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…]