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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 19, 2018

"Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself." ~M. KirinThis week’s collection of textbook and academic posts from around the web begins with predictions and strategies for the coming year. It provides resources for jumpstarting book reviews, improving your writing, understanding research ethics, and protecting and expanding the public domain. Finally, it explores the impact of new initiatives like RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century, a new open access megajournal from UCL Press, Digital Science’s new citation database – Dimensions, and the Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) from Enago.

With so many changes in sight, it’s anyone’s guess where 2018 will take us, but as we explore the potential ahead, keep in mind the words of M. Kirin. “Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself.” Wishing you many great discoveries in the week ahead. Happy writing!

What does 2018 hold for writers?

I haven’t seen any truly ground-breaking predictions or observations for 2018. It’s the usual grab bag of think long-term and be prepared for change. If I were pushed to make a bold prediction, it would probably relate to a change in ebook royalties or terms for indie authors using Amazon KDP, but I have no basis for making that prediction—other than a belief that Amazon will always tighten the screws on its publishing partners.

Ask the chefs: What are your predictions for scholarly communications in 2018

Prediction is a strong word. There are so many related threads in the scholarly communications ecosystem that it’s difficult to see what might be knit together or unwound in the coming year. Some trends observed in the past may take giant steps forward, while others falter and either regroup or disappear. But, as long as we don’t obsess, it’s always good to be thinking about what lies ahead.

7 Resolutions job seekers can make in the new year

Graduate students and other job seekers planning to go on the academic job market in 2018 might be thinking that the job search season, which typically begins in the fall of each year, is still a long way off. But the start of a new year is also an apt reminder of just how quickly a year goes by, and it’s not too early to start preparing for your upcoming job search.

How to jumpstart book reviews for self-published books

The challenge for self-publishers, especially new authors who have small or nonexistent networks, is to convince readers to add one more title to their to-be-read pile. Unfortunately, most self-publishers do not (yet) have a reputation that confers credibility upon their books. That’s where book reviews can help; they contribute credibility and raise awareness in four distinct ways.

Tightening up your sentences – cut the bloat

We all know what bloat is. If something is bloated it is swollen, puffed up, flabby, distended, enlarged. Right now, we probably associate bloat with eating too much over the festive season. But bloat also happens in academic writing.

Free online research ethics resources

Are you grappling with research ethics? If so, fear not, for there are numerous free resources online to help you. Here are some examples.

5 Awesome organisations working to protect and expand the public domain

Creative Commons cares deeply about the public domain, and we’re not alone. There are many incredibly impactful, important, and simply interesting organisations and projects out there working to highlight, protect, and expand the public domain. Here are just a few of our favorites!

What will you do when they come for your proxy server?

I’m starting to see the end-game of the STM/NISO RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century project. And, dear reader, I’m a little unsettled by it.

UCL launches open access megajournal to help solve the world’s biggest challenges

UCL Press is launching a new open access megajournal that will provide academics and students with ground-breaking research free of charge in a move that challenges traditional commercial publishing models.

A new citation database launches today: Digital Science’s Dimensions

Looking at the two most complete researcher workflow portfolios, those owned by Digital Science and Elsevier, one of the glaring differences has been Digital Science’s lack of a citation database to compete with Elsevier’s Scopus. Today, Digital Science announced Dimensions, a new product that includes a citation database, a research analytics suite, and streamlined article discovery and access. An important innovation in a number of ways, Dimensions will offer stiff new competition for Elsevier and Clarivate.

Enago launches Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) – Improving accessibility of authentic open access journals

Empowering research scholars by helping them find authentic open access journals that are relevant to their research objectives and manuscripts. OAJF uses a validated journal index provided by Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – the most trusted non-predatory open access journal directory. The free journal finder indexes over 10,700 pre-vetted journals and allows researchers to compare their paper with over 2.7 million articles and counting.