The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 18, 2018

"If your writing doesn't keep you up at night, it won't keep anyone else up either." ~James M. CainThis week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with helpful advice on managing your writing time, your summer, and your academic career path from Masters to PhD. We then explore successful practices for crafting introductions, conducting a rapid evidence reviewing form of literature review, incorporating figures, understanding peer review, and writing successful grant applications. Finally, we review industry trends in writing discussions to journal papers, the evolution of the open access ecosystem, a new open access publishing platform for the social sciences, faculty presence in the open education movement, and the meaning of “inclusive” in digital textbook publishing.

James M. Cain suggests that “If your writing doesn’t keep you up at night, it won’t keep anyone else up either.” As you write this week, focus on the things that keep you up at night – the ideas that burn the strongest on your mind even when you aren’t writing – so that your writing can inspire and awaken those who read it. [Read more…]

TAA Podcast – Millions of Articles, Thousands of Journals: How an Individual Scholarly Author Can Thrive in Today’s Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem

The changing scholarly publishing ecosystem provides new opportunities, and some perils, for scholarly authors. Listen to this session by Jeffrey Beall, “Millions of Articles, Thousands of Journals: How an Individual Scholarly Author Can Thrive in Today’s Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem,” recorded at the 2014 TAA Conference in Baltimore, MD, which addresses how authors can better expose, promote, and share their research to reach a larger audience and achieve greater impact.

Focusing on scholarly journals, it will update you on some of the problems associated with predatory publishing, such as research misconduct and the publication of pseudo-science. It will also help authors select publishers that provide greater added value to their work, such as basic copyediting and digital curation.


Download PPT [Read more…]

Journal author and editor offer advice for writing articles for scientific journals

Elaine Hull

Elaine Hull

Ushma Neill

Ushma Neill

Writing journal articles can be demanding for an academic writer in any field, but authors seeking to publish their work in scientific journals face unique challenges.

Elaine Hull, a prolific writer in the fields of psychology and neuroscience, and Ushma Neill, an editor for The Journal of Clinical Investigation, offer the following advice for science writers:

  • Find good coauthors. Collaborating with coauthors is often necessary to gain access to the equipment and experimental techniques you need to fully test your hypotheses, so it is very important to develop good relationships with colleagues. Hull urges writers in academia to seek out schools and departments with high levels of collegiality so it is easier to find collaborators.
  • Start with your results section. When you’re ready to write, Neill recommends tackling the results section of an article first because what you end up including in the results section of the paper will influence what you need to discuss in the article’s methodology section and introduction. [Read more…]

Journal impact factors: To cite, or not to cite?

At a brainstorming session on academic publishing at energy trapsTAA’s June 2012 conference, a participant asked how to determine the most prestigious journals in which to try to publish. The panel’s advice: study the journal impact factors.

An impact factor is widely regarded as a measure of the journal’s importance in the particular disciplines which it serves. A journal’s impact factor is a measure of the average frequency with which articles in a given journal’s publication year are cited in that and other journals during the subsequent two years. The rationale is, roughly, that the citation rate of articles in a given journal, compared with the rate of “competing” journals, gives a metrical measure of that journal’s perceived importance in the discipline. Seems simple enough, but perhaps not. [Read more…]

How to manage multiple journal submissions

Q: “I probably will have to submit my article to several journals before it is accepted. Each of the ones I am likely to send it to has a different style for footnotes and references. How do I make revisions efficiently and not spend undue hours with trivia?”

A: Richard Hull, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, SUNY at Buffalo:

“There are excellent reference management software programs available. You type your references in once; subsequent revisions are often possible by simply giving the periodical’s name, or by providing a simple template that will, for example, cause first and middle names to be replaced by initials (followed or not followed by periods), journal volume numbers to be preceded or not preceded by “vol.”, the year of the publication to be placed just after the author’s name or after the volume number (surrounded or nor surrounded by parentheses), and so forth. End Note and Reference Manager are two common ones, and they are sometimes freely provided to faculty by their educational institution’s Instructional Technology centers.”

Your dissertation as a journal article: Where do you submit it?

Q: “I have an idea for an article based on my dissertation, but I don’t know where to send it. How can I make a reasonable choice?”

A: Tara Gray, presenter of the Publish & Flourish: Become A Prolific Author workshop, sponsored by TAA:

“Ask your colleagues and consider the journals in your own bibliography. Then, query the journal editor by asking him or her if your manuscript fits their understanding of the journal’s mission.” [Read more…]

Maximize your chances of being published: Know the journal’s style expectations

Q: “How do I find out what a journal’s style expectations are?”

A: Kären Hess, the author or co-author of more than 30 trade books and college-level textbooks on a variety of topics including financial planning, dental marketing, art, literature, engineering, hospice care, reading, management and report writing:

“Most journals publish their manuscript requirements (usually at the end of the journal). Also, read several articles from the journal(s) of interest to see what gets published.” [Read more…]