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

Laura FrostI 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. [Read more…]

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

Write Without Fear Edit Without MercyIt’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 your 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! [Read more…]

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

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly." ~C.J. CherryhAs 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! [Read more…]

TAA Executive Director’s Message

 “Only connect!” ­–E.M. Forster from Howard’s End

Michael Spinella

Michael Spinella

As I sat down to write this column about networking opportunities at TAA, this marvelous two-word sermon from Howard’s End came to mind. Alas, the timing of that great novel (1910) precludes any attempt to read the quote as an aphorism aimed at the digital age, urging us to hone our networking skills! Making matters worse, Forster (or rather, the character in his novel) wasn’t even talking about connecting with other people, but about connecting “the prose and the passion” contained within each of us to make a whole person. [Read more…]