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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 19, 2021

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” ~James DewarWhat are you open to this week? New opportunities? New writing practices? New perspectives? James Dewar reminds us that “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find encouragement to be open to new mindsets, time management strategies, and motivation elements in our writing practice. We also find information on research methods, open science, and sociocultural frameworks. Finally, we explore topics of diversity and transformative agreements in scholarly publishing.

If you want greater opportunity and success in your academic writing, I encourage you to focus on being open to new ideas this week. Happy writing!

How writers can adopt a success mind-set

Many writers I work with have completed a first draft of a manuscript. But they have never taken the next steps to get it edited, published, and marketed. They are standing in their own way. You may or may not know what your roadblocks are. Maybe you don’t want to know. Yep, they’re ugly, massive, intimidating, even mean. But I’ll tell you a secret: they’re really made of tissue paper. If you have the proper sword—the success mind-set—you can slice through those obstacles no problem.

Finding time to write

Recently I’ve been focused on goal setting and planning. It’s down to lockdown I think and the need to be realistic about what can be achieved. One of the things I’ve not mentioned is time. In particular, writing time.

Motivation and accomplishment in your writing practice

Given how hard it is for most academics to find time to work on their writing, and how difficult it is to know how long some stages of the process will take, I advocate establishing a regular writing practice and trusting that this will produce the outputs you need.

Too close: research in a familiar context

To be fair, doing research in a familiar environment was easy. I knew where to look for information or contacts. I was staying with a friend. I knew the physical space of the city. I am an Italian native speaker. Most importantly, I had a list of first-hand anecdotes I could use as prompts to question those interviewees (usually those working for the local government) who tried to portray too rosy a picture of certain local policies. Yet there were some challenges I did not foresee, which caused frustration and endless self-questioning.

Imposters and impersonators in preprints: How do we trust authors in open science?

An ‘author’ refers to ‘the creator or originator of an idea’ which ‘conveys significant privileges, responsibilities, and legal rights’ (see COPE’s “What Constitutes Authorship?”). Some journal and society guidelines explicitly prohibit the use of fictitious author names in publications, yet challenges in the integrity of authorship continue to surface – through paper mills, fake peer-reviewers, and non-existent co-authors within published papers. Although we are in need of aggregated trend data on the extent of such cases, we now have evidence of what I call imposters and impersonators in preprint authorship.

Sociocultural frameworks as a humanizing research tool (part 2)

Imenda (2014) makes a distinction between how conceptual frameworks and theoretical frameworks function in research studies in relation to inductive and deductive approaches to the literature and data analysis. According to Imenda, “a deductive approach to literature review typically makes use of theories and theoretical frameworks, the inductive approach tends to lead to the development of a conceptual framework” (p. 185).  Taking this into consideration, I proceeded to develop a conceptual framework that was grounded in my research questions.

Reckoning with whiteness in scholarly publishing

In making explicit our community’s need to pursue specifically anti-racist practices in staff hiring, development, and reward, the Association seeks to propel university presses forward — and to generate change across publishing. However, the Association must acknowledge and address our own lack of progress, despite decades of diversity work, in building a publishing workforce that directly supports equitable knowledge production.

Diversity drives innovation

The innovation ecosystem that drives economic growth and medical advancements in our digital age relies on technology – everything from physical devices to formless data.  But without human talent, technology turns to stone. The key to driving real change is growing the talent pool, Joseph tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

The biggest big deal

The University of California (UC) announced today a four-year arrangement with Elsevier that is the biggest transformative agreement in North America by article count as well as financial spend. This agreement achieves UC’s goal of an integrated contract for reading access and open access publishing. It will be a test of both the financial sustainability and the financial desirability of the multi-payer model.