Is open access publishing where you want to see your work? Questions to ask yourself and best practices

During their 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “A New Publishing Landscape: Open Access,” Kristen Cvancara, Laura Jacobi, and Heidi Southworth shared curiosities, opportunities, and pitfalls of open access publishing. For those curious about how their work may fit in the open access publishing landscape, the panel encouraged conducting a self-assessment and getting feedback from others first. For when you’re ready to explore open access publishing, they shared best practices as well. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 7, 2018

"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." ~Russell BakerRussell Baker once said, “The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.” As writers, we can certainly acknowledge the work such a craft requires, and in the genres of academic and textbook authoring the wide range of additional concerns for balance, accuracy, research integrity, and innovation in our writing efforts.

This week our collection of posts from around the web begins with a question, “Are there only four kinds of writers?” inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The four tendencies. This evaluation of a writer is paired with authoring benefits, ways to improve academic output, time and energy management, research methods, diversity in peer review, critical and creative thinking, and privacy in user research – all factors of consideration for the academic author, regardless the type. Finally, we close this week’s list with considerations of the future of our profession, with new approaches to textbook development and e-book potential, the realities of open source and scholarly publishing, and significant changes in the trend toward open access in scientific publishing.

As you embark on your writing efforts in the week ahead, I encourage you to recognize and embrace the real work involved in the writing process and to find encouragement and support to continue those efforts. Happy writing! [Read more…]

4 Questions authors are asking about open textbooks

Whether you are a veteran textbook author or new to the industry, you’ve likely heard of open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks by now. As with anything new, the open textbook model is faced with scrutiny and questions from those familiar with the traditional publishing process. It’s also laden with opportunities, such as the current $5M open textbook pilot program.

To better understand the open textbook model, specifically what is the same and what is different from traditional publishing options, we asked some questions of several leaders in the open textbook movement. Here’s what we learned. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: July 27, 2018

"It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition." ~Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov said, “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” This week’s collection of articles from around the web are sure to have something to catch your imagination and plant a seed for the future.

We start with ways to develop your passion, understanding preprints and peer review, and the importance of conference presentations for early career researchers. We then look at the academic taboos associated with writing, some summer practices for graduate students seeking employment opportunities, and advice on how to choose the right journal. We close this week’s list with current noteworthy topics of discussion on transparency, discrimination, manuscript exchange, OER, and the impact of Amazon on the publishing economy.

Whatever your passion or discipline, write this week in a way that might catch the imagination of others and plant seeds for tomorrow’s ideas and practices. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 22, 2018

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." ~Douglas AdamsDouglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Do you like that sound? As the official start of summer is upon us, we hope that you are finding time to work on your writing projects and are better equipped to meet deadlines or to finish work on projects whose deadlines may have passed during the academic year.

Our collection of articles from around the web this week begins with some strategies for writing for publication, conducting qualitative interviews, and conducting interdisciplinary work. It continues with concerns regarding “business-as-usual” confidentiality in a growing state of research openness, unreported editorial misconduct, and the value of literature reviews. Finally, we have found some discussions on peer review, expanded access to ProQuest through Google Scholar, and a new community-controlled open access publishing platform – the Free Journal Network. Enjoy and happy writing! [Read more…]

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…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: April 6, 2018

"Of course, I tried to surround myself with other people like me whose dream of writing was a constant burden...." ~Gerald OlsonGerald Olson once said, “Of course, I tried to surround myself with other people like me whose dream of writing was a constant burden….” Our collection of articles this week identify and address some of the burdens associated with academic and textbook writing as well as some opportunities to surround yourself with other authors facing the same.

We begin with articles discussing burdens of racism in scholarly publishing, summarizing your research into a couple of sentences, personal branding, author processing charges for open access publishing, and changes in peer review. We also found suggestions on ways to broaden your audience with video, to access a larger set of figures and images, and an opportunity to browse and download content from SAGE journals during their open access month.

Whatever your burden in writing, we’re glad you are connected with TAA and the authors who share your dream and passion for textbook and academic writing. This week we encourage you to connect more, to identify your challenges, and to find new ways to be successful in your writing efforts. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 8, 2017

"Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end." ~Nona Mae KingThis week our collection of articles from around the web contains innovative practices and changes in the publishing industry, suggestions for Open Education, ways to repurpose your finished research into a journal article, academic friendships, social media impacts on author and publisher success, and actions to reduce predatory publishing practices.

As we come to the end of the first week of December, a month where many of our writing projects are faced with increased struggle as academic terms come to an end, remember the words of Nona Mae King, “Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.” [Read more…]

Pay to play: Are submission fees common for publication in journals?

University student studying book in libraryThere seem to be many recent email messages, advertisements, and calls for journal submissions that have touted competitive or lower than average submission fees. From a traditional perspective of submitting work to academic journals, you may 1) have never paid for submission of articles, and 2) been wary of those journals who required payment for submission, thinking them to be less credible “pay to play” sources of publication.

With evidence of a more common practice of submission fee requirements, we solicited the opinions of TAA members Jörg Waltje, executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at Texas Woman’s University, and Patricia Goodson, presidential professor for Teaching Excellence and director of POWER Services for Texas A&M University, who provided different perspectives. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 17, 2017

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~Louis L'AmourAs we reach the halfway point of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, the posts this week reflect an increased awareness of the disruptive nature of Open Access in academic publishing, ways to increase diversity in scholarly writing, tips for productive reading and distraction resistance while writing, ways to beat your fear of writing, tools for academic writers, improving your use of comparisons, strategies for quickly tackling a writing project, and how to market your academic journal articles. Whatever you are working on this week, remember the words of Louis L’Amour and “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” [Read more…]