Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 14, 2019

A different type of writerAs I complete this collection of articles from around the web this week, our 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference is underway in Philadelphia. Over the next couple of days, authors from different disciplines, backgrounds, and geographic regions will come together to discuss topics of common interest, each with a common goal of becoming a more successful author.

This week’s collection includes some ideas that face most, if not all, of this diverse group, including writer’s block, thesis statements, data visualization, authorship, and author contribution. It also contains articles on specific issues facing subsets of our collective authoring community, including work/life balance for PhD students, diversity factors in awards and recognition, and open source initiatives and funding.

No matter the differences among us, and whether you are here in Philly with us this weekend or part of our larger authoring community, know that you are not alone. Take comfort in the things that we share and that are shared with us. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 31, 2019

"A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses." ~James AllenThis week’s collection of articles from around the web provides insight into a variety of ways that academics can improve their success both in their individual academic efforts and those that require collaboration or presentation of work to others.

We begin with advice on managing the isolation that often exists in academe and balance that with tips for collaborative writing. We then look at creative ways to reach new audiences, how to avoid a bad first impression, and different tactics for presenting at conferences. Finally we explore concepts of showing up, working on your own timeline, and preparing for the next steps in you academic efforts.

As James Allen shared in his book, As a Man Thinketh, “A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses.” This week, be limitless. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 24, 2019

"Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way." ~Ray BradburyThis week’s collection of articles from around the web includes a variety of topics important to authors. We begin the collection with concepts of semantic gravity, using visuals, and personal safety. We then discuss PhD requirements for publishing and the process in New Zealand. Next we explore the use of social media for improving citations or sharing conference material. Finally we explore some of the changing landscape in academic publishing.

As you write this week, be true to yourself and your ideas. As once noted by Ray Bradbury, “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 12, 2019

"Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn't do."This week’s quote – “Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn’t do.” – comes from an unknown source, but as often seems to be the case, the articles in our collection from around the web seem to have kindly fallen in line with this academic pun.

While our collection doesn’t have anything to do with the true definition of plagiarism, it does have a lot to do with the concept of getting in trouble for something you didn’t do. Specifically, problems or challenges may arise if you don’t check an index properly, if you don’t adequately prepare for a thesis proposal defense, if you don’t accept the dissertation publication requirement, if you don’t follow a traditional research path, if you don’t include your PhD on your CV (or if you do as the article discusses), if you linger in between identities during a career transition, if you don’t properly market yourself for a job, or if you don’t plan your approach attending a large conference.

As you approach your writing efforts this week, challenge yourself to not only look at accomplishing the things on your to-do list, but also examine the things that never made it there – the things that you aren’t doing that may be making your efforts more difficult than they need to be. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 5, 2019

"The scariest moment is always just before you start." ~Stephen KingStephen King once said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” In many of our textbook and academic authoring activities, we find the same to be true.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web address some common fears in our industry like low cost textbook alternatives, publisher production values, establishing significance, pursuing research efforts while raising a family, the dark side of academia, and the PhD journey.

With so much to fear, it can be paralyzing, but once we start, we most often find that the scariest moments are behind us and success lies ahead. This week challenge yourself to start something beyond your fears. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 22, 2019

"I've discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing." ~Anna Quindlen“I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.” This advice from Anna Quindlen frames our collection of articles this week.

Recognizing the quality of our efforts and focusing on ways to improve our contribution to the field is core to writing success. We begin this week’s collection with an examination of effective feedback, finding the gap in the research, and getting into a habit of data management. We then explore the challenges and benefits of balancing family and academic lives. Finally, we close with a look at textbook subscriptions in the publishing market and how to construct a CV for the academic job market.

Whatever the state of your writing or career this week, start where you are, no matter how bad, it can eventually lead to something better, but doing nothing will certainly lead to nothing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 15, 2019

"Reading sparks writing." ~A.D. PoseyIn this week’s collection of posts from around the web we found a variety of topics of interest to textbook and academic authors. We begin our collection with articles focused on perspective: on the PhD and employment, on Belbin roles in collaborative writing efforts, and on visualizations of scholarly workflow. Next we explore topics on finding the gap and keeping track of your literature review. We continue with a couple articles on open access. Finally, we close with technology-related articles on sharing research, conducting online surveys, and protecting privacy in digital resources.

A.D. Posey once said, “Reading sparks writing.” As you read through this week’s collection of articles, we hope that the ideas and topics presented serve to spark your writing efforts for the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 8, 2019

"I haven't finished writing my book, but it's on top of my list" ~Celeste AlexanderThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes practical advice from past experiences balanced with ideas to move us forward. We start with practical advice on mistakes to avoid when doing your PhD, what nobody tells you about ‘minor corrections’, strategies to manage work and enjoy life, and reviewing literature to situate it in a research tradition. We then share some articles with new ideas for mapping a text (beyond the traditional mind map or concept map), addressing global imbalances in scholarly communication, and training PhD graduates for jobs outside of academia.

Celeste Alexander once said, “I haven’t finished writing my book, but it’s on top of my list.” This week focus on that item on top of your list. What can you do to move closer to crossing it off? Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 1, 2019

"Words are a lens to focus one's mind." ~Ayn RandAyn Rand once said, “Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” As you reflect on the first month of 2019, where are your words? Where is your focus? Whatever your focus, you may find you are not alone as you explore this week’s collection of posts from around the web.

Our first three articles provide insight for those focused on self care, financial support for their research, or improving their teaching and learning of writing. Our next set of articles share thoughts for those focused on greater access and sharing of ideas and data with other researchers. Finally, we have found articles focused on the continued learning process associated with new vocabulary or methods.

Wherever your focus is at this stage of your writing, use your words this week to bring those ideas into greater clarity. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 25, 2019

Write Without Fear Edit Without MercyIt’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of the last full week of January already! Hopefully this month has been filled with new beginnings, fresh resolve toward your goals, and advancements in your academic writing endeavors, but there’s a lot of 2019 still to come!

For those of you in the final semester (or deep in the throws) of writing your thesis or dissertation, Pat Thomson’s advice to “yodelayeehoo” may be useful this week – by the way, it’s also great advice at multiple stages of your writing career. For those looking at what else the rest of this year and beyond has in store, the rest of this week’s collection brings insight to that question. First, we celebrate continued advancements in open access. Then we explore tips for managing research, ways to build a social network in the field, and the future of scholarly communication. To close, we look forward by looking back to 1923 and the possibilities that await for the previously copyrighted works newly released into public domain.

As you head into the days ahead, remember to “Write without Fear; Edit without Mercy”. And, if you’re one who likes inspiring reminders like this in physical form, stickers are available for use on your computer, smartphone, or office door through the TAA store. Happy Writing! [Read more…]