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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 26, 2021

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy ParkerHas the pandemic life got you bored? Are you seeing a wealth of new challenges to your writing practice or are you exploring new opportunities and remaining curious about what the future (post-pandemic) research and academic environment will look like? Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

I challenge you to be curious this week – whether looking at new paths to success, new opportunities for collaboration, new topics to research, new ways to edit or market your work, or new technologies on the horizon that may impact your academic writing. If your writing practice is growing stale or you are becoming bored with your academic efforts late in the term, change your mindset and get curious instead. Happy writing!

Heinlein’s rules of writing: Principles for success

I want to talk today about a topic I’ve been pondering for years. YEARS. It’s Heinlein’s Rules of Writing. If this is new to you, it’s a framework for writing success that consists of 5 rules established by Robert A. Heinlein—aeronautical engineer and pioneering science fiction author. Writers who ascribe to his process swear by it on a Crossfit/Natural Oils level. They’re prolific, successful, and happy with their work.

5 Things to do if you can’t handle all your academic projects

Students have to handle many academic projects before they get to qualify for a particular grade or course. According to, it can include essays, academic research papers, dissertations, proposals, and group assignments. The sheer volume of work their instructors require them to complete for grading besides the curricula requirement to attend lectures, read for exams, and participate in extra-curricular activities can prove overwhelming, even to most all-rounded students.

Who can’t you do research with?

Academic research is an increasingly open world. Technology has reduced the tyranny of distance which has encouraged more international research. Over eighty percent of Australian Research Council grants include an international researcher. Still, there are people that you can’t do research with.

Ethics & interview platforms

A question was posed at the Research Ethics in Practice seminar about protection of data collected in online interviews or focus groups conducted on videoconference platforms. We need to be able to assure ethics reviewers and participants that we can protect the data we collect. How can we make that promise, when using commercial platforms?

Delving into an entirely new topic and doing a literature review, performed with an example (on hospital ethnography)

What I have found most useful when I teach how to do Literature Reviews is explaining that to contribute to a body of research, we need to understand and know very well the landscape of scholarship that is out there. Like having a puzzle, and knowing where your own piece fits.

A very neat hack to avoid repetition and duplication

Repetitive writing takes many forms – several sentences that say the same thing using different words, a word or phrase used over and over, paragraphs and sentences that have identical beginnings, one point made multiple times using different examples. But repetition is not necessarily a problem.

How has COVID-19 affected research funding, publishing and library budgets? Or, finding the truth in the gap between perception and reality

We’ve recently been completely immersed in a huge project exploring the effects of COVID-19 on research and scholarly communication. We did two massive surveys (10.000+ researchers and 600+ librarians) and reviewed over 100 announcements, reports, posts, etc., from funders, institutions, librarians, and researchers.

Bookselling’s top players

Bookselling and publishing both faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 – from pandemic-related closures to appraisals of systemic racism. Yet books and bookstores found ways to capture and hold the public’s attention.

Your author business plan. Joanna Penn interviewed by Peter Urpeth from XPO North

If you want to make a decent living with your writing, a business plan can help you strategize and organize the multiple aspects of the author’s life. Peter Urpeth from XPO North interviews Joanna Penn about Your Author Business Plan in this interview with the full transcript and notes below.

NFT technology versus subscriptions – The battle for ownership of digital content

For the past few months, there has been growing buzz about NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and the various markets for art that have sprung up around using it. You might be wondering, isn’t this just a giant tech bubble built around people with too much money, who don’t seem to care about wasting it?  You might be wondering whether NFTs are just the next big tech buzz word that’s driving all the hype?  You might be wondering what the heck are NFTs anyway and why should I care? You probably should care and it probably will impact our community, but in ways we can’t yet understand fully.