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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 11, 2020

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." ~John SteinbeckJohn Steinbeck once said, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” There’s much more to successful writing than ideas, though. We must be able to handle them.

In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we found some ideas for handling ideas like focusing on process, a shared peer-review taxonomy, revising like a reader, fostering trust, getting confident with statistics, subscribing to open, and making the most of the time you have for writing. We also look ahead to the holidays and new year with posts on changes to journal impact factor, increasing work-life balance, strategic actions for productive writing, and thoughtful gifts for writers.

We hope that you find inspiration in the posts below that help you to turn your ideas into published manuscripts. Happy writing!

Challenge: One writing session, focus on process

Your one job today for your writing: Focus on your process. What is working in terms of of how you write. If you worry less about your outcomes, and more on optimizing quality processes, you will, paradoxically, have better outcomes.

Towards a shared peer-review taxonomy: An interview with Joris van Rossum and Lois Jones

In the Spring of 2020, The STM Association released a draft of taxonomy for peer review aimed at standardizing definitions and terminology. The draft was an output of an ongoing working group led by Joris van Rossum. Back in October, The Scholarly Kitchen ran a guest post from Micah Altman and Philip Cohen, who commented on the draft and articulated why they thought a shared taxonomy is important. In their view, a shared taxonomy is necessary to build an evidence base for strategic investments and policy decisions, as well as to improve journal transparency and evaluation processes. Altman and Cohen go on to express concerns about what they see as the limited scope of the taxonomy and a lack of measurement of certain aspects of the peer-review process. Inspired by that post, I sat down with Joris and Lois Jones, who is a peer review manager at the American Psychological Association (APA) to talk about why both organizations decided a taxonomy was needed, whether the taxonomy is fit for purpose, and what, if anything, about peer-review needs to change.

Revising like a reader

So, as one of the very many strategies for revision that you might choose, here are some reader-ish questions you can ask of your text. Put yourself in the reader’s position and see if you can get a grip on how they might respond to your writing. Imagine yourself as your target reader. Now think about how they are going to react when reading your text.

How do researchers foster trust?

Read this multidisciplinary collection of open access articles to learn about ways researchers can develop and build trust with participants, community fieldwork sites, and the public. You’ll see that these writers point to reflexivity, cultural competence, and the role of institutional affiliations. I hope you will share them with your research colleagues and students– and have a conversation about your own commitment to being a trustworthy researcher.

How to get confident with statistics

I’m here to share my top five tips for researchers who want to get confident with statistics. I know, I know – you’re really busy and statistics is one of those things that you’d love to get your head around at some point, but it’s just not your priority right now. Don’t worry. These are small hacks that you’ll be able to fit into your normal work so that you can learn on the go.

Subscribe to open: The why, the how and the what now?!

With so much uncertainty, it may seem like an odd time for a small society publisher to announce its intention to overhaul the business model of its journal’s program and jump on the rapidly moving ‘Subscribe to Open’ bandwagon. Yet here we are.

From chaos to creativity: Productivity for writers with Jessie Kwak

How do you balance your time between what you have to do and what you want to do?How do you decide what’s most important to work on? How do you make the most of the time you have for writing? I talk about productivity for authors and writers with Jessie Kwak.

Changes to journal impact factor announced for 2021

According to Seven Hubbard, Content Team Lead for the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), the full switch to using online publication for the calculation of Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) will begin in 2022 using 2021 publication data. The next 2021 release (using 2020 data) will be a transition year, in which citations from Early Access records will be added the numerator of the JIF calculation but excluded from publication counts in the denominator.

How to find more work-life balance in the new year

With the New Year around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to shoot for more balance and a more centered existence. But how does one strike a healthier work-life balance when they’re feeling overloaded personally or professionally, or when life seems topsy-turvy? The following tips are intended to help. Consider them an informal guide to greater self-fulfillment in 2021.

4 Strategic actions for a productive writing year

At the end of every year, I blog about planning. The new year is looming on the horizon, and to many it feels like the chance at a fresh start. We can say good riddance to 2020—for so many reasons, to be sure. But I also hope you spent some time writing and improving your writing chops. Some people have been too busy and stressed to focus on their writing, but my hope is that in the coming months, space will open up, and the writing will flow.

Thoughtful gifts for writers

Each year we put together a list of gift ideas for writers – some fun, some functional. This year, let’s face it, writers have struggled more than usual. So this time around, our list focuses on truly thoughtful and useful gifts you can give to show you support them & their creative goals!