The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research

The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your researchIn the first two articles of this series, we explored The What: Defining a research project and The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment. In this article, we are focused on The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research. Discussion from this TweetChat event focused on accurately estimating the amount of time necessary for completing writing projects and strategies to better manage the time commitments during the writing project.

Q1/1a: Do you regularly track the time spent on research efforts? When planning a research project, do you tend to accurately predict, overestimate, or underestimate the time required? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 12, 2019

"Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn't do."This week’s quote – “Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn’t do.” – comes from an unknown source, but as often seems to be the case, the articles in our collection from around the web seem to have kindly fallen in line with this academic pun.

While our collection doesn’t have anything to do with the true definition of plagiarism, it does have a lot to do with the concept of getting in trouble for something you didn’t do. Specifically, problems or challenges may arise if you don’t check an index properly, if you don’t adequately prepare for a thesis proposal defense, if you don’t accept the dissertation publication requirement, if you don’t follow a traditional research path, if you don’t include your PhD on your CV (or if you do as the article discusses), if you linger in between identities during a career transition, if you don’t properly market yourself for a job, or if you don’t plan your approach attending a large conference.

As you approach your writing efforts this week, challenge yourself to not only look at accomplishing the things on your to-do list, but also examine the things that never made it there – the things that you aren’t doing that may be making your efforts more difficult than they need to be. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 22, 2019

"I've discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing." ~Anna Quindlen“I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.” This advice from Anna Quindlen frames our collection of articles this week.

Recognizing the quality of our efforts and focusing on ways to improve our contribution to the field is core to writing success. We begin this week’s collection with an examination of effective feedback, finding the gap in the research, and getting into a habit of data management. We then explore the challenges and benefits of balancing family and academic lives. Finally, we close with a look at textbook subscriptions in the publishing market and how to construct a CV for the academic job market.

Whatever the state of your writing or career this week, start where you are, no matter how bad, it can eventually lead to something better, but doing nothing will certainly lead to nothing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Q&A: What types of services do university libraries offer to support faculty authors?

Faculty enjoy a break during the winter 2019 Writers Retreat and workshop hosted by William & Mary Libraries.

University librarians offer a wide range of services to faculty and students to support their research and scholarly writing projects. Many of these services are used widely by faculty on campuses across the country, while other services may be little known and little used. As dean of libraries at William and Mary, I make it a priority to work with library staff and faculty to identify needs, develop useful services, and then communicate their availability to faculty. Here I highlight a few of our library services and suggest how faculty at other institutions can work with their university librarians to access services and support. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 8, 2019

"Most writing doesn't take place on the page; it takes place in your head." ~Susan OrleanSusan Orlean said, “Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.” Writing begins with curiosity, expands into a desire to identify, curate, and create knowledge and ideas, and ultimately affects those who read our work.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with ideas for developing a practice of curiosity, for establishing relationships with good critical friends, and for discerning helpful advice from awful advice. We then have some advice for reducing the fear of “the literature” and a discussion on the affect of activism in academia. Our collection closes with insight on the evolving landscape of research access, the words we use to describe new publishing paradigms, and the true cost of inclusive access.

As you write this week – whether in your head or on the page – consider the effect your writing has on your discipline and your readers. Start with a curiosity that leads to discovery and consider where your work fits in the ever-changing landscape of scholarly publishing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 1, 2019

"Words are a lens to focus one's mind." ~Ayn RandAyn Rand once said, “Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” As you reflect on the first month of 2019, where are your words? Where is your focus? Whatever your focus, you may find you are not alone as you explore this week’s collection of posts from around the web.

Our first three articles provide insight for those focused on self care, financial support for their research, or improving their teaching and learning of writing. Our next set of articles share thoughts for those focused on greater access and sharing of ideas and data with other researchers. Finally, we have found articles focused on the continued learning process associated with new vocabulary or methods.

Wherever your focus is at this stage of your writing, use your words this week to bring those ideas into greater clarity. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 25, 2019

Write Without Fear Edit Without MercyIt’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of the last full week of January already! Hopefully this month has been filled with new beginnings, fresh resolve toward your goals, and advancements in your academic writing endeavors, but there’s a lot of 2019 still to come!

For those of you in the final semester (or deep in the throws) of writing your thesis or dissertation, Pat Thomson’s advice to “yodelayeehoo” may be useful this week – by the way, it’s also great advice at multiple stages of your writing career. For those looking at what else the rest of this year and beyond has in store, the rest of this week’s collection brings insight to that question. First, we celebrate continued advancements in open access. Then we explore tips for managing research, ways to build a social network in the field, and the future of scholarly communication. To close, we look forward by looking back to 1923 and the possibilities that await for the previously copyrighted works newly released into public domain.

As you head into the days ahead, remember to “Write without Fear; Edit without Mercy”. And, if you’re one who likes inspiring reminders like this in physical form, stickers are available for use on your computer, smartphone, or office door through the TAA store. Happy Writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 18, 2019

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenAccording to John Green, “All writing is rewriting.” In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we have a number of revised methods for research and writing efforts discussed.

Beginning with a discussion of the impact of Plan S on researchers, a new approach to Eva Lantsoght’s “This is How I Work” interview series, and the criteria for choosing a research approach, we explore changes that impact academic writing on many levels. Our list continues with a discussion of the thoughts that lead to light bulb moments, mixed, virtual, and augmented realities in scholarly publishing and social research, and a collection of global insights compiled by Scholarly Kitchen.

Perhaps your rewriting efforts this week are literal revisions of your latest article. Perhaps they’re more a revision of thought or process. Whatever change you are experiencing, however, embrace it this week. Rewrite your draft or your mindset and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 11, 2019

"Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I'd never get anything done." ~Lawrence C. ConnollyThe new year. A time for resolutions and habit forming. Hopefully this year, writing is a habit you are working to develop. In the words of Lawrence C. Connolly, “Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I’d never get anything done.” While this may be true, we hope you find inspiration and resources to further your writing in the following collection of posts from around the web.

We start with some non-writing new year’s resolutions and academic trends before exploring the balance of work and research as well as of work and home lives. We continue the collection with online resources to identify and highlight women experts, examine the joy of kids for the teacher-scholar, and address the double-bind theory of scholarly publishing. Finally, we revisit the discussion of problems with textbook costs and free alternatives as well as a new problem of printing delays in academic book publishing.

Whatever this next week has in store, we hope you find time to write every day and to move forward on your projects toward your goals for 2019. Happy Writing! [Read more…]

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

"You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way."“You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.” Our inspirational message to start the week, once again, frames our list of posts from around the web.

This week’s collection of articles begins with a common problem – selecting a research topic and continues with opportunities to share and recognize early stage research. We then explore the presence and impact of data and theory in our academic work, including sources of data, the impact of big data on scientific method, and how theory makes us feel stupid. Our collection closes with articles focused on scholarly communication and ethical challenges of online communities.

Whatever challenges may exist in the process, the key to success is finding the solution. As you close out 2018 in the week to come, focus on the solutions and don’t be the only thing standing in your way. Happy writing! [Read more…]