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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: November 3, 2017

This week brought with it the close of our Textbook Awards program nomination period and the start of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). It also brought with it articles focused on creative process, tips to improve writing, and cautionary tales for textbook and academic authors alike. Articles include innovative textbook development using augmented reality and creative learning activities, secrets and tips for improving your writing, how to manage commitments, and topics of potential concern related to copyright, predatory journals, and peer review. As you begin this month of academic writing, keep in mind the words of Lailah Gifty Akita, “Wondering leads to writing”, and stay curious, pursue new ideas, and write.

A new twist on “Electronic” text books: The augmented reality textbook

Livit Studios is launching a series of augmented reality books, a fully featured app with books designed from the ground up to take full advantage of the power of AR. The app is full of features including visualization, animated 3D models, animated characters, audio experiences and interactive 3D games.

The 7 secrets of writing from the best writers in the world

Learn how the best writers…master themselves, read the best books, write every day, aren’t afraid of showing emotions, write what society hates, and don’t have formal education.

Academics and copyright ownership: Ignorant, confused, or misled?

Beginning with reference to the recent law suit against ResearchGate brought by Elsevier and the American Chemical Society following the $15 million damages awarded to Elsevier in their recent case against Sci-Hub, this article presents five theories regarding academics’ understanding of copyright.

The month of hell (TM)

Overcommitment is a constant problem for working academics who wear ‘busyness’ as a badge of honour. This post from Evan Hayles Gledhill has real insight into why the problem happens in the first place – our own reactions to the hyper competitive research culture.

Books for brighter kids

Five new series of textbooks are ready for use in the elementary schools in line with the Department of Education’s K-12 basic education curriculum. These books for Grades 1 – 6 pupils are meant to develop their  thinking skills, explore and investigate the world around them, strengthen their love of country and deepen their understanding of our culture, and give lessons for active involvement and participation in learning activities.

7 Essential writing tips for authors

Mark Twain once said, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.” That may sound like a tall task, but you already know that writing is hard work and the hardest part of the process is the editing. If you want to help yourself get through your revisions faster and with more confidence, follow these essential writing tips when working on your first draft.

Many academics are eager to publish in worthless journals

Many faculty members — especially at schools where the teaching load is heavy and resources few — have become eager participants in what experts call academic fraud that wastes taxpayer money, chips away at scientific credibility, and muddies important research.

Peer review by whom?

Rand Paul wants to add two people to every federal peer-review panel evaluating research proposals, charged with looking for value to taxpayers. Science advocates say idea would politicize federal funding of research.