The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 29, 2018

"I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged." ~Erica JongThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics of interest or concern to authors. If you’re considering tools to support your scholarly writing efforts, there are articles related to Revision Assistant, Google Drive, and the latest in search. Ethics-minded? We have articles on using tweets as data, sharing story ownership, and interpretation of results. Thinking about your publishing options? There’s continued discussion on open access models. Just trying to move forward in your scholarly writing? We also found time-saving tips for writing papers and methods for being a “star PhD student”.

Erica Jong once said, “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” This week we encourage you to finish something. Be brave. Be brilliant. And write without fear of judgement.

The best algorithm-driven writing instruction you can imagine

Revision Assistant is algorithm-driven software designed to give formative feedback on student writing without relying on instructor intervention. Their focus is on providing “immediate, personalized, actionable feedback” on student writing on “standards-aligned reading and writing tasks.”

Use these 5 tips to save time writing any paper

Writing a paper, whether it is a PhD research or a short essay, may be a huge pain. While it is fun, given that you enjoy the topic, the process of putting it together in writing takes an awful amount of time. Follow these tips and you will find that the time you spend writing your paper will decrease significantly.

The latest in search: Do new discovery solutions improve search as well as retrieval?

As publishers, libraries, and technology providers grapple with customer and end-user demands for discovery as well as delivery of scholarly content, we have seen a surge of scientifically minded search engines and browser extensions released in the last year or two. Have these modern discovery tools finally solved our age-old limitations, from metadata to access controls? Can cutting-edge solutions in data science and authentication unite search and retrieval of scholarly literature (outside the library)?

Sharing story ownership in qualitative research

Whose story do you tell in a study? To whom does the story belong? How do you write a research story? These questions arise as you start a research project, especially in social and behavioral science research. Often overlooked, researchers may, at the outset, develop a study without considering the storytelling approach and their specific roles as storytellers.

On acting, interpreting, and academic writing

Every academic discipline interprets. Whether we are trying to define a problem, make sense of numbers or understand phenomena we observe, we interpret. The texts that we read, the fragments that we collect, are made sensible through interpretation. The job of the academic is to use research processes, research regimes that make our number, text or image work systematic and careful. And we do this data and analytic work thoroughly and to the very best of our ability.

How to be the ‘star PhD student’ – when you are an introvert

As an introvert, I know that I have a finite amount of energy for face-to-face interactions.  After a while, no matter what I’m doing, who I’m talking to or how good and useful it is, I’m going to have to recharge by finding a quiet place.  Every day, every week, every month, there is a limit on how much I can handle. When you have a finite resource, what do you do?  Learn to spend it well.

Research ethics & tweets as data

It looks so easy to just copy, scrape, or download posts and images available on social media! Things are a bit cloudier when it comes to getting a study approved when such materials are to be used as data. Researchers to look to established guidelines from their respective disciplines and professional societies may find that even recently updated guidelines are inadequate when technologies (and the ways we use them) change so quickly.

Will Europe lead a global flip to open access?

In one way of thinking, these OA Big Deals are in publishers’ interests. For a publisher that can sign enough of them, they effectively eliminate the risk of revenue drain from uncontrolled piracy while getting beyond the challenges of hybrid journal models. And, consortia are effectively offering to crown the existing major publishers as the OA Royalty, rather than putting in place the competitive marketplace for OA that Poynder and others wish to see develop.

How to use Google Drive in an optimal way

Google, of course, is known as a search engine, but that’s not all that Google is. Google has a host of cloud-based tools that make accessing and editing documents simple not only for you but for your whole team. That’s why learning how to use Google and all of its associated hacks makes life even easier.

Time to check out of the hybrid hotel?

Heralded by many as a transition mechanism to full open access (OA), hybrid OA has shown impressive growth in recent years, but questions are now being asked of its sustainability. Rob Johnson considers the future prospects for hybrid publishing and argues that publishers need to get serious about offsetting arrangements, if recent progress is to continue.


Looking for some writing accountability this summer? The TAA Writing Gym opens on July 16th. Register now through July 9th to be a part of this exciting opportunity!