Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 25, 2019
It’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of the last full week of January already! Hopefully this month has been filled with new beginnings, fresh resolve toward your goals, and advancements in your academic writing endeavors, but there’s a lot of 2019 still to come!
For those of you in the final semester (or deep in the throws) of writing your thesis or dissertation, Pat Thomson’s advice to “yodelayeehoo” may be useful this week – by the way, it’s also great advice at multiple stages of your writing career. For those looking at what else the rest of this year and beyond has in store, the rest of this week’s collection brings insight to that question. First, we celebrate continued advancements in open access. Then we explore tips for managing research, ways to build a social network in the field, and the future of scholarly communication. To close, we look forward by looking back to 1923 and the possibilities that await for the previously copyrighted works newly released into public domain.
As you head into the days ahead, remember to “Write without Fear; Edit without Mercy”. And, if you’re one who likes inspiring reminders like this in physical form, stickers are available for use on your computer, smartphone, or office door through the TAA store. Happy Writing!
It’s the time of the year when writing the thesis gets pretty serious for a lot of PhDers. The endpoint is there in the distance, but there is still so much to do. So many words. So many pages. So much more to sort out. Is this you?
The questions that face us at this point are less related to whether we will transition to predominantly open access for the scholarly literature but rather to how will it come about, how fast, and at what costs paid by whom. Agreeing that open access is a good end, an analysis of the means for achieving that end is crucial to ensuring that the open access world is equitable and sustainable. Critical to engaging these questions relates to the means of achieving open access is analysis of the costs (financial, political capital, etc.) and the possibilities of unintended consequences. The greatest challenge in the transition to open access is not open access per se but rather the negotiations around how much it should and/or will cost.
Research methods is a huge and growing field with many books and innumerable journal articles offering useful information. But nobody talks about methods for managing your own research. Perhaps you’re doing postgraduate research in academia or workplace research such as an evaluation. Even if you’re a fully funded full-time doctoral student, research is not all you do. Research has to fit in with the rest of your life and all its domestic work, family needs, other paid or voluntary work, hobbies, exercise, and so on.
In general, your efforts to gather information in your dissertation study depends on the strength of your connections to gatekeepers—or folks who approve your access to a field site—and informants—research participants who serve as insiders to your study and share insight, information, and cues to social behavior. In fact, informants function as interpreters in social groups—helping researchers decode dimensions of human social life. These people are key to getting and understanding information before, during, and after fieldwork.
For the moment, let’s put business models aside and think about the form and flow of research and discovery. Is the article (pre- or post-publication), book, journal, etc — our current containers — and the byproducts that surround them the best we can do This month we asked the Chefs: What form might scholarly communications take in the future?
A dazzling array of works from 1923 are now available freely to scholars, artists and writers, opening up new possibilities for teaching and publishing.