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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 1, 2019

"Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up." ~Jane YolenJane Yolen reminds us to “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” This week’s collection of articles from around the web provides some examples of just how to do that.

We begin our collection with a typical say in the life of five writers, planning scholarly visits, developing an academic home page, waiting on peer review, and counting down to thesis completion. We also found some articles of interest on the future of publishing platforms, books on pedagogy, and prioritizing organizational choices. Happy writing (every day)!

Writing group party of one: A day in the life of 5 writers

Following up on my last article in which I spoke with nine solo writers, I’m sharing outtakes of what a typical writing day might look like for five of them.

Drop around for a visit

How do you plan for a visiting scholar? Well, if you were visiting, how would you want things to be organised? Thinking about the visit from the visitor’s point of view can help you to: Clarify the purpose of the visit and set realistic expectations; Understand the logistics and funding required to get a visitor to your campus; Plan the actual visit, including a welcome kit for your visitor.

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned academic home page?

How should you present yourself as an academic on the internet? It’s a vexed question. There are just so many options for making a ‘place’ where people can find out more about you that it can be hard to make a decision. I’ve been thinking about this since Blair wrote to me with a question.

How long is a reasonable amount of time for peer review?

After a discussion about how fast or slow the review process is these days, and agreeing with a colleague that 3 weeks is a reasonable amount of time, I wanted to know if other academic think alike. The majority of the voters do agree with my first idea, and voted for the option “between 2 and 4 weeks”.

Counting down to #thesis completion

Here’s a set of things you might need to think about, starting from the triumphant very end and then working backwards. Do remember that the things on my list won’t be exactly on yours. You need to sort out what goes in your very particular individual list: this is just an example to help you think about what could happen. So rewrite my list to suit your research and writing strategies.

Will publishers have platforms?

Today, journal content distribution is largely a publisher activity. Researchers are able to access journal articles through each of hundreds of publisher-specific content distribution websites. But, as the extensive use of Sci-Hub, repository versions, and other workarounds by entitled users makes clear, publishers are losing online traffic on their own platforms. What does this mean for the future of the publisher site and the hosted platform companies?

My top 6 books on pedagogy

For the many among us who face such exigencies, the following represents a short list of great (and thin!) books on topics like active learning, rubrics, teaching first-year and first-gen students, course journaling, and meaningful writing projects.

Ask the Chefs: Prioritizing organizational choices

With changes in technology, changes in business models, and changes in expectations from seemingly every player in the scholarly communications ecosystem, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. How do you prioritize choices? What can wait and what can’t? When is the right time to implement some new content or process innovation? And which ones should you just sit back and watch? To consider this issue more fully, this month we asked the Chefs: How can organizations prioritize the myriad of demands on their time and resources?