Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 26, 2019
This week’s collection of articles from around the web is laden with soul-searching practices for academic writers. The list includes ways to improve weaknesses, approach processes creatively, flip the story, balance satisfaction with needs, and apply quick fixes to research. It also contains insight into the PhD process with teenagers, the decline of textbook spending, and the balance of open access and the cost of quality.
Virginia Woolf once said, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” This week share your secrets, experience, and quality of mind through your work. Happy writing!
Improving weaknesses with your dissertation
You put what you thought were the finishing touches on the last chapter of your dissertation. It feels like you have been writing for ages. Just when you were about to wipe the sweat from your brow, you receive pages of comments from committee requiring you to address weaknesses in your dissertation.
Creative approaches with Big Data
If you’ve been following the Creative and Arts-Based Methods series on MethodSpace, you have seen a lot of examples from qualitative researchers. We don’t want to neglect quantitative researchers, including those who work with Big Data. This collection of open access articles might give you some food for thought about your own research.
The flipped narrative starts the same way as the default. You pose your problem or question and explain why it’s important. But now, you provide your answer straight away. You then spend the remainder of the time showing your audience how you reached that conclusion.
Balancing author satisfaction with reviewer needs
I was scrolling through Twitter with my morning coffee in my favorite place — my screened-in porch — and there were two threads that caught my eye…. Both of these threads smacked of the disconnect between what authors value (fast time to publication) and what reviewers need (flexibility and time).
More little quick fixes for research
Regular readers may remember that I’ve been writing short research methods books for SAGE’s Little Quick Fix series. The first two, Write A Questionnaire and Do Your Interviews, came out in January. I’m delighted to announce that their sequels, Use Your Questionnaire Data and Use Your Interview Data, will be out any day now.
My thinking was that perhaps, seeing the ‘mess’ involved in completing a PhD, as well as the difficulties involved in constructing a new career, the boys might gain some appreciation for how qualifications are gained. I was hoping to make something out of my ‘blood, sweat and tears’ which were defining this part of family life.
Textbook spending continues slow decline
Survey finds the amount students spend on course materials each year has decreased, possibly indicating students are increasingly utilizing open-source material and other educational resources.
Plan S version 2 and the cost of quality
As Plan S is currently framed, many journals are likely to decide that the fraction of their papers subject to Plan S is sufficiently small to allow them to post this content on green OA platforms to achieve Plan S compatibility. Those of us who believe that a properly financed transition to gold OA is the right goal are left with little, if anything, tangible to give us the confidence to flip our journals to full OA. In my view, we should not lose the focus on the bigger picture, that is to support the most useful forms of dissemination at the cost required.