Posted on

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 20, 2019

“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” – Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman once said, “A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” As we approach the end of the calendar year (and second decade of the 21st century), we can be satisfied with the infinite possibilities that lay out before us.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web is short in stature, but contains some quality resources for exploring your potential as an academic author. We begin the collection with a discussion of research skills that adult students/scholar-practitioners need. We then explore the challenges of writing a second edition and distinguishing between interesting and true when evaluating scientific studies. Finally, we examine how scholar-practitioners manage boundaries between theory and practice and how Plan S may transform hybrid journal publishing.

As you explore the possibilities presented in this collection and continue your own writing practice over the next week, ask yourself what possibilities you are revealing to your readers. There is nothing more necessary or satisfying. Happy writing!

Research skills that adult students/scholar-practitioners need

Scholar-practitioners usually conduct research while in the throes of active practice in their professions; in other words, while “on the job.”  Their research often stems from some condition that arises in the workplace, and they hope that the results will have some meaningful application to their situation as well as to the profession as a whole. Each of these skills can be honed technically; here we will address them from a very practical viewpoint.

Writing a second edition is much harder than I realised

It all seemed like it would be so simple. I was delighted when Sage asked me in 2017 if I would produce a second edition of Social Media for Academics. It was only a year since the first edition had been released and it felt like a resounding vote of confidence in what I’d done and how people reacted to it. I imagined it would be a straightforward process which would only take a few months. How wrong I was.

Interesting versus true? Measuring transparency and reproducibility of biomedical articles

There are multiple ways to measure how much attention is being paid to a study. For example, the number of times that a study is cited, and by extension the average citation rate of a journal is a common metric. Various alternative measures of “popularity” (altmetrics), such as the number of times that it is tweeted have been devised. However, until now there has never been an easy way to measure any aspect of the quality of a scientific study.

How do scholar-practitioners manage boundaries between theory and practice?

In many fields across the social, natural, formal, and applied sciences, the relationship between theory and practice has been a matter of great debate (see here and here, for example). An increasing number of contributions either lament the “gaps” between academic research and societal practice or use tools to demonstrate the “bridges” between them. This tendency has shaped a debate that runs in circles, and lacks efforts at integration.

Will the hybrid journal be transformed by Plan S?

The concept of “transformative journals” was initially proposed by Springer Nature in May 2019 in a response to the draft of the Plan S implementation guidelines.  At the time, I expressed skepticism that the idea would find a receptive audience given the coaition’s position on hybrid journals. As such, I will admit that I was rather surprised to see that cOAlition S incorporated the notion of transformative journals into the final guidelines and signaled the possibility of re-thinking the acceptability of hybrid journals and expanding the conditions under which they would be considered Plan S compliant.