Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 15, 2021

“A man's mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “A man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” As textbook and academic authors, our writing should not only stretch our minds, but the minds of our readers.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore what it means to write an academic argument, practical advice for conducting research, and differences in editing processes. We also found information on industry trends regarding publisher relations with libraries and higher education, a call for acceleration of open science, social and economic changes in publishing due to the pandemic, and why and how authors should build their own email lists.

This week I encourage you to stretch your mind with new ideas so you can better serve to stretch the minds of others. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 24, 2020

“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.” ~Peter De VriesAs we near the end of 2020, a year filled with disruption, change, and challenges resulting from the pandemic, inspiration can be hard to come by. It’s in these times that we must rely on our identified goals, routine practices, and positive experiences to move forward and stay the course. Peter De Vries summarized his writing habit as follows, “I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”

Whether a daily routine or simply a mindset of perseverance in weathering the storms that have been and are sure to come in the future, success will be found in finding your own writing inspiration. As we see in this week’s collection of articles, we’re all facing challenges together – some new and some old – but the only way forward is through.

This week, reflect on what you have been able to sustain throughout 2020, what you want to achieve in the new year ahead, and which voices in your circle (or your own head) are ones that you should listen to in an effort to move forward with your writing efforts. Then move forward and we’ll get through this period of disruption, change, and challenges – together. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 18, 2020

"As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand." ~Ernest HemingwayErnest Hemingway once said, “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” In our academic writing, there are certainly a number of places where understanding is important.

Seen in this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we must understand how to develop a first draft, what questions we need to answer to move forward, what our research data tells us, what makes writing worthwhile, how to maintain a productive schedule, how to balance work with periods of rest, how to survive through crisis, and the general state of the publishing industry.

Without judgement of yourself or others, as we begin to close out the year that was 2020 in the back half of December, reflect on your academic writing efforts, not with judgement, but with understanding of what has been, what is, and what you hope will be moving forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 6, 2020

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” ~Annie DillardIt’s November! And for academic authors that means it’s time to write. Not that it isn’t always time to write but November, specifically, is Academic Writing Month or AcWriMo for short. In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have some advice and resources for rekindling or maintaining your writing practice into this month focused on academic writing.

Included in the list are ways to get back into a writing practice and some step-by-step persuasive writing techniques. Also included is how to handle email distractions and manage your social media efforts. Finally, we share some current issues and trends in the publishing industry.

No matter what you are writing this month, give it your all. Annie Dillard once said, “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” Pour it out in the weeks ahead. Give it all. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 23, 2020

“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” ~Margaret LaurenceWriting takes work. Whether starting a PhD or working on another published book or manuscript, academic authoring is work and should be treated as a professional endeavor. Margaret Laurence once said, “When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” Our writing must receive focus and time for us to be successful.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on early career authoring, building an impact and brand, and current trends in publishing. As you embark on the week ahead, give your writing the focus it deserves. After all, everything else is just odd jobs. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 2, 2020

“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” ~Andre Dubus IIIThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is full of questions. Questions about our writing practice. Questions about the science of academic writing and scholarship. Questions about the future of the publishing industry.

Beginning with “what’s the worst that could happen?” and ending with “what’s on the horizon for publishing and open access?” these articles inspire fresh perspective on our textbook and academic writing processes.

Andre Dubus III once said, “I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” This week, use your writing practice to go deeper into the questions associated with your discipline and process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 28, 2020

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~Virginia WoolfVirginia 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.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week addresses issues with exposing those secrets of our souls through published work now and in the future.

Specifically, we begin with moving past the fear of having our work read, following basic rules for writing research papers, revising to remove evidence of our secret self-doubt, and topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications. We then explore how blogging can enhance student engagement, a new way to access higher education textbooks, sustainable open access models, and the publishing trends for late 2020 and beyond.

It’s important that the secrets written on your soul are shared through your written work. Challenge yourself to share more of yourself in your writing this week. Happy writing!

Afraid to let anyone read your writing? 5 Steps to move past fears

One of the best things about writing is being read. Unfortunately, that can also be one of the scariest things. When you’re just starting out, it can feel like a huge jump to let someone else read your story for the first time. It feels like another jump to move past the eyes of kindly family and friends to asking strangers to read and (gulp) comment on your writing. And even if you’ve been writing and publishing for many years, there may still be days when you’re afraid to let anyone read your writing.

Basic rules to follow when writing a research paper

You can never overstate the significance of being able to write well. A productive investigator or researcher will always be able to write solid papers when it comes to writing a research paper. Writing a research paper has a life cycle, and when you follow the same, no one can stop you from achieving the degree.

