All posts by Regoniel, Patrick A.

Dr. Patrick A. Regoniel is a graduate school professor of research, statistics, and environmental science at the Palawan State University. He has helped many graduate students complete their theses or dissertations by providing research and statistical advice and services since 1991. A Ph.D. in Environmental Science graduate of the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 2004, Dr. Regoniel is a member of the Gamma Delta Sigma Honor Society of Agriculture. He currently serves as Vice President for Research & Extension at the Palawan State University.

Marketing Research Conceptual Framework

What is marketing research? How do you come up with your conceptual framework on marketing research? This article defines the concept and provides a simplified example.

One of the readers of my article on how to develop a conceptual framework asked if I could provide an example conceptual framework on marketing research. I am quite interested in applying the principles of marketing research on my entrepreneurial venture such as in creating and running this website.

It so happened I came across a book on marketing research in BOOKSALE while looking for textbooks on statistics. The book is on sale, so I pulled out my wallet and shelled out a little investment for my hungry brain. The title of the book is a straightforward “Essentials of Marketing Research” by William Zikmund.

I set aside 15 minutes to read the book right after my jogging session. I did this thinking that my mind could actively absorb the contents of the highly academic book after pumping a lot of oxygen during vigorous exercise. In fact, Hillman (2008) noted the beneficial effect of aerobic exercise to cognition. Exercise not only improves physical health but also academic performance.

To come up with a conceptual framework for marketing research, I find it necessary to define marketing research first.

Marketing Research Defined

Zikmund (1999) defines marketing research as a systematic and objective process of generating information to aid in marketing decisions. This process includes specifying what information is required, designing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the collection of data, analyzing the results, and communicating the findings and their implications.

The most important thing in this definition is that marketing research, as in any research venture, helps business owners or marketing managers make decisions. Marketing research sheds light on customer’s preferences, the long-range profitability of business operations, and other product-oriented concerns.

Successful companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, among other well-known businesses must be employing excellent marketing research activities to keep their edge. Decisions related to their products and services are not haphazardly done. Managers decide with calculated risks.

Example Conceptual Framework on Marketing Research

One of the popular marketing research activities focuses on product quality and services. I illustrate product and service research with a personal experience below.

A few years back, I answered a simple questionnaire soliciting my feedback on the product and services of a pizza shop. The questionnaire sought my rating of pizza taste, service speed, and the courtesy of the server.

We can plot the paradigm of the study as follows:

marketing research example
The paradigm of the pizza study showing the independent and the dependent variables.

The paradigm above shows the conceptual framework of the study. It is an abstract representation of what the pizza manager or consultant has in mind. It shows the variables that the researcher shall examine to determine which of the three variables correlate most with customer satisfaction.

Why were the three independent variables namely pizza taste, service speed, and waiter courtesy selected? A review of the literature on customer satisfaction may have revealed that these variables are determinants of customer satisfaction. But in the particular location where the pizza restaurant operates, any of these variables may be more important than the other. A study found out that customer preferences vary geographically. This finding implies that clients in one place may prioritize courtesy over taste. In one location, customers may put a premium on service speed. In another location, customers may not mind much either the speed or courtesy but the taste.

So how will the marketing manager use the findings of the study in the given example? If for example, customers in the location I’m in prioritizes service speed, then the appropriate action should be to improve the speed of pizza delivery without compromising taste and courtesy.

This example illustrates the importance of marketing research in making decisions that can help businesses grow. Research findings guide marketing managers on what steps to take to improve their business operations.

Reference

Hillman, C. H., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(1), 58-65.

Zikmund, W. (1999). Essentials of marketing research. Dryden Press. 422 pp.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (May 20, 2016). Marketing Research Conceptual Framework. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2016/05/20/marketing-research/

Electromagnetic Radiation Effect on Sleep

Does electromagnetic radiation emitted from modern digital devices affect sleep? This article explores and describes electromagnetic radiation effect on sleep based on scientific evidence. Read on to find out.

In an earlier post, I described the effect of blue light emitted from laptop or tv screens to sleeping patterns. But knowing this and taking action to prevent exposure to blue light apparently is not enough. I still had difficulty sleeping despite reducing my exposure to blue light. Blue light reduces melatonin levels thus disturb sleep.

I thought emissions from the WiFi adapter in my laptop might have something to do with my insomnia. So I hooked the laptop and the router together using a 10-meter RJ-45 cable run through the ceiling. I then switched off the built-in WiFi adapter on my laptop to a wired internet connection. Apparently, I slept soundly because of this change.

