Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 24, 2020
How do you define improvement, achievement, and success? Benjamin Franklin said that “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” So, how do you maintain continual growth and progress to gain improvement, achievement, and success in your academic writing?
Our collection of articles from around the web this week may offer some ideas for consideration. First, find the time to write, share what you know, and be open to the value of discussion. Second, look at ways to increase impact, use the right tools for conducting and disseminating research, and remain optimistic in the face of uncertainty. Finally, consider video as a way to promote yourself as an author, promote your work, and deliver better presentations online.
Whatever your writing goals and definition of improvement, achievement, and success, I challenge you to focus on growth and progress this week to meet those goals in the future. Happy writing!
Sometimes we can have all the creativity in the world but feels as if there’s no free time for us to get our ideas down on paper. You may be finding that you have less time to write than you thought this month, but never fear! Novelist Sagan Morrow is here to help us get a writing schedule ready to go.
Anyone planning a formal academic career knows the time-worn phrase: publish or perish. Now we add more catch-words to the career glossary: personal branding and digital presence, impact and reach. Behind these phrases is a simple fact for anyone trying to create, develop, or change their career path: if you don’t share what you know, how can you build credibility as someone with relevant expertise? How can you find others of like mind, your networks and tribe? Why would others choose to hire or to collaborate with you, if they don’t know what you can contribute? In these difficult times, in absence of channels like academic it is more important than ever to find new ways to get the word out about our research– and our thinking about it.
Discussion. It’s a word that immediately comes to mind when we think about communicating research. First we report the results, and then we discuss them. Discussion might be a separate thesis chapter just before the conclusion, or the end of a series of chapters each featuring a different key result, or the discussion might morph into a conclusion (as often happens in a PhD by publication). Discussion is not a very helpful word. Its vagueness may be why many PhDers find discussion a hard chapter to write.
We have a problem. Researchers make an astonishing 2 million contributions annually, but the majority of these end up just as academic papers and collect dust without ever being used to create change in our society. This is not just our problem, but broader society’s, too, since all of us lose if science continues to churn out studies without having a real impact.
As well-resourced as some universities are, they are not infinite in size, and, as a result, they have to prioritize their investments. When purchasing or developing scholarly communications services, library systems, and research workflow tools, individual universities seek cross-institutional scale — that is, if multiple institutions require the same tools, there are efficiencies in having one tool made for all these institutions.
I know that the situation we are living through is difficult. I want to share my optimism not to deny or minimise how difficult it is, but rather to help you find a way through this. Drawing on something a yoga teacher used to say, my goal is to make this 5% more comfortable. That seems like an achievable goal.
We focus a lot on familiar social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and blogging and newsletters as ways to market ourselves and our books, but how many of us think to utilize video? In today’s post, Cristian Stanciu explains how and why we should use video and gives examples.
When we share our work online, we have the advantage of being able to link to media or other sources, and the disadvantage that our readers can be easily distracted and onto the next thing before we’ve communicated essential points. While people in a face-to-face setting might be too polite to get up and leave after the first few sentences of our presentations, online we can’t rely on social pretense to keep people in their seats.