Monday, 17 August 2009

OR Insight

I have just received the latest (September 2009, 22:3) issue of the journal OR Insight, one of the OR Society's regular publications. I'm interested because it has an article that I wrote, the first which has appeared in this journal.

OR Insight aims to promote Operational Research in action, with a serious emphasis on the application area. Since the start of the year, a new editorial team has been in charge and they have been determined to get good quality reports of the nature of modelling and tackling problems with OR. (So why did my paper get in!)

My paper discusses the phenomenon of "Open Studios" as a means of promoting the creative arts in the UK and elsewhere. I tackled it from an OR perspective, and as such I think it is the first paper in the area. I wrote for OR Insight because I wanted to tell a story, and this seemed the best journal for that type of paper.

But there are three other excellent papers, each telling a story of a study and the modelling which went with it.

The first considers one of the difficulties of modern life - home deliveries from mail order companies and similar. If you are out when the delivery van arrives, what happens to your package? Fraser McLeod and Tom Cherrett model one option, that customers should go to a central collection point; they look at the environmental impact of that scenario.

The second looks at health care provision of transport. The perspective is focussed on the patient (in contrast to the the apparent manager-centred perspctive often met in OR studies). The authors (David Bamford, Helen Thornton and James Bamford) conclude with two penetrating questions: "What went well?"; "What could we have done better?" Maybe those should be asked at the end of more OR studies!

And the third, by Gary Graham and John Hill, looks at the regional newspaper industry in the 21st century, and the relationship between print and electronic media. The internet is creating value for the newspaper industry, even though sales of regional newspapers are falling slowly in the UK.

Go get a copy!

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