My experience could be considered an anecdotal evidence that the emission of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can affect sleep. I thought my observation can lend support from the scientific literature. Hence, as is my usual routine, I browsed Google Scholar for relevant research on electromagnetic radiation effect on sleep.

Is there a relationship between EMR and sleep? What does research say about the electromagnetic radiation effect on sleeping patterns? Are they related at all?

Electromagnetic Radiation Effect on Sleep

The following five papers that describe the electromagnetic radiation effect on sleep can be convincing enough.

1. Chronic (or long-term) electromagnetic field exposure causes abnormal tissue death in the brain. It also causes lung damage, paralysis, muscle tremors, and bone pain (Worthington 2007).

2. Residents exposed to electromagnetic radiation from telecommunications towers suffer insomnia. In addition, they noted other non-specific health symptoms. These symptoms include headache, giddiness, loss of memory, diarrhea, mental slowness, reduced reaction time and mood swing (Suleiman 2014).

3. Radiation from cell phone base station affects the adrenal glands. The glands stimulate the production of adrenalin and cortisol. Excess adrenaline causes insomnia (Goldsworthy 2012).

4. Electromagnetic radiation from network routers can disturb sleep (Stein 2015).

5. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) before sleep alters brain activity thus affect sleep (Regel 2007).

These findings demonstrate dose-response relationship. This means that small doses of EMR may not cause health problems. But larger doses can produce health symptoms upon reaching a certain threshold level. The present youth are particularly vulnerable, as their life revolves around the use of these gadgets either for serious school work or at play.

electromagnetic radiation effect
Radiation dose chart

Steps to Avoid Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure

One of the papers recommended that governments should impose new regulations on EMR-emitting communications infrastructure. Locating cell phone stations away from densely populated regions can reduce health risk. Chronic or long-term exposure to EMR-emitting gadgets such as cellphones, tablets, laptops, among others in the information age should be avoided.

To reduce electromagnetic radiation effects on your health, take the following steps:

1. Avoid using your electronic gadgets close to your body. Use an earphone when calling someone.

2. Connect to the internet using a cable as much as possible. If you can do so, switch off your WiFi adapter. The adapter emits more radiation the distance increases from the router. Weak router signals mean more electromagnetic radiation emitted by your gadget’s receiver.

3. Avoid going to places where people converge and use their cell phones such as malls and buses.

4. Do not sleep with your cell phone on and next to you.

5. Do not put your cellphone in your pocket. EMR has been known to cause infertility problems.

6. Avoid living near cellphone base stations. If living near one, block your house from incoming radiation with reflective aluminum insulation and painted walls.

7. Inform others about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation. Encourage them to take action so that emission of EMR in your workplace or community will be reduced.

The worry of the future generation is not about visible air pollution as environmental technology gradually keeps it at bay. Invisible radiation, due to our modern communications systems, is a threat that now shows its symptoms.

What you can’t see can harm you.

References

Goldsworthy, A. (2012). Cell phone radiation and harmful effects: Just how much more proof do you need?.

Regel, S. J., Tinguely, G., Schuderer, J., Adam, M., Kuster, N., Landolt, H. P., & Achermann, P. (2007). Pulsed radio‐frequency electromagnetic fields: dose‐dependent effects on sleep, the sleep EEG and cognitive performance. Journal of sleep research, 16(3), 253-258.

Stein, Y., Hänninen, O., Huttunen, P., Ahonen, M., & Ekman, R. (2015). Electromagnetic Radiation and Health: Human Indicators. In Environmental Indicators (pp. 1025-1046). Springer Netherlands.

Suleiman, A., Gee, T. T., Krishnapillai, A. D., Khalil, K. M., Hamid, M. W. A., & Mustapa, M. (2014). Electromagnetic radiation health effects in exposed and non-exposed residents in Penang. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 2(02), 77.

Worthington, A. (2007). The radiation poisoning of America. GlobalResearch. ca, October, 9.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (May 14, 2016). Electromagnetic Radiation Effect on Sleep. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2016/05/14/electromagnetic-radiation-effect-sleep/

Two Questions for Great Research Topics

Plain and straightforward tips on how to come up with great research topics. Read on to find out.

Students often come to me and ask what research topics would be worth pursuing to fulfill their course requirements. I always refer them to the university’s research agenda as it defines what the country needs to realize the goals of sustainable development. The university’s research agenda is broad enough to cater to everyone’s interest, but there is a need to bring this down to a level that one can practically pursue in the field.

Recognizing the need to narrow down further the research topic to make it doable, I usually ask my students two questions that will guide them in selecting a research topic and start off their research venture with greater confidence.

Two Questions to Identify Great Research Topics

I ask the following questions to help students find their way in the maze of topics they find particularly when they are online. These questions assist them to arrive at great research topics that are practical and doable.

