The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 1, 2018
This week’s collection of useful posts from around the web begins with strategies for designing scientific posters, academic blogging, loving the PhD life, and dealing with reviewers’ comments. We then look at some innovative approaches to academia worthy of consideration, including how the success of LeBron James in professional basketball can be used as a model for academic success, tips for research commercialization, and the use of data citations as additional citations in our research.
As A.D. Posey reminds us, “reading sparks writing”, so we close our list this week with a list of open access best sellers that might just spark your writing in the week ahead.
The problem is that 90% of the scientific posters that you’ve seen at conferences and in the corridors of your university are terrible. I mean very terrible! Therefore, any ideas you might have about what a scientific poster should look like are probably, well…terrible. But it’s not your fault, and we’ll set things straight in this post, so hang tight!
Now my most usual conference blog connection is when I talk with people about starting to blog. I discuss all the things you’d expect – why start, who is the blog for, who is the ’you’ that is writing, what do you have to say that isn’t already out there, is it better to blog with other people or go solo, would writing for magazine style blogs be better and so on. Very often we get into the tricky bits about blogging – time, trolling, privacy and plagiarism. But this conference will be different. It’s wont be about any old blogging. So I’ve been thinking about how this blog will work. I’ve been pondering about the academic blog as a text. As a genre.
I recently saw a psychologist to help with time management, stress management and to get better at ‘saying no’ (ie: how to do it). When I told her that I was a PhD student the psychologist actually laughed and said, “There’s no getting around it, these will be the most stressful years of your life”.
Your first set of reviewers’ comments lands in your inbox. Your heart begins to race. Will your work be accepted or rejected? Will they love it or hate it? Can you bear to open the email?
As academics, we should think about this for a moment … How often have we looked at our department, our school, our university, our students, our teaching load, our administration, our situation and thought, “It’s too much!” “I can’t do this anymore!” “I’m just one person, what difference can I make?” How often have we looked ahead to our off-season to see what might be around the corner and let the team suffer as we spend our energies elsewhere trying to court another job offer?
Research commercialisation can be daunting, but in a landscape of dwindling government funding and ever-shifting technological and commercial realities, it can be a powerful way to bring new ideas and change into the world.
More and more data are being shared alongside published articles, so these relationships are out there and ready to be recorded. But they’re not making it to Crossref, and hence researchers a) don’t have a public record of the connection between their article and their data, and b) don’t get credit for others re-using their data.
As downloads of free scholarly books soar, what’s getting read?