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

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael JordanHall 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! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 10, 2020

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” ~ConfuciusThis week’s collection of articles from around the web focuses on some core elements of success: self-care, personal belief systems, fresh thinking, fundamentals, integrity, and being able to stand for something. As the first full week of 2020 comes to an end, these articles remind us of the importance of core values and beliefs in our daily work.

Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” Be sure to judge yourself and your progress against your own goals and beliefs rather than the influences or expectations around you and keep going toward those goals in the year ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 20, 2019

“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” – Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman once said, “A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” As we approach the end of the calendar year (and second decade of the 21st century), we can be satisfied with the infinite possibilities that lay out before us.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web is short in stature, but contains some quality resources for exploring your potential as an academic author. We begin the collection with a discussion of research skills that adult students/scholar-practitioners need. We then explore the challenges of writing a second edition and distinguishing between interesting and true when evaluating scientific studies. Finally, we examine how scholar-practitioners manage boundaries between theory and practice and how Plan S may transform hybrid journal publishing.

As you explore the possibilities presented in this collection and continue your own writing practice over the next week, ask yourself what possibilities you are revealing to your readers. There is nothing more necessary or satisfying. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 29, 2019

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.” – Ralph KeyesAs we come to the end of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2019, many of our TAA members and community have found themselves committing to 30 days of intentional habit building to improve their writing practice. As Ralph Keyes noted, “Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week addresses some of the other things that affect authors beyond the simple habit of writing.

We start with a Q&A from this month’s SAGE MethodSpace webinar on collaborative writing and some insight on where it is (and where it is not) acceptable to ask for help on your writing projects. We continue with some PhD-related topics about the experience of a PhD program, ethics and the literature review, and planning for the post-PhD job search. We then explore the use of meta-text and graphic presentations to enhance research impact. Finally, we close with the current and future prospects of open access and the open access movement.

As you close out the month of November, and your AcWriMo writing commitments, hold on to the routines that you have developed along the way to maintain a successful writing practice year round. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 18, 2019

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William WadsworthWilliam Wadsworth once said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” That may be easier said than done for some of us. Especially if, as discussed in our first article in this week’s collection, you ever find yourself in conflict with yourself or, in the case of our second article, you are an empath facing slow, smoldering burnout in academe.

Ways to address these challenges as well as other topics important to textbook and academic authors fill our collection of articles this week. Other topics include peer reviewing your first paper, research data sharing, focus groups for research or evaluation, the Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA), and forthcoming AcWriMo Tweetchat events.

Wherever your heart leads you in writing this week, breathe new life into your papers and manuscripts as you go. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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 20, 2019

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest HemingwayThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is laden with questions. How do I approach an inter-disciplinary thesis? I’ve passed my comps – now what? How do I plan my first draft and get the right stuff in the right order? What are the ethical issues of working with literature? How can I be a good peer reviewer? How do we support research engagement? How can I deal with the growing complexities of international collaboration? And the theme across Peer Review Week 2019, how many ways can you define quality in peer review?

Ernest Hemingway once said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” As we come to the close of Peer Review Week 2019 it is fitting to remember that our peers are apprentices as well in this craft. None of us have all of the answers to the questions above or the countless others that face us as academic writers. We learn from each other and grow stronger in our writing and disciplines as a result. This week, embrace your apprenticeship status and Happy Writing! [Read more…]

Crafting meaningful stories to bring research methods to life

What's your story?Stories engage readers. We can use stories to show how the ideas or strategies we are discussing might play out in a particular social, cultural, or organizational context. I often write about research methods, and find that stories can help readers see how the pieces of a research design fit together. Stories can be presented in a fully-developed research case, or as an engaging example inserted within an article or book chapter.

For my first research book, Online Interviews in Real Time, I thought it was important to include stories. Online methods were new and few robust descriptions were available that showed how they actually worked. I found six researchers who were doing interesting online research, and interviewed them. I crafted a section for each chapter called “Researchers’ Notebook: Stories of Online Inquiry.” Readers could see how each of these researchers handled ethical dilemmas or sampling. The companion website linked to additional materials from the researchers’ work.

Several books later, I am getting ready to write a new edition for Doing Qualitative Research Online and again want to include stories in a “Researchers’ Notebook.” I know that more researchers are incorporating stories, so I wondered whether their lessons learned might help me prepare to move forward. In this post I will share a few tips and examples I discovered in three open access articles. In a future post I will look at digital and visual storytelling and how I can use these approaches in ancillary materials. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 13, 2019

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora RobertsNora Roberts once said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.” As we prepare for Peer Review Week 2019 next week, we find in our collection of articles from around the web others looking ahead to the event and many other items for consideration in the world of academic writing.

Our list includes advice on what to do in between submission and examination of your thesis, methods for work-life balance, holistic approaches to teaching and mentoring researchers, gamification of academic writing, ethics in data science, pathways to open access, and the art and science of image description.

No matter where your textbook and academic writing efforts take you this week, be sure to start somewhere. After all, you can’t fix a blank page. 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…]