Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 4, 2019

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” – Stephen KingThis week’s collection of posts from around the web is full of advice on a variety of topics of interest for academic and textbook authors. Topics include: creative thinking, co-writing, starting a PhD, starting a research network, dissemination of research, research feature creep, dissertation committee service, open access ethics, research data sharing, and academic book reviews.

As varied as this topic list may seem, collectively it represents some of the many questions and challenges faced by academic authors daily. Stephen King once said, “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” The same is true for your answers to these questions and challenges. If it doesn’t naturally fit your academic pursuits, it’s not the right path for this stage of your academic career. This week focus on the words that fit best for where you are in the process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 6, 2019

Trust yourselfThis week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with prompts to stimulate your thinking and methods for finding papers for your literature review. It continues with the importance of validating faculty research, consideration of your timeline for finishing a PhD, and expectations when presenting research to an industry audience. Finally, we have some noteworthy industry news on cost per use value models, the value of the big deal, the Cengage-McGraw Hill merger, and a new textbook model at UC Davis.

Neil Gaiman once said, “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” This week, trust yourself and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 23, 2019

“The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.” – Charles DickensFor many of us, we are at the start of a new academic year, whether as students, faculty, or both. This time of year is laden with opportunity and, oftentimes, apprehension and stress for what’s to come and all that needs to be accomplished. New years bring new challenges and new possibilities in a sea of ever-changing processes and populations.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web will hopefully help you find greater opportunities for success and purpose to the process as we explore the value of writing centers and writing groups, established and new research processes, and ways to improve scholarly communication and dissemination of research.

Charles Dickens wrote, “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.” What have you been wishing for in your academic writing efforts? It’s time to stop wishing and start doing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 9, 2019

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen.” ~ Bradley WhitfordThis week’s collection of posts from around the web is filled with actionable items you can incorporate into your textbook and academic writing process and life. We begin with some planning concepts and how to navigate an academic conference. Next we explore some details related to scholarly e-books and creating a culture of inquiry. Then we discuss options for saving reader time during the research stage of a project and ways to help and support precariat colleagues. Finally we include ideas for “thinking in public” by blogging research and for engaging in open source scholarly publishing.

Bradley Whitford encourages us to “Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen.” This week, take action to move your writing forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 2, 2019

“Great things don’t come from comfort zones.” ~ Roy T. BennettLet me warn you. This week’s collection of posts from around the web has several topics that may not be comfortable for textbook and academic authors. We begin with articles challenging the status quo for academic bios, the value of disability inclusion in the publishing industry, and the approach you take to turn your PhD into a book. More hot topic industry changes, specifically in light of recent announcements of Pearson’s “digital first” initiative and the Cengage-McGraw-Hill merger, also make this week’s list.

The changes to the publishing industry are not new, but in the recent months seem to be coming at a faster pace with greater impact to authors. That said, as you review the articles linked below, remember the wisdom of Roy T. Bennett who said, “Great things don’t come from comfort zones.” In the coming week, I encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone in your pursuit of greatness. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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: June 21, 2019

Plan CAt last week’s Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Philadelphia, there were some wonderful presentations and discussion on topics of inclusive access, textbook subscription models, open access, writing and publishing strategies, and the overall trends in the changing landscape of academic publishing. This week’s collection of articles from around the web extend that discussion with some of the same topics present in our list.

As you ponder the future of textbook and academic authoring and publishing for yourself, I encourage you to consider the thoughts of Rob Siltanen, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Here’s to changing the world. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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…]