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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 22, 2017

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenJohn Green says, “All writing is rewriting”. Nearing the end of the year, you may be considering what still needs to be written (both literally and figuratively) or rewritten for the year. As your writing continues into the holidays, our collection of posts this week begin with actions you can take to balance work with the holidays, effectively brainstorm ideas, and to gain more influence in academe.

We then explore some of the topics impacting textbook and academic authors including net neutrality, OER adoptions, free textbooks, qualitative research methods, and author perspectives on academic journal publishing in 2017. We close this week in the holiday spirit of gift giving (both literally and figuratively) with book ideas for the academic on your list and an article titled, “10 reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book”. Whatever your holiday plans, we hope that you continue writing (and rewriting) toward an even better new year ahead.

Home for the holidays: Work and balance during breaks

December is usually time for wrapping up: gifts, lab work, grading, chapters. There is something seductive about starting on January 1st with a fresh slate, and many of us try and cram a bunch of work into the end of the year to make that deadline happen. But it can be complicated as the end of the year can also mean travel to see family or friends, holiday celebrations, or (more often than not) true exhaustion after a busy year. Here are my best tips for setting up work during break so that you can both move forward on the work front and enjoy the light that the end of the year can contain.

Taking a real break between semesters

Often, deciding you have to fit writing in over the break only results in more guilt. You feel bad that you aren’t writing (enough) or that you are finding it hard to focus when you do sit down to write. And you feel bad that you aren’t giving your family and friends the time and attention they deserve, or you aren’t really creating the holiday you would like to have.

How to brainstorm effectively

You have a problem. You gather a group of smart, creative people and say, Let’s brainstorm. Together, you bounce around a bunch of ideas, whittling and honing them until you arrive at it: The Solution. Well, if that’s how you’re doing it, you have another problem: you’re brainstorming wrong.

Getting into the room where it happens

Advice for gaining more influence in academe. Strategies include reciprocity, commitment and consistency, liking, social proof, and scarcity. In sum, earning influence is a long-term career strategy, and you must pursue it with intentionality. What strategies or tactics do you use to gain influence?

‘Economism’ and the anti-net neutrality argument

Is there a sophisticated argument to be made against net neutrality?  One that recognizes the limitations of markets and of an anti-government stance, but yet still makes a positive argument to eliminate the regulations on internet service providers?

OER adoptions on the rise

The number of faculty members choosing open educational resources over traditional textbooks has nearly doubled in the last year, but awareness over all remains low.

Use of free textbooks is rising, but barriers remain

A growing number of professors are replacing the traditional textbook with an openly licensed one, according to a survey released on Tuesday. But their overall numbers remain small — and widespread adoption of the practice could remain out of reach unless key barriers are overcome.

Qualitative research in 2017

What approaches are qualitative researchers writing about? What are the trends– what methodologies are being used, what new approaches are emerging? In particular, what can we learn by examining the types of studies published in 2017?

Author perspectives on academic journal publishing: Editage insights survey

Since December 2016, Editage Insights has been running a survey of scholars to gauge their opinions on the predominant academic journal peer review and publishing system. The survey, which has questions ranging from rating the difficulty of the manuscript preparation process, to which factors authors consider when selecting a journal, aims to reveal areas of the publishing process that authors are satisfied with and areas they believe are lacking. Editage hopes that the survey will help further its mission to bridge gaps between authors and publishers.

Exit via the gift shop

What do you give an academic during gift-giving season?  Well I can’t tell you what to do of course, but as a guide to the generous, here’s a list of a few writing-related books that I would put in someone’s back pocket.

10 Reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book

The self-publishing process can be empowering for aspiring authors. The positive energy involved in getting your own project off the ground can propel you much further, much faster than waiting in line for your shot at traditional publication. So stay positive and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.