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Once the dissertation is accepted, the question of whether to publish journal articles or an academic book is one that faces many new Ph.Ds aiming for faculty positions. When weighing these options, consider what is standard in your discipline, as some fields reward books while others reward journal articles. Your dissertation committee and director are excellent sources of advice on this question.
For most academic jobs where publications count, the stature of the publisher is crucial to the impact your publication will have on your career. Publishing with a university press known for its important titles in your field, will provide a superior impact. But a press that required a subvention on your part would be less valued.
Anyone associated with higher education will acknowledge that tenure track faculty have to perform a fantastic balancing act. Compared to an administrative or line role in an organization, higher education faculty have tremendous autonomy and freedom. However, they face competing demands of many different (and good) opportunities, and for them the stakes are always high. Help is here! This article introduces a powerful strategy for staying on track in the research strand of this competitive journey.
Q: “I’m interested in some do’s and don’ts related to teaching a college course using one’s own textbook. I’m used to expanding on material and offer things ‘left out’ of others’ texts. Using my own, I find myself ‘teaching from the text’ more than I’d like (or more than what is interesting to the students). Any advice from those of you who have dealt with this?”
A: Rebecca Plante, PhD, Assistant Professor & Chair, Personnel Committee, Sociology Department, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY:
“I teach with two of my texts – I have to, as long as they’re in print, or it would look really bad (‘You don’t use your own books!!?’). My editor would have a hard time working with me if I refused to assign the text I wrote on sex…in my sexualities class. If I don’t believe in the text enough to adopt it, why would anyone else?
Q: “I need to write my first grant application. What are the elements I need to include to ensure that my project is funded?”
A: Elaine M. Hull, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, and the recipient of 20 years of NIH funding, shares these basics tips for writing a proposal:
“1) The proposed research should answer an important question, have justification based on previous work and/or pilot data, and have a reasonable end point. Emphasize hypothesis testing, as opposed to a ‘fishing expedition.’ State how the outcome of the project will relate back to the ‘Big Issues’; 2) Present the idea clearly.
Q: “My question concerns my coursepack for my lecture, which is sold at our college bookstore. I created it at my home office using my own computer. It contains my own original illustrations, graphics, and charts. I contend that this is my intellectual property while the bookstore has recently made an attempt to copyright all coursepacks in the name of my college. I am quite sure that my college is taking liberties that it has no right to legally. What is the best method for me to proceed to prevent the college from stealing my intellectual property?”
A: Steve Gillen, Attorney, Wood Herron & Evans:
“As a general rule, you have a copyright in any original work of expression prepared by you and that right vests automatically the instant your work is recorded in a tangible medium. Provided the illustrations, graphics and charts in your course pack were created by you and not copied or adapted from some other source, this default rule would vest ownership of the copyrights in you. An important exception to this default rule is known as the work-for-hire doctrine.