Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 26, 2021

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark TwainWhat are your writing goals? And, more importantly, what are you doing to reach them? According to Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

For many authors, the first step is a shift in mindset to seeing yourself as an author. In addition to facing this potentially overwhelming task, our collection of articles has advice on taking other steps along the way too. Whether defining a writing agenda, exploring the process of writing a book, figuring out what to do, writing and revising, or planning the next phase of your academic career, we have posts to help. There’s also information on joining a writing community, rights and royalties for spoken word, and the democratization of knowledge.

Whatever the task ahead, break it down, focus on the first step, and get started. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 15, 2021

“A man's mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “A man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” As textbook and academic authors, our writing should not only stretch our minds, but the minds of our readers.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore what it means to write an academic argument, practical advice for conducting research, and differences in editing processes. We also found information on industry trends regarding publisher relations with libraries and higher education, a call for acceleration of open science, social and economic changes in publishing due to the pandemic, and why and how authors should build their own email lists.

This week I encourage you to stretch your mind with new ideas so you can better serve to stretch the minds of others. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 11, 2020

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." ~John SteinbeckJohn Steinbeck once said, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” There’s much more to successful writing than ideas, though. We must be able to handle them.

In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we found some ideas for handling ideas like focusing on process, a shared peer-review taxonomy, revising like a reader, fostering trust, getting confident with statistics, subscribing to open, and making the most of the time you have for writing. We also look ahead to the holidays and new year with posts on changes to journal impact factor, increasing work-life balance, strategic actions for productive writing, and thoughtful gifts for writers.

We hope that you find inspiration in the posts below that help you to turn your ideas into published manuscripts. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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

“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” ~Angela CarterAngela 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. Finally, we explore the global outlook for open access and other academic publishing trends.

Remember that the final product – your book, paper, grant proposal, or other writing project – is merely the container. It’s the ideas that you express inside that manuscript that matter most. Happy writing! [Read more…]

How authors build structural equity and inclusion practices through open access

2020 Open Access Week - Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and InclusionThis year’s Open Access Week theme is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”. According to Nick Shockey in his #OAWeek blog post announcing this year’s theme, “Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be consistently prioritized year-round and integrated into the fabric of the open community, from how our infrastructure is built to how we organize community discussions to the governance structures we use.”

With this in mind, the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) is exploring the author’s role in building those priorities into our work – in both open access and traditional publishing environments. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 23, 2020

“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” ~Margaret LaurenceWriting takes work. Whether starting a PhD or working on another published book or manuscript, academic authoring is work and should be treated as a professional endeavor. Margaret Laurence once said, “When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” Our writing must receive focus and time for us to be successful.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on early career authoring, building an impact and brand, and current trends in publishing. As you embark on the week ahead, give your writing the focus it deserves. After all, everything else is just odd jobs. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 2, 2020

“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” ~Andre Dubus IIIThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is full of questions. Questions about our writing practice. Questions about the science of academic writing and scholarship. Questions about the future of the publishing industry.

Beginning with “what’s the worst that could happen?” and ending with “what’s on the horizon for publishing and open access?” these articles inspire fresh perspective on our textbook and academic writing processes.

Andre Dubus III once said, “I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” This week, use your writing practice to go deeper into the questions associated with your discipline and process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 25, 2020

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” ~Harper LeeAs we come to the end of Peer Review Week 2020, this week’s quote from Harper Lee seems rather appropriate – “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” When we write and publish, we invite feedback on the results of our work.

Given the event this week, there are a number of posts in our collection related to the peer review process, but we also have some additional items of interest on such topics as literature reviews, motivation, productivity, and open access.

As you embrace the week ahead, work to develop both your writing talent and a “thick hide”. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 18, 2020

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~Larry L. KingHow do you get things done? When it comes to academic writing there is no shortage of strategy advice available to authors, but there are also no shortcuts either. As Larry L. King stated, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” In this week’s collection of articles from around the web we found some helpful resources for accomplishing all three of these fundamental practices in the pursuit of your publishing goals.

Beginning with topics of project management and daily writing practice, you must be writing and rewriting to move projects forward. That writing takes reading – and we have advice on how to stay focused while reading scholarly articles. Next we have writing tips from some famous writers and suggestions for writing under deadlines. Addressing some current issues in academic writing, we turn our attention to part-time PhD pursuits, research practices during Covid-19, gaps in academic communication, diversity, inclusion, and equity strategies, and an equitable transition to open access publishing models. We close the collection with information on how American Journal Experts (AJE) partners with the Researcher app to produce a new form of author services.

As you explore the strategies and resources available to improve your textbook and writing practice this week, remember there are no shortcuts. Write. Rewrite. Read. Repeat. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 11, 2020

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” ~Elmore LeonardHow do you write? Why do you write? Who do you write for? And, are those answers clear in your writing practice? As authors in varying disciplines, we each have a unique style, purpose, and audience, so finding our voice is important. Elmore Leonard once said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” Our collection of articles from around the web offers additional advice on developing your own writing rhythm.

First, we are presented a challenge to explain our research in plain language, offered ways to build confidence in our nonfiction writing, and provided answers regarding the PhD trajectory. Next, we explore the structure of a literature review, how to overcome discouragement as an author, and rules for writing clear and persuasive prose. Finally, we discuss why authors should know their target audience, how open access diversifies readership, and the steps required to self-publish a book.

This week, challenge yourself to not let proper writing get in the way of your voice. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it. Focus on your audience, your purpose, and your style of communicating your message. Happy writing! [Read more…]