Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 28, 2021

Do you ever feel like your writing needs a change of perspective? Do you feel as though your creativity has run short or that you see your own bias in your writing rather than the true results of your research? According to Sydney J. Harris, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

As we see in this week’s collection of articles from around the web, there are several ways to shift our perspective on our research and writing including organizational methods, processes for increasing creativity, alternative ways to conduct research, overcoming issues with research integrity, and applying suitable structure to our writing.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 30, 2020

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Writing is a continuous search for the right word, the right fit, and the right connections.

As textbook and academic authors, that search for what’s “right” may be in the relationships with co-authors and editors. It may be what’s right from a social justice perspective. It may be what’s right in our preparation, process, and delivery of content. Or it may be what’s right for publishing our work.

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

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.” 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.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 3, 2020

Do you like what you do? Are you impressed with your writing, your research, and your ability to share your work with others? Maya Angelou defines success as “liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

In this week’s collection of articles we have found advice on making your research paper more impressive, connecting with others,  taking a chance and overcoming imposter syndrome, and ways your age affects your writing. We have also found guidance on marketing in times of crisis, technology trends impacting scholarly communications, and pros and cons of working remotely.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 15, 2020

“Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.” This advice from former World Cup alpine ski racer and four-time champion, Lindsey Vonn, frames this week’s collection and is, perhaps, exactly what we all need to hear in our efforts to move forward from the chaos that has dominated our lives and academic communities over the past couple of months.

A little more than two months since the first round of US-based closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a new “normal” emerge in the wake as transition to virtual instruction, cancellation of in-person events, and an acceptance of unexpected change has led people to a new way of living, learning, and working. And it can’t be in a perpetual state of pause.

There is something to be said for a state of consistency in what we can maintain – such as the approach to drafting a research paper. There is also a need to eventually, and perhaps now, summon the courage to reassess and rebuild our lives. There are also a number of new opportunities that have been uncovered as a result of the unexpected disruption to life as we knew it only a few short months ago.

All of these things are addressed in this week’s collection of articles from around the web. While there’s no doubt that life has changed quickly, it is up to you to determine if you will let that change be a positive way for you moving forward. Happy writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 8, 2020

Why? The simplest and, at the same time, most complex question we can ask of ourselves in any situation. Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

Our collection of articles this week includes a number of applications of the “why” in our work. From designing and publishing research to prioritizing and progressing on projects, in determining career paths after the PhD or looking at the future of publishing models, and finally, in how we conference and collaborate with others in our academic circles.

As you examine your writing projects this week, ask yourself why they’re important to you. The answer is what will drive them forward to completion. Happy writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 17, 2020

Gustave Flaubert once said, “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” In textbook and academic writing, we often find this to be true as we search for the answers to research questions and work to clearly express ideas and knowledge to our readers. But, like art, writing and the writing process is unique for each author.

Our collection of articles begins with an approach that focuses on writing for yourself first and your audience second, methods to communicate research findings to the world, and the impact of COVID-19 on student research projects. We also consider the differences between part time and full time researchers and students and how the current state of the world has forced even full time faculty and researchers into a part time routine. Finally, we explore some industry concepts including the bundling of academic journal subscriptions, potential budget cuts to academic libraries, and the stories behind some scholarly publishing brand names.

Whether you’re working on putting a name to your work or carefully crafting each word that is placed on the page as you finish your most recent written masterpiece, let the art of your writing help you discover your beliefs. Happy writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 31, 2020

Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan once said, “You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” When writing for publication, we must expect great things from ourselves and our research in order to accomplish those goals of writing a journal article or textbook. This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers insight into just how to achieve the greatness we expect of ourselves and our work.

We begin with discussions about collaborating with others on research projects, choosing relevant literature for empirical studies, and understanding conference proceedings. We continue with measurements of commitment to research transparency and practical strategies for disseminating research in various ways. Finally, we close with a look at ways to manage a career in publishing.

Whatever your goals in this realm of textbook and academic publishing, expect great things from yourself and then do them. Happy writing!

Figuring it out: Trends for visuals in academic writing

Online exchanges are increasingly visual. Even staid newspaper sites now embed media or graphic stories. Almost every mobile device includes a camera, and the means to quickly upload and share still images or media. Graphics and drawing software are readily available. What do these trends mean for academic writing? What kinds of figures or other visual materials are scholars using to communicate about their research? How are electronic journals changing the options for the use of media and images? With these questions in mind, I explored trends and looked examples of visuals in academic writing that extend beyond the typical black and white figure.

The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research

In the first two articles of this series, we explored The What: Defining a research project and The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment. In this article, we are focused on The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research. Discussion from this TweetChat event focused on accurately estimating the amount of time necessary for completing writing projects and strategies to better manage the time commitments during the writing project.

Q1/1a: Do you regularly track the time spent on research efforts? When planning a research project, do you tend to accurately predict, overestimate, or underestimate the time required?