffler (2017), discusses new research on student-centred approaches to teaching languages, an issue which has been underscored in prior literature. It is evident that scholars continue to fuel the global demand for high-level proficiency in the English language. Brutt-Griffler also highlights the advantages of a student-centred approach to this activity. She strongly argues that a policy on a student-centred approach to teaching English must look to new frontiers in research for guidance. She introduces a new paradigm – that of “multilingual proficiency”. Brutt-Griffler also calls for a new research agenda and improved teacher preparation in applied linguistics (e.g. in relation to language policy decisions, instructional practices, teacher professional development or curricula/program building).
The fifth article, by Alghamdi and Teahan (2017), reports on an experimental approach to evaluating the effectiveness of printed Arabic optical character recognition (OCR) systems (Sakhr, ABBYY, RDI and Tesseract) to determine areas for future improvements. Using a set of performance metrics and printed Arabic data set comprising 240 text images with a variety of resolution levels, font types, font styles and font sizes, they find that all the evaluated Arabic OCR systems exhibit low performance accuracy rates of below 75 per cent. The recognition accuracy rates for isolated characters are higher than for initial, middle and end characters. To date, very little attention has been paid to the empirical analysis of the effectiveness of Arabic OCR systems. The authors therefore claim that their study is the first to provide a comprehensive evaluation of automated Arabic OCR systems regarding the recognition of Arabic script. They also suggest that the findings can be used to inform future research and development work with the aim of achieving an efficient text recognition method for Arabic script.
The sixth article, by Ahmad et al. (2017), examines householder acceptance of the installation of solar PV technology on their premises in Malaysia. They argue that the adoption of solar PV technologies is still relatively low. Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as a framework, and a questionnaire survey which received 663 responses from across Malaysia, Ahmad et al. find that the general public is more concerned with the ease of use of PV technology than with the usefulness of the technology. The authors acknowledge the limitations of collecting data from urban Malaysia. They also suggest that governmental support is needed to improve acceptance of photovoltaic technology in Malaysia.
Finally, Mirza and Khurram (2017) review a book entitled China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know by Arthur R. Kroeber (New York Oxford University Press, 2016. p. 324). China is one of the largest economies in the world based on gross national income; it is also geographically large and has a population of 1.4 billion. Mirza and Khurram argue that Kroeber brilliantly captures the political economy of China from 1960 to date. The book answered several questions: How did China manage to grow so fast for so long? Can it keep growing and still solve its problems of environmental damage, fast-rising debt and rampant corruption? How long can its vibrant economy co-exist with the repressive one-party state? And what do China’s changes mean for the rest of the world? The book provides a critical analysis both of the personalities and the institutions involved in policy-making since post-1978 economic reforms in China. For example, China followed the policies of Japan, Taiwan and Korea in land reform, export expansion and financial repression. However, China has not pursued policies associated with the “East Asian model”. The book consists of 13 chapters and presents a provocative account of the present day. Mirza and Khurram suggest that the book, which is rich with facts and figures, will be beneficial for future researchers, students, investors, and policymakers, allowing a better understanding of Chinese society, culture, economy and politics, and the future implications of a Chinese presence in world economics and politics.
In sum, the six papers and one review published in this issue will be well positioned to provide rich contributions for both theory and practice. Whatever the future may bring in terms of topics, I hope that research rigour and relevance will be the key driving forces for future work. In closing, I encourage you to send your work to PSU Research Review.
Ahmad, S., Mat Tahar, R.B.M., Cheng, J.K. and Yao, L. (2017), “Public acceptance of residential solar photovoltaic technology in Malaysia”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 242-254.
Alghamdi, M. and Teahan, W. (2017), “Experimental evaluation of Arabic OCR systems”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 229-241.
Brutt-Griffler, J. (2017), “English in the multilingual classroom: implications for research, policy and practice”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 216-228.
Keiser, D.L. (2017), “Seeking common ground: making connections big and small”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 194-199.
Kinchin, I.M. (2017), “Visualising the pedagogic frailty model as a frame for the scholarship of teaching and learning”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 184-193.
Melton, R.M., Nguyen, X. and Simeone, M. (2017), “Incorporating technical analysis in undergraduate curricula”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 200-215.
Mirza, S. and Khurram, S. (2017), Book Review – “Arthur R. Kroeber (2016), China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know (New York Oxford University Press, p. 324), PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 255-258.
Nurunnabi, M. (2017a), “Editorial”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 2-3.
Nurunnabi, M. (2017b), “Editorial”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 73-75.
Yamani, A.S. (2017), “Editorial”, PSU Research Review, Vol. 1 No. 1, p. 1.