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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 31, 2020

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael JordanHall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan once said, “You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” When writing for publication, we must expect great things from ourselves and our research in order to accomplish those goals of writing a journal article or textbook. This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers insight into just how to achieve the greatness we expect of ourselves and our work.

We begin with discussions about collaborating with others on research projects, choosing relevant literature for empirical studies, and understanding conference proceedings. We continue with measurements of commitment to research transparency and practical strategies for disseminating research in various ways. Finally, we close with a look at ways to manage a career in publishing.

Whatever your goals in this realm of textbook and academic publishing, expect great things from yourself and then do them. Happy writing!

Peer collaboration & research

Research is not a solo operation. When thinking about researchers’ roles and related practices, it is hard to ignore the importance of collaboration. We need to collaborate with co-researchers, co-editors, and co-authors. We need to collaborate with gatekeepers, librarians, archivists. We need to collaborate with people whose special skills we need: technology experts, graphic designers, media producers. Sometimes we collaborate with Principal Investigators or supervisors who have more power or control over decision-making. Other times we are on more or less equal footing, so we must negotiate the way forward.

I’m writing a journal article – what literatures do I choose?

I’m often asked about the literatures sections of journal articles. Not your literatures based paper of course but your standard empirical paper. They only want a short section! I can’t cram everything I’ve read into a few paragraphs – how do I know what to put in and leave out? What criteria do I use to select? This is a good question. It certainly isn’t possible to jam an entire thesis literature review into a journal article.

Everything* you ever wanted to know about conference proceedings but were afraid to ask

This blog post is inspired by many questions from colleagues about what exactly conference proceedings are, and why they are so important in some disciplines. Although this is not  a comprehensive overview (*the “everything” of the title is a little ambitious!), I will try to explain the critical role that conference proceedings play specifically in computer science, and I invite other colleagues to share information about how proceedings work in their disciplines, either in the comments or as a separate blog post.

Measuring research transparency

A new ranking system for academic journals measuring their commitment to research transparency will be launched next month — providing what many believe will be a useful alternative to journal impact scores. Under a new initiative from the Center for Open Science, based in Charlottesville, Va., more than 300 scholarly titles in psychology, education and biomedical science will be assessed on 10 measures related to transparency, with their overall result for each category published in a publicly available table.

Disseminating research

We have accomplished little if we conduct research and discover new insights, understandings, or solutions, but don’t share them. For some of us, sharing with other scholars in our fields is important, for others, the priority is for sharing with policy-makers, leaders, or individuals who can use what we’ve learned. For some of us, writing about our findings is the primary form of dissemination, for others, presenting in person or with media is the way we make a difference. This collection of videos, articles, and cases from SAGE Research Methods offers practical strategies for disseminating research in a variety of ways.

Managing your career in publishing

Whether in the early, middle, or late stage of your career and indubitably when embarking on a livelihood in publishing, conscientiously managing your career path is crucial. Just as you’ll hear innumerable variations on a theme of how veterans stumbled into the profession, there is no one path forward or optimal career progression. Inevitably, and appropriately, each of us has differing goals, realities, and circumstances.