1. What research topic strikes your interest?

This question is easier answered if a student is a masters degree candidate. But for undergraduate students who do research by groups, selecting great research topics that represent the group’s interest is a bit tricky. A few confident undergraduate students would tell me that they would like to do their research by themselves because of this concern. But I convince them that the investigation is better done in groups considering the multi-disciplinary nature of current research interests. And doing research in groups help them develop desirable values such as cooperation, unity, punctuality, and generosity as they interact with each other.

Hence, there is a need for the members of the group to spend time together to discuss and come up with a topic that will represent everyone’s interest. A mind mapping activity can best capture ideas concepts and let the group see their options better.

2. How much time and money can you allocate to your research?

Sometimes, students tend to undertake projects that are beyond their means to perform as well as fund. Thus, I ask them to prepare a work and financial plan so that they can define the tasks to do, the time required for it, and the associated costs of the activity.

I show a simple work and financial plan below that can help students manage their time, effort, and finances.

TaskTime FrameEstimated CostRemarks
JanFebMar
1. Gather relevant literaturexP 150photocopy
2. Develop conceptual framework-xP 500meeting
3. Prepare questionnaire –xP  800printing
4. Gather data—xP 1,000fare, snacks
5. Encode data and analyzexxP 1,500statistician’s fee
6. Write and revise paper–xx
7. Submit manuscriptxP 500photocopy
TOTALP 4,450

x – week performed

After having an idea of the cost involved in carrying out the study, students will now be in a better position to decide if they are willing to incur such expense. This approach prevents unexpected expenses that may be beyond the capacity of the students to fund thus avert cost overruns.

If the research topic entails expenses that are way beyond the capacity of the group to fund, then the rational option is to find another topic that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Simple tips like this make life easier for many students.

©2016 April 5 P. A. Regoniel

Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement

Are you looking for information on how to write a thesis statement? Writing the thesis statement should be effortless if you are equipped with a good knowledge of your research topic. If not, then read on. Here are three tips on how to write a thesis statement. 

Before going to the steps on how to write your thesis statement, I see it necessary to define first what a thesis statement means. A thesis statement is your proposed answer or argument concerning a given problem situation or question that needs resolution. It is your explanation of how or why a phenomenon occurs based on the limited evidence that you have observed or gathered. You are advancing a thesis to convince others that your explanation is plausible or reasonable. Thus, you need to design a research to provide evidence to central argument of your research paper. That thesis may be uniquely yours, or somebody may have thought about the same explanation. Thus, you need to undertake the following steps to ensure that your thesis is an original one.

Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement

Here are the steps to follow if you have difficulty in writing your thesis statement.

Step 1. Identify your research topic

If you do not have a clear research topic in mind then you have no basis in writing your thesis statement. You may freely select your topic but if you are under some kind of funding, the agency sponsoring your work may have specific recommended topics for you to do research on. You must also mind your university’s research agenda, as there are recommended topics based on current trends and known needs of society. The United Nation’s 17-point Sustainable Development Goals is a good starting point on what research areas to explore. Select a research area relevant to your field of specialization and narrow it down to manageable bits.

For example, we will use community adaptation to climate change as our long-tail keyword. Long tail keywords are those three to four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are interested in.

Step 2. Review the literature

Once you are ready with your research topic, you need to see if it is feasible enough to do research on. It is not easy to discern if indeed your topic is worth pursuing until you have done a good review of literature.

Contemporary researchers are fortunate because they can now access a vast source of scientific literature in the internet. The easy one most familiar to me is Google Scholar which I learned to use just a few months back. Before, I was using the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) but I had the impression that available literature in the site is limited compared to what I acquire from Google Scholar.

As a beginner, the literature available in Google Scholar serves the purpose. You can just type your keyword and in an instant, assuming a good internet connection, a list of articles is displayed just like when you surf the generic Google search box.

For our example, if we search in Google Scholar the word “community adaptation to climate change,” the search engine will return the following articles with their corresponding meta descriptions:

how to write thesis statement
Fig. 1. List of articles on community adaptation to climate change.

The top article matches the long-tail keyword thus is displayed first in the default ten articles for the page. This article is the most relevant among the articles shown but the second to fourth articles are also related. Now, the first four articles make up your first reference list. This is a good sign as this means that you will be able to see more relevant articles.

Take time to read the meta description, that brief description about the article related (or may not be related) to your chosen topic. It is here where you exercise your judgement whether to include or not include the article in your research proposal. If you find the article relevant, right click on the active link and open in a new tab.

