Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 30, 2019

“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” – Mark TwainThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes several ways to advance your academic writing efforts and to focus on your personal definition of success. Our first article suggests that the first step toward success is in selecting your research topic. Our next two focus on the literature – first as resources, second as tips for conducting qualitative research. We then explore reasons you may not want to apply for external funding and methods for teaching the practice of research. Finally, we look at new possibilities in open access publishing agreements.

Mark Twain once said, “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” This week, consider your definition of success and your dream for your academic writing. Focus on that desire and see where it takes you. Happy writing!

Selecting your research topic is the first step for a successful career

The step that you should be considering at this point is the selection of your research project. Since you have joined this specific research group, you are already interested in more than one line of research pursued in this group. Most likely, your advisor has given general guidelines for your proposed project as well as recommendations for specific start points. Now it’s on you to pursue your own research path which will start with selecting a research topic.

Orientations to reading – the literature as ‘resources’

The most common way to think about working with the literatures is to use the term ‘review’.  As I have above. And the clear and present danger in ‘reviewing’ literature is that it leads to a kind of essay-like writing – a listy run through of everything that has been read.

Learning to be a qualitative researcher: Tips from the literature

Here are a few viewpoints on ways to support student learning, gleaned from a selection of articles. As with any complex topic, this post offers a mere snapshot of perspectives offered by scholars who reflect on their own teaching or study pedagogy in the context of methods instructions. I was looking for specific, practical tips that instructors could adopt. While drawing from different disciplines, I looked for instructional ideas that are not discipline-specific.

4+1 reasons why you should not apply for external funding

Let’s stop for a second. If you are motivated and want to apply for funding, by all means, go ahead. But if you see it as a box-ticking exercise to please your managers, here are 4+1 reasons why you might push back against this pressure, and why you shouldn’t feel guilty about that.

Teaching methods with research cases: Participatory action research

Cases can be used in a multitude of ways for teaching the practice of research. While research texts and books offer fundamental principles, and articles discuss research that applies these principles, case studies offer a holistic viewpoint. Cases show how the theoretical and procedural aspects of research design fit together. They discuss what happened in the course of the study, including decision-making and problem-solving strategies used to overcome obstacles.

Toward a new kind of ‘Big Deal’

University librarians and some academic publishers are optimistic about the possibility of reaching new agreements to make more academic articles fully open, but they acknowledge many challenges ahead.