The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 8, 2018

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ~Oscar WildeOscar Wilde once said, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” This week’s collection of articles has many things to read that may help you today or be foundation for who you will be in the future.

The list begins with helpful advice on bio-notes, collaboration, managing research notes, reviving “dead” writing projects, and working with data visualization and research. We then explore some insight into grant applications and journal paper review processes before closing with discussions of open access initiatives in textbook and academic authoring environments and the announcement of Eva O. L. Lantsoght’s new book, The A-Z of the PhD Trajectory.

Whatever you read from this list or otherwise this week, choose items that will continue to shape your career as an author both now and when you can’t help it. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: March 30, 2018

"The next best thing after finishing writing a chapter is starting a new one." ~Chris AlmeidaWe begin this week’s collection of textbook & academic posts from around the web with a royalty calculation update from Cengage as it relates to their Cengage Unlimited service. We then have several articles of interest to textbook authors and faculty considering OER textbook options. Finally, we found advice for academic writers on structuring papers, coping with peer review processes, and being scholar-activists.

Chris Almeida put it best when he said, “The next best thing after finishing writing a chapter is starting a new one.” As you write this week, we hope the end of March brings with it some finished work, and the start of April brings with it new beginnings in your writing. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 27, 2017

"The most difficult thing about writing; is writing the first line." ~Amit KalantriThis week, October 23-29, 2017, marked the tenth annual Open Access Week. The articles collected this week include information on open education, Open Access textbook publishing, starting an Open Access journal, requirements for a sustainable knowledge commons, the editor’s role in a changing publishing industry, and equity and inclusion in scholarly publishing. As this month comes to a close, we are also preparing for Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) starting next week. Be sure to check out the last link with information about AcWriMo events co-hosted by TAA next month. According to Amit Kalantri, “The most difficult thing about writing; is writing the first line.” This week, start something. Write that first line. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 22, 2016

Benjamin Franklin — 'Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.'It’s so easy for us to say, “I’ll do that tomorrow”, “I’ll start on my writing projects, tomorrow” and tomorrow keeps getting pushed further and further away. Procrastination is easy. Yet, never satisfying. Chances are you have the time to get started today. So start! End the infinite tomorrow and do as Benjamin Franklin reminds us, and, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: July 17, 2015

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.You need to start somewhere.” –Anne Lamott

No piece of writing is perfect when first written—that’s why they call it a first draft and why editing exists. Pat Thomson offers a bit of comfort in her piece this week in that all academic writers (or any writer for that matter) face the same struggles. She focuses on being ‘stuck’ with a writing piece and how to move thru it. Today, just focus on getting started and let the rest fall into place. The rest will either fall into place or, if nothing else, give you direction for where to go on the page next time you sit to write. Either way, just start and know that you can (and will) edit later.

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Join us for the 3/4 TAA Webinar, ‘How Textbook Authors Can Prosper With Open Content’

Brian JacobsJoin us Wednesday, March 4 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the one-hour TAA webinar, “How Textbook Authors Can Prosper With Open Content

”, presented by Brian Jacobs, Founder of panOpen. Register

This presentation introduces a new model for textbook and academic authors to work with open content. Authors have mostly viewed the movement for open content with understandable skepticism and concern, as there are few controls over the shaping of content and usually no financial compensation for its use.  [Read more…]

Traditional vs. open textbook authoring: An interview with Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan is a Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Maine. He is the author or co-author of six textbooks published by large and small traditional publishers. Barkan has also published one textbook with open textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge and is under contract to author a second textbook.

Here Barkan talks to TAA about his experiences authoring for both traditional publishers and open textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge:

TAA: How did you get started in textbook authoring?

Steven Barkan: “In the early 1990s, I was about to be promoted to full professor status, and decided it was time to write a textbook. I had always enjoyed my conversations with textbook company representatives about their books and the textbook industry. I realized there was a need for a criminology textbook emphasizing a sociological approach, and later published this book with Prentice Hall. It is now in its 5th edition and was a Texty winner in an earlier edition. I enjoyed that initial experience in textbook writing so much that I sought out other projects and wrote additional books in the areas of sociology and criminology/criminal justice for Allyn & Bacon and Wadsworth. My newest book, an introductory sociology text, is with Flat World Knowledge.”

[Read more…]