If June is the month for conferences, then July must be tied between being the month for vacations and the month for special projects. You know, all those creative ideas that you put down on your performance plan that you would enact once you had a breather? Well, here at my university, we don’t really ever see the proverbial “slow summer”, but there is a minuscule lessening of the frenetic place this month. So this appears to be the month to look at new tools, draft out those fantastic article ideas I had back during the winter months, and find some new favorite experts and fellow writers to follow. I never get as much done during these blessed moments as I hope, but here are a few things I came across that I want to share with each of you today.
New (to me) blog for Academic Librarians on Writing
In mid-July I attended a free UKSG Webinar on Writing for Academic Publication. The speaker was Helen Fallon, the Deputy University Librarian at Maynooth University in Ireland. As well as having a delightful accent, Helen presented a terrific webinar for librarians who are interested in getting involved in academic writing and publishing. If you missed the webinar, all is not lost! Helen is also the blogger behind Academic Writing Librarians, a very nice blog that I will be following henceforth. In addition to her blog posts, there are two very useful tabs: Top Tips from Journal Editors, and Top Tips from Published Authors where she has collected advice from many other experienced individuals. Helen also has a tab for Resources which links to copies of her past presentations and other bibliographies of interest to writers.
A Scientific Writing Tool I found at ASEE Conference
I discovered this self-proclaimed “online LaTeX and Rich Text collaborative writing and publishing tool” called Overleaf at my ASEE conference this year. Overleaf was launched back in 2012. This cloud-based, typesetting tool has a premium version as well as a free version that supports up to 1 Gig of storage space and 60 files. This tool will be particularly interesting to writers who need the formatting power of LaTeX, but desire a much easier front end than the typical LaTeX tool. They have a number of pre-formatted templates that make getting started even faster and easier. Files can be shared with collaborators via a unique url, but I would not recommend a project where frequent collaborative editing will be taking place since only the pro version has version history. The individuals at the Overleaf booth passed out two interesting case studies of universities who have implemented Overleaf: Purdue and University of Cambridge. If LaTeX is popular on your campus, Overleaf is worth a closer look.
What have you discovered this summer? Share new tools with us so we can all continue to grow. Then take a few deep breaths…. August and the Fall Semester is looming!