The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: April 27, 2018

"Writing a book is burning your brain to enlighten another man's mind." ~Bangambiki HabyarimanaAccording to Bangambiki Habyarimana, “Writing a book is burning your brain to enlighten another man’s mind.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week begins with thoughts on writing book chapters, publishing expectations on the tenure track, and advice on growing a platform to land a book deal. We then explore the existence of bad writing advice and the consequences of bad research practices. Finally, we explore the ongoing impact of ed tech, the potential affect of automation in research, a new digital homework platform from FlatWorld, and a three-pronged approach to fighting digital piracy.

As you enter this new week of writing, approach your practice with integrity and innovation that serves to enlighten the minds of your readers. [Read more…]

Will writing a textbook harm your tenure track?

Q: “I am an assistant professor at a major public university. I would like to write a textbook, but a senior member of the faculty told me to focus instead on research and scholarly articles. He said textbooks are “cut and paste” projects that lack real scholarly merit. Should I postpone writing the textbook?”

A: John Vivian, former TAA president:

Text and Academic Authors has a firm position that writing instructional materials is a worthwhile academic activity. Ask TAA headquarters for a copy of the TAA white paper on the subject. You might also look at Bob Diamond’s 1995 book, Serving on Tenure and Promotion Committees, in which he quotes policy statements from numerous learned societies on the academic value of creating instructional material. In short, an excellent case can be made that textbooks should be considered seriously as part of your promotion and tenure package. A reality, however, is that promotion and tenure is an iffy undertaking. The best advice is to take time now to sound out everyone who might be on the promotion and tenure committee when your time comes. Then make your decision, realizing that writing a textbook probably will consume the bulk of your intellectual energies for at least 18 months and nothing much else will get done in the meantime. [Read more…]