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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 8, 2017

"Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end." ~Nona Mae KingThis week our collection of articles from around the web contains innovative practices and changes in the publishing industry, suggestions for Open Education, ways to repurpose your finished research into a journal article, academic friendships, social media impacts on author and publisher success, and actions to reduce predatory publishing practices.

As we come to the end of the first week of December, a month where many of our writing projects are faced with increased struggle as academic terms come to an end, remember the words of Nona Mae King, “Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.”

Cengage launches first-of-its-kind subscription to offer unlimited, on-demand and affordable access to digital course materials

In a bold move designed to lower student costs and improve access to learning, Cengage, an education and technology company, today announced Cengage Unlimited. This first-of-its-kind subscription gives students access to all the company’s digital higher education materials—more than 20,000 products across 70 disciplines and more than 675 courses—for $119.99 a semester, no matter how many Cengage materials they use.

W3C Publishing Summit 2017

The first-ever W3C Publishing Summit took place in San Francisco, November 9 to 10, to discuss how web technologies are shaping publishing today, tomorrow, and beyond. Publishing and the web interact in innumerable ways. The Open Web Platform and its technologies have become essential to how content is created, developed, enhanced, discovered, disseminated, and consumed online and offline.

Taylor & Francis Group and the Mathematical Association of America begin publishing partnership in 2018

Taylor & Francis Group and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) are pleased to announce their new publishing partnership beginning in 2018. Taylor & Francis Group will publish three journals on behalf of the association: The American Mathematical Monthly, College Mathematics Journal, and Mathematics Magazine, as well as one of the association magazines, Math Horizons.

EdBooks promotes sustainability and affordability in Open Education publishing

When we hear a phrase such as “open education,” we may wrongly think of unstructured content and unreliable sources, which leads to questions of educational value, credibility, and stability. Thwarting these concerns, EdBooks has created an open model for general education that is content-rich and sustainable while remaining financially viable.

A view from the outside — Trends and challenges consultants see in scholarly publishing

The perspectives of publishing consultants on five questions regarding trends and challenges in the scholarly publishing industry.

What the heck is OER?

When I hear the term OER, I don’t automatically leap to “Open Educational Resources.” Perhaps it just doesn’t trip off my metaphorical tongue. Instead, my brain automatically translates it to “free online stuff to use in my classroom.”

Why should institutions consider publishing open access textbooks

Because of the typical high prices of textbooks, students have increasingly been turning to rental options or the used textbook market, and are able to find more and more resources online. In response, some commercial publishers are adapting their models to provide all-inclusive access options that offer students direct access to textbooks at a far lower price, and some universities report success with such initiatives.

References and citations for all

Scholars push for free access to online citation data, saying they need and deserve access to the reference data they helped create.

It’s going to get a lot easier to break science journal paywalls

More than three quarters of published journal articles—114 million on the World Wide Web alone, by one (lowball) estimate—are only available if you are affiliated with an institution that can afford pricey subscriptions or you can swing $40-per-article fees. In the last several years, though, scientists have made strides to loosen the grip of giant science publishers. They skip over the lengthy peer review process mediated by the big journals and just … post. Review comes after.

Writing from a research project – find the point

It’s often tricky to work out how to turn a piece of finished research into a journal article. Or two. Or even three. This trickiness is in part because it’s hard to get your head out of the whole that you’ve constructed – the completed report or chapters took ages to put together and make coherent. It’s too hard and too much to think of unpicking the argument again.

Cartoons, comics, and graphic novels in research and academia #2

An interesting article by Dr. Helen Kara on the use of cartoons, comics, and graphic novels in research and academia.

The subtle surprises of academic friendships

Personal relationships can provide untapped creative spaces for boundary-spanning work, writes Jeffrey Nesteruk, and the silos we most need to overcome might be ourselves.

Leveraging your Amazon author page for greater success

Just like the about page on your website, this is where Amazon browsers go when they want to know more about you. Say for example they’re browsing for information about business branding, and they find your new book. If you’re an unknown to them, it’s hard to know if you have the information they’re looking for. That’s where your author page comes in.

Academic journals with a presence on Twitter are more widely disseminated and receive a higher number of citations

Previous research has shown that researchers’ active participation on Twitter can be a powerful way of promoting and disseminating academic outputs and improving the prospects of increased citations. But does the same hold true for the presence of academic journals on Twitter?

Federal Trade Commission and National Institutes of Health take action against predatory publishing practices

In an interesting and potentially significant move for the scholarly publishing world, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has granted a preliminary injunction against a major journal publisher and conference organizer in response to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Illegitimate journals and how to stop them: An interview with Kelly Cobey and Larissa Shamseer

In this interview, Kelly Cobey and Larissa Shamseer (both of the Centre for Journalology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) share their thoughts on what is meant by the term “illegitimate journal”, why these publications are proving so successful at attracting authors, and the community actions needed to stop their spread.