Book Recommendation: The Chronicle Productivity Guide to Writing & Publishing

One of my goals for this blog going forward is to offer more resources about writing and research. I’ve posted a few here and there, but plan to be more consistent in offering suggestions.

I periodically read blogs and articles about books about writing. It is easy to be overwhelmed with the seemingly unending resources out there. I’ve started reading books about writing both to see if I can get tips for my own writing, but to also discern what are actually good resources and ones that are less helpful.

One that I like a lot is The Chronicle Productivity Guide to Writing & Publishing by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Though geared towards academics, anyone can find it helpful. What I like about it is that it is short essays from a variety of people. Though there is a cohesiveness, one need not read it in order nor cover to cover to find useful assistance.

This 84-page book distills the most common questions about and challenges to writing that probably everyone can relate to. It is divided into 5 sections:

  1. Finding Time and Managing Your Project List
  2. Conquering Isolation: The Writing Group
  3. Overcoming Inner Obstacles
  4. Ways to Improve Your Writing
  5. Navigating the Publishing Process

Within each section is realistic, practical advice. For archivists, I think sections 1, 3, and 4 are the most relevant. Two interesting essays in the first section jumped out at me. One discussed doing a reverse day planner, where you document everything you do to see how you spend your time. While I like this idea greatly, I haven’t yet done it. But it can help see how to carve out time to write.

The second one was about energy levels. The author breaks energy up into A, B, and C, and assigns writing to A. It is also about finding the time when your energy is at a peak, to designate that as your writing time. Some people are good early in the morning, others late at night. But identifying that can help be more productive.

The third section about inner obstacles has essays that every writer can relate to. Avoidance, doubts, organization, and many other aspects are the obstacles described. Then, there are some practical and unique ideas on how to move past those obstacles.

The fourth section about writing is also very helpful. I’m amused that one essay is called “7 Tips to Write Less Badly,” which is a good indication of how helpful the tips are. Some of the tips in these essays advise to think less about the amount of time spent on writing and more on the quantity of output, various ways to formulate and organize a strong argument, and how to find your voice.

This is not a cheap book, but is truly one of the best ones I’ve looked at if you are looking for some quick and insightful guidance on improving your writing and writing habits.

Applications/Nominations Invited for RBM Reviews Editor

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of Reviews Editor for ACRL’s peer-reviewed journal in special collections librarianship, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. The Reviews Editor has charge of the reviews published in the journal’s biennial issues, to ensure the journal provides qualified opinions of new publications and other scholarly resources relevant to academic librarians and archivists specifically involved in rare books, manuscripts, and cultural heritage.

Responsibilities include receiving and soliciting material for review, making assignments to qualified reviewers, and collating reviews to meet production schedules.

The Reviews Editor is a voting member of the RBM Editorial Board. They work closely with the journal editor, members of the Editorial Board, and ACRL production staff. The appointment as Review Editor is a three-year term; applicants must be a member of ALA and ACRL.

A nominal honorarium may be available for this position, pending final review of the RBM editorial budget.

Desired qualifications include:

  • professional experience in academic libraries;
  • experience as a reviewer for an academic journal;
  • ability to identify, prioritize, and distribute materials for review in the journal;
  • demonstrated ability to maintain and organize a widely scattered and diverse team of qualified reviewers;
  • ability to manage the flow of materials from publishers to reviewers to production staff;
  • excellent communication skills;
  • ability to meet, and hold others to, deadlines; and
  • familiarity with trends in cultural heritage institutions, higher education, and library and information science publishing.

Applications and nominations must include a statement of qualifications addressing the areas noted above and include a current CV. Application documents should be sent to RBM Editor Dr. Richard Saunders at rsaunders@suu.edu. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2019.

Finalists will be interviewed by conference call during December 2019. The appointment is made by the ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee (PCC) upon the recommendation of the RBM Editorial Board. The Reviews Editor will begin training and working with the incumbent immediately upon appointment by PCC prior to their three-year term of appointment beginning in July 2020.

Call for Reviewers: Teaching With Primary Sources (TWPS) Case Study

(reposted from RAO listserv)

SAA colleagues,

I’m posting this to the RAO section, since this is an area of interest for section members, but also to the SAA Leaders list. Those of you who are leaders of other sections, if you feel that your membership might be interested in volunteering to review case study submissions on the topic of teaching with primary sources, please forward this to your section’s discussion list.

