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.

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

Isaac 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!

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

Douglas 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!

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 18, 2018

This 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.

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

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

This 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.”