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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 17, 2020

“I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” ~Pablo PicassoSo, what are you unable to do…yet? As academics, we value the learning process. We seek change and opportunity to do things differently. Better. We explore new avenues for growth and development. Pablo Picasso might have summed up the life of an academic in his personal statement, “I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

This week’s collection of articles from around the web incorporates this growth mindset at both the individual level and within the larger scholarly publishing industry. We found posts on opportunities to stabilize publishing practices, develop a safe haven for writing, and new ways to protect intellectual ownership rights. We also found insight into success as an academic parent and ways to recharge in preparation for the new academic year. Finally, we see new opportunities in transformative open access.

The only constant in life is change. This week I encourage you to do something which you cannot (yet) do, in order to learn how to do it. Happy writing!

Is it time to (finally) get serious about submission charges?

The advantages of submission charges in terms of increasing revenues while decreasing costs seem clear, and such charges have been adopted at a small minority of journals. As such, we need to assume there are reasons why they haven’t already been more broadly adopted. I can think of five good candidates blocking their adoption; culture, equity, lack of perceived value, competition, and workflow.

So you want to blog – a blog of my own

While a blog won’t fix all scholarly problems, it can nevertheless offer an affordable little virtual space that is just your own. Where you can write without having to think about what you are expected to say, where the content, style, frequency, pace and focus of what you write is something you can control and own. A blog can be a retreat. A tiny uncluttered oasis. Something that is perhaps just the slightest bit preciousssss (said in best Gollum voice).

cOAlition S develops ‘Rights Retention Strategy’ to safeguard researchers’ intellectual ownership rights and suppress unreasonable embargo periods

Publishers commonly require authors to sign exclusive publishing agreements which restrict what authors can do with their research findings, including making articles Open Access in line with their funders’ requirements. To address this problem, cOAlition S has developed a Rights Retention Strategy, which will empower their funded researchers to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription journals, and provide Open Access in compliance with Plan S.

I am Ivan, and this is how I work as an academic parent

Ivan is a professor at the Department of Informatics and Computer Science of Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Quito, Ecuador. He is currently a PhD student at the Computer Science Doctoral Program at University of Porto, in Portugal. His research interests are Machine Learning, Distributed Systems and Bioinformatics. Since Ivan mostly works from home, his insights may be particularly interesting during these times of the covid-19 pandemic.

Resting & recharging is preparation for the new academic year

Fatigue impairs cognitive function. This is a fact. There is lots of research to back it up. It also contributes to a whole host of other kinds of ill-health. The fact that you can’t control everything contributing to your fatigue doesn’t mean you should just give up on even trying. You will be a better teacher, a better researcher, a better advisor, a better colleagues, a better parent, a better friend, a better partner … if you are more rested. The cycles of the academic year mean that summer is your window for getting a sustained period of rest.

UC reaches groundbreaking transformative open access deal with leading global publisher

The agreement, which is the largest open access agreement in North America to date, and the first for Springer Nature in the U.S., signals increasing global momentum and support for the open access movement. As leaders in accelerating the pace of scientific discovery, UC and Springer Nature aim to get research into the hands of scholars and the public to help solve the world’s most pressing problems, including those in the critically important fields of medicine and health care.