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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 5, 2018

"Don't let your fears overwhelm your desire." ~Sheryl SandbergThis week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with three “part two” editions of some useful blog series on dissertation writing, turning your PhD into a book, and ethical principles for independent researchers. We then include articles with insight on how the individual author is part of a larger authoring system and how to develop effective visualizations that say something solid. We close out the list with some industry news and advice on the single project awarded $4.9M in federal funding, research for social good, and the ongoing publisher battle against ResearchGate.

When facing big issues like those addressed in this week’s collection, fear can sometimes undermine success, so as you head forth this week, remember the words of Sheryl Sandberg who said, “Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire.” Happy writing!

Catastrophe-proof your dissertation

We’ve all heard it: the horror story of the student who forgot to backup their dissertation and lost it all in a freak accident. While this scenario is terrifying, it is thankfully one of the pre-defense nightmares that you can completely avoid with a proper writing system. Before you even begin,it’s important to set yourself up for success by getting the right tools and using them well.

How to turn your PhD into a book – part two

A couple of weeks ago I published part one of this series on academic book publishing, where I covered identifying the opportunities, contacting a publisher and pitching the idea. In part two I talk about how to negotiate the deal. In part three I will talk about what to expect in the book writing and editing process. (If you missed the last installment; step one can be found here – I recommend reading this post first).

Ethical principles for independent researchers – part two

Last week I posted the first five principles of independent research work. This post contains principles 6-10. Now you know all ten ethical principles of independent research work. At least, the ones I’ve come up with. There is probably something I’ve missed.

Me, myself, and I

It’s always more than one. None of us writes alone. We are always part of a distributed system of authoring. That system is geographically spread, and happens now, but also happened in the past.

Say something solid

Many beautiful, not to mention expensive, data visualisations blur into insignificance because they are unclear – not in their design, but in their recommendation. There’s no magic or secret formula to developing a great data visualisation. Just check that the stuff – rather than the fluff – is the real focus.

Single project earns federal OER pilot grant

The federal government will award the entire $4.9 million of the first round of its OER funding pilot to a STEM-focused open textbook project out of the University of California, Davis, the Department of Education confirmed this week to “Inside Digital Learning.”

Listen & learn: Podcasts about research for social good

What do researchers encounter when they conduct Research for Social Good? Listen to researchers’ stories to learn about the issues they’ve studied, the approaches they’ve used, and the creative ways they have overcome obstacles.

Publishers escalate legal battle against ResearchGate

American Chemical Society and Elsevier are again suing academic networking site ResearchGate in an attempt to stop it distributing copyrighted research papers. The publishers accuse ResearchGate of “massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.” They say that the networking site is illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law. They also suggest that the site is deliberately tricking researchers into uploading protected content. A spokesperson for ResearchGate declined to comment on the accusations.