Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 3, 2020

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Ben FranklinBen Franklin once said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” As we start the month of April, the first full month of spring, the season of new beginnings, it’s important that we do something. Despite the worldwide call for social isolation and limited activity, we must continue to find ways to progress in our academic efforts.

To support those efforts, we have found the following collection of articles on the web this week. First, we offer advice on resetting your research agenda while working from home, core knowledge on the basics of theory, and tips for writing successful proposals. We then explore what to do now, storytelling, relational inquiry, and truth-listening, and how to prepare for an effective virtual interview. Finally, we explore noteworthy topics of the Internet Archive, who is allowed to talk about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and scholarly issues of COVID-19 racism.

This week, we hope that you continue to write something worth reading, that you advance your scholarly efforts, and that you do something to make your writing stronger. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 27, 2020

“Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” ~Christina KatzAmidst the stress and constant concern associated with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic crisis, I had greatly hoped to present non-pandemic related content in this list of articles from around the web. Of course, I knew that would be a long-shot, but I was hopeful regardless. As textbook and academic authors, we are unfortunately not immune to the “real world” issues that span the globe and this list demonstrates some of the ways our academic community has been impacted by the novel coronavirus and how we are addressing the related effects.

Included in the collection are tips for writing while distracted, continuing research efforts and managing the risks associated with the pandemic, and completing PhD defenses virtually. There are also articles on imagining forward, the impact of COVID-19 on academic conferences, and methods for teaching online. Finally, there is an opinion article on the importance of coming together as an academic community in times of crisis.

Anxiety is inevitable at times like this. Writing, for many of us, can be an outlet for that stress and concern. To maintain a healthy writing habit during this time of crisis, it may even be helpful to follow the advice of Christina Katz who said, “Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 20, 2020

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” ~Gustave FlaubertIn academia – like the rest of the world – our daily routines have been challenged over the past couple of weeks faced with continued effects of COVID-19. These challenges can derail us and our writing or they can present opportunities to look at new routes to success.

This week’s collection of articles identifies some opportunities for redefining your scholarship as we face uncertainty in the days and weeks ahead. First, consider writing as a research method, the urgency of public-impact scholarship, and life outside the boundaries of academia. Explore your research design and build new ways to connect with others. Consider your “plan B” options and re-evaluate the goals of your projects that may require some extraordinary measures in the weeks ahead. Finally, take time to enjoy life – even if it doesn’t go as planned.

Gustave Flaubert acknowledged his writing challenges with the following. “I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” Being faced with challenges, uncertainty, and results inconsistent with our intentions can be opportunities for exploring new lines of thought and action. We wish you safety and continued growth this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 13, 2020

“If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” ~David BrinCreativity, imagination, diversity, and openness. These are the major themes found throughout our collection of articles from around the web this week. Amidst a global upheaval of normalcy due to the spread of COVID-19 this week, we may question our definition of “normal” and the effect of change on our writing efforts.

David Brin once said, “If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” This week, examine the elements in your life that enrich your writing habits, explore innovative ways to strengthen your environment, and imagine the potential ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 6, 2020

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~Ralph Waldo EmersonIn this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we are presented with contradictions to norms and new thoughts on old processes in academic writing. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” These words from Ralph Waldo Emerson remind us to be open-minded, to face challenges, contradictions, and reviewer comments with receptiveness rather than defensiveness.

Consider the benefits (rather than the distastefulness) of book blurbs, discussion on the discussion section of your papers, and ways to detect the crap in your research process. Examine what research looks like without a “publish or perish” mentality, for indigenous students, and when reflecting your work in your lifestyle choices – even the clothes that you wear. Finally, open up to the possibilities of open peer review and returning to academia from industry.

Academic environments are deeply rooted in tradition but are facing dramatic changes in process and perception. New ideas can bring with them resistance and opportunities. When faced with contradiction to your beliefs or work this week, consider the opportunity and resist the urge to feel persecuted. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 28, 2020

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” – George LorimerAre you determined to succeed? At the end of the day, are you satisfied with your results? George Lorimer once said, “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” So what are you determined to do with your textbook and academic writing?

This week’s collection of articles from around the web includes discussion on the future of scholarly communication, how to get published, and an approach to teaching writing that works. It also includes ideas for experimenting and playing with data, looking at different aspects of the same problem, and funding research and innovation through open science efforts.

What all of these ideas, innovations, and results have in common is the determination of one or more individuals to bring an idea to fruition and share it with others. As you approach your writing projects this week, start each day with determination and end them with satisfaction. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 21, 2020

researchers collaborating around laptops in a libraryThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics important to academic authors and researchers. Many of these topics question our personal actions and beliefs as well as the effect of our actions on others with whom we interact.

We begin with personal issues of adapting core skills and the emotional cost of asking for something in academia. We then explore intercultural research, IRB regulations, the place of animals in academic life, and thanking anonymous reviewers. Finally, we close with some broader issues including research assessment reform, indigenous research methodologies, discrimination, and pure publish agreements.

As you research, write, and collaborate with others this week, pay close attention to your own belief systems and the interactions you have with others in your academic circle. What are you saying about your values in both action and written word? Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 14, 2020

“Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.” ~Jim ValvanoSince this week’s collection of posts from around the web falls on Valentines Day, we hope that you find something to love in the links below, beginning with stories of inspiring women in science.

Of course, love requires risk, and it’s important to be cautious with matters of the heart, so it may be worth exploring things like public engagement, personal statements for PhD programs, and open access agreements a little more before committing yourself to them completely. Finally, collecting memories and continuing to improve your relationships is essential for long-term success, and we see these practices in action through SAGE Research Methods curation features and the review of OhioLINK’s affordable textbook initiative which close our list.

As with love and relationships, our research and writing efforts may require exploration of options, putting ourselves out there, and being heartbroken a time or two before finding out where we belong. However, as Jim Valvano said, “Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.” Happy Writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 7, 2020

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~Franz KafkaWe all create expectations for ourselves. We define writing projects we want to complete, areas in which we want to grow personally or professionally, and goals for measuring our success or quantifying our accomplishments. However there are times when facing those expectations, the expectations of others can take us off course.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore the “bestest of plans”, how to find time for the things that matter to us amidst other commitments, and how to adjust to changes in our environment. Further, we explore the value of community for support of our research efforts, disseminating research, and collaborative writing efforts. Finally, we find articles related to using your network when searching for jobs, strategically approaching the campus job visit, and a proposal for restructuring the APC to promote fairer cost allocation in scholarly communication.

Whatever your personal and professional expectations, define them, pursue them, and be true to yourself along the way. As Franz Kafka once said, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 31, 2020

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael JordanHall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan once said, “You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” When writing for publication, we must expect great things from ourselves and our research in order to accomplish those goals of writing a journal article or textbook. This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers insight into just how to achieve the greatness we expect of ourselves and our work.

We begin with discussions about collaborating with others on research projects, choosing relevant literature for empirical studies, and understanding conference proceedings. We continue with measurements of commitment to research transparency and practical strategies for disseminating research in various ways. Finally, we close with a look at ways to manage a career in publishing.

Whatever your goals in this realm of textbook and academic publishing, expect great things from yourself and then do them. Happy writing! [Read more…]