Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 26, 2021

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy ParkerHas the pandemic life got you bored? Are you seeing a wealth of new challenges to your writing practice or are you exploring new opportunities and remaining curious about what the future (post-pandemic) research and academic environment will look like? Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

I challenge you to be curious this week – whether looking at new paths to success, new opportunities for collaboration, new topics to research, new ways to edit or market your work, or new technologies on the horizon that may impact your academic writing. If your writing practice is growing stale or you are becoming bored with your academic efforts late in the term, change your mindset and get curious instead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Specifying the end: Project management as applied to writing

Is project management really an essential writing process? While academic authors certainly recognize that writing requires many unique processes, each deserving attention, we rarely think beyond research, drafting, and revision. Yet, how well we manage projects can make or break the outcome. Case in point, if you miss the deadline for a special issue, it hardly matters how well your paper was aligned with the editor’s vision! Even when outcomes are not so dire, project management allows you to work in a calmer and less reactive manner, thus allowing for greater creativity.

Within formal project management, the tools can be roughly broken into “project definition tools” and “implementation tools.” In general, project definition tools are procedures that help you determine the scope, the tasks, the time frame, and the budget (i.e., time). Implementation tools are those that help you work smoothly. Here I focus on the former. [Read more…]

7 Ways to share your dream of publication

I feel like makin' dreams come trueSharing your dream with others is one way to help that dream become a reality. There are two primary benefits that can be realized by sharing your dream. The first is accountability. The second, shared ownership. Regardless of which or both benefits you seek, sharing your dream is essential.

In this article, we’ll explore seven ways that you can share your dream of publication to increase your overall success. [Read more…]

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

"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." ~Jack KerouacAs we close out AcWriMo 2020 and enter the holiday season and end of semester processes and events, it’s important to examine what we want to accomplish and how to do so without added stress.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find examples of creativity, collaboration, defining expectations, reducing the tendency to overthink our writing, and ways to reboot, cry, move, or pivot in our career paths. We’ve also found resources in the form of a webinar on open access publishing partnerships and some Black Friday deals for writers to support your efforts.

Jack Kerouac once said, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” Don’t overthink your writing or the process. Keep it simple this week and see what comes. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 30, 2020

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ~Mark TwainMark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Writing is a continuous search for the right word, the right fit, and the right connections.

As textbook and academic authors, that search for what’s “right” may be in the relationships with co-authors and editors. It may be what’s right from a social justice perspective. It may be what’s right in our preparation, process, and delivery of content. Or it may be what’s right for publishing our work.

No matter what’s “right” for your writing this week focus on finding what’s truly right instead of settling for what’s “almost right”. The lightning has a much stronger impact than the lightning bug. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 1, 2020

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~E. L. DoctorowIt seems that over the past couple months, everything we thought we knew about research, writing, and academia in general has been turned on its head by COVID-19. This crisis has forced an examination of existing processes, exploration of alternative options, and adaptability to new ways of thinking. Well, putting it that way, it doesn’t sound much different from what academics do every day, does it?

This week’s collection of articles from around the web talks about some non-pandemic topics, like interdisciplinary research and recruitment and retention of women of color and indigenous women graduate students. We, of course, have a number of COVID-19 speculations, like the effect on scholarly publishing, added research complexities, and scientific and scholarly meeting practices – especially those taking place via Zoom or other video conferencing technology. We close with some advice on preparing for a PhD defense from the perspective of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

As much as things seem to change, we can take comfort in knowing that change is the only real constant in life. As for our writing efforts during this time, remember the words of E. L. Doctorow who said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Overcoming the five factors that complicate peer collaboration

Collaboration with peers is different from collaboration with a peer. It’s complicated.In her most recent webinar, “Practical Strategies for Collaborating with Peers”, Janet Salmons shared her experience in collaborative projects telling the audience that “collaboration with peers is different from collaboration with a peer. It’s complicated.” The larger the group, the more complicated the factors affecting collaboration become.  

Regardless, according to Salmons, the sooner that these five common factors are identified, the sooner they can be addressed, and the potential damage they can cause is more likely to be avoided. So, what are these five common factors that complicate peer collaboration? [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: 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…]

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

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” ~Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson once noted, “that which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we see several suggestions on how to make our lives as academic writers easier by increasing our ability to do.

Suggestions include writing for the public for more impact, forming a brain trust, expanding our knowledge set with new literatures, collaborating around Big Data, and providing choice on how to pay for peer review and publication. This week, we encourage you to explore these and other ways to make your tasks as an author easier and to increase your ability to do. Happy Writing! [Read more…]