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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 9, 2019

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen.” ~ Bradley WhitfordThis week’s collection of posts from around the web is filled with actionable items you can incorporate into your textbook and academic writing process and life. We begin with some planning concepts and how to navigate an academic conference. Next we explore some details related to scholarly e-books and creating a culture of inquiry. Then we discuss options for saving reader time during the research stage of a project and ways to help and support precariat colleagues. Finally we include ideas for “thinking in public” by blogging research and for engaging in open source scholarly publishing.

Bradley Whitford encourages us to “Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen.” This week, take action to move your writing forward. Happy writing!

10 Planning concepts I wish I’d known before my PhD

I gave a presentation for the opening of the academic year as part of the XV week of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Engineering at Universidade de Sao Paolo in Sao Carlos. The topic of this presentation was time management for graduate students.

How to navigate an academic conference

Victoria Reyes offers three tips that can ease any anxiety you may have and help you get the most out of attending one. Navigating a conference that attracts thousands of academics can be intimating. Here are three tips — primarily for graduate students going to these conferences for the first few times — that can ease your anxiety and help you get the most out of attending the conference.

Scholarly e-books and university presses – part two

This is the second of two posts on the roles of e-books in scholarly publishing, focused on how e-books fit into the mission and the business model of university presses. Last week I reviewed some of the basics around scholarly e-books; today we’ll get into more detail.

Teach research methods: Start with a culture of inquiry

One principle is common across all methodologies and methods: research is about asking questions. We conduct research to find and test solutions to problems. A researcher’s mindset is not set, instead it is open to new insights– or to being proven wrong. How do we teach in ways that help our students learn how to approach problems with open minds, and to craft and conduct research?

Articles summaries that “spoil” the paper to save reader time

Like many other people, I often find myself trying to figure out which articles are likely to be most relevant or important for a project I am working on. I use well-established heuristics such as scanning the article title, author(s), journal name, abstract, and keywords. I also greatly appreciate various services that “push” documents to me based on algorithms that use my past reading and personal publication history to predict my future interests. None of these approaches are perfect but I benefit from them all and so my interest was piqued immediately when I heard about Paper Digest.

Ways to help

How do you help and support your precariat colleagues? At Research Whisperer, we engage a lot with issues of precarity and casualisation. We think it’s a huge issue that needs urgent address in academia, and it’s a global problem.

Blogging my research

Blogging as journal becomes a kind of thinking in public. And thinking in public stems from my view that the researcher is not the only one who can interpret and make sense of events and conversations, who can theorise practice. Rather, meaning-making can be a shared activity which encompasses multiple perspectives and positions.

Open source for scholarly publishing: An inventory and analysis

Today, the MIT Press is issuing a new research report, Mind the Gap: A Landscape Analysis of Open Source Publishing Tools and Platforms, by lead author John Maxwell of Simon Fraser University. It provides an inventory of some 52 ongoing open source publishing initiatives. The study is bounded around open source: It is not intended to guide an organization seeking to make pragmatic decisions about which software to adopt or utilize among all the available options in a particular segment, but may be quite useful to those looking for a guide to the open source options that are available for example to address a digital humanities project or library publishing initiative. But even more than this, the study provides a thoughtful analysis of the open source community in publishing — tracking its development without shying away from its struggles.