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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 5, 2014

December has arrived which means cold Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter and a flurry not only of snow but also (for many of you) finals to give and grade and deadlines to meet before the semester ends. If you’re feeling the need for a little inspiration and motivation this week I think you’ll appreciate a few of the posts below. Or, maybe you just need a distraction from the chaos that this time of year often brings, to read a few current industry news items. Whatever brings you here, I hope that you’ll find these articles useful, informative, and inspirational. And as always, happy writing!

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Published
If you’re having one of those days when you just need a reminder that you will get published, that everyone gets rejected, this is the article to read today. I think it’s human nature to compare our lives to those around us, but we need to remember that even though something may seem a certain way on the surface there is always more depth below that where untold circumstances hide. This is true not only for writing but in all aspects of life, personal and business. I always have this quote in the back of my mind, “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.”

In a Move Toward Open Access, ‘Nature’ Allows Widespread Article Sharing
In industry news this week, Nature, one of the world’s most-cited scientific publications, announced it will make its articles free to share and read online (not available to print or download), for subscribers and about 100 media outlets and blogs. This will be a one-year experiment for Nature to explore how to stay financially sound while also clarifying how they can help the scientific community. For more details, please click the link above.

So Ya Wanna Finish That Thesis/Dissertation/Article/Paper/Chapter? Pt II
Maybe instead of comparing yourself to those around you, you are victim to another crippling tendency, self-criticism. It’s possible that you’re even feeling guilty right now reading this instead of writing. If you’re feeling guilty about your writing habits lately or need a refresher on how to say no and really mean it, this piece by Charlotte Frost is for you.

What’s Next for E-Textbooks?
This topic was explored at our annual conference this past June in Baltimore. Many attendees had questions on how this technology would translate to them as the author. Would they or would someone else create various versions of the same work to adapt to each students weaknesses and strengths and learning styles? Although this piece doesn’t answer that question, it does offer a thorough overview of different publishing companies and their current focus on developing new technologies to transform the e-textbook of the future.

The Bogus Academic Journal Racket Is Officially Out of Control
Really I’m including this because I find it to be an easy and enjoyable read on an unfortunate reality in today’s scholarly publishing world, predatory publishers. It’s also been shared over 3,100 times on Facebook. (I dream of that happening with one of these posts, so please feel free to share. 😉 )