The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 11, 2018

"You're writing someones 'future' favorite book." ~M. KirinOne thing’s for certain in life. The future is always unwritten. No matter the past experiences or institutional standards, we must change, adapt, and grow with each day – and our writing must as well.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with writing habits, creative research methods, practices for overcoming writer’s block, and ways to evaluate data sources. It continues with exploration of fears and uncertainties related to sharing grant applications and pursuing a PhD as a single parent. Finally, we close with considerations of changes in subscription models, including cancellations of traditional journal subscriptions by universities, and the impact of recent changes in how Facebook is sharing data with the research community.

M. Kirin reminds all authors that “you’re writing someone’s ‘future’ favorite book.” Despite any challenges, fear, anxieties, or past experiences, I hope this week you can focus on the future and share your message through your writing.

Learning on the job: The art of academic writing

We continue to evolve as writers from childhood until our last words. From the start of your career to the end, these are the types of good habits that help make the writing process as ‘easy’ as possible.

Independent research and creative methods

This week’s blog is a video. It’s a keynote I gave last month at a doctoral conference at the University of Birmingham. The conference organisers asked me to cover three topics: my career as an independent researcher, creative research methods in practice, and advice for anyone considering becoming an independent researcher.

Writing and stuck? Try a “ventilation file”

I am sure that most of us have experienced that feeling of guilt and dread that comes from not getting down to a writing task. We find lots of other things to do instead. More important things. Like looming deadlines. Like people asking for our help. Like new and interesting writing. And when we do – finally – sit down to write, the words don’t come. Despite being determined to crack the nut, the writing just doesn’t happen.

Evaluating a data source

So what are some ways you can evaluate a data source? Like the evaluation of an actual data file, you should go into the evaluation of a data source with a few questions in mind.

The anxieties of sharing grant applications

This is a two-part post. In what follows, I’ll address the first question: What are the anxieties around sharing successful applications as a young researcher? In the next week’s post, I’ll discuss some of the things I’ve learned about writing good proposals.

Starting a PhD as a single parent

Tell people you’re considering a PhD as a single parent and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. A PhD is a grueling journey under the best of circumstances; add in a child or two and it looks near impossible. But when there’s something you’re passionate about, not doing it simply isn’t an option. So in true single parent fashion, you buckle down, set your eyes on the prize, and find a way to make it happen. If you’re a single parent considering a PhD, this advice will get you started.

Recurring dream – Organizations with subscriptions are more valuable

The subscription model has a number of virtues, including spreading costs across more entities in the market, thereby lowering the cost for each in relative terms, while creating a relationship between the provider and the consumer that tends to align their interests. The subscription model not only expresses value in and of itself, but it drives secondary value by creating an audience that is viewed as more engaged and sustainable. But does the subscription model alone make companies more valuable?

‘Big deal’ cancellations gain momentum

An increasing number of universities are ending, or threatening to end, bundled journal subscriptions with major publishers.

Why internet scholars are calling out Facebook for restricting access to its data

After news broke in March that a scholar had harvested data about millions of Facebook users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica, a political-consulting firm that advised the Trump campaign, the social-media company made some changes. But some scholars of the internet say the new restrictions are actually a problem.