Category Archives: Wider world

OR News from the wider world

Physical assessment of the environmental impacts of centralised anaerobic digestion – CC0240

CAD has already been adopted in other parts of Europe and new sites are planned in the UK. Until now, the claimed environmental benefits of CAD could be based only on extrapolation of results from other countries, and are therefore uncertain for UK conditions. Hence, when the first UK CAD site comes into operation in 2002, it will provide an ideal opportunity for this project to complete a of the process, based on physical measurements of actual emissions, so enabling performance and cost comparisons to be made with other manure management strategies.


This project will help to meet DEFRA’s policy needs in connection with international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and the EU Burden Sharing Agreement. Specifically, it will provide research evidence to determine the true potential of CAD as a cost-effective control option. This will be relevant to meeting the requirements of the Working Group within the European Climate Change Programme. The project will also begin to establish â??bench marksâ? for good practice, so helping with assessments of the possible impacts of other CAD plants that may be proposed in the future.


01 To establish a detailed working plan in conjunction with the owners, constructors and operators of the CAD plant to be monitored. This will also include formulation of an outline LCA and the definition of the key process and environmental measurements needed.


03 To undertake a period of at least 18 months of plant monitoring, comprising three campaigns, each of at least six months duration. This will include sufficient time for any start-up difficulties to be resolved, and will thus establish a clear picture of true plant performance. The monitoring will also include emissions from the peripheral activities such as collection, transport, storage and land spreading. These will be undertaken on a periodic basis according to process schedules.


Stored slurries on UK farms emit substantial amounts of methane. Previous MAFF funded research (e.g. CC 0222), has shown that farm-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) can reduce in these emissions as well as generating useful amounts of heat and electrical energy and assisting in the safe recycling of wastes (in the interests of sustainable waste management). However, despite these benefits, AD is not widely used in UK agriculture. Capital costs and substantial management requirements are obvious dis-incentives to its adoption, although both of these charges can be reduced substantially per unit volume of slurry treated by using much larger, centralised AD (CAD) plants. For instance, co-processing with other wastes can generate revenues from gate fees.



About us | Publons

I get asked to review half a dozen times a year. I turn down a good few if I am under too much pressure at work or feel its is a shade out of scope.

The concept of Publons sounds great. Merit for hard work. Reviewing manuscripts is intellectually demanding, time consuming and unremunerated. It is generally thought of a part of your citizenry duties and partly`justified if you want a sneak peak at upcoming papers.

Reviewing is not fallible and journals do retract papers due to fraud, ethical violations, and plagiarism. I am not sure what happens to a reviewer’s reputation when that happens, especially if they have given up their anonymity.

Reviewers control how each review is displayed on their profile (blind, open, or published), and can add both pre- reviews they do for journals and post-publication reviews of any article.


Giving for peer review allows researchers to build their academic reputation through their peer review activity. The hypothesis is that when reviewers get official recognition for their work, they are more willing to accept review requests, more willing to prioritise time to do the review quicker, and more likely to do a comprehensive review. In short, they are more willing to put aside their own research to selflessly help with someone else’s.


Welcome to the Publons community! To get a feel for Publons, try adding a few reviews to get an idea of how your profile, stats, and official reviewer report will look. You could also start forwarding your review receipts, browse the top reviewers, and see where your university sits on the university leaderboard.


By default, when a review is added to your profile only the journal and the month of the review are shown (e.g. “Richard Feynman reviewed for Reviews of Modern Physics during December 1947”). All identifying information is kept hidden from the public, unless you explicitly choose to share it. You personally can see all additional details of your review record (and make changes to what is displayed for each review) from the review history tab on your dashboard.


We work with peer reviewers, editors, and publishers to motivate reviewers by giving credit for peer review. For peer reviewers, Publons provides a way to get credit for their contributions (without breaking reviewer anonymity) in a format they can include in job and funding applications.



Metrics: August 2015

A round up of my . In time as my academic reputation development plan makes an impact it should be seen here. I’ve also created a data table to track change over time. I’ve badly neglected this aspect of my career so hopefully change and quite marked change should be possible.