Revision – writing without protection

Academic writers need to let their readers know that they know what they are talking about. But feeling and talking like an expert is not easy – in fact, it’s often the exact opposite of how you think about yourself. So it’s helpful to be able to pick up the places in your writing where your text gives away your secret self-doubt.

Driving gender diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications: The power of an active ERG

How many of us know what ‘ERG’ stands for? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. An Employee Resource Group is a volunteer group of like-minded colleagues who come together to create positive change for their wider workplace community. These groups are not to be underestimated — in fact, they should be celebrated and promoted within organizations because they add tremendous value, and increase the organization’s value proposition for attracting, keeping, and developing talent.

How can blogging enhance student engagement?

A perennial issue in higher education is how to encourage students to engage with the material they are learning about. Biggs and Tang tell us that assessment is the key driver of engagement, with its structure and content shaping everything that a student does to achieve the learning outcomes of a course. But are the tried and tested methods of written examinations, essays, laboratory reports, group projects and so on really the most engaging forms of assessment for students? Or are digital technologies, and the movement towards more reflective forms of writing, opening up the whole dynamic of the assessment process and the ways in which students engage with it to radical change?

Cambridge University Press launches new website for its higher education textbooks

This new site, and our business models, have been shaped by extensive feedback from students, their instructors and librarians. As a result, it gives higher education institutions a much easier way to provide their students with online access to our textbooks and gives students themselves a much better reading and studying experience.

Sustainable open access – What’s next?

As more publishers consider this model, it seems like a good time to dive a little deeper into collective action models and Subscribe to Open in academic publishing and also to consider why interest in these models might be accelerating.

Predictions for publishing trends in late 2020 and beyond

If there’s one thing 2020 has shown us, it’s that our lives are not nearly as predictable as we like to think. This isn’t exactly a new revelation — the best-laid plans of mice and men, etc. — but it’s one that brings fresh perspective and humility to all our forecasts now, whether in regards to the weather, the government, or the state of the publishing industry.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 7, 2020

“Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.” ~David GogginsTextbook and academic writing is hard work. It’s a tiring endeavor. It stretches the individual and the discipline with each new publication. To be successful, though, we need to consider the words of David Goggins who said, “Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.”

Whether you are starting a literature review, attempting to describe theoretical, conceptual, or analytical frameworks, editing a book, or simply editing your work for your reader, our collection of articles this week has some advice to keep you moving forward in your efforts to reach your goal. We have also included articles on promoting research through social media, entrepreneurial pursuits, Journal Impact Factors, the pandemic’s impact on open access, and how working from home has affected US publishing.

Whatever your current role and goal as an academic author, no matter how tired you may be in the process, move forward this week. And don’t stop until you’re done. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 19, 2020

“Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there.” ~Jim RohnAs we prepare for the official start of summer this weekend, sights may be set on vacations, rest, and relaxation in the academic “off season”, but as evidenced by Meggin McIntosh’s session yesterday in TAA’s Summer Webinar Series, much can be accomplished during this time, especially for those of us focused on writing.

Our collection of articles from around the web shares advice on finding time to write, planning your calendar, and developing a sense of purpose and routine. It continues with research considerations for what to read, practices in the covid era, digital defenses, and tips for becoming an indie researcher. Finally, we close with some global topics of large-scale open access agreements, combatting counterfeiting, and more inclusive and diverse publishing practices.

As Jim Rohn once said, “Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there.” Set your intentions this week, plan your writing time, focus on the long-term impact of your work, and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 1, 2020

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~E. L. DoctorowIt seems that over the past couple months, everything we thought we knew about research, writing, and academia in general has been turned on its head by COVID-19. This crisis has forced an examination of existing processes, exploration of alternative options, and adaptability to new ways of thinking. Well, putting it that way, it doesn’t sound much different from what academics do every day, does it?

This week’s collection of articles from around the web talks about some non-pandemic topics, like interdisciplinary research and recruitment and retention of women of color and indigenous women graduate students. We, of course, have a number of COVID-19 speculations, like the effect on scholarly publishing, added research complexities, and scientific and scholarly meeting practices – especially those taking place via Zoom or other video conferencing technology. We close with some advice on preparing for a PhD defense from the perspective of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

As much as things seem to change, we can take comfort in knowing that change is the only real constant in life. As for our writing efforts during this time, remember the words of E. L. Doctorow who said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Happy writing! [Read more…]