The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 16, 2018

"Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more." ~A.E. CroftIs writing your passion? As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, we look at some of the articles focused on ways to make what we love to do – textbook and academic writing – even better. Included in the list are ways to de-stuff your writing, appropriately incorporate illustrations, and combat isolation through peer writing groups. From a technical perspective, topics of quantitative set analysis, methodology, social bookmarking with reading lists, peer review processes, and Open Access also make the list of topics.

As you continue your writing efforts this week, reflect on the significance of your contribution and the love of writing that consumes your practice. As A.E. Croft put it, “Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more.” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 9, 2018

"Writing is a process of creating yourself again and again for an ever-searching mind." ~Debasish MridhaThis week’s article roundup includes a mix of foundational advice and reinvention of ideas. In the academic world, there are posts discussing ways to establish a track record of grant writing, visualization techniques, and ways to survive a PhD mixed with new scholarly search tools, publisher roles, and disruptions in scholarly communications.

From the textbook perspective, the benefits of print over digital, the intellectual properties of learning, and opinions on professors teaching from their own textbooks are mixed with open-access publishing, OER disruption, and new platforms for self-publishing textbooks.

As Debasish Mridha tells us, “Writing is a process of creating yourself again and again for an ever-searching mind.” As you write this week, keep searching as well. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 2, 2018

"While writing, just try to have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!"In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found suggestions for academics on using LinkedIn, choosing a research method, improving your conclusion, and getting back up after perceived failures. In the publishing industry, topics of collaboration using Crossref, the evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five, and the future of university press in Kentucky top the list. Finally, the cost of textbooks continues to be present in the articles of interest.

This week we hope that you will find inspiration among the posts to both make forward progress with your writing and to make an impact. As Darynda Jones suggests, “WHILE writing, just have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 26, 2018

"If writing didn't require thinking then we'd all be doing it." ~Jeremiah LaabsJeremiah Laabs reminds us that “If writing didn’t require thinking then we’d all be doing it.” This week we have a number of articles to get you thinking. For textbook authors, you may be thinking about the disruptive opportunities within the market seeking to solve the problem of high prices, you may be considering options for digital textbooks, or maybe you’re thinking about OER. Both textbook and academic authors with blogs may be thinking about how to repurpose blog articles into a book.

Academic authors may also be thinking about choosing the right dissertation topic, new opportunities in journal publishing, research impact factors, quantity vs. quality concerns in publishing, and roadblocks to accessibility. Whatever you’re thinking about, we hope it leads to better, more productive writing this week, and that these articles may help you think clearer. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 19, 2018

"Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself." ~M. KirinThis week’s collection of textbook and academic posts from around the web begins with predictions and strategies for the coming year. It provides resources for jumpstarting book reviews, improving your writing, understanding research ethics, and protecting and expanding the public domain. Finally, it explores the impact of new initiatives like RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century, a new open access megajournal from UCL Press, Digital Science’s new citation database – Dimensions, and the Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) from Enago.

With so many changes in sight, it’s anyone’s guess where 2018 will take us, but as we explore the potential ahead, keep in mind the words of M. Kirin. “Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself.” Wishing you many great discoveries in the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 12, 2018

"Most writing doesn't take place on the page; it takes place in your head." ~Susan Orlean“Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.” says Susan Orlean. This week’s collection of articles is full of resources to improve those internal processes that move your writing forward. Beginning with advice on how to improve your writing practices, considering what types of case studies get published, new approaches by textbook companies, and tips for promoting self-published book series, we open ourselves up to new ideas in the writing industry. With that open mind, we continue to see trends in Open Access, the need for new approaches to style guides, the impact of libraries on the adoption of OER, and the future of the OA megajournal. Finally, we close our list this week with an invitation to an open house hosted by SAGE Research Methods in February and early March.

As you approach your writing this week, open yourself up to new ideas, new practices, and new ways of thinking and be sure to get some of that writing out of your head and onto the page as well. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 5, 2018

"Getting started on writing a book isn't as hard as it sounds. You don't need a plan and an outline. In fact, all you need are two things: time and one idea." ~Natasha LesterAs is often the case at the start of a new year, 2018 began with a wealth of change-focused and forward-thinking articles full of advice and projections for the year ahead. Specifically, our collection of posts for this week examine the end of stress for busy writers, mistakes that can hold you back as an author, and America’s public domain drought. They challenge the assumptions of trends in higher education, the value of writing self-efficacy, and what it means to be an academic. And finally, they suggest paths to success including themes rather than resolutions, tips for creating writing goals that work, a 5-day goal setting challenge, and a willingness to embrace your inner procrastinator.

Whatever 2018 has in store for you, we hope it includes progress and success in writing. After all, as Natasha Lester says, “Getting started on writing a book isn’t as hard as it sounds. You don’t need a plan and an outline. In fact, all you need are two things: time and one idea.” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 29, 2017

"Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader." ~Cheryl AllewayIn this final week of 2017, few creatures were stirring with new articles and content between the holidays, but we were able to locate a few gems for consideration as you reflect on this year and prepare for the next. For starters, looking back, 2017 was a breakthrough year for OER and a time of textbook pricing discussion impacted by continued changes in available purchasing options. In contrast, looking forward, we found articles on book marketing traps to avoid, how to maintain a healthy competitive nature, and self-care practices you may want to consider adopting in 2018.

In this season of giving and in preparation for the gift of a new year on the way, keep in mind the words of Cheryl Alleway, “Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader”, and keep writing. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 22, 2017

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenJohn Green says, “All writing is rewriting”. Nearing the end of the year, you may be considering what still needs to be written (both literally and figuratively) or rewritten for the year. As your writing continues into the holidays, our collection of posts this week begin with actions you can take to balance work with the holidays, effectively brainstorm ideas, and to gain more influence in academe.

We then explore some of the topics impacting textbook and academic authors including net neutrality, OER adoptions, free textbooks, qualitative research methods, and author perspectives on academic journal publishing in 2017. We close this week in the holiday spirit of gift giving (both literally and figuratively) with book ideas for the academic on your list and an article titled, “10 reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book”. Whatever your holiday plans, we hope that you continue writing (and rewriting) toward an even better new year ahead. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 15, 2017

"Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I'd never get anything done." ~Lawrence C. ConnollyHalfway through the final month of the year, as the fall semester comes to an end for academics, we’re often faced with a mix of emotions related to the satisfying end of one term, the upcoming holiday “break” ahead, and the new challenges that await in the new year. It can be a time of reflection, gratitude, stress, innovation, or a multitude of these and other feelings. Our selection of articles this week reflect all of them.

We begin with gratitude and praise for the family members, especially academic spouses, who support us throughout the year, and tackle the stress of stalls in our progress and ways to break through the doldrums. We then explore some of the concerns facing academic and textbook authors, such as predatory publishers and the consideration of e-books vs. physical textbooks. [Read more…]