Read the abstracts and see how the research proceeded. Reading about 30 of these articles will give you enough ideas to get your research going. See if there are gaps in knowledge in the articles you have read.

Step 3. Write your thesis statement

Once familiar with the variables that make up your research, it is time for you to write your thesis statement. In the example given above, I would advance the following thesis statement derived from reading the four abstracts on community level adaptation to climate change:

Thesis Statement:

Proactive strategies devised by both the communities and government and non-government organizations can reduce the vulnerability of communities to typhoons.

Notice that I attempt to relate two variables in this statement namely, 1) proactive strategies, and 2) vulnerability of communities to typhoons.

At this point, you are now ready to build your conceptual framework. I need not expound on it here as I have previously written an article titled “How to Build Your Conceptual Framework: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make One.”

If you want to have the whole package of articles to develop your research proposal, my newly published book titled “How to Write a Thesis in Today’s Information Age” can help you out. I provide exercises at the end of each chapter to hone your skills and hyperlinked keywords in the index facilitates navigation.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (January 23, 2016). Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2016/01/23/three-tips-write-thesis-statement/

The Computer Vision Syndrome Epidemic: Are You a Victim?

What is computer vision syndrome? What happens when someone is afflicted with this syndrome? Is there something you can do about it? This article provides answers to these questions.

Are you a regular computer user? Since you are reading this article, chances are, you are one of those who spend most of their waking lives in front of the computer. It seems everyone could not dispense of their laptops, desktop, tablets, or cell phones. They need to keep up with the latest news, do some work, communicate with friends, search for literature, and many other things possible with that shiny liquid crystal display (LCD) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) screen.

But do you know that by staring at your gadgets for a long time can make you sick? You are at risk of getting a sickness that gradually becomes common among computer users nowadays. Doctors call this modern malady computer vision syndrome or CVS. According to Wimalasundera (2006), millions of new cases occur each year.

I learned about this health condition while searching an explanation for the pain I experience at the back of my ear whenever I spend hours writing articles, searching the literature for my lessons, and answering the endless flow of emails to answer official queries, friends, and monitor the progress of research projects. Probably, I am spending more than eight hours a day to do all these things. Well, the pain stopped when I reduced the time I devoted in front of my laptop.

What is CVS and what are its symptoms? I gathered the following information after a search through online literature. This time, I used Google Scholar to pick up information from refereed journals recognized for their reliability.

Computer Vision Syndrome Defined

Blehm et al. (2005) and Yan et al. (2008) describe computer vision syndrome as a health condition characterized by a collection of symptoms including eyestrain, tired eyes, irritation, redness, blurred vision, double vision, and neck and back pain. Recently, Khalaj et al. (2015) added dizziness as a symptom. All of these symptoms relate to the eyes.

The primary symptoms of CVS appears to be dry eye, as computer users seldom blink as they stare onto computer screens. But other authors say the primary symptoms include eyestrain and monitor glare (Khalaj et al., 2015). There appears to be no consensus for this understudied area among the authors. Much more research needs to be done to clarify the issue.

Despite the dearth of literature on this subject, scientists believe that the symptoms of CVS arise because of poor lighting. Inadequate ambient light makes people squint in making out the characters on their computer screen while highly reflective screens diffuse too much light that tire the eyes. Also, eyes focused too close to the screen, faulty eyeglasses, bad seating posture, too many tasks to do using computers, reduced variation in eye movement, or a combination of these factors, are contributory factors.

How can you avoid CVS?

Based on the likely causes, the following practices are recommended to frequent computer users to prevent CVS:

1. Blink more. Consciously blink your eyes periodically while using the computer. Blinking is a natural way to protect your eyes from infection, thus prevent dry eyes. If you do have dry eyes, omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate symptoms. Rashid et al. (2008) conclude that topical alpha-linolenic acid treatment led to a significant decrease in dry eye signs.

2. Sit on an ergonomic chair. It pays to invest a little in a computer chair that support the spine of the back. Add a bamboo pad or similar material to prevent your buttocks from heating up and cause other health problems if you spend too much time seating on a chair.

3. Replace your old pair of glasses. Change your eyeglasses if they have been with you for more than two years. Optometrists recommend changing glasses once a year. Faulty eyeglasses may be the source of your frequent headaches.

4. Rest. Nobody undermines the importance of rest in any activity. All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy. If you likewise use the computer at play, then you need to change the game you play into something that can wean you away from your computer. How about inviting your friends and go out to take some interesting pictures in a famous tourism site?

5. Have enough light. Adjust the lighting conditions in your work area so you can read fonts better on your computer screen.

