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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 10, 2018

"Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer." ~Barbara KingsolverAs evidenced by our collection of articles this week, there is no single way to do things in this field of academic writing.

For all of us, even the word summer is associated with different definitions and results – as comically represented in the first post this week. Some of us are finding new methods to enhance their research, shifting gears, overcoming challenges, or just trying to define how writing best fits in their schedule. For others, they’re examining the industry opportunities, differences, threats, and changes to see how they fit best in the environment.

This week’s collection of articles includes all of these topics important to the field of academic writing, but wherever your personal writing journey takes you this week, be true to yourself. Barbara Kingsolver advises us, “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

PhD Comics: ‘Summer’

A little fun with acronyms to kick off this week’s collection as summer break comes to a close for many in the next couple of weeks.

Learn data science methods that will enhance your research

We’re pleased to announce that we are launching new courses for the summer. Our latest data science courses are a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about computational social science methods and working with big data. You will learn about data science methods, ethics and tools and learn how to code.

The gear changes of independent research

In top gear I run smoothly and at high speed. I’m comfortable there, but of course it’s not sustainable long-term. Sometimes I have to drop to a lower gear for a while. And that’s where this whole analogy breaks down because, in a vehicle, changing gear is generally quick and fairly uncomplicated. For this independent researcher, it takes at least 24 bumpy hours, sometimes several days.

Doing a PhD with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

When I started my PhD I knew there would be challenges. For people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) there’s a huge boulder blocking the road, stopping us from turning intention into action. The way we process information and respond to the world affects how we work and how we connect to others, and for the HDR student there are some particular difficulties.

Writing regularly – matching time and task

Matching task and time requires a little bit of thinking ahead. It means a little bit of thinking about ALL of the tasks that go into a particular piece of writing, Writing is not simply sitting down and tapping away. Writing is also thinking, making notes, reading, sorting out references, selecting data, working out who to cite and not cite… there’s a lot of different types of work that add up to academic writing

Scholarly books unbound: A portal for brainy books

Academic book marketing is often as geared to impressing and attracting potential authors as it is with courting readers. Establishing a press-wide online catalog would have many benefits, but perhaps most importantly it would demonstrate a commitment to democratizing the consumption of university press books.

PhD defenses around the world: a defense at Ohio State

The ball was in the red zone, and the crowd was chanting, “DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!” Well, not quite. These are some ways my PhD defense differed from an American football game:

Denialism on the rocks: It just got a lot harder to pretend that predatory publishing doesn’t matter

If you don’t want *predatory publishing to tarnish the open access (OA) movement, you basically have two choices: an easy but ineffective one, and a difficult but more effective one. The easy but ineffective strategy is to deny that predatory publishing is a real issue and try to stop people talking about it. The difficult but (at least potentially) effective strategy is to do something about the problem of predatory publishing.

A call to arms for established researchers

The decision of Swedish research institutions not to renew their contract with Elsevier after 30 June 2018 is the latest instance in the “database wars”. Several countries – with Germany in the lead – have gotten into a dispute with major publishers over the rising prices for database subscriptions, which persist despite increasing numbers of open access articles. I think it’s up to established researchers to initiate change in the way research results are being distributed.

Advancing an integrated vertical stack of publication services

Alejandro Posada’s and George Chen’s graphic of the scholarly workflow overlaid with Elsevier products has, until now, been empty of Elsevier offerings at the stages of manuscript submission, peer review, and publication processing. With the acquisition of Aries Systems, Elsevier will now be providing publication services and, potentially, is poised to provide them as an integrated “vertical stack.”