The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 19, 2018

Writing workspaceThis week’s collection of posts from around the Web begins with a couple approaches to collaboration – first in purpose, second in process. We then found some posts on improving existing work – revising drafts, converting a PhD into a book, and the art of book design. Finally, we brought together some industry interests – the value of peer review, innovative & inclusive teaching, and content syndication.

Whatever writing projects you are working on this week, 1) know that you are not alone – TAA is here to support you with our community of authors and collection of resources; 2) know that your work is not finished – writing is more than a single task and whether revising a first draft or reworking a thesis, your continued contributions are needed; and finally, 3) know that these solitary efforts contribute to a bigger picture and have value beyond the immediacy of your project. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 12, 2018

"Start with Why" ~Simon SinekThis week’s collection of posts from around the web have a common theme of clarity and transparency in scholarly writing efforts. Beginning with a look at personal clarity in our revision processes or where we focus our time and energy as researchers to matters of impact and public trust, we have also found opportunities to improve transparency in textbook revisions and scholarly communications.

Wherever your writing efforts take you this week, as Simon Sinek says, “start with why” and be clear in your personal and professional purpose and intent. That clarity will produce results. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 5, 2018

"Don't let your fears overwhelm your desire." ~Sheryl SandbergThis week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with three “part two” editions of some useful blog series on dissertation writing, turning your PhD into a book, and ethical principles for independent researchers. We then include articles with insight on how the individual author is part of a larger authoring system and how to develop effective visualizations that say something solid. We close out the list with some industry news and advice on the single project awarded $4.9M in federal funding, research for social good, and the ongoing publisher battle against ResearchGate.

When facing big issues like those addressed in this week’s collection, fear can sometimes undermine success, so as you head forth this week, remember the words of Sheryl Sandberg who said, “Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 28, 2018

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly." ~C.J. CherryhAs the seasons change and the academic year starts to settle into more of a routine, for some, the writing gets easier and the schedule is set up for success. For others, the daily schedule has begun to feel more overwhelming and the ability to focus or maintain momentum may be challenging.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web includes ways to generate ideas, create a super focused workday, balance family and academic life, be ready for a change in scenery to maintain a productive writing practice, successfully build a research network, and deal with the administrative grief of academic environments. We’ve also found great insight into the rise of peer review, research ethics, read and publish models, critical thinking, and the dissemination of scientific facts.

Wherever your writing takes you this week, we hope it moves you in the direction of your goals. As C. J. Cherryh reminds us, “It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 21, 2018

"Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind." ~V.S. PritchettIt’s hard to find a common theme among this week’s collection of articles and posts from around the web, but serendipity seems to call upon a relevance to each week’s “Monday motivation” quote (shared across TAA’s social media channels) on the collection of articles that follow in the coming days, and this week the theme that emerges seems to be on expanding ideas. Enlarge your mindset. Think bigger!

As perhaps the exception in our list, one of the articles focuses on reduction of content, however the larger goal of the post seems to be on expanding opportunity through successful funding applications as a result of the space saving tips it shares. Also making the list this week are ways to expand our thoughts about writing and revision; to expand our identity through self-identification of our roles and critical and creative thinking; to expand our reach through textbook authoring, open access, and conversion of doctoral work into books; and even a call for contributors to expand their impact through a meta-project focused on the UN’s sustainable development goals. Wherever your writing projects lead you this week, keep in mind the words of V.S. Pritchett who said, “Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 14, 2018

"Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil--but there is no way around them." ~Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov said, “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil–but there is no way around them.” As we recognize Peer Review Week 2018, much of the focus of our collection of articles is on the process that produces such rejection in an effort to ensure the quality of the works that are accepted for publication.

The theme of Peer Review Week 2018 is diversity in peer review. As an author, your background, experiences, and unique qualities contribute to the diversity of the industry and can improve the diversity of the peer review process – if you are involved. Although most of the articles in this week’s collection are related to this event, there are others themes of significance to authors in this collection including management of multiple writing projects (and how some scientists are successful hyperprolific authors), ways to get back on track if your semester plan has already fallen apart, transparency in publishing, critical & creative thinking in research, and dealing with the fear of success.

The textbook and academic authoring community needs your contributions, your perspective, and your uniqueness. This week celebrate what makes you unique and how that contributes to a diverse community of scholarly authors. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 7, 2018

"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." ~Russell BakerRussell Baker once said, “The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.” As writers, we can certainly acknowledge the work such a craft requires, and in the genres of academic and textbook authoring the wide range of additional concerns for balance, accuracy, research integrity, and innovation in our writing efforts.

This week our collection of posts from around the web begins with a question, “Are there only four kinds of writers?” inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The four tendencies. This evaluation of a writer is paired with authoring benefits, ways to improve academic output, time and energy management, research methods, diversity in peer review, critical and creative thinking, and privacy in user research – all factors of consideration for the academic author, regardless the type. Finally, we close this week’s list with considerations of the future of our profession, with new approaches to textbook development and e-book potential, the realities of open source and scholarly publishing, and significant changes in the trend toward open access in scientific publishing.

As you embark on your writing efforts in the week ahead, I encourage you to recognize and embrace the real work involved in the writing process and to find encouragement and support to continue those efforts. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 31, 2018

"Half of my life is an act of revision." ~John Irving“Half of my life is an act of revision.” Wise words from John Irving for all writers and ones that thread through our collection of posts this week.

We begin with discussions of how to manage multiple writing projects, interpret data visualizations, and use diary methods in qualitative research. We then share practical advice on successful publishing in journals, informed consent, fellowships, and balancing a PhD with a family. Closing out our list is the prediction that textbooks are here to stay, along with new resources including scholarly podcasts, open and interoperable annotation, YouTube videos, and open science tools.

Whether you are revising a manuscript or your writing craft this week, we hope that you will find value in some of the resources below. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 24, 2018

"A professional writer is an amateur who never quit." ~Richard BachIn this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we’ve found some helpful tips for academic researchers related to digital workflow, free writing, note taking, and time management. We’ve also found information on how openness influences research impact, things to avoid when developing surveys, and reasons one researcher would unfollow you on social media.

Richard Bach reminds us that “a professional writer is an amateur who never quit.” We hope that this week you can apply some of these tips to improve your writing practices and success. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 17, 2018

"Writing is its own reward." ~Henry MillerFor many of our readers, the academic school year is back in session (or soon will be) and, as a result, our academic writing efforts may be rekindled or, in some cases, complicated by the schedule the academic calendar brings. If the summer “break” has derailed your writing efforts, the first two articles in our collection may provide advice for getting things back on track as you establish a new routine.

If, however, routine isn’t the challenge, perhaps one of the other topics in this week’s list offers guidance. Covered below are topics of compensation for research efforts, OER opportunities in textbook publishing, academic challenges in the Global South, gender gap in citations, and predatory publishing. No matter the challenge you may face this week, remember the opportunity that exists when you write and the reason behind your efforts. As Henry Miller said, “Writing is its own reward.” This week be rewarded and happy writing! [Read more…]