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

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark TwainWhat are your writing goals? And, more importantly, what are you doing to reach them? According to Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

For many authors, the first step is a shift in mindset to seeing yourself as an author. In addition to facing this potentially overwhelming task, our collection of articles has advice on taking other steps along the way too. Whether defining a writing agenda, exploring the process of writing a book, figuring out what to do, writing and revising, or planning the next phase of your academic career, we have posts to help. There’s also information on joining a writing community, rights and royalties for spoken word, and the democratization of knowledge.

Whatever the task ahead, break it down, focus on the first step, and get started. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 19, 2021

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. BurnsHow do you define success? As you refine your writing practice, especially in an environment constantly changing, it’s important to be able to answer this question. David M. Burns cautions, however that success does not equal reflection. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” Success requires overcoming fear and moving forward.

Our collection of articles this week includes some practical advice on common challenges academic authors face. First is the challenge of knowing our readers, their preferences, and their expectations so we can meet them. Second is designing the research and dealing with a revise and resubmit decision on a submitted manuscript. Third is employing new tools and methods to our work. Fourth is maintaining successful habits and avoiding the effects of burn out. And, finally, is the need to deal with changes in the industry as they relate to publishing processes, book proposals, rights retention strategies, and self-publishing options.

There is no shortage of challenges authors face in the writing process, but the way forward is to move through the challenges and to define success somewhere short of perfection. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 29, 2021

“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” ~Chinese proverbThere’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” Whether advancing our field of research or honing our craft as an academic author, the goal for each of us should be one of continuous learning and advancement. This may involve learning new skills, changing our perspective, revisiting things that have worked in the past, or exploring challenges and setbacks as opportunities.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice on all of these aspects of advancement. We begin with advice for those new to essay writing and a method for skimming articles and note taking that can benefit even experienced students and authors. We then look at identifying our perspective on research questions, revisiting the tools that have been successful in the past, and the benefits of academic reading groups. Finally, we identify challenges associated with different styles of writing, setbacks and mistakes, COVID-19, and digital services provided by publishers and academic libraries.

As you face new challenges in the week ahead, look at them as opportunities for advancement. Keep moving forward even if you feel like you’re fighting the current. It’s the only way to avoid dropping back. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 22, 2021

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.What a week! As we seemingly race to the end of the first month of a new year, most new academic terms are in full swing and this week in the US it has been a week of emotion and words for many. The week began with the celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and peaked at midday on Wednesday with the inauguration of the 46th president, Joe Biden. Through it all, one thing is certain – words matter, your voice as an academic author matter, your contribution to the education of our society matters.

King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Are you meeting this goal in your education or the education of others through your work? In this week’s collection of articles, we share advice on restarting an unfinished book, getting your “Creator” and “Editor” on the same page, and how “Words Matter”. We continue with practical strategies for hypotheses, use of ethnographic field notes, and facilitating group discussions online. Then we close with industry and social interests related to publishing, sharing your research with others, and perspectives amidst the ongoing pandemic.

As you approach the week ahead, know that words matter and, more specifically, your words matter. Choose them wisely. Think intensively. Think critically. And build both intelligence and character through your words. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 1, 2021

“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” ~Burton RascoeAs you turn the page on a new year today, reflect on your accomplishments in the year that was, dream of opportunities in the year ahead, and design a plan for action to move you forward each day. Take time to reflect, dream, and plan. Writing is a creative process that requires learning from what was in order to create what will be. In fact, Burton Rascoe once said, “A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”

As is often the case during the holidays, the Internet gets quiet as people take breaks from the normal routine of work and academic life, but we did find several posts worth sharing this week as you seek balance, refine your writing practice, evaluate your work, and breathe new life into your writing style in the new year.

As you move into the new week, and the year ahead, reflect, dream, plan, and perhaps take some time to stare out the window. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 24, 2020

“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.” ~Peter De VriesAs we near the end of 2020, a year filled with disruption, change, and challenges resulting from the pandemic, inspiration can be hard to come by. It’s in these times that we must rely on our identified goals, routine practices, and positive experiences to move forward and stay the course. Peter De Vries summarized his writing habit as follows, “I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”

Whether a daily routine or simply a mindset of perseverance in weathering the storms that have been and are sure to come in the future, success will be found in finding your own writing inspiration. As we see in this week’s collection of articles, we’re all facing challenges together – some new and some old – but the only way forward is through.

This week, reflect on what you have been able to sustain throughout 2020, what you want to achieve in the new year ahead, and which voices in your circle (or your own head) are ones that you should listen to in an effort to move forward with your writing efforts. Then move forward and we’ll get through this period of disruption, change, and challenges – together. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 11, 2020

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." ~John SteinbeckJohn Steinbeck once said, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” There’s much more to successful writing than ideas, though. We must be able to handle them.

In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we found some ideas for handling ideas like focusing on process, a shared peer-review taxonomy, revising like a reader, fostering trust, getting confident with statistics, subscribing to open, and making the most of the time you have for writing. We also look ahead to the holidays and new year with posts on changes to journal impact factor, increasing work-life balance, strategic actions for productive writing, and thoughtful gifts for writers.

We hope that you find inspiration in the posts below that help you to turn your ideas into published manuscripts. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 9, 2020

“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” ~Ray BradburyIf you’re like most academic authors I know, you have an abundance of ideas that either keep you up at night or wake you up early in the morning. Ray Bradbury once said, “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” These ideas matter. Not all of them will become published manuscripts, but they all matter. They move you forward and it’s important that you get them out through your writing.

There will be periods of time when the ideas flow more readily and others where you may spend more time searching (or researching) for them, but wherever you are in that cycle, let them awaken you to the possibilities of what you have to contribute through your work. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Developing #TrustInPeerReview from author to audience, Part 1: Trust starts with the author

A research notebook with glasses and laptop on a deskAs noted yesterday, this week marks the sixth annual Peer Review Week event with a focus this year on “shining a light on how the peer review process works and why it helps build trust in research” through its theme, Trust in Peer Review.

In keeping with this theme, while focusing on the role that authors have in the establishment of trust in the peer review process, we will spend the next few days exploring how trust in peer review is established, maintained, and delivered. As the original creator of the work, trust starts with the author. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 18, 2020

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~Larry L. KingHow do you get things done? When it comes to academic writing there is no shortage of strategy advice available to authors, but there are also no shortcuts either. As Larry L. King stated, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” In this week’s collection of articles from around the web we found some helpful resources for accomplishing all three of these fundamental practices in the pursuit of your publishing goals.

Beginning with topics of project management and daily writing practice, you must be writing and rewriting to move projects forward. That writing takes reading – and we have advice on how to stay focused while reading scholarly articles. Next we have writing tips from some famous writers and suggestions for writing under deadlines. Addressing some current issues in academic writing, we turn our attention to part-time PhD pursuits, research practices during Covid-19, gaps in academic communication, diversity, inclusion, and equity strategies, and an equitable transition to open access publishing models. We close the collection with information on how American Journal Experts (AJE) partners with the Researcher app to produce a new form of author services.

As you explore the strategies and resources available to improve your textbook and writing practice this week, remember there are no shortcuts. Write. Rewrite. Read. Repeat. Happy writing! [Read more…]