TAA’s virtual conference kicks off tomorrow!

Are you excited to be part of TAA’s Virtual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference this year? The conference will kick off with a half day of programming on June 18, and presentations continuing June 21-24 and will feature a variety of session formats as well as networking opportunities.

All presentations will be hosted on Zoom, with 30- and 50-minute session formats welcome. Our Zoom formatting will allow for audience voice and video participation, chat features, break out rooms, question and answer formats, panel presentations, and more.

Conference networking in the age of Zoom

Conferences and conventions have been one of many things that have changed in the age of COVID. While much of the great education and content is still available through virtual conventions, one aspect of conference attendance that has changed significantly is networking.

Losing out on networking in the age of virtual conference would be quite a loss. But how do you proceed without the in-person experience? Fear not. There are solutions.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 12, 2021

What part of your writing makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you sometimes feel silly trying something new like building a writing habit or saying the word “Pomodoro”? Oftentimes our self-doubt or fear will increase these feelings as well.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we look at where to put our focus while writing, facing down fear, overcoming the blank page, and habits of a successful student. We look next at research ethics, editing your writing, and treating networking like something familiar – a research project. Finally, we explore support for authors in open access publishing.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 13, 2020

Angela Carter once said, “A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” What goes inside the book, however, is the challenge every author faces. It takes process, persistence, and support to complete our writing projects and to produce something that matters.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on using outlines, setting goals, taking notes, finding your target audience, and writing conclusions. We also found information on networking, writing retreats, unspoken privilege, and growth as a writer.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 4, 2019

This week’s collection of posts from around the web is full of advice on a variety of topics of interest for academic and textbook authors. Topics include: creative thinking, co-writing, starting a PhD, starting a research network, dissemination of research, research feature creep, dissertation committee service, open access ethics, research data sharing, and academic book reviews.

As varied as this topic list may seem, collectively it represents some of the many questions and challenges faced by academic authors daily. Stephen King once said, “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” The same is true for your answers to these questions and challenges. If it doesn’t naturally fit your academic pursuits, it’s not the right path for this stage of your academic career. This week focus on the words that fit best for where you are in the process. Happy writing!

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

This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers tools and advice for moving your academic writing projects forward. Whether that requires beating the summer writing blues, getting your PhD on track, thinking about the warrant for a paper, or building authority and expanding your network, this list has you covered. We also found insight on surviving the conference marathon and reasons researchers should volunteer for global evidence gathering processes.

Whatever your current writing entails, strive to make the product of your work that of highest quality. As John Ruskin once said, “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” Happy writing!

Improving your research, writing, and publishing through networking

To many, the word networking is business-speak, a bit like strategic planning, buy-in, thinking outside the box, leverage, or core competencies.

But your network, however big or small, can be the key to improving all aspects of your academic output. It is no coincidence that this blog entry appears the week of the Textbook & Academic Authors Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia. This event, and others like it, offer the best opportunities to make connections and therefore improve your scholarly work.

TAA Vice President’s Message: Take a Networking Challenge in 2019

I am the worst at hiding in my office and working over lunch. Yes, we all have lots of work to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done. Why should 2019 be any exception? I should spend more time out of my office. Some would call it socializing, some would call it networking. Whatever you call it, getting out has got to be better for me than staring out the window (I know, at least I have a window).

With you as my witnesses, I have decided to get out regularly and have lunch or coffee with someone in my workplace. We all have to eat or caffeinate, right? There are over 1,400 employees where I work and I know at least a 10% of them, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Would it kill me if once every so often I had lunch with a colleague instead of never? There might actually be some benefits.

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

It’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 you 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!

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 28, 2018

As the seasons change and the academic year starts to settle into more of a routine, for some, the writing gets easier and the schedule is set up for success. For others, the daily schedule has begun to feel more overwhelming and the ability to focus or maintain momentum may be challenging.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web includes ways to generate ideas, create a super focused workday, balance family and academic life, be ready for a change in scenery to maintain a productive writing practice, successfully build a research network, and deal with the administrative grief of academic environments. We’ve also found great insight into the rise of peer review, research ethics, read and publish models, critical thinking, and the dissemination of scientific facts.

Wherever your writing takes you this week, we hope it moves you in the direction of your goals. As C. J. Cherryh reminds us, “It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.” Happy writing!