Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 5, 2021

As academics, we seek to gain and share knowledge, we look for answers and question the ones we know, and we encourage students and colleagues to continue learning and expanding their breadth of knowledge. But what happens when we don’t find an answer or, worse yet, don’t feel like we have the answer to give to someone else?

As academic and textbook authors, we are the authority – the knowledge source – in our discipline, so how could we possibly not have an answer to give, and if we don’t, then maybe we need to question whether we belong in that position of responsibility as a writer after all, don’t we?

Do you have too many books?

Right off the bat, my answer is a likely no. But I have to confess I am a writer, author, librarian, editor, publisher, book lover and book collector, so maybe I am not the best judge.

Perhaps you think you have too many books at work or at home. Perhaps you have had an “intervention” by your spouse, officemate, or friends. In that case, read on. Perhaps with the holidays upon us, new books as gifts from friends might put you over the top!

Here are some questions to think about as you ponder your books:

The new academic year – Virtually the same as any other

By now the academic term is in effect at schools across the country. And it’s business as usual – well virtually, at least. There’s no doubt that amid the strange circumstances of this pandemic year, a lot has changed in the way academia is operating. Socially distanced classrooms, masked faces throughout the hallways, limited gatherings on campus, and new methods of course delivery to support faculty and learners who remain off campus are just a few of the changes seen as we start the new academic year.

Despite all this change, the new academic year is still an academic year and we still have the business of teaching, learning, and scholarly writing to attend to along the way. So, here are five suggestions to maintain a virtually successful academic practice.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 17, 2020

So, what are you unable to do…yet? As academics, we value the learning process. We seek change and opportunity to do things differently. Better. We explore new avenues for growth and development. Pablo Picasso might have summed up the life of an academic in his personal statement, “I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

This week’s collection of articles from around the web incorporates this growth mindset at both the individual level and within the larger scholarly publishing industry. We found posts on opportunities to stabilize publishing practices, develop a safe haven for writing, and new ways to protect intellectual ownership rights.

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

In 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!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 10, 2020

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