With the recent approval by Council of the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy as an SAA standard (watch for publicity soon in your favorite SAA information outlets), and several additional case studies in various stages of the submission and review pipeline, I am seeking additional volunteers who would be willing to review case study submissions and provide feedback to me, as editor of this epubs series, and the author(s). This isn’t a massive time commitment, and the review process is explained in more detail here (see the section labelled “Review Process”): www2.archivists.org/publications/epubs/…

If you’re interested in volunteering to be a reviewer for this SAA case studies epubs series, or if you have questions about reviewing, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at bill.landis@yale.edu. I’ll also be at the annual meeting in D.C. in August if anyone would like to chat about either reviewing or ideas for submitting a case study, I’d be happy to.

Cheers!

Bill

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Bill Landis
Head of Public Services, Manuscripts and Archives
Yale University Library
New Haven CT
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Call for Book Reviewers: Oral History Review

By Nancy MacKay, Book Review Editor

Did you know that the Oral History Review, the journal of the Oral History Association, publishes 30-40 book reviews in every issue?

And that each book reviewed first must be identified as relevant to oral history; then read, analyzed and written about by volunteer scholars in the OHA community?

And that once the review is submitted to the journal, it undergoes a rigorous review and editing process before emerging in print in the form you see when you sit down with your copy of Oral History Review?

I did not know the extent or the scholarly rigor of this process until I assumed the role as book review editor in January.  As a reviewer I had taken all these steps for granted. Now I understand the effort that goes into scanning new publications for potential review books and matching a book to a volunteer reviewer. And each of those reviewers does serious work in reading and analyzing each book for fellow OHA members.

I now know that the quality of the book review section is maintained through wide community participation. I’m calling out to potential reviewers, seasoned reviewers and authors to get involved by suggesting book titles for review and participating as a reviewer. Reviewers can select books of interest to review and their desired level of activity through a form. Anyone can recommend a title for review. To get started, please contact me at ohrbookreviews@gmail.com.

Call for Reviews: Multimedia & Technology Reviews

Multimedia & Technology Reviews still needs you! We are seeking reviewers for the following resources:

Umbra Search
https://www.umbrasearch.org

A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816)
ArchNet
Library Stack

Please see below for reviewer guidelines and full details on the above resources.

Please fill out the reviewer interest form (https://goo.gl/forms/Y2T9HPNinHznHFeK2) by Monday, January 29.

Thank you!

Submitted by ARLIS/NA Multimedia & Technology Reviews Co-editors:

Melanie Emerson
Gabriella Karl-Johnson
Alexandra Provo

Call for Book Reviewers: JCAS

The Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS) seeks book reviewers who are looking to engage with the professional literature. Sponsored by New England Archivists, Yale University Library, and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, this open access journal publishes articles on a rolling basis.

To apply, please review our submission guidelines and then email the journal at email.jcas@gmail.com. Submit a brief list describing your area(s) of professional interest or expertise, and we will match you with a book to review.

The mission of the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies is to further awareness of issues and developments in the work of professional archivists, curators, librarians, and historians, and to serve as a locus for graduate students and professionals in library science, archival science, and public history to contribute original works of research and inquiry for peer-review and publication.

For more information, visit elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas.

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Katy Sternberger
Marketing Associate
Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies
email.jcas@gmail.com
Follow the journal on Facebook and

Call for Book Reviewers: AASLH

Four times a year, History News magazine brings you the latest discussions, developments, and innovations in the field of state and local history. That mission includes reviewing books on theoretical and practical topics that our members and readers are talking about and using in their daily work. AASLH is building our pool of book reviewers for History News, and we want you to get involved.

Apply to be a book reviewer and share your expertise with the field. We will match you with a book according to your interests, and send you a complimentary copy to review.

Our reviewers:

  • Have expertise and experience in the book’s topic or sub-field
  • Can discuss how the book will contribute to public history and relate it to similar works
  • Commit to writing a 500-word review that summarizes and analyzes the book’s thesis or topic
  • Work with our editors to meet deadlines and craft a great review

Here are some of the titles we’ve reviewed recently:

Apply online: http://blogs.aaslh.org/aaslh-call-for-book-reviewers/