The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 10, 2017
This week, November 6-11, 2017, was not only the first full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, but it also marked the sixth annual #UPWeek event in celebration of University Press Week. Throughout the week, there were a lot of great resources being shared throughout the academic community, no doubt inspired by these events. Our collection this week has something for everyone beginning with some humor illustrating the life of a grad student and tips about academic writing; exploring the scholarly process involving university presses, scholars, and reviewers; taking new perspectives on the publishing process, idea development, and resulting impact; increasing accessibility of scholarly resources; and sharing ideas with a broader audience. As stated by Oliver Markus, “The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.” Now go, write, and share your big ideas!
Every grad student faces the pains and struggles that only we can understand. Sure, our lives may look beautiful to professionals in the real world or undergraduates; but what the outside world does not know is that is there is college, and then there is grad school. College is fun. Grad school is hard. Read the list to get a laugh, relate, and realize that others know what you’re going through in the daily life of a graduate student.
November is #AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month). This article contains a few helpful tips for your scholarly writing—with academic citations of course.
The scholarly process
University presses are a vital if often underappreciated participant in important work being done to engage the broader public in more accurate, respectful, and honourable understandings of Indigenous peoples, especially those that have taken seriously the call for institutional change in dealing with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous-focused scholarship.
Scholars can and do work alone, and they can be excellent colleagues, productive academics, and generous mentors. Sure, there are some researchers who work alone because they don’t play well with others, but many work alone because it is an expectation of their disciplines. Some work alone because they enjoy working alone, but it doesn’t mean they can’t work with others.
Peer-review can sometimes feel like a lottery. On occasion, a paper may receive wildly divergent reviews. So, as an author, what should you do if one reviewer loves your paper but another seems intent on finding fault with everything you’ve done?
Some new perspectives
‘Publishers can gain a better understanding of their customers and embrace data-driven decision-making through digital transformation,’ writes Tracey Armstrong of Copyright Clearance Center.
It’s not uncommon for authors to be asked to submit a shortened version of a research article or piece of writing. This, says Thomas Basbøll, is too often looked upon as a problem of “reduction”, of pruning a longer text. Rather, the enormous surplus of knowledge that the longer text demonstrates the author has is a material resource for producing a different, shorter text. By using a key-sentence outline, authors can plan and reorganise the longer text without setting a material constraint on the shorter one.
Evolving forms of digital scholarship such a 3-D images, multimedia, and geographic data are relatively new elements in the scholar’s workflow. These formats appear in stark contrast to the legacy books and journal articles required for career advancement within the academy. How do these tools fit into the current landscape and what are the implications for publishers?
Accessibility of research
This article suggests that it may not be useful to talk about making scholarship or science “more accessible” in generic terms. The degree to which it’s possible to make scholarship more accessible is going to vary by context and discipline, and where it is possible, the techniques that work will vary as well.
Hundreds of colleges are signing on to publishers’ programs, with apparent savings to students. Some applaud the movement, while others are skeptical.
Oregon State University Ecampus has created a database compiling research on the efficacy of online learning. The Online Learning Efficacy Research Database, which launched this week, is a searchable resource of academic studies that was created in response to skepticism about online education.
Sharing your ideas
If you’re going to write an academic book, you need to be prepared to do some marketing. Otherwise it will sink, without so much as a bubble, deep into the ocean of published academic books.
Communicating research to a general audience is one of the most challenging aspects of a career in research. This article offers seven strategies for use the next time you’re discussing your work with someone outside your field.
For scholars, Twitter offers a unique chance to connect with your peers, other readers, and a larger public audience. It can be a conduit to work being done in your field and an informal way to communicate with each other.
Bonus resources for #UPWeek
Want more? This week, Princeton University Press maintained a #UPWeek blog tour with links to articles from several university presses on different topics – check them out below.
- #UPWeek Blog Tour: Scholarship Makes a Difference
- #UPWeek Blog Tour: Selling the Facts
- #UPWeek: Producing the books that matter
- #UPWeek: #Twitterstorm