Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 16, 2019

“I start with a question. Then try to answer it.” – Mary Lee SettleMary Lee Settle once said, “I start with a question. Then try to answer it.” Isn’t this the foundation of academic work and writing? To find answers to questions. This week’s collection of articles from around the web share a few answers as well as new questions important to authors.

For those asking about the right tools for academic writing, we may have the answers in our first couple links. Wondering if there is a better way to describe academic writing than the pre-writing, writing, and post writing revision description commonly used, Pat Thomson may have the answer below. Questioning quality criteria in scholarship and science or the liability associated with linking to content on Sci-Hub, answers may await in this week’s collection. We also may have some answers (and even more questions) related to applying for an alt-ac job, teaching research methods, the future of FAIR, and the most recent law suit against Cengage by authors.

The world of textbook and academic writing is filled with questions and answers – some of which lead us to even more questions. This week, challenge yourself to answer the questions you have and to share them through your work. Happy writing!

200 Best writing tools and resources every student needs

Have you ever struggled with your writing assignments? Essays, reports, term papers… There are so many various types of academic writing. Now it’s time to throw out all those struggles because we’ve picked 200 writing tools and resources that will help you to enhance your studies. Check them out now!

Tools for planning your PhD: the PhD Planner

I set up my spreads in my notebook myself, but if you want a preprinted planner for academic success, there is the PhD Planner. I learned about this planner from its creator, who was kind enough to send me a free copy.

Three thesis writing modes

I’ve often wondered if there was a better way to describe the way that writing happens during the doctorate. Something better than pre-writing, writing and post writing revision. I think I’ve finally come across it in one of the many books about creative writing I’ve been accumulating.

Quality criteria in scholarship and science: Proposing a visualization of their interactions

This posting represents an attempt to sort out the various ways in which particular characteristics of research and of written research reports interact with each other, and in particular the ways that those characteristics affect a paper’s impact on the real world.

Linking liability

Sci-Hub, a repository for pirated research papers, is widely acknowledged to be illegal. But is sharing a link to the site illegal, too? There is little dispute that Sci-Hub, the website that provides free access to millions of proprietary academic papers, is illegal. Yet, despite being successfully sued twice by major American academic publishers for massive copyright infringement, the site continues to operate.

Applying for that alt-ac job

Recently, I started a new job. One of the first things on my to-do list was to employ someone to work with me. I thought that it might be useful to reflect on the recruitment process, particularly for academics who are looking for an alternative academic job (an ‘alt-ac job’ as some people call it)—an administrative job within a university environment.

Teaching methods: Some trends in the literature

Research methods are hard to learn, and a challenge to teach. The term research methods encompasses a wide range of topics, from abstract ideas about ethics and theory to practical skills like interviewing or statistical analysis. Understanding research methods is only the beginning for those who would become researchers. Conventional read-discuss-write approaches to instruction aren’t adequate for developing a novice researcher’s ability to analyze the options, decide what fits the purpose of the study, create an ethical proposal, then actually conduct the research and write about it.

The future of FAIR, as told by the past

Stewardship of research data has received particular attention, evidenced by an ever-thickening network of services, resources, and consensus- or standards-building activities dedicated to making data sets accessible and reusable. One prominent initiative is FAIR: a set of principles that describe how to make data sets Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. It is still early days for FAIR – the principles were introduced in a 2016 article in Scientific Data. The future of FAIR is therefore very much to be determined; however, publishers, funders, researchers, and other stakeholders can draw some helpful lessons from history.

Cengage faces new class action suit from authors

For the second time in just over a year, a group of textbook authors has filed a proposed class action suit against publisher Cengage, alleging that the company’s digital pivot violates their author agreements.