Linear to exponential growth seems possible. There are ups and downs from year to year. Does reputation grow through a sigmoidal curve with a lag phase, a log growth phase, and then a saturation phase.

The other message I get is that an important outlet for my work are the reports prepared for the clients, such as defra, and many of these are now on websites as downloadable files. that is much better than as hardcopy gathering dust on shelves. Google Scholar picks up these outputs better than any other scholarly service.

Web of Science

Web of Science citations
Total Articles inPublication List:
Articles WithCitation Data:
Sum of theTimes Cited:
Average Citationsper Article:
Last Updated:


The h-index graph is fascinating as it shows that I could perhaps get to h index 5 or 6 quite soon but that I need more papers rather soon to get beyond that.

Scopus h graph
Scopus h graph

A scatter gun approach to the journal choices! These needs to become more directed in future.

Google Author Analysis
Google Author Analysis
Scopus citation graph
Scopus citation graph

Google Scholar

Citation indices All Since 2010
Citations 822 651
h-index 10 9
i10-index 10 8
Google citations
Google citations


Is there an opportunity to create more interaction and grow my RG score that way. Not a bad idea if i want to contribute to thought leadership in my field

ResearchGate Score
ResearchGate Score


I think what I am noticing is the impact of social media promotion of my academic work, particularly via twitter. It is always an open question whether social media outlets replicated for each aspect of your life. That means that your twitter followers get much more focussed and directed tweets rather than my random  eclectic mix of interests?

KLOUT score
KLOUT score

Operations Research Models and the Management of Agricultural and Forestry Resources: A Review and Comparison

Operations research (OR) has helped people to understand and manage agricultural and forestry resources during the last 40 years. We analyzed its use to assess the past performance of OR models in this field and to highlight current problems and future directions of research and applications. Thus, in the agriculture part, we concentrate on planning problems at the farm and regional-sector level, environmental implications, risk and uncertainty issues, multiple criteria, and the formulation of livestock rations and feeding stuffs. In the forestry part, we concentrate on planning problems at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels, implementation issues, environmental implications, as well as the treatment of uncertainty and multiple objectives. Finally we made a comparison between the two areas in terms of problem types, problem-solving approaches, and reported applications.


A perspective on operational research prospects for agriculture : Journal of the Operational Research Society : Palgrave Macmillan

A perspective on operational research prospects for agriculture

This paper discusses the future of operational research (OR) for the agricultural industries in a broad sense, including horticulture and viticulture during a period of increased pressure on natural resources. The authors use their experience in the field along with published literature, to draw insights into new opportunities for OR, and how the OR community might adapt to realise these opportunities best. Trends in demand for food security and biofuels, the quest for sustainability, information technology (IT), and commercial power create new opportunities to support strategic investment and operations management within both primary production and the related supply chains. To realise such potential, the agricultural OR community needs to improve management of stakeholder relations, interdisciplinary synthesis, and the successful application of OR.



The Impact of Operational Research on Agriculture

The Impact of Operational Research on Agriculture
E. D. Sargent
The Journal of the Operational Research Society
Vol. 31, No. 6 (Jun., 1980), pp. 477-483
DOI: 10.2307/2580821
Stable URL:
Page Count: 7
Journal of the Operational Research Society
Journal of the Operational Research Society


The paper shows that agriculture is one of the United Kingdom’s largest industries. It would therefore be expected that O.R. could have made a significant contribution to decision making. But achievements in practice have been disappointingly small. The industry comprises of a large number of small individual businesses which do not permit specialisation in management functions. Consequently, technical advice and much R and D is provided from public funds. O.R. applications for agriculture have mainly been developed by Universities, Colleges, State Advisory Services and QUANGOS. The paper discusses some techniques used in agriculture-linear programming, dynamic programming and simulation-and outlines some problems encountered with these. Other techniques have had limited uptake and application. Reasons for the disappointing impact of O.R. are discussed as a set of problems-those specific to farmers and their systems; those specific to computer use; problems in recruiting and training O.R. specialists and problems in communication.


