Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 30, 2021

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” ~Alexandra K. TrenforAlexandra K. Trenfor once said, “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” Life, especially in academic settings, is about seeking knowledge, exploring possibilities, and making our own unique discoveries. Textbook and academic authoring provides an outlet for us to share those discoveries with others to fuel their own journeys.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have some things worth looking at to see where they may fit your current and future needs as an author. These include developing a social media strategy, post-doctoral pursuits, saying “no”, data collection, licensing, editing, and open access opportunities.

Be on the lookout this week for teachers, whether people, places, or simply ideas that can guide where you look next and find out what you see as a result. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 23, 2021

“To teach is to learn twice.” ~Joseph JoubertOne of the most unique and rewarding features of textbook and academic authoring compared to other genres is the intentional sharing of learned knowledge with others through our writing. In addition to authoring, I have had the opportunity to teach college level courses for nearly two decades and continue to be amazed at how much I learn with each class I teach and with each book or article I write.

This week is no exception as the preparation of this article has opened my eyes to a citation revision strategy, improving conceptual framework development through theoretical alignment, and new opportunities in publishing through the pandemic, in the digital age, for dissertation publication, and in self-publishing and open access arenas.

Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” This week I challenge you to learn something new (or learn something old in a new way) and then teach it through your writing so you get to learn it again through your own voice. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 16, 2021

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” ~Zig ZiglarAs we enter the back half of April, many of us in academia are finding students nearing the end of their academic term looking at their grades and considering what it will take to pass the class and avoid failure. Many of us, also as writers, may be facing deadlines or revisiting our goals and expectations for our writing during the same time and feeling this same sense of success or failure in our own efforts.

The spirit of academia, of learning, and of writing is one of process more than events. While we often focus on the events that define the process – graduation, publication, even final grades or first drafts, we need to remember the words of Zig Ziglar who said, “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” Even when faced with events of failure, the process continues.

Our collection of articles this week includes processes of developing good habits, revising our writing (sometimes into multiple papers), defining the right methodology and tools for our studies, and exploring new opportunities along the way. Wherever you are in your process, keep your goal in mind. Treat failures as events and don’t lose sight of your process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 19, 2021

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” ~James DewarWhat are you open to this week? New opportunities? New writing practices? New perspectives? James Dewar reminds us that “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find encouragement to be open to new mindsets, time management strategies, and motivation elements in our writing practice. We also find information on research methods, open science, and sociocultural frameworks. Finally, we explore topics of diversity and transformative agreements in scholarly publishing.

If you want greater opportunity and success in your academic writing, I encourage you to focus on being open to new ideas this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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…]