The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 16, 2018

"Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more." ~A.E. CroftIs writing your passion? As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, we look at some of the articles focused on ways to make what we love to do – textbook and academic writing – even better. Included in the list are ways to de-stuff your writing, appropriately incorporate illustrations, and combat isolation through peer writing groups. From a technical perspective, topics of quantitative set analysis, methodology, social bookmarking with reading lists, peer review processes, and Open Access also make the list of topics.

As you continue your writing efforts this week, reflect on the significance of your contribution and the love of writing that consumes your practice. As A.E. Croft put it, “Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more.” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 2, 2018

"While writing, just try to have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!"In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found suggestions for academics on using LinkedIn, choosing a research method, improving your conclusion, and getting back up after perceived failures. In the publishing industry, topics of collaboration using Crossref, the evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five, and the future of university press in Kentucky top the list. Finally, the cost of textbooks continues to be present in the articles of interest.

This week we hope that you will find inspiration among the posts to both make forward progress with your writing and to make an impact. As Darynda Jones suggests, “WHILE writing, just have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 22, 2017

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenJohn Green says, “All writing is rewriting”. Nearing the end of the year, you may be considering what still needs to be written (both literally and figuratively) or rewritten for the year. As your writing continues into the holidays, our collection of posts this week begin with actions you can take to balance work with the holidays, effectively brainstorm ideas, and to gain more influence in academe.

We then explore some of the topics impacting textbook and academic authors including net neutrality, OER adoptions, free textbooks, qualitative research methods, and author perspectives on academic journal publishing in 2017. We close this week in the holiday spirit of gift giving (both literally and figuratively) with book ideas for the academic on your list and an article titled, “10 reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book”. Whatever your holiday plans, we hope that you continue writing (and rewriting) toward an even better new year ahead. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 24, 2017

"Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions." ~Paulo CoelhoDuring this last full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, we focused on sharing ideas. In this post, we share some of the top posts of the week including information on a new publishing company, what makes a good article title, how to express authorial presence, manuscript drafting advice, student reading patterns and OER, and tips for finishing your book. Paulo Coelho reminds us that “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” This week, share your ideas and, as always, write. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 10, 2017

"The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas." ~Oliver MarkusThis week, November 6-11, 2017, was not only the first full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, but it also marked the sixth annual #UPWeek event in celebration of University Press Week. Throughout the week, there were a lot of great resources being shared throughout the academic community, no doubt inspired by these events. Our collection this week has something for everyone beginning with some humor illustrating the life of a grad student and tips about academic writing; exploring the scholarly process involving university presses, scholars, and reviewers; taking new perspectives on the publishing process, idea development, and resulting impact; increasing accessibility of scholarly resources; and sharing ideas with a broader audience. As stated by Oliver Markus, “The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.” Now go, write, and share your big ideas! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 20, 2017

"Writing is more than a craft; it is a way of life. Everything you see or do becomes part of what you write." H.P. OliverH. P. Oliver shared that “Writing is more than a craft; it is a way of life. Everything you see or do becomes part of what you write.” While you have been busy writing this week, we’ve kept record of some noteworthy articles you may not have seen. Below you will find articles from the past week on understanding research metrics, when to write a press release, the future of open access publishing, considerations when writing a conference paper, barriers to research collaboration, peer review systems, and the ongoing discussion of traditional vs digital textbook materials. As you enter the week ahead, I hope you find ways to improve your writing, and therefore, your way of life. [Read more…]

3 Big hints for doing research the easy way

Isn’t research supposed to be EASIER with the research word on wood stamps and booksadvent of the Internet? Then why is it so hard to find that perfect piece of information for your journal article or textbook?

It’s hard because there are a couple of tricks you may not know..…yet. Those tricks (let’s call them “hints”) can help prevent junk information overload – and instead hone in on what you really need.

The three big hints:

  1. Your starting point: Use the web as a starting point for research, then use that information to verify and expand upon your research. Wikipedia and other websites can offer great background information – dates, major names, key terms, and so on. But these same sites may not be authoritative – the information could be MISinformation. So use them to quickly learn more about your topic so that you can then verify and/or add to the information using more traditional tools, such as books or journal articles. [Read more…]

Faculty Success: Developing a research and publication agenda

Dr. Kathleen P. King

Dr. Kathleen P. King

Anyone associated with higher education will acknowledge that tenure track faculty have to perform a fantastic balancing act. Compared to an administrative or line role in an organization, higher education faculty have tremendous autonomy and freedom. However, they face competing demands of many different (and good) opportunities, and for them the stakes are always high. Help is here! This article introduces a powerful strategy for staying on track in the research strand of this competitive journey. [Read more…]

How to research content for your textbook

Q:”How do you go about researching content for your textbook?”

A: Janet Belsky, author of Experiencing the Lifespan, 2e (2009):

“I go to a library database where I can get every single article on the topic I’m writing about in every journal in my field. If I am updating a book, I will only look for articles that were published from the time of the last edition to the present. This strategy gets me about 100 or 200 new articles for each chapter. I do a cursory look at everything, but I won’t need to read all of those articles. Instead, I look through the abstracts, and if I find an interesting one, I’ll read the discussion section of the paper. I’ll have about 900 new references for the newest edition of Experiencing the Lifespan just 3 years after the last edition. It seems like it would be impossible to sift through all this research, but really it’s not that difficult. The real challenge of the revision process is incorporating all the new information while keeping the book about the same length.” [Read more…]