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

As we enter the back half of November, the end of semesters and the holiday season looms in the quickly approaching future. How will this affect your writing routine? Do you have a routine that keeps you moving in the direction of your goals? What will make that routine stronger?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore ideas of requesting extensions in academia, redrafting strategies, research methods, and why an index is important. We also look at larger publishing topics of technology, research data sharing, and preventing bias. Finally, our list wouldn’t be complete without the best Black Friday deals for writers with that annual shopping event officially a week away!

Mike Murdock says, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” Hopefully the ideas and resources in the articles below give you resources to make that daily routine stronger and more capable of meeting your writing goals. Happy writing!

What if you need an extension?

I’ve been seeing a lot of conversation on Twitter about granting extensions to students. Much of it is framed in terms of compassion and kindness. There seems to be a prominent school of thought that you should just do this, almost automatically. That position is often accompanied by some pretty judgemental things about those who do not grant extensions, as if there is never a decision to be made here.

The disappearing writer – a redrafting strategy

Academic writers often lose themselves when writing about literatures. It is easier to be textually confident when writing about what you did yourself than to summarise, synthesise and assess other people’s texts. Particularly if those texts are produced by more experienced and well regarded writers. It is even more tricky to put your analysis of the literatures to work in your own interests. Anywhere in your text where there is a discussion of other people’s work is  a prime site for revising and refining.

We lack serious training in research methods choice and selection

As most of you who follow me on Twitter or read my blog probably know, I have been teaching research methods courses for a while now (mostly at the Masters and PhD levels). Thus I have been reflecting on issues related to training and teaching research methods. This morning, something really hit me as I was preparing an asynchronous lecture: We lack serious training in research methods choice and selection.

What Is an Index and Why Is It Important for Your Book?

What is an index? If you’ve ever read a book in your life (which we hope you have) you’ve come across and used an index. The exact definition is, “an alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc., with references to the places where they occur, typically found at the end of a book.” If you crack open almost any non-fiction book, you can find one. It’s one of those parts of a book that are easily overlooked for how helpful it is until you need it.

Big Ideas In Technology And Publishing With Michael Bhaskar

With so many technological advances in recent years, can publishing keep up? Michael Bhaskar and I discuss AI tools for writing, blockchain and NFTs, digital narration, and impacts on intellectual property rights licensing in this wide-ranging interview.

Building the Social and Technical Infrastructures to Transform Research Data Sharing One Plenary at a Time

The RDA Plenary is very different from other conferences I have attended. The grassroots community focus visibly underpins everything about both RDA and its twice yearly Plenaries. Each session is organized by an RDA group, including working groups, interest groups, communities of practice, and birds of a feather groups (convened for a single RDA plenary to gauge interest in a new topic). It can all seem a bit complicated from the outside, so there are web pages of instructions and explainer videos on the RDA website.

World’s leading academic journals join pledge to fight bias in publishing

An initiative to eliminate bias and discrimination in publishing has welcomed its 47th signatory in its first year – already including half of the world’s academic journals. The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Joint Commitment for Action on Inclusion and Diversity in Publishing was launched after extensive research found several barriers to research publishing across genders and race. That was echoed in studies by a number of partner organisations, including publishing giants Elsevier, who became one of the early supporters of the RSC programme.

Best Black Friday Deals for Writers

This year we’re starting Black Friday early because let’s face it, it’s been almost two years of ROUGH SAILING, and writers deserve a break. We’ve scoured the writerly landscape and rustled up a list of the best deals out there.