Do you have too many books?

John Bond - Too many books?Right off the bat, my answer is a likely no. But I have to confess I am a writer, author, librarian, editor, publisher, book lover and book collector, so maybe I am not the best judge.

Perhaps you think you have too many books at work or at home. Perhaps you have had an “intervention” by your spouse, officemate, or friends. In that case, read on. Perhaps with the holidays upon us, new books as gifts from friends might put you over the top!

Here are some questions to think about as you ponder your books: [Read more…]

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

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~Larry L. KingHow do you get things done? When it comes to academic writing there is no shortage of strategy advice available to authors, but there are also no shortcuts either. As Larry L. King stated, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” In this week’s collection of articles from around the web we found some helpful resources for accomplishing all three of these fundamental practices in the pursuit of your publishing goals.

Beginning with topics of project management and daily writing practice, you must be writing and rewriting to move projects forward. That writing takes reading – and we have advice on how to stay focused while reading scholarly articles. Next we have writing tips from some famous writers and suggestions for writing under deadlines. Addressing some current issues in academic writing, we turn our attention to part-time PhD pursuits, research practices during Covid-19, gaps in academic communication, diversity, inclusion, and equity strategies, and an equitable transition to open access publishing models. We close the collection with information on how American Journal Experts (AJE) partners with the Researcher app to produce a new form of author services.

As you explore the strategies and resources available to improve your textbook and writing practice this week, remember there are no shortcuts. Write. Rewrite. Read. Repeat. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Effective reading is the source of better writing

AcWriChatAccording to the University of Richmond Writing Center, “Reading and writing are very closely related. If a writer doesn’t understand the material they are reading, chances are they will not be able to write about it successfully.” This premise was the foundation of our May 15th AcWriChat discussion on Twitter where we discussed effective reading habits of academics.

Event participants, Danielle Apfelbaum, Marc A. Ouellette, and Sonal A. Mehta added personal perspective to the discussion. During the TweetChat event we asked about ways to make reading efforts more effective, strategies to improve notetaking, post-reading processes, and how reading outside your discipline can improve your academic writing. Below is a summary of key insights from the discussion. [Read more…]

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

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~Franz KafkaWe all create expectations for ourselves. We define writing projects we want to complete, areas in which we want to grow personally or professionally, and goals for measuring our success or quantifying our accomplishments. However there are times when facing those expectations, the expectations of others can take us off course.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore the “bestest of plans”, how to find time for the things that matter to us amidst other commitments, and how to adjust to changes in our environment. Further, we explore the value of community for support of our research efforts, disseminating research, and collaborative writing efforts. Finally, we find articles related to using your network when searching for jobs, strategically approaching the campus job visit, and a proposal for restructuring the APC to promote fairer cost allocation in scholarly communication.

Whatever your personal and professional expectations, define them, pursue them, and be true to yourself along the way. As Franz Kafka once said, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” 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…]

Why print is still winning

w-onlinereading0221The debate about digital textbooks (etextbooks) and whether they will replace their physical counterparts continues this week with recent findings from the University of Washington. Their study showed that roughly 25% of students who were given free versions of etextbooks still purchased a physical copy of the same book.

“These are people who aren’t supposed to remember what it’s like to even smell books,” said Naomi S. Baron, an American University linguist who studies digital communication. “It’s quite astounding.”

Another survey done by Student Monitor found that 87% of college students purchased their textbooks as physical books, not etextbooks. Moreover, as mentioned in this Washington Post piece, “Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer [Read more…]