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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 12, 2014

Do you ever find yourself at a lossWrite without fear. Edit without mercy. for what to say? Maybe the words are swirling around in your head but they refuse to form together to make a sentence that is anything meaningful or coherent? This quote, “Write without fear. Edit without mercy.”, is a reminder that sometimes, even with words swirling around in your head, you just have to go for it and get it all out on paper no matter how it forms together on the page. Then, when it is time to edit, spare no mercy. Cut everything back and keep only what is truly needed. And with that I say, happy writing!

What’s a ‘Work for Hire’ and Why Should You Care?
Copyright can be complicated. Whether you question if you will be the sole owner of the textbook you want to write (or if your students helping you or the university you work for will also have ownership), or if you just need a refresher on ‘work for hire’ copyright, you need to read this.

Doing quicker literature reviews
This takes an extensive look at literature reviews and how to utilize digital resources to make the review process quicker. If you’re looking for how to make the literature review process quicker this article may be able to help you.

structuring research articles
Pat Thomson always offers practical, useful advice for academic writers and this piece is no exception. If you are wanting to learn other ways to structure your scholarly article, I highly recommend this post by Thomson.

Designing ‘attention points’ in academic work: Four principles for improving tables, graphs, charts and diagrams.
In his informative piece, Patrick Dunleavy, thoroughly examines best practices for improving the use of charts, diagrams, tables, and graphs. If you struggle with what to include in the description, are what to even use as an attention point, this article will help you.

Should You Friend Your Supervisor?
Trying to keep our personal lives personal in today’s social media world is a struggle. Should you be Facebook friends with your dean? David Perry explores how social media can become stressful and some rules that may help ease not only some stress but also those often uncomfortable news feed moments.

Open access and the direction of travel in scholarly publishing
This is a well written piece on the recent open access initiatives by Elsevier and Nature. The author, Stephen Curry, clearly believes more should be done to make open access more accessible. Whether you agree that to be true or not, this piece is still worth the read.

On a somewhat related note, for last minute gift ideas, check out my 10 Gifts for writers this holiday season.