6. Move your eyes. Gaze away from the computer screen once in a while to give your eyes time to rest and refocus. Optometrist Roger Phelps recommends the 20-20-20 rule. The number represents 20 minutes of computer use and looking at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The older you are, the shorter should be the time devoted to computer use.

The point of the whole matter is that you avoid spending too much time in front of the computer or your electronic gadgets. Spend time mingling with friends, physically, to establish bonds no computer can ever replace. You gain not only your health but food for your emotions.

References

Blehm, C., Vishnu, S., Khattak, A., Mitra, S., & Yee, R. W. (2005). Computer vision syndrome: a review. Survey of Ophthalmology, 50(3), 253-262.

Khalaj, M., Ebrahimi, M., Shojai, P., Bagherzadeh, R., Sadeghi, T., & Ghalenoei, M. (2015). Computer Vision Syndrome in Eleven to Eighteen-Year-Old Students in Qazvin. Biotechnology and Health Sciences, 2(3).

Rashid, S., Jin, Y., Ecoiffier, T., Barabino, S., Schaumberg, D. A., & Dana, M. R. (2008). Topical omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for treatment of dry eye. Archives of Ophthalmology, 126(2), 219-225.

Wimalasundera, S. (2006). Computer vision syndrome. Galle Medical Journal, 11(1), 25-9.

Yan, Z., Hu, L., Chen, H., & Lu, F. (2008). Computer Vision Syndrome: A widely spreading but largely unknown epidemic among computer users. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 2026-2042.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (November 28, 2015). The Computer Vision Syndrome Epidemic: Are You a Victim?. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/11/28/computer-vision-syndrome/

The Role of Internet Technology in Enhancing Research Skills

Internet technology became a major part of everyone’s lives these days because of the many benefits derived from it. How did it develop and what is its role in enhancing the research skills of modern scientists? This article briefly describes the origin of the internet and its benefit to researchers. Further, the article reviews literature related to electronic publishing, the new mode of accessing and disseminating scientific information.

Internet technology developed through the contribution of dozens of computer scientists. A workable prototype came into being in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Network or ARPANET in the late 1960s. ARPANET served as a testing ground for innovative concepts such as packet switching, distributed topology and routing, and the connection of heterogeneous computer systems (Abbate, 1994).

According to Wright (1997), the world wide web as we know now, prospered through the effort of Tim Berners-Lee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Now, internet technology cuts across boundaries, across countries, affecting virtually the lives of many people and the way they live. The information you need or want is just at the tip of your fingertips.

Internet Technology and Information Exchange

Given the ease of access to information provided by the internet, modern researchers can interact faster with each other. This rapid interaction enhances research skills as learning ensues online. It facilitates information exchange at the speed of light. Fiber optic cables or thin flexible glass fibers that transmit light signals facilitate telecommunication between individuals across continents. The nature and flow of information have significantly changed.

I illustrate the difference between the nature of information flow before and now in Table 1 especially in the Asia and Africa. This change in the mode of information exchange through internet technology favors contemporary researchers and enhances their research skills.

Table 1. Comparison of information flows before and after the introduction of internet technology.

Before Now
Outdated references in the libraryRecent literature accessible online
Manually accessible library collections Libraries or databases accessible online
Slow exchange of informationFast exchange of information
Publication of scientific articles takes
years
Publication takes a few months
Paid subscription journalsOpen access journals; creative commons

As I pointed out earlier in my post titled “Open Access Journals and Blogs: New Trends in Publishing Research Results,” the ease and speed by which researchers can publish their research articles in open access journals changes the way information gets shared worldwide. Spector et al. (2012) of Google recognized this saying that peer-reviewed paper as the dominant dissemination method is under threat. Just like the printed newspaper or the telegram, Internet technology can change their commercial viability. The internet changes the way people transact business. Not keeping up with the trend will leave non-adapting organizations or businesses behind the backend of obsoletism.

Enhanced Research Skills Offered by Internet Technology

Accessing thousands of articles available online allows beginning researchers to develop their trade and keep themselves updated in their field of specialization. When I started off doing research in the late 1990s, I have to content myself with what is available in the institution’s collection of scientific journals. Now, the following online databases help me write more sensible project reports, at a much faster pace:

1. Google Scholar

I did not realize the importance of Google Scholar until a month ago, after undergoing training in research pedagogy, even though I learned about it a few years back. What I like most in this search engine is that aside from being able to access journal articles (mostly abstracts) for free, it saves you the pain of manually typing your bibliography. Once you access the articles relevant to your study, you can just click whichever format you want your bibliography or literature to appear. You can choose from MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style. It’s just a matter of copying and pasting the entries into your favorite word processor. Nonetheless, I use BibTex instead as I like to use Lyx, a front-end to the LaTeX typesetting system, as my favorite document processor.

