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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 17, 2017

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~Louis L'AmourAs we reach the halfway point of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, the posts this week reflect an increased awareness of the disruptive nature of Open Access in academic publishing, ways to increase diversity in scholarly writing, tips for productive reading and distraction resistance while writing, ways to beat your fear of writing, tools for academic writers, improving your use of comparisons, strategies for quickly tackling a writing project, and how to market your academic journal articles. Whatever you are working on this week, remember the words of Louis L’Amour and “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

Texas Tech University libraries encourage Open Access materials

Texas Tech University Libraries is a new member of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), an initiative to lower the cost of textbooks through open access materials.

Will Open Access & Open Science disrupt the future of academic publishing?

The commercial interests of academic publishers and the need for research scientists to publish align accordingly with each other. Journals charge subscription and publication fees to meet article processing, management, and other costs. In the past, universities received generous government funding and the relationship between research and publishing was mutually beneficial. However, reductions in research funding have left academic institutions unable to afford increasing publications costs.

Ask the chefs: How can we increase diversity in scholarly communications?

It’s easy to recognize the importance and value of diversity, but seemingly difficult to make diverse an industry or organization that is not. But, why is it so difficult? Why have we recognized the objective and only see slow, and not always steady, progress toward achieving it?

Reading! You’re meant to be writing

The reading is seen as intellectual nourishment, which is stored away for future reference. Whether we read things as they appear, or read for a specific purpose, the reading we talked about was about providing us with new ideas, arguments, provocations and insights. The reading feeds current, and future, writing.

This just in: Keep your focus amid breaking news

How to stay informed without sacrificing your academic work.

Ten ways to beat the fear of writing

Many people find it hard to start writing. One of the possible reasons is fear. Fear of what readers might think. Fear of being able to write stylishly enough. Fear that the writing won’t measure up to your own high standards. Fear of not being able to get an argument together. Fear that there won’t be enough words. Or too many.

Tools for academic writers

November is Academic Writing Month #AcWriMo at Methodspace! The theme of week two is: Be Productive. Being productive as a 21c writer means being able to find the right digital tools.

How to fix incomplete comparisons (or avoid them altogether!)

As an author, your biggest mission is to communicate information to your readers clearly and precisely. Academic writers often use comparisons to highlight the importance of a discovery or finding or to explain the degree to which something has changed. Comparisons can often help facilitate understanding and provide important context, but if written incorrectly, they can leave your audience more confused than they were before.

How to draft a dissertation in a year

A collection of strategies to help you quickly get into your writing project.

How to market your academic journal article

Journal articles, too, benefit from marketing. If you’ve ever had one published, you have probably had one or more emails from the publisher encouraging you to help market your article. It is in the publisher’s interest for you to help them with marketing, because higher visibility usually leads to more citations, and more citations (within two years of publication) help the journal concerned increase its impact factor. It may, though, be in your interest too.