Questions tagged [books]

Related to academic books, including scholarly books, textbooks, and reference books. Considerations related to publishing academic books, choosing textbooks, etc., come under this tag.

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130
votes
15answers
21k views

Is it ethical to profit by having my students buy my textbook?

This question was suggested to me by How can I sell my text book to my students in e-book format? which asked about the practicalities, but attracted many comments about the ethics. So this question ...
40
votes
3answers
91k views

Difference between International edition of a book and a non international one

Most of the textbooks I used during my undergraduate studies (outside north America) are International editions, so what is the difference between a national and an international edition of a book? ...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

If an author does not intend to make much revenue from a book, why not make it open-access?

Many authors do not intend to make much revenue from books (textbooks or research books) they contribute to, yet they don't make it open access. Why?
23
votes
4answers
21k views

How does a book chapter in an edited volume compare to a peer reviewed paper?

I have been invited to write a book chapter in an edited volume, relating to my field of work. I have a paper ready that I have not published and was planning to submit it soon. So, I am wondering is ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I convert my PhD dissertation so that it can be published as a book?

I have just completed a PhD by research, which I think has some merits in being available as a book (This is, of course, my personal opinion). The research cuts across several fields (e.g. sociology, ...
86
votes
22answers
25k views

What is the point of a lecture when you have a textbook?

I never really understood the point of having a course with lectures when the course has a textbook. Sometimes the subject is so high-level or specialized or so modern that the contents are changing ...
38
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7answers
2k views

What incentives do academics have to write text books?

As noted in this question, academics should write research articles. In many fields, these are way more important than books. It's original research that counts for getting a PhD position, a post-doc, ...
32
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is the city of publication important in most bibliography format?

Most bibliography formats require the city of publication for books. Why? In this digital era, ISBN would be way more important. But even before the digitalization of everything, why was the city of ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Is there any value in self-publishing a book as an academic?

Recently, I contacted a publisher about the draft of a book that I wrote about a year ago. I found their advertisement over the net. This is a scientific book that I have worked on for about two or ...
70
votes
7answers
3k views

How to publish an academic book but make the PDF freely available online?

Background I like the idea of writing an academic book. It currently looks better on a CV when applying for jobs, grants, promotions, etc. than a blog post, or a website. Libraries and people ...
43
votes
5answers
13k views

Is it legal (USA) and ethical to use international edition textbooks? When I pay for a textbook, where does the money go?

Background: I am a student. I didn't have anything in life for four years, and I worked myself silly at times for it. So now I ask - when I pay hundreds of dollars over the production cost (new ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Academic publishing: why placing figures on top/bottom of pages in single-column layout?

When you turn in a manuscript to an academic publisher, they may insist (referring to their style guide and publication process) that all figures are placed on top/bottom of the manuscript's pages ...
6
votes
1answer
326 views

Chapter in printed thesis vs. journal article

My computer science PhD thesis contains a chapter which is heavily based on an already published conference paper. I have published my thesis online, and fulfilled the requirements for my degree this ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How do academics find time to write books?

Books covering primarily academic topics, from philosophy and neuroscience to physics and geopolitics, are usually written (not surprisingly) by experts in the field, which are normally academics ...
20
votes
5answers
8k views

Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? [closed]

Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? I'm particularly concerned with textbooks on mathematics. I have this obsession that I should solve all of the problems that a textbook has. ...
41
votes
12answers
5k views

What is the benefit of writing lecture notes for an introductory course vs using a textbook?

Background: I am a junior university staff member, and I will teach an introductory course in linear algebra for the first time in a few months. I see that many teachers devote time to writing ...
24
votes
1answer
17k views

I have found an error in a textbook. What can I do about it?

In the book Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory (10th edition) by Boylestad and Louis Nashelsky, I have found a technical mistake. What can I do about this? To whom should I send an email, the ...
25
votes
6answers
12k views

How much revenue do academic authors make on their published books?

Is there any dataset that look at how much revenue academic authors make on their published books? I am aware of the question How much do Springer-Verlag authors make per book sold? but answers there ...
9
votes
1answer
981 views

Purchasing books that are out-of-print

I've just returned Principles of Modern Thermodynamics to the library. However, it is a terrific book that allowed me to understand thermodynamics that I have never would had I not run across this ...
39
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a way to save my students money on a textbook?

I'm considering requiring a textbook that sells for $140 on Amazon. Used copies cost $95 and up. I expect about 60 students to take the course. Our students are not wealthy, and some will skip ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it rude to request a book chapter from the academic who wrote it if you don't want to buy the entire textbook?

The title says it all. I want to read a book chapter from a prominent Oxbridge researcher, but I don't want to shell out the cash for the entire textbook in which it's published. Is it rude to contact ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the main factors that mean Humanities PhDs get published as books?

In both this comment and this answer it is conveyed that it is often the case in the humanities, that PhD thesis are viewed as a first draft of a book and are often published. There are probably a ...
9
votes
2answers
884 views

Is it bad practice to submit the entire manuscript for an initial book proposal to a publisher?

In a previous book I wrote, I submitted the entire manuscript along with a couple page proposal to a few different publishers. Both editors never responded to me. In my current book, I sent the ...
8
votes
2answers
344 views

What figure formatting can, should, or will be done by a publisher?

Background When preparing a final version of a figure, it appears that some changes could be more easily made in a graphics software (gimp, inkscape, scribus, adobe) as opposed to R. Such changes ...
17
votes
5answers
928 views

What subjects benefit from textbook editions?

I've read several questions relating to the (typically US) practice of requiring students to buy up-to-date, expensive, editions of textbooks. I can see why the publishers are in favour of this, but I ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

When to publish a book?

