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…]

Copyright Office introduces online group registration of photographs

copyrightThe U.S. Copyright Office announced that it will begin accepting applications for group registration of photographs through the Office’s online registration system starting February 20, 2018. In most cases, applicants will generally be required to file such applications online, and may include up to 750 photographs in each claim.

The Office has also made other changes to streamline the practices relating to group registration of photographs, described in a final rule published in the Federal Register today. [Read More…]

Learning from teaching in the anxiety zone

I knew I had to do it. For too long I’d sat planted in front of my computer and wallowed in my old-quilt routine: writing, eating, tv-ing, sleeping, client manuscripts, gym, occasional grocery stocking, writing, eating, clients, tv-ing, sleeping. But I couldn’t deny that edge of vague dissatisfaction.

What do the gurus say? Stretch yourself, challenge yourself, get out of your comfort cocoon. It was time to get out and teach a writing workshop.

TAA members share their mentoring experiences and advice

What is a mentor? Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide”. As writers, much of our efforts are completed individually, and even when contributing to a larger body of work, the relationships are more often collaborative in nature than one of a mentoring type, but few successful authors have reached that level of success without the guidance of one or more who came before them and guided their efforts. We asked several TAA members about their experiences, either as a mentor or a mentee. Five of the responses received are below.

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.” 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.

Academic writing: Counting words of meaning?

Our priorities are reflected in our sense of professional identity. Are you an academic or a writer? Are you an instructor/researcher/research supervisor/committee member/conference presentation planner (not to mention parent, community volunteer and…) who is compelled to write in order to get, keep, or advance in a desired career? Do you see yourself as a writer who uses what you learn from your life and work to inspire others? Or are you looking for the right balance?

How to balance the demands of teaching and working on your thesis

If you asked most people about the demands of a teaching position, they’d quickly agree that time extends beyond the classroom hours with grading and student interaction turning most part-time roles into full-time commitments of time and full-time roles into, well, more. Ask the same about the time involved in getting a graduate degree, especially during the research-intensive processes of a thesis or dissertation, and in most cases, you’ll hear of it being a full-time job unto itself.

So how can one person balance the demands of these two time-intensive efforts? For the answer, we sought the opinions of several TAA members, and as a bonus have included some additional resources to assist you if you are currently in or considering such a balancing act yourself.

Schedule time to market your work or pay the consequences

Committing to writing involves more than just working away at a new Word file. It also requires the commitment to promote and market the eventual work as well. This does not come naturally to everyone, but this dedication to help spread the word about the work is equally important as the content itself.

Whether it is a journal article, a monograph, a textbook, or some other form of academic communication, marketing is essential to the success of the material.

5 Questions to ask your publisher about their author websites

In today’s marketplace, authors need to be integrally involved with the marketing of their books, including making decisions about author websites. While many authors have the opportunity to use their publisher’s author website option, they should carefully consider whether that website offers the design elements, content features, and editing flexibility to best serve their needs.

Students lead the march toward mobile: Three strategies for adapting and responding

It is becoming increasingly clear that students want and need to use mobile devices as a supplement to their print and e-textbooks and LMS course platforms. In fact, many students prefer reading on mobile. Students are leading the market to mobile, and publishers are following. Some authors are working to adapt existing materials to the mobile platform, but in many cases the publisher adapts the material with little or no author input. Authors have a vested interest in keeping up with this transition in terms of the technology opportunities, content quality control, and enhanced marketability of their works.