Writing in tribute: Don’t wait for the eulogy!

Thank youRecently I received some professional praise and recognition. One was in public,  the TAA Mike Keedy Award and the other was in private, a few sentences in an other-wise business-as-usual email. At first, I felt simply flattered. How nice! But as I reflected on the comments, I realized they were more than just sweet talk. The remarks confirmed that I am making progress toward accomplishing what I have set out to do at this point in my career. They helped me confirm priorities and set steps for continued improvement. In the digital age, we can write, post, and give webinars. We can read site analytics, but we can’t read the audience. Are they paying attention or are eyelids drooping? Are they reading or just scrolling? In absence of visual cues, it helped me to hear that my messages are getting through. [Read more…]

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

"Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself." ~M. KirinThis week’s collection of textbook and academic posts from around the web begins with predictions and strategies for the coming year. It provides resources for jumpstarting book reviews, improving your writing, understanding research ethics, and protecting and expanding the public domain. Finally, it explores the impact of new initiatives like RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century, a new open access megajournal from UCL Press, Digital Science’s new citation database – Dimensions, and the Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) from Enago.

With so many changes in sight, it’s anyone’s guess where 2018 will take us, but as we explore the potential ahead, keep in mind the words of M. Kirin. “Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself.” Wishing you many great discoveries in the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The nuts & bolts of writing a book review

textbook stackAs a scholar and a writer, I am surrounded by books. I buy books at conferences. I buy books online.  A stack of books grows on my desk, and even finds its way onto any horizontal surface in my living room.  I identify them from reading the reference list of journal articles. I get recommendations from peers.

One of the services I can provide my peers is to write a book review on one of my most recently purchased books. A review serves to help my colleagues decide whether or not they wish to read the book. [Read more…]