Tag Archives: peer

A toolkit for writers for better manuscripts using an open review

2018-05-07

Experienced authors want the best editors and reviewers to work on their manuscripts. The work of these professionals is valuable for improving the content. How does an independent author who may work alone, and doesn’t have a big budget get help like established authors? An author has created an online feedback toolkit that he already has used for his own book.
Open Review Toolkit screen shot by Salganik
Matthew J. Salganik, a professor of sociology at Princeton University, started writing a book Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age when he realized he should actually do what he was writing about. The book is about new possibilities the digital world opens for researchers.

He created a web site where he posted his manuscript that he was working on for anyone to see. Not only that, he also integrated a tool, hypothes.is, that allowed anyone to annotate his manuscript. All visitors could see both the manuscript and the annotations.

When Salganik believed he had enough public feedback and closed the comments, he had received 495 annotations from 31 people. That’s pretty good, and probably means that he has spread the word to his contacts that they should visit his review site and contribute their feedback.

Salganik regards the annotations extremely helpful that allowed him to improve his manuscript. The author sees the annotations as complementary elements to his work, which is different to results of an average peer review. He says the feedback was focused on helping him write the book that he wanted to write, and didn’t lead to major changes. The annotations were often focused on improving specific sentences.

In addition to the feedback itself, Salganik’s web site collected statistics that reveal interesting things about the process.

Most feedback was given by a handful of reviewers. Although the author managed to get comments from a good number of people, most of them left a comment only.
The reviewers were most active early in the process, right after the author opened the manuscript for review.
The review process motivated the author to carry on writing the book.
The author could collect an email address list of people who visited the review site.
After the review was closed, the author realized he should have integrated an automatic page visit analysis to the system. He would have been able to get statistics on the sections that were the most and least read.

Salganik has published the toolkit he used for his review process as an open source software package at Open Review Toolkit. Technical skills are required to setup a working online review system for a manuscript.

Other systems, often based on Wiki software have also been used for developing a manuscript in public, and accepting feedback during the process. Not all people find Wiki-based systems user-friendly, so perhaps a dedicated toolkit for reviews can help authors.

Ebook news digest: blockchain for publishing, pirate site for academics, the fear of second book

2017-08-13

News on ebooks, writing and photography

digital nomad's office on an outdoor terrace in Italy
Jenni L. Walsh’s Three Tips for Book Two
The Debutante Ball

I think many authors are making a big deal out of the difficulty of writing your second book. It can be a little scary, because now you know how much work it requires, but on the other hand, you also know how to do it. My opinion is that the second book is easier than the first. In any case, the article has good tips for overcoming the fear of the second book.

The Internet Made Information Free: Now It Has Come For Academic Research
Forbes

A pirate site for academic literature, Sci-hub, just may be the force of change for the traditional business models in academic publishing.

Traditional or indie? Hybrid author Nick Spalding looks at publishing from both sides
Publishing Talk

A successful author shares a few tips how he made it. Spalding says he never gives away his books for free, which is contrary to the common mantra that authors should give their books away for free in order to sell their other books.

Blockchain and digital publishing – The disruption has begun
Ryan Jorgensen

A view how the blockchain technology used in cryptocurrencies could affect the distribution of digital media products, such as ebooks.

5 Tips for Better Travel Photography
Digital Photography School

When a photographer shares tips for travel photography, the images shared with the article should be really, really good. In this article, they are.

5 Cities Where Remote Work is On the Rise
Workfrom

I would choose number 3 or 4 for my next destination out of these 5 cities, and avoid number 1. Every time I read a story where someone is praising Bali as a paradise, I think he or she has never even visited the island.

The Future of Peer Review
Scientific American

The author of the article suggests a formal process, tools, registers and rewards for ensuring the tradition of peer reviews of scientific and other documents continues.

Free download: Traveling in Scandinavia
Klaava Travel Guide

Tips for understanding Finland, Norway and Sweden, and for planning a trip to this large region in North Europe.

“A thesis is written for examiners, an academic book for scholars in general” – the basics of writing a book from your PhD
LSE Impact Blog

In other words, repurposing content.