I am presently doing MSc (Information Technology) in India. I really like teaching and have a passion for it. Based on my Masters degree I will get a designation of Assistant professor (hope so I get ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Creating a community around my research book

I have written a research book on the topic of abstract pure mathematics. Now the book is in review with a scientific publisher. In the book there are some conjectures formulated by myself. There are ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can we find who owns an old book's copyright?

How can we find who owns an old book's copyright today, especially if the publishing company who printed said book no longer exists? This would also apply for other (non-book) publications.
3
votes
4answers
736 views

Springer’s book-chapter sharing policies

Last year I submitted an article to a peer-reviewed book to be added as a chapter. Finally, my article got accepted and it is ready for publication. The publisher is going to be Springer. I would ...
-1
votes
2answers
834 views

How can I get citations for my self-published ebook?

A couple of colleagues and I were thinking about publishing a book in engineering. I have heard repeatedly that people who go with a traditional publisher don't get any royalties, they transfer the ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Good book on English for academic writing and speaking for non-native speakers

I'm not native speaker so I always have some problems with academic writing and speaking. Any good book for English in the academic context generally or for Computer Science in particular (writing or ...
42
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there any way to pressure textbook publishers to reduce price?

I am an instructor in a medium-sized state school in the USA. The price for the textbook to the introductory math course that I teach just increased. Again. A new, paperback copy costs 170 USD. I want ...
38
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it OK to publish a book as an undergraduate?

I am a CS student at 4th year in my university. I have done a lot of real-world projects, worked as a freelancer for many years, and have released a lot of software in use by thousands of people. I ...
14
votes
4answers
589 views

Book recommendations for information visualization?

When writing papers, one specific problem is how to effectively organize the data we want to present so as to enable the audience and readers to quickly understand what we want to demonstrate. I've ...
18
votes
3answers
12k views

Found mistake in my professors book: Tell her or publish? If so, how?

I just came across quite a big problem for an interpretation my professor puts forward in her recently published book (a book containing original research in the humanities, not a textbook). I am not ...
34
votes
9answers
7k views

Why don't more academics write textbooks?

For example for an undergrad CS/ECE course, say Intro to Computer Networks, there are about 5 textbooks published by the top 15 publishers in the last 20 years. Why aren't there way more textbooks, ...
9
votes
1answer
410 views

Getting the best out of a book-reading exercise

A doctorate involves plumbing the depths of a problem and often this involves a lot of knowledge breadth-wise in related areas. Though the latter is provided by coursework, education about a precise "...
6
votes
6answers
747 views

Good books/resource on mathematical writing

I am a freshly graduated Ph.D. I want to improve further my mathematical writing (in English, if this matters). I am looking for books/resource that address good mathematical writing. I can find some ...
56
votes
13answers
7k views

Should I inform students that there are cheaper alternatives to the on-campus book store?

The bookstore at my American university is an outpost of Barnes and Noble, charges much higher prices than can be found on Amazon, and in my opinion offers very poor service. Among other things that ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do universities support faculty writing textbooks?

Textbooks take a lot of time and effort to write, so why would a university support their faculty to do so? The author can make a good profit from a textbook and I am guessing the institution doesn't ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What advantages and disadvantages should I consider in deciding whether to publish my academic book traditionally or self-publish?

I am an amateur mathematician. I am writing a research monograph in the field of abstract mathematics (general topology, specifically). Should I publish it traditionally or self-publish? There are ...
36
votes
3answers
10k views

Should I let my professor know that I cited a text written by him…that I pirated from online

I wrote an essay for a professor of mine, in which I cited a book he had written. As it so happens, the citation is based on my having obtained a (most likely) pirated PDF copy of the book. The text ...
10
votes
1answer
419 views

What are the most important points to emphasize while pitching for a dissertation to be published as a book?

An editor for a major publishing house is visiting our institute, and some PhD students will get the chance to have a 15 min talk with them and discuss the publication of their dissertation as a book. ...
40
votes
11answers
13k views

What can I do with like-new, recent-edition textbooks that I'm not allowed to sell?

My employer is sponsoring most of the tuition and fees for my master's degree (in aerospace engineering), including required textbooks. Thus, it is unethical and against policy for me to sell those ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it illegal to cite books that were illegally downloaded or accessed from a library?

How illegal is it to cite books that were illegally downloaded? If they aren't available in the university library, if you can't really afford the books (maybe you will make one reference in one ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Does publishing a book while employed by an academic institution grant them legal claim on the royalties?

If I publish a book on my research topics while employed for an academic institution, can they claim part of the revenues I get from royalties ? My question is relative to Europe, but if someone knows ...
17
votes
1answer
877 views

Pros and cons of (co-)authoring a reference book in early career?

I am early in a tenure-track position. I undertook with a publisher to write a reference book a while back and with a light load to start with in my new position, I recently agreed to set a deadline ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you choose a textbook for a new class

I am teaching a new class next term and I need to choose a text book (or create a reading list) for it. The class is a hands on introduction to programming with MATLAB. A quick search of my library's ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the things one should consider when invited to contribute a book chapter?

What are the things one should consider, as a postdoc, before accepting or rejecting an invitation to contribute a book chapter? The proposed book is a handbook in a developing field of engineering.
11
votes
2answers
477 views

Are there situations where taking an honorarium for trying a textbook on a class is acceptable behavior?

A publisher for an e-textbook is offering me an honorarium if I try it with a class. My own ethical take on this is that I would not entertain this regardless of the size of the honorarium (which I ...