Friday, April 29, 2016

deadlines...

So the date that we have been working towards since January of 2015 was April 30, 2016 for submission of the final manuscript.  That is tomorrow.  Yesterday we had to ask for an extension as we have two chapters that have not been quite finalized as of yet.  But we are close, so close.

Currently the project is approximately 540 pages of double spaced content using a 12-point font