Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 26, 2019
It’s the end of April. A time when many academics are faced with countless deadlines, upcoming graduations, and new beginnings – all of which carrying their own advantages and challenges. In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we find advice and resources to promote success in those academic endeavors.
First, if actively writing, don’t overlook the value of editing in the process and be open to potential changes in your plan as you balance your ideal with the reality of deadlines. To support your writing efforts, explore the advantages that personal industry groups and artificial intelligence tools may provide. Keep in mind the reality of semester rhythms, associated burnout, and the need to find balance among your various work-related efforts. Finally, for those embarking on new beginnings as the academic year comes to a close, we share information on the first Read and Publish deal in the US and a list of academic job interview questions (and how to answer them).
As you enter this next week, take things as they come. Focus on each task without getting lost in the potential overwhelm of everything that this part of the academic season often brings. Find a balance for your work. Enjoy the endings and completions, and look forward to the beginnings lying ahead. And through it all, happy writing!
Editing is at the heart of scholarly publishing — it is the work that takes research into a legible, creditable publication. In Kent Anderson’s survey of 102 (and counting) “Things Journal Publishers Do”, he found that editors are engaged with at least 38. For smaller publishers, editors may be doing a much larger share of the total. For society publishers, where we see responsiveness to the community of researchers as mission critical, editorial work is mission central. And yet “editing” is not necessarily well understood — in fact, there may be some erroneous assumptions about editing and what it contributes to journal publication.
Ultimately you see, writing isn’t done to a formula. Even academic writing that conforms to a genre. It’s still about what you bring to it. What you imagine. The act of writing is always about making the best sense that you can of your material and, yes, that may change as you develop your content in depth and detail. However, most academic writing is done to a deadline so there is always the question of balancing what ideally needs to be done with what realistically can be.
The people that you invite onto your industry advisory group should be people that you like and trust, and want to spend more time with. They might be people that you went through university with, or people that you have met through your own social network. They might be past students, or people that you think would make great PhD students in the future. They could, in fact, be anybody, as long as they share a passion for your particular research topic, and you would be willing to have dinner with them, or a beer, or a coffee, or a breakfast – whatever works for you and the group.
No one will dispute that AI (Artificial Intelligence) needs to “eat” data, preferably in massive quantities, to develop. The better the data quality, the better the result. When thinking about the potential applications of AI in scholarly communications as related to research artifacts, how will that work? How might AI be trained on high quality, vetted information? How are the benefits and costs distributed? This month we asked the Chefs: Where does scholarly communication and academic outputs fit in to the world of AI development?
It’s April, the time of end-of-the-year exhaustion when daily demands have worn down students, faculty and staff members alike, leaving everyone overextended and on edge. Tensions erupt: students leave conferences crying, faculty meetings devolve into fighting and tense hallway interactions echo the strain of multiplying emails. There’s far too much scheduled, with end-of-year exams, celebrations, defenses, graduations and more.
A lot is said and written about achieving a good work-life balance, as though work is only one thing (and life another). Work is in fact several things and achieving a good balance between them is also important. In fact, a good work-work balance is an essential prerequisite for a good work-life balance.
Earlier this month, Cambridge University Press and the University of California announced a new Read & Publish (R&P) agreement. This announcement was striking for several reasons. First, it is likely the largest R&P agreement to be signed in North America. Second, it follows close on the heels of the California decision to walk away from its negotiations with Elsevier following efforts that failed to reach a Publish & Read agreement.
Preparing for job interview questions in advance can help calm your nerves, so what are you likely to be asked in an interview for an academic job? A candidate I know has an interview next week and was given a huge list of over 60 authentic post-doc job interview questions, compiled by Dr Larissa Schneider, A DECRA fellow at ANU.