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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 13, 2019

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora RobertsNora Roberts once said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.” As we prepare for Peer Review Week 2019 next week, we find in our collection of articles from around the web others looking ahead to the event and many other items for consideration in the world of academic writing.

Our list includes advice on what to do in between submission and examination of your thesis, methods for work-life balance, holistic approaches to teaching and mentoring researchers, gamification of academic writing, ethics in data science, pathways to open access, and the art and science of image description.

No matter where your textbook and academic writing efforts take you this week, be sure to start somewhere. After all, you can’t fix a blank page. Happy writing!

Ask the Chefs: Peer review quality

Next week is Peer Review Week 2019. Asking the Chefs a peer review question has become a tradition for us. In 2016, we asked: What is the future of peer review? In 2017, we considered: Should peer review change? Last year we contemplated, How would you ensure diversity in peer review? This year the theme is quality in peer review. So we’ve asked the Chefs: How do different stakeholders – authors, editors, readers, publishers, the public – value peer review quality?

Oh no, it’s thesis hand-in limbo

It’s time to talk about the phenomenon of thesis limbo-land. That’s the unknown number of days between handing in and the examination. Your results can never come quite quickly enough. No matter if your exam is a viva, a set of written reports or a public defence, the waiting time drags on.

For work-life balance, loaf and invite the soul

Zachary Michael Jack remembers a colleague who taught him life lessons that were as valuable — and then some — as the merely strategic advice of how to impress superiors, win tenure and climb the academic ladder.

Pinot Noir, Australia, and peer review

One would never expect that the idea of bringing together professionals connected to the peer review process for a robust confab was born from a conversation over pinot noir. However, it was that talk which led to this week’s Peer Review in Australia seminar.

Holistic approaches for teaching & mentoring researchers

The MethodSpace focus for August is on teaching research methods, continuing in September, with resources on mentoring, supervising, and guiding researchers. We teach students about research methods for two main reasons.

Academic writing as fantasy role playing game

Gaming could help in your college writing course. In today’s Academic Minute, part of Westminster College Week, Christopher LeCluyse explains why. LeCluyse is a professor of English at Westminster College, in Utah.

Literacy more than ethics missing in data science

I swear by Hypatia, by Lovelace, by Turing, by Fisher (and/or Bayes), and by all the statisticians and data scientists, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgement, this oath and this indenture. Could this be the first line of a “Hippocratic Oath” for mathematicians and data scientists?

Exploring pathways to open access for society publishers

Society publishers have generally struggled to find sustainable routes to open access publishing and transition away from traditional subscription deals. The report authors studied 27 different approaches to open access publishing and have created a transformative agreement toolkit for use by small and medium publishers.

Thinking about the art and science of image description: An interview with textBOX founders

During the whirlwind annual meeting of the Society of Scholarly Publishers in San Diego this summer, I had a chance to chat with the brains behind textBOX, a new company offering a suite of accessible publishing services. Inspired to enrich the world’s online images with descriptive information, accessible to readers and computers alike, textBOX offers what may be a game-changer for scholarly and educational publishers in optimizing content discovery and access.

Teaching & mentoring with open access SAGE research methods journals

Pointing students or mentees to articles that describe or exemplify research methods is part of the role we take as methods faculty or dissertation/thesis supervisors. Open access journals are useful when you don’t have a robust academic library. Here are some SAGE journals you can tap for readings, with a recent article from each.

Book review: The SCOPUS Diaries

Abel shares the story behind his book The SCOPUS Diaries and the (il)logics of Academic Survival: A Short Guide to Design Your Own Strategy and Survive Bibliometrics, Conferences, and Unreal Expectations in Academia”. The book is a reflection on academic life, research careers and the choices and obstacles young scholars face at the beginning of their career.

10 days in

I recently started participating in a social media challenge, and I’m having a great time and feeling rather enlightened about my own practices. I thought I’d share them with you (now, ten days in) and compare my thoughts with when the challenge is over at the end of September.