Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 21, 2020
For better or worse, there’s no denying that the state of affairs and what we consider “normal” has changed in the year 2020. It has left many in academia wondering what the future of education looks like for students, faculty, and researchers alike. For some, there’s hope of returning to normal again. For others, an acceptance of a new reality ahead. And for others still, an uncertainty in coping with the days as they continue to pass regardless of the ultimate outcome.
Our collection of articles from around the web this week addresses a variety of topics present in academic writing circles right now. From feelings of brokenness to new opportunities in research funding and making your writing practice what you choose through multiple options for publishing and personalizing your revision practice. There are also industry perspectives on social media interaction, the future of research education, credit for peer review, and journal production and access in 2020.
The truth is that the new normal will be what we choose to make of it. And through it all, as academic authors, we need to continue to share our voice, even if no one seems to be listening. Allen Ginsberg once said, “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” This week, write like no one is listening and focus on hearing your own voice in your work. Happy writing!
If you’re new here you may not believe this (yet). After all, you are here to get help with getting writing done, juggling your absolutely ridiculous workload, while also having some kind of life outside of work and related issues. Even those people who have joined the Academic Writing Studio or hired me as a coach don’t always believe this, at least at first. In fact one of my coaching clients told me a couple of sessions in that me telling them they weren’t broken and didn’t have to “overcome” their ADHD had already made a huge difference.
The quickest way to expand research funding is to consider completely new outside-the-box approaches. We don’t have to limit ourselves to government funding. There are other ways to access funds for research.
How do you make your work stand out among the thousands—nay, millions—of other submissions that are received each week? It takes the expression “needle in a haystack” to a whole other level, and, no, that’s not an exaggeration. Well, good news: there are more options available to authors now than ever before. So, let’s dive in.
One of my favourite bits of revision advice is that writers should learn about their own writing habits. To revise your writing effectively, you should know what words or phrases you overuse or what rules you tend to misunderstand. Bringing to bear your accumulated understanding of your own writing habits will definitely improve your revision process. While working on my book manuscript this summer, I encountered a situation that deepened my appreciation for efficacy of this type of self-knowledge.
During this difficult pandemic period, Anuja Cabraal and I have been hosting a weekly tweetchat on the #VirtuaNotViral hashtag. Now, a “twitter chat” is not a new thing and we are not the only people doing them. However, we’ve got interested in them as a particular type of social media interaction, and I’m using this post to do a bit of basic documentation and thinking in public about them. We are hoping that this might be the start of a paper about the tweetchat as a ‘thing’ (read this as maybe a genre?), so writing this post is also a bit of public accountability.
This broad survey is the first part in a series of Research Risk Assessment surveys and represents millions of students and thousands of faculty members. It was conducted over a period of 8 weeks between May and June 2020. There were a total of 108 universities spread across 38 countries from Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Middle East, Australia/Oceania, and Africa that participated in the survey making it one of the most comprehensive surveys on universities ever conducted.
Offering career credit to researchers for performing peer review seems like a no-brainer, right? Peer review is essential for our system of research, and study after study confirms that researchers consider it tremendously important. Funding agencies and journal publishers alike rely on researchers to provide rigorous review to aid in making decisions about who to fund and which papers to publish. On the surface it would seem to make sense to formalize this activity as a part of the career responsibilities of an academic researcher. But as one delves into the specifics of creating such a system, some major roadblocks arise.
The state of journal production and access 2020: Report on survey of society and university publishers
Scholastica announces the release of our first report on “The State of Journal Production and Access“ among scholarly society and university publishers. The report details the results of a global survey of 63 individuals working with scholarly society and university publishers that manage and produce academic journals independently (i.e., not outsourced to a separate publisher) about how they are currently approaching journal production and access and their future priorities.