Doctoral writing circles: Learning to write and collaborate

Graduate students will graduate, and at that point they’ll need to write with others. In academic positions they’ll work with colleagues on committees and research projects that result in written materials, books, or articles. In professional positions they’ll work on project teams and write plans and reports. Yet while they are in school, especially at the dissertation stage, students’ work is typically conducted on their own. First, let’s define the term collaboration to describe "an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently" (Salmons, 2019). Sometimes writers collaborate to produce one piece of writing, other times they collaborate on the process, while each produces their own piece of writing. With those possibilities in mind, as instructors, mentors, or dissertation supervisors, how can we create opportunities for that help students collaborate to generate their best writing and at … [Read More]

Reflections on negotiating a contract 3: Emotionally loaded details

This is more of my neophyte reflections on negotiating a contract. My previous post looked at the many different issues covered by a contract and the basic difficulty of handling so many issues. This post on focuses on some of the more emotionally charged clauses. For me, part of the stress of contracts is that they force you to think about extreme cases because it’s easy to get emotionally charged while thinking about extreme issues. For example, there are clauses related to future editions and to the publisher’s rights for future editions. Future editions are an “extreme case” because they only become an issue if the book does extremely well. … [Read More]

Online marketplace Bonanza.com takes key steps to prevent the sale of pirated e-textbooks on its platform

Several leading higher education publishers announced that online marketplace Bonanza.com will join them in efforts to stop the sale of pirated e-textbooks by implementing a series of steps designed to prevent their sale on its platform. These steps will help disrupt digital piracy while not impeding innovation and the lawful growth of marketplaces. The educational publishers, Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, have worked hard in recent years in partnership with distributors and sellers to combat the sale of pirated ebooks and counterfeit textbooks, which hurts authors and readers and stifles innovation and the creation of the rich content that consumers want. … [Read More]

Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference to feature sessions on contracts and royalties

TAA’s 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference speaker and mentor panels will feature several publishing industry professionals with expertise on topics such as intellectual property, copyright, publishing contracts, and royalties. The conference will be held in Old City, Philadelphia, June 14-15, 2019. Intellectual property attorney Brenda Ulrich, a partner at Archstone Law Group PC, will kick off the conference with a session titled “Legal Issues for Independent Contractor Authors and Self-Publishers.” This session will explore legal issues in the "post-traditional publishing contract world." … [Read More]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 15, 2019

In this week's collection of posts from around the web we found a variety of topics of interest to textbook and academic authors. We begin our collection with articles focused on perspective: on the PhD and employment, on Belbin roles in collaborative writing efforts, and on visualizations of scholarly workflow. Next we explore topics on finding the gap and keeping track of your literature review. We continue with a couple articles on open access. Finally, we close with technology-related articles on sharing research, conducting online surveys, and protecting privacy in digital resources. A.D. Posey once said, "Reading sparks writing." As you read through this week's collection of articles, we hope that the ideas and topics presented serve to spark your writing efforts for the week … [Read More]

Editing: Going it alone or with a guide

You have a vision of the work you want to write. You’ve laid out a plan for a textbook or monograph (or article). You might have a book contract, or you may be doing the work prospectively. The writing is done. You breath a sigh. But how about the editing? Many writers and academics feel comfortable with the content creation, that is the writing. But they may feel less qualified with that pesky editing. Split infinitives, that or which, ending a sentence in a preposition, and a thousand other archine rules haunt some writers and sap their confidence about their work. … [Read More]

Free time? What is that? Usually I just wait for it to show up…

When I’m coaching and teaching academics, I recommend that they designate and protect four kinds of time: Free, Fixed, Focus, and Flow. In this short article, let’s look at Free time. Since part of the definition of Free time is that it is guilt free, Free time is often a difficult kind of time for professors to set aside. There is always so much work to do and the bar is set so high, it seems impossible to set aside free time. This feeling pervades regardless of whether the bar is set high in one’s department, discipline, or in one’s own mind. … [Read More]

TAA Vice President’s Message: Take a Networking Challenge in 2019

I am the worst at hiding in my office and working over lunch. Yes, we all have lots of work to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done. Why should 2019 be any exception? I should spend more time out of my office. Some would call it socializing, some would call it networking. Whatever you call it, getting out has got to be better for me than staring out the window (I know, at least I have a window). With you as my witnesses, I have decided to get out regularly and have lunch or coffee with someone in my workplace. We all have to eat or caffeinate, right? There are over 1,400 employees where I work and I know at least a 10% of them, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Would it kill me if once every so often I had lunch with a colleague instead of never? There might actually be some … [Read More]

2019 TAA Council elections – Cast your vote

Seven candidates are running for five open positions on the TAA Council, the association's governing board. Three are officer positions, Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary; and two are Council positions. Terms begin July 1, 2019. Officers serve two-year terms and Council members serve three-year terms. A link to the ballot was emailed to TAA members on March 8. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing. If you are a TAA member and cannot vote electronically, contact Kim Pawlak at Kim.Pawlak@TAAonline.net or (608) 687-3106 to request a paper ballot. The deadline for voting is Monday, April 8, 2019. Winners will be announced April 19. … [Read More]

Q&A: What types of services do university libraries offer to support faculty authors?

University librarians offer a wide range of services to faculty and students to support their research and scholarly writing projects. Many of these services are used widely by faculty on campuses across the country, while other services may be little known and little used. As dean of libraries at William and Mary, I make it a priority to work with library staff and faculty to identify needs, develop useful services, and then communicate their availability to faculty. Here I highlight a few of our library services and suggest how faculty at other institutions can work with their university librarians to access services and support. … [Read More]

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