While many authors critique the limitations of Google Scholar as a source of peer-reviewed literature (Jacsó, 2005; Bakkalbasi et al., 2006; Falagas et al., 2008; Meho and Yang, 2007), there is a general recognition that Google Scholar can be an excellent tool for information discovery and retrieval. Scopus works the same way, but I got no opportunity to explore this likewise free database. The website says it’s the world’s largest database of abstracts and citations of peer-reviewed literature.

2. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

I came across this directory of open access journals a few years back. As I teach the research subject, I usually refer students to DOAJ, but they complain that they can access only a few relevant articles for their study. The collection of scientific articles in the directory appears limited compared to Google Scholar, but it offers full papers for free. However, in many cases, you need to learn Latin American languages to understand what’s going on south of the equator. As more scientists make available their research in open access journals, the database collection will be a good source of scientific information.

3. Philippine E-Journals

The Philippine E-Journals is an expanding collection of academic journals that allows Filipino researchers to share their findings to the world. Browsing through the site gives researchers an idea on what activities occupy researchers in many parts of the country. The database provides local researchers with context-relevant information. It also opens areas for collaboration in study sites that researchers can access easily given their relative proximity.

The Web Log as Quick Mode of Publication

While peer-review of articles for publication has its merits, the ease of publication offered by blogs has its advantages in the age of information technology. Putnam (2011) discussed the pros and cons of this approach. Her main concern pertains to the quality of articles published online. But as more researchers give premium to the speed by which information gets delivered, the order of information exchange soon may just be sharing information through blogs. You get the information you need in a matter of hours. This mode of information sharing becomes more relevant in matters of life and death such as cure to cancer or averting impending disasters that require timely information.

If there are questions about the reliability and soundness of information, such as the case of a NASA scientist who refused to answer another scientist’s critique of a bacteria that can survive in arsenic (see their discussion here), comments in the blog serve as peer review. As scientists interact in the comments section, the issue gets clarified.

Literature Cited

Abbate, J. E. (1994). From ARPANET to Internet: A history of ARPA-sponsored computer networks, 1966–1988.

Bakkalbasi, N., Bauer, K., Glover, J., and Wang, L. (2006). Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. Biomedical Digital Libraries, 3(1):7.

Falagas, M. E., Pitsouni, E. I., Malietzis, G. A., and Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2):338–342.

Jacsó, P. (2005). Google Scholar: the pros and the cons. Online Information Review, 29(2):208–214.

Meho, L. I. and Yang, K. (2007). Impact of data sources on citation counts and rankings of LIS faculty: Web of Science versus Scopus and Google Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(13):2105–2125.

Putnam, L. (2011). The changing role of blogs in science information dissemination. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (65):4.

Spector, A., Norvig, P., and Petrov, S. (2012). Google’s hybrid approach to research. Communications of the ACM, 55(7):34–37.

Wright, R. (1997). The man who invented the web. Time Magazine, 149(20):64–8.

©2015 October 17 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (October 17, 2015). The Role of Internet Technology in Enhancing Research Skills. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/10/17/internet-technology-research-skills/

Open Access Journals and Blogs in Research

How can open access journals and blogs influence the future of research publication? What is the trend nowadays? This article discusses how these new developments of the information age can change the direction of research in the world.

Exchange of information between scientists through publication in reputable, peer-reviewed journals may change in the next decade. As open access publication gradually takes over the conventional print and online abstracts that require someone to purchase to read the whole study, there are signs that the whole process of information dissemination will change soon. Blogs may become the new medium for exchanging ideas among scientists. This article explains how.

New ideas such as promoting research articles through open access publishing in a highly dynamic digital world that we live right now always have birth pains. But the power of online publishing is experienced by contemporary authors who opted to publish their research findings in open access, peer-reviewed scientific journals for faster dissemination. This approach gives their research papers, their ideas or their thesis, a greater opportunity to get cited by many other scientists because of the easy access offered by online publishing.

Online Databases and Open Access Journals

Modern scientists have greater probabilities of getting their scientific articles cited. And, many software applications support this approach to speed further up the online publication process.

Database applications such as Mendeley can effectively help authors organize their collection of articles; particularly, those articles that are relevant to their specific field of expertise. Google Scholar is there to supply the needed references for free. It provides handy references useful in developing research proposals or writing a comprehensive review of the literature on a researcher’s topic of interest. The Directory of Open Access Journals provides a venue for researchers to publish their articles in open access scientific journals. These tools were unavailable two decades ago.

