Writing in tribute: Don’t wait for the eulogy!

Thank youRecently I received some professional praise and recognition. One was in public,  the TAA Mike Keedy Award and the other was in private, a few sentences in an other-wise business-as-usual email. At first, I felt simply flattered. How nice! But as I reflected on the comments, I realized they were more than just sweet talk. The remarks confirmed that I am making progress toward accomplishing what I have set out to do at this point in my career. They helped me confirm priorities and set steps for continued improvement. In the digital age, we can write, post, and give webinars. We can read site analytics, but we can’t read the audience. Are they paying attention or are eyelids drooping? Are they reading or just scrolling? In absence of visual cues, it helped me to hear that my messages are getting through. [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: June 15, 2018

"It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way." ~Ernest HemingwayThis week’s collection of posts begins with articles focused on some of the writing challenges you may face – literature reviews, projects lost to life, grant application development, and other barriers that stop the publishing process at times. It continues with advice on writing with purpose, publishing for impact, transparency in peer review processes, surviving the doctoral defense process, and ways to maintain your mental health when making academic moves. We close with some insight into the impact of journal growth on impact factor, an open study on academic writing practices, and a look at how Google may be a journal publisher.

Ernest Hemingway said “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Whether you are learning with us this week at the TAA Conference, currently enrolled in a graduate program, or simply continuing to improve your writing craft through self-study and daily experience, write like you were born that way! [Read more…]

5 Hopeful changes in the publishing industry in 2018

changeRecently we asked several TAA members the question, “What changes are you hoping to see within the publishing industry this year?” Five key changes were identified: improvements in self-publishing, technology-driven innovations, better peer-review processes, increases in open access publishing, and a new era of transparency in publisher-author communication. [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: March 30, 2018

"The next best thing after finishing writing a chapter is starting a new one." ~Chris AlmeidaWe begin this week’s collection of textbook & academic posts from around the web with a royalty calculation update from Cengage as it relates to their Cengage Unlimited service. We then have several articles of interest to textbook authors and faculty considering OER textbook options. Finally, we found advice for academic writers on structuring papers, coping with peer review processes, and being scholar-activists.

Chris Almeida put it best when he said, “The next best thing after finishing writing a chapter is starting a new one.” As you write this week, we hope the end of March brings with it some finished work, and the start of April brings with it new beginnings in your writing. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: March 16, 2018

"I haven't finished writing my book, but it's on top of my list" ~Celeste Alexander“I haven’t finished writing my book, but it’s on top of my list” says Celeste Alexander. If you’re struggling with finishing a writing project, our first couple articles in this week’s collection of posts from around the web might help you find the means to move forward. Of course, according to our third article choice, “you should be writing!” and the shame that accompanies this rebuke are worthy of consideration as well.

In addition, we have found insight into word choice, the use of preprints in citations, theoretical frameworks, and peer review processes to support your writing efforts. Finally we round out our collection this week with two service platforms: DeepDyve and Skyepack that pursuer ways to reduce costs of journal articles and educational materials. Wherever your writing projects take you this week, we hope you feel a sense of accomplishment, even if you haven’t “finished”. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: March 2, 2018

"It's the writing that teaches you." ~Isaac AsimovThis week’s collection of academic and textbook articles have a theme of learning. Perhaps you’re looking to learn how to author academic books, manage an Early Career Researcher blog, or write peer-reviewed research articles. Maybe you’re exploring or developing a threshold concept, working with Big Data, or examining changes in research workflow. Possibly you’re seeking solutions to drive down the cost of textbooks. This week’s collection covers them all.

No matter your learning path, keep in mind Isaac Asimov’s insight, “It’s the writing that teaches you.” Wishing you a great week of learning through writing! [Read more…]