Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 26, 2019

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~Virginia WoolfThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is laden with soul-searching practices for academic writers. The list includes ways to improve weaknesses, approach processes creatively, flip the story, balance satisfaction with needs, and apply quick fixes to research. It also contains insight into the PhD process with teenagers, the decline of textbook spending, and the balance of open access and the cost of quality.

Virginia Woolf once said, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” This week share your secrets, experience, and quality of mind through your work. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 19, 2019

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." ~Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” This week’s collection of posts from around the web may challenge your thoughts about academic and textbook writing and processes.

Included in the collection are ways to change your thinking when publishing journal articles, completing a dissertation, or reading over the summer. There are articles on open science, open educational resources, and Pearson’s announcement of a “digital first” textbook publishing model. We close the list with articles on retaining perspective and developing new skills. This week, I challenge you to change your thinking to improve your writing practice. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 28, 2019

Summer hat, sunglasses, beach towel, and tablet computerAs we come to the end of the first official week of summer, many of us are a month or more into our summer “break” – a time for tackling the list of things that find their way to “unfinished” during the school year. If your summer to-do list contains interdisciplinary reading, prioritization of your writing projects, qualitative research, research promotion, PhD by publication, or simply keeping up with the latest trends in scholarly writing, this week’s collection has something for you!

While rest and relaxation are also essential components of the break that summer often provides, tackling some of those items on the to-do list, rethinking your schedule for the next academic year, and maintaining a healthy writing practice during these “off” months have advantage as well. Happy summer and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 29, 2019

spring blossomsThis week’s collection of articles from around the web has a spring-like atmosphere of newness, pruning, and growth. We begin with two questions: “What does academic work look like?” and “Which academics are happy?” We then explore emerging trends in the academic publishing lifecycle, revision processes, and synthesis in a literature review. We close with new ideas on re-reading and technological support for peer review.

Kelly Barnhill once said, “That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.” Whatever revisions face your writing (or writing practices) this week, find the magic that helps you grow. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 19, 2018

Writing workspaceThis week’s collection of posts from around the Web begins with a couple approaches to collaboration – first in purpose, second in process. We then found some posts on improving existing work – revising drafts, converting a PhD into a book, and the art of book design. Finally, we brought together some industry interests – the value of peer review, innovative & inclusive teaching, and content syndication.

Whatever writing projects you are working on this week, 1) know that you are not alone – TAA is here to support you with our community of authors and collection of resources; 2) know that your work is not finished – writing is more than a single task and whether revising a first draft or reworking a thesis, your continued contributions are needed; and finally, 3) know that these solitary efforts contribute to a bigger picture and have value beyond the immediacy of your project. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 14, 2018

"Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil--but there is no way around them." ~Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov said, “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil–but there is no way around them.” As we recognize Peer Review Week 2018, much of the focus of our collection of articles is on the process that produces such rejection in an effort to ensure the quality of the works that are accepted for publication.

The theme of Peer Review Week 2018 is diversity in peer review. As an author, your background, experiences, and unique qualities contribute to the diversity of the industry and can improve the diversity of the peer review process – if you are involved. Although most of the articles in this week’s collection are related to this event, there are others themes of significance to authors in this collection including management of multiple writing projects (and how some scientists are successful hyperprolific authors), ways to get back on track if your semester plan has already fallen apart, transparency in publishing, critical & creative thinking in research, and dealing with the fear of success.

The textbook and academic authoring community needs your contributions, your perspective, and your uniqueness. This week celebrate what makes you unique and how that contributes to a diverse community of scholarly authors. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Peer Review Week 2018: Diversity in Peer Review

Peer Review Week 2018 LogoThis week, September 10-15, 2018, marks Peer Review Week. According to the official website, “Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality. The event brings together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications. We organize virtual and in-person events, webinars, interviews and social media activities.”

To celebrate, TAA will be sharing various items from our blog archive and library of presentations on demand that focus on the peer review process. Look for these items on our social media channels throughout the week tagged with the official Peer Review Week hashtag, #PeerReviewWeek18 and share your comments and experiences with us. [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…]

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…]