Conducting online research

conducting researchOn June 26th, TAA hosted an #AcWriChat Tweetchat event focused on online research strategies. Resources were shared relative to conducting online research, specifically on validating sources, collecting primary source data, qualitative and quantitative research practices, and online research tools.

Below is a summary of the discussion. [Read more…]

7 Tips for constructing effective tables and figures

Figures with writingIt’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and for this reason using visual elements within your manuscript can help to keep the writing concise and effective. But how can you be sure that the words conveyed are delivering the right message?

Below you will find seven tips for incorporating tables and figures into your work.

Use visuals that enhance the manuscript

Most scholars agree that if the idea conveyed by a table or figure can be done with a sentence or two, the visual is likely unnecessary and the concept should be written in paragraph form. For larger data sets, complex ideas, or schematics, however, the use of visuals can simplify the understanding and reduce the overall word count needed to convey the information. [Read more…]

6 Ways to identify predatory open access journal publishers

Predatory open-access journal publishers have increased exponentially in recent years, and a new publisher can be created in a single day, said Jeffrey Beall, a scholarly librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, and author of Scholarly Open Access, a blog that tracks and critically analyzes questionable open access publishers and journals.

To help you avoid becoming a target of one of these predatory publishers, Beall offers 6 warning signs to help you identify them: The journal does not identify a formal editorial/review board.

View Beall’s list of predatory publishers on his blog, Scholarly Open Access.

Author Beware: Predatory scholarly journals, Insights on OA predatory publishing from Jeffrey Beall

Jeffrey Beall

Jeffrey Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver

The increase in popularity of online scholarly journals has given rise to new open-access publishing models, including the gold open-access model, in which authors often pay to have their accepted papers published. While there are advantages to this model, according to Jeffrey Beall, author of Scholarly Open Access, a blog which tracks and critically analyzes questionable online open-access journal publishers, some online journals are exploiting this model by engaging in predatory practices that defraud authors and dilute the quality of the corpus of scholarly literature.

During his 2013 TAA Conference presentation, “A Primer on Predatory Open-Access Scholarly Publishers”, Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, outlined several disadvantages to the gold open-access publishing model that have opened the door for predatory publishers to abuse the model for their own profit. [Read more…]

Journal impact factors: To cite, or not to cite?

At a brainstorming session on academic publishing at energy trapsTAA’s June 2012 conference, a participant asked how to determine the most prestigious journals in which to try to publish. The panel’s advice: study the journal impact factors.

An impact factor is widely regarded as a measure of the journal’s importance in the particular disciplines which it serves. A journal’s impact factor is a measure of the average frequency with which articles in a given journal’s publication year are cited in that and other journals during the subsequent two years. The rationale is, roughly, that the citation rate of articles in a given journal, compared with the rate of “competing” journals, gives a metrical measure of that journal’s perceived importance in the discipline. Seems simple enough, but perhaps not. [Read more…]