Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 4, 2020
Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Our collection of articles from around the web are ones worth reading, beginning with a typology of books you may want to read to improve your writing craft.
Next, we have content on FAIR data principles for promoting open research data, ways to deal with writing tasks in college, and methods of addressing life’s challenges that may be affecting your writing practice. Finally, we explore qualitative research in a digital world, dealing with rejection, defeating self-doubt, and the function of academic book publishers.
This week, balance your writing with reading, with growing, and with becoming a stronger writer in your discipline. Happy writing!
No writing book is all-encompassing, and therefore, I cannot in good conscience answer the question I get asked the most: which book on how to write/how to survive graduate school is the best? As I said on Twitter: “none of them”. Anybody who has written a book on this topic will agree: you gain insights from other authors, so you should read more than one book. Nobody has the last word on anything, least of them writing.
The FAIR data principles are the current goalposts for promoting open research data, and efforts are thus focused on a) ensuring that individual datasets have comprehensive, machine-readable metadata (a link to the protocol used to collect the data, details of the instruments used, the license under which the data were released), and b) developing a network of FAIR compliant repositories to host all these datasets.
The students that excel at writing papers don’t just pull out miracles; all of them follow specific tips and strategies that make college writing tasks much more straightforward. Here are 15 ways to deal with writing tasks in college.
Between COVID, anxiety, financial stress, (and new responsibilities if you have school-aged children), you probably haven’t written as much as you’d hoped and your other goals have been disrupted. You aren’t alone.
A number of years ago I attended a conference hosted by The Qualitative Report. I was impressed by a couple of lively, interactive sessions run by students. I discovered that all of these students were studying with Dr. Trena Paulus. I was delighted to meet this super prof, and we’ve been in touch ever since. We’re both passionate about qualitative research, and see our work as complementary. Trena collaborates with the talented Jessica Lester. I was happy to see a new edition of the important book they co-authored, Digital Tools for Qualitative Research.
Being an academic requires a thick skin. Very thick. Part of the job is dealing with a constant stream of rejections – on journal articles, grant applications, speaker applications, promotion requests… Rejection is always disappointing. However, over time we grow to understand that rejections often have little to do with the quality of the work. This helps us to protect our self-esteem – at least most of the time.
Whenever you are wondering if you’ve got the stuff to be published (or, if published, to stay that way), let me offer a few helps.
This question of ‘what are academic book publishers for?’ is a resonant one, and has become notably moreso in these troubled times, with massive financial challenges confronting both universities and research agencies as the longer-term implications of COVID begin to bite. ‘What are academic book publishers for’ is also (importantly) not quite the same question as ‘what do academic book publishers do?’, let alone ‘what are academic book publishers good for?’ In discussions of this kind mission and role ought to be better differentiated than they often are.