Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 19, 2019

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." ~Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” This week’s collection of posts from around the web may challenge your thoughts about academic and textbook writing and processes.

Included in the collection are ways to change your thinking when publishing journal articles, completing a dissertation, or reading over the summer. There are articles on open science, open educational resources, and Pearson’s announcement of a “digital first” textbook publishing model. We close the list with articles on retaining perspective and developing new skills. This week, I challenge you to change your thinking to improve your writing practice. Happy writing!

Myths and truths about publishable journal articles

What are the essential ingredients for a publishable research article? Most academics know that their classroom essay or conference paper is not yet publishable, but they’re not entirely sure why. So let me debunk some common myths about what makes an article publishable and then turn to what, in fact, does make one acceptable to a journal.

A 5 step program for finishing your PhD (finally!)

After watching over 400 people go through this program, I’ve got a good idea of what it takes to finish a dissertation. Below is my patented, trialled and tested 5 step program for drawing a line under your PhD studies and calling it done.

Summer reading – or – not all reading is the same

I’ve got a few reading things on the go over summer. I have a bid to write, and a few papers. Indulge me while I describe what this actually means I am doing. I hope to show you that all reading is not the same. We read different things for different purposes, and because of that, we do different things with the texts.

Transitioning to a new peer review system: From scary to successful

The peer review process is the foundation of many journals, upon which their reputation is built. A great deal of thought and work goes into ensuring a good experience for authors, reviewers, and editors, and the idea of ‘starting over’ with a new peer review management system can make you break out in a cold sweat. But maybe the journal has expanded beyond its home-grown solution, maybe editorial boards are clamoring for updated features or functionality, maybe you’re dissatisfied with the level of customer service/support you receive, or maybe it’s the price tag. Sometimes you need a new system.

What does Open Science mean to me, and why is it important?

I was recently asked to record a snippet on Open Science, for the Open Science MOOC. Here’s the statement that I prepared to organize my thoughts (I ended up rephrasing this as I talked for the recording, but the idea is there).

Library publishers convene in Vancouver to discuss open platforms and open educational resources

From May 8 to 10th of this year, about two hundred librarians, publishers, and all flavors in between gathered at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver for the 6th annual Library Publishing Coalition Forum. The Pre-Conference on Wednesday, May 8th, focused on Open Educational Resources, had about 90 attendees. The open theme carried over into the main event with presentations on open publishing platforms of many kinds.

Shelf control? Largest textbook publisher is ditching books and going ‘digital first’

Pearson, the biggest publisher of educational books in North America, announced it will abandon its traditional textbook publishing model for all 1,500 of its U.S. publications in favor of a digital-first strategy. The company said print books will still be available, but only on a rental basis.

Pearson and pedagogy

For textbook authors, the change will be significant. As publishers invest more heavily in digital courseware with built-in assessments and learner analytics, they have started to sign fewer textbook authors.

Furnishing our corners of the internet

For me, retaining perspective on what is meaningful and pleasurable in life can disperse anxieties and enable me to concentrate on things that make me happy and where I feel I can do effective work that’s valued. This post features a bunch of sites and comics that I regularly read. A good way for me to recalibrate my world-view is through engaging with satire and the absurd, by participating in both the consumption and production of such cultural texts.

Ask the chefs: New skills

We often hear people say that the pace of change is increasing. Norms and expectations are changing. There are more pressures and demands placed on us as we attempt to keep up. In the context of technology we’ve also talked of how we prioritize our choices. What do we do? And when do we pass on something new? But how are we managing this on an individual level? Where are we (or should we) be investing time in building our skills? This month we asked the Chefs: What new skill have you developed in the last five years? Why is it important?