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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 11, 2022

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~W. Somerset MaughamW. Somerset Maugham once said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” Some may say this applies to all writing efforts, however this week’s collection of articles from around the web attempts to address some of the common issues you may be facing as an academic author.

With resources on how to start, dealing with self-doubt, writing processes, and peer review, you can garner some helpful advice to move your project forward. Further, resources on women in publishing, open access, open research, and publishing research directions frame some of the trends in academic publishing today.

As you write this week, write your own rules and enjoy the process. Happy writing!

How to Write a Book When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

Not knowing where to start is a problem countless writers before us have faced and figured out, so if you are feeling a bit lost when it comes to your big dream, these seven things can help you move forward and better yet, jumpstart your writing career.

Dealing With Self-Doubt And Writer’s Block With Dharma Kelleher

How can we overcome self-doubt to write the books we really want to? How can we move past writer’s block? How can we reshape our definition of success and return to the joy of writing? Dharma Kelleher talks about the author mindset and more.

The Value of Percolation

I love learning how the brain works during the writing process. I’ve mostly been interested in how to “turn on” the brain’s right, creative hemisphere through exercises like free writing. A book I recently read gave me insight into a different aspect of the writing process: the value of not writing—of setting aside an unfinished draft.

Familiarity and peer review

I’ve been doing some literature work. Now don’t get me wrong, I love literature work. But I am finding it all a bit same old same old right now. All the papers read the same, even though they have different things to say. Yawn. I think I have an explanation for why that’s so.

Revisiting: Why Aren’t There More Women at the Top in Scholarly Publishing?

I was prompted to write this post back in 2013 because I had recently reached a point in my career when, instead of being surrounded by other women — above, below, and beside me in terms of seniority — the number of female role models was shrinking fast. As I wrote then, this was by no means unique to our industry. So, have things changed for the better since then? And are the suggestions for addressing the lack of women at the top of scholarly publishing I made then still relevant today?

Enabling Open Access through clarity and transparency: a request to publishers

cOAlition S is delighted to see many publishers making moves to increase Open Access (OA) for research publications. However, some publishers’ practices still cause difficulties for authors who wish to exercise their right to make their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) open access immediately on publication using the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy. To address this issue, cOAlition S requests that publishers make their policies and contracts more transparent at the outset of the submission process.

Accelerating Open Research: A Multi-stakeholder Discussion

As we move through a transition to a fully open research environment, there are challenges for all stakeholders in the ecosystem. Many funders have taken a leadership role in driving this transition, yet even with funder mandates in place for nearly two decades, the transition to open research globally has been slow (Larivière and Sugimoto, 2018).  A recent study led by the Research on Research Institute (Waltman et al., 2021 ) found that commitments to open research and data sharing fell short during the pandemic and that lack of collaboration was a key factor.

Publishing Research Directions

A novel scholarly publishing model from the oldest publishing house in the world aims to open entirely new territory in the research journey. After nearly five centuries of printing journals and books, Cambridge University Press has announced plans to invite authors to share early outputs as they move through their research projects.