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…]

Digital is coming for your textbooks

Digital is Coming for Your TextbooksWhile it has long been prophesied that the print textbook would disappear, it has actually taken quite a bit longer than people anticipated.

In the final session of TAA’s Summer Webinar Series, “Digital is Coming for Your Textbooks” at 2pm ET on July 30th, Christopher Kenneally, Director of Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center and Independent Publishing Industry Consultant, Michael Cairns, will review the latest developments in the creation, sourcing, and delivery of digital textbooks and will examine the looming fight for control of usage data. [Read more…]

Writing and publishing for everyone; Not just the 90%

Authors need to consider accessibility when creating materials and choosing a publisher, but how can they this when it is such a misunderstood word?

Accessibility, in regard to publishing, means making content available in alternative formats for individuals with visual impairment or learning disabilities.

People may conjure up Braille as making content accessible to people with disabilities or learning issues. Publishing, however, has progressed so much farther than this. Using such technical standards as ePub3, HTML5, alt text, and other specific initiatives, publishers can make their content accessible to a growing audience. [Read more…]

Leveraging our authoring experience in electronic media

new ideasThe publishing industry is quickly evolving, and with it, the role of an author is changing as well. Where once instructional and academic material was destined mainly for a printed book or journal article, today the landscape looks very different, with electronic media options continually growing. But while these changes can be disorienting for experienced and new authors alike, the new world of electronic media offers many new opportunities for people with specialized knowledge, strong communication skills, and the ability to meet deadlines. Whether you want to supplement existing written work or work in a new medium altogether, the opportunities are exciting – and perhaps the best part is that you don’t need an acquisitions editor to get started! [Read more…]

How to incorporate accessibility throughout the publishing process

Digital AccessibilityIn his recent webinar, “Making Textbooks Accessible to Students With Disabilities”, Robert Martinengo, Publisher Outreach Specialist for the CAMI project at AMAC Accessibility, said that the issue of accessibility is even more important when it comes to digital products.

“The ability to navigate through a digital textbook is a critical component of accessibility,” he said. “Navigation is enabled by consistent and rational use of tags throughout the text.”

In addition to effective navigation, accessible manuscripts should also include these four elements, said Martinengo: [Read more…]