The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 2, 2018
In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found suggestions for academics on using LinkedIn, choosing a research method, improving your conclusion, and getting back up after perceived failures. In the publishing industry, topics of collaboration using Crossref, the evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five, and the future of university press in Kentucky top the list. Finally, the cost of textbooks continues to be present in the articles of interest.
This week we hope that you will find inspiration among the posts to both make forward progress with your writing and to make an impact. As Darynda Jones suggests, “WHILE writing, just have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!”
LinkedIn. The website may sound to you like a place for consultants and other folks in the industry. You may consider ResearchGate and your blog as your online venues of choice.Perhaps you prefer to interact on Twitter. Maybe you once made a profile on LinkedIn when you were an undergraduate student, and then never updated it. Wherever you are, I’d recommend you to build and maintain a profile on LinkedIn. For academics, LinkedIn can serve the following purposes.
Because you do things in a sensible order, you have your research question, right? Good. It’s very important to have that first. The method (or methods) you choose should be the one (or ones) most likely to help you answer your question. You can’t figure out which methods are most likely to help if you don’t yet know what your question is. So if you’re actually not sure of your question, stop reading this RIGHT NOW and go settle your question, then come back and carry on reading.
If the researcher in the conclusion seems unsure, dodges saying what they’ve actually achieved, then the examiner writes their report thinking that the research is incomplete. They decide that the purpose of the viva is to find out if the researcher knows what they are talking about. Are they really doctoral material or still being prepared? Is the thesis a work in progress or a completed text?
What about you? Which items on my PhD perceived failure list do you relate to? Do you think these are reasonable grounds for declaring yourself a failure? If so, what do you think you can do about it?
Crossref was set up in 2000 by several publishers who came together in enlightened self-interest, eager to find a collaborative way to fight link rot and make reference linking scalable. Crossref was designed to be resolutely neutral, forming no opinions on politically sensitive issues such as open access, subscription models, etc.
As the “megajournal” has become more familiar as a concept, the term itself has come to feel more nebulous and limiting. Digital technology has enabled a shift both in the scope of published research and also in who can access it. But publishing is not just about the technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has proposed that some 70 small programs in the state budget be completely eliminated — as he also has proposed across-the-board cuts of around 6 percent for public higher education and most other state functions. Bevin, a Republican, has cited tight state budgets and has not spoken on specific programs he would eliminate. But word spread this weekend that one of his targets was the University Press of Kentucky, and many authors and scholars have reacted with alarm.
Along with the traditional textbooks, many college classes now require students to purchase access codes—which cost $100 on average—to online platforms created by publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson. Homework and quizzes are hidden on the platforms behind paywalls that expire after the semester, meaning students can’t resell them once they’re done with the course.
Open access and textbook-less classes provide solution for financial costs.