Curated from The Impact of Operational Research on Agriculture


Innovative Products and Services for Sustainable Societal Development – Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier

Sustainable development is a broad field that needs innovation. The challenges facing sustainable development are complex and no single innovation will be sufficient for societies to make the necessary transitions to equitable, post-fossil carbon societies. Therefore, societies require a wide diversity of innovations in order to make real progress. Therefore, multi-disciplinary thinking, research and practice are needed. The best way to ‘solve’ the complex challenges presented by climate changes and numerous other problems is to search for innovative solutions in a multi-disciplinary manner. This is essential in order to break away from the old stagnant ways of thinking to create sustainable and equitable solutions. The objectives of this Special Volume (SV) of the Journal of Cleaner Production (JCLP) are based on this common sense reasoning.


The first objective of the SV is to explore new innovations and their management in several thematic areas, which in different ways can contribute to sustainable societal development. The second objective of the SV is to explore holistic and innovative ways to combine advancements in different fields, and to develop overarching sustainable solutions.


In order to meet these objectives several thematic areas will need to be addressed. The themes cover products and services as well as their production, operations and supply chains. Parallel to these themes, Innovation management, Knowledge management and Information technology must be investigated. These themes cover tangible and intangible elements that are needed to develop, test and implement sustainable solutions.


The papers of the ICIM2014 – International Conference on Innovation and Management – are potential candidates for this SV. Between 15-20% of the ICIM2014 papers will be selected as candidates for this SV, and the authors of the selected papers will be invited to develop full peer review-ready documents according to the attached schedule. The authors of the selected papers will have about three months to improve and upgrade their conference papers to a high quality journal article, which is peer review ready, according to the guidelines of the Journal of Cleaner Production. This Call for papers (CfPs) is also open to our colleagues who did not attend the ICIM2014 conference.


Once your article has been accepted you will receive an email from Author Services. This email contains a link to check the status of your article. Track your accepted paper



50 Years of Applying OR to Agriculture in Britain

Audsley, E., & Sandars, D. L. (2008). A review of the practice and achievements from 50 years of applying OR to agricultural systems in Britain. 116–132. Scopus.

I helped my boss Eric Audsley produce this paper (link) for the OR Society 50 conference in York 2008.  Luis Pla and I also wrote a related paper on the future prospects that made it to press at the second attempt with help from Andrew Higgins.

Audsley, E., & Sandars, D. L. (2008). A review of the practice and achievements from 50 years of applying OR to agricultural systems in Britain. 116–132. Scopus. Cite

An engineering approach for sustainable systems

This paper summed up much of the thinking and research that I had been involved with for around a decade as a research scientist at the former Silsoe Research Institute at Bedfordshire. (Wrest Park is a fabulous Stately home and was a gorgeous setting for UKs public sector agricultural engineering institute)

In many ways I remain an heir to that legacy with the remaining team members at Cranfield University. My work lies under Systems Modelling for Decisions -mostly under 1 and 2, but dipping into the rest

Key headings from the paper

Systems Modelling for Decisions:

  1. Systems modelling for environmental
  2. Whole farm decisions and land use planning -the implications of farmers’ management decisions for environmental impacts
  3. Decision support for complex uncertain systems – stochastic dynamic programming and weed control strategies
  4. Linking process and systems models to support on-farm decision making – an example for fungicide does optimization

Control Engineering approaches to biological systems:

  1. Incorporating models in the control loop
  2. Control of multiple outputs -target growth but with limited emissions
  3. Advanced sensing techniques – a route to more complex control opportunities
    1. machine vision
    2. biological sensors
  4. Real-time machine control

Day, W., Audsley, E., & Frost, A. R. (2008). An engineering approach to modelling, decision support and control for sustainable systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 363(1491), 527–541. Cite

PhD – Part-time by staff candidacy

The return to work review after the year long leave of academic progress recommended to withdraw, There were two years and two months left on the clock.

Informally the advice is to concentrate on the papers anyway and once a portfolio of publications is in hand in a few years time then consider the case of a Phd/MPhil by portfolio of publications.