Now, researchers could not lament the lack of references to help them identify gaps in knowledge, not only within their home countries but virtually, the whole world. Everyone can gain access peer-reviewed literature and publish online at the comfort of their homes or offices. Thus, the quality of the literature review that contemporary researchers can make differs significantly from researchers of the 1990s.

The Rise of the Blogs

Dr. Gustavo Fischman, a well-known professor of Arizona State University and editor of open-access journals, recognizes the power of open-access publishing and even blogs. This mode of disseminating information thrives in Latin America and Africa. Around 73% of the open access journals originate from these regions. A lot of discussion on recent research topics goes on in the region. This healthy exchange of ideas can further enrich research findings. You may listen to the podcast of the interview with Dr. Fischmann where he recognized the changing model of academic publishing.

More author exposure is possible with the ease by which one can self-publish articles worthy as references. Putnam (2011) noted that science blogs promote quick dissemination of research, increases cooperation and potentially makes the author’s research stronger. There is no need to wait in the long queue of conventional scientific publishing, even the open access ones. Thus, the cost of publication is small, but the gains in learning something new or groundbreaking is high.

Some people will criticize that blogs are not peer-reviewed. But this is taken cared of by readers, who may be authorities in their respective fields, right there in the comment form under the published article. The blog’s author can then respond and address the critic’s concern. No conventional scientific journal can feature this interaction between people.

How about the citation of research findings or other articles on research?

Well, that’s relatively easy. Even this article has its suggested citation in APA format below. Anybody can cite this article that explains and sets the trend on how the era of publishing new findings can take a new form – through the power of blogs that emphasize quality publications.

Reference

Putnam, L. (2011). The changing role of blogs in science information dissemination. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (65), 4.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (October 11, 2015). Open Access Journals and Blogs in Research. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/10/11/open-access-journals-blogs-research/

The Yaya Dub Phenomenon: Why Videos Go Viral

Yaya Dub is one of the intriguing phenomena that ever happened in the digital age. Who is Yaya Dub and how did she become so popular within a short period? Why is she getting so much attention among netizens and television viewers not only in the Philippines but also in other countries?

This article applies the scientific approach in trying to understand why a dubber became an overnight celebrity and why she gained so many followers in youtube, and recently, on television.

I was so intrigued by the Yaya Dub phenomenon as virtually everyone I meet knows about it. The mere mention of the phrase evokes familiarity.

I tried to find out in Google’s Keyword Planner what is the monthly search statistics for just the term “Yaya Dub.” The keyword gained 22,200 searches in July and 49,500 in August. I have set the United States as the target country. However, youtube reaches virtually all countries in the world, so I clicked on All Locations as the target for the keyword. It showed 301,260 in July, and 550,980 in August.

But, what about the Philippines where the youtube videos about Yaya Dub originated? Again, I reset the location to the Philippines. The statistics showed 246,210 in July and 451,310 in August. It goes to say that Filipinos account for most of the traffic.

Why this so much traffic for the apparently simple activity such as dubbing? Do viewers obtain benefit from those videos? The ultimate answer in this case presumably is pure entertainment.

What does the literature say about viral or popular videos? What prompts people to share Yaya Dub’s antics?

What scientists say about viral videos

In her dissertation, Izawa (2010) found out that those who had shared or would share the viral videos felt stronger emotions than those who did not share them. These are emotions of happiness, humor, surprise, fear, sadness, and anger.

Upon sharing the videos, those who shared expect the receiver to feel the same way they did. Southgate et al. (2010) confirmed this observation. Since many people use youtube in sharing videos, the platform facilitated the sharing process.

Yaya Dub Videos: The Emotional Content

See the following viral videos of Yaya Dub. Discern which emotions appealed to you most that made you think of sharing the content to your friends.

The videos showed a diversity of emotions aptly expressed by the comedienne. Did it in any way prompt you to share it with your friends? What could have been the motivation of viewers for sharing what they have seen? Do you agree with the findings of the scientists?

Your comments will help affirm or refute the findings.

References

Izawa, M. (2010). What Makes Viral Videos Viral?: Roles of Emotion, Impression, Utility, and Social Ties in Online Sharing Behavior. PhD thesis, Johns Hopkins University.

Southgate, D., Westoby, N., and Page, G. (2010). Creative determinants of viral video viewing. International Journal of Advertising, 29(3):349–368.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (September 25, 2015). The Yaya Dub Phenomenon: Why Videos Go Viral. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/09/25/yaya-dub-phenomenon/

Innovations and Education in the 21st Century

What is the role of innovation in furthering education and vice-versa? The author reflects on current technological development and how this influenced man’s acquisition of knowledge and outcomes arising from application of derived innovations. Shall we tread on in our chosen path?

The society we are in at present is a product of evolved responses made by man through years of history. Human society, as we know it, originally consisted of a few people interacting with each other and its environment primarily to meet their basic needs for survival.

From the mere preoccupation with activities to satisfy a hungry stomach as in the early hunting and gathering stage where humans live a nomadic life, man progressed toward achieving self-sufficiency with lesser effort. Agricultural production with the aid of technology developed into a complex system as it is now. Crude, human-powered technologies advanced into mechanized or automated modes, thus increasing production to such levels so as to supply an increasing demand brought by a growing human population.

What caused these changes?

If we look closely, the primary motivation to achieve such changes comes from within the individuals that compose society. The desire to improve one’s plight spurs creativity. An idea to resolve a problem situation can motivate individuals to undertake significant steps to do better than status quo. These new ideas that get something done are what we usually call innovations.

innovations
Innovations change lives.

The Role of Innovations in Society

Innovations could change the direction the society takes. Moreover, innovations are shaped by stored knowledge provided by education or experience.

It is a known fact that education plays a great role in society’s development. In recent times, this has become very vital considering the fast pace of change accorded by the deluge of information provided by technology that connects thoughts from all over the world using computers.

We cannot discount the fact that information technology has influenced the way people build societies. It is now possible to exchange information in almost all corners of the world, even those areas that were previously thought to be isolated.

Schools, therefore, should not ignore this fact and subscribe itself to keep pace with changing times. Soon, physical presence may no longer be required in the exchange of information between mentor and students. Schools no longer monopolize the dissemination of knowledge. Knowledge pervades all nooks and crannies of any country through internet technology.

It is for this fact that serious attention must be given by schools, as a primary agent of change in society, to the quality of education imparted to the masses. The development path pursued by current education appears to be towards man’s undoing. The more our society progresses, the more problems that crop up. New technologies bring with it externalities that undermine the advances made.

Satisfying wants and achieving conveniences in living cause pollution, not only on the physical dimension but also on people’s values in life or morality. Almost always, increased crime rate is equated with development or urbanization.

Finally, as an empowering resource to individuals, knowledge through education should be provided in such a way that no area of human life is left unfulfilled. Focus must be on the individual’s, and thus, society’s total development. The ultimate goal is still there — to ensure human survival.

©2015 September 10 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (September 10, 2015). Innovations and Education in the 21st Century. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/09/10/innovations/

Outcome-Based Research: Directing Research Towards the Desired Goal

Have you ever heard of or read about outcome-based research (OBR)? Does it sound familiar?

The truth is, outcome-based research is a word play from outcome-based education (OBE), a popular theory that emphasizes the outcomes or goals of an educational system, that is, the focus is not on content but to the object of the training – the student. Also, OBE does not follow the rigid dictates of some sort of methodology to educate the student. It focuses on the outcome, or goal as the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of a curriculum. OBR works the same way.

The Principle of Outcome-Based Research

The idea of OBR just occurred in my mind as I read through or heard about outcome-based education. Why not adopt the same principle in doing research? Make it goal-oriented just like OBE.

As research director of the university, I embarked on the idea by holding a three-day research planning workshop two weeks ago. And I used e-tools in putting the OBR approach to work. The e-tools I used consisted of a free version of Vensim®, a systems analysis tool and XMind, a mindmapping software.

I believe that research performance in the university will be boosted further by the innovative approach of outcome-based research. The focus is on the goal of research founded on the research agenda of the university.

Vensim was used to identify which specific issues need to be addressed by research programs, projects, or activities. The tool was used to help unravel which variable or variables of the whole chain of interconnected events or resource states really matter. It also helped the researcher discern if he or she has the relevant expertise to do research along an issue or problem identified in the systems analysis.

When the specific issue or problem has already been identified, the participants of the workshop came up with their desired research goal to help address the issue or problem. The desired goal became the head of the fishbone diagram created using XMind.

Outcome-based research starts at the goal, then works back to identify the steps required to achieve the pre-set goal. I provide below an example of the OBR approach:

pollution mitigation
Outcome-based research approach to mitigate pollution using low-cost technologies.

Outcome-based Research is Goal-oriented

You would notice that by stating clearly the goal of research, everything falls in place. Research now is not simply just research for the sake of research but an exercise which can help resolve an issue or problem. The steps required in carrying out the research venture are also identified such that all efforts converge towards a desired goal. It is a step-by-step process.

Outcome-based research, therefore, is a new approach that brings the value of research towards a higher level. It is responsive to the needs of society. It does not stop at publications as the outcome of research but a much higher goal that can make life better for everyone. Research is not just for the sake of personal gain but for the sake of humanity.

©2015 August 2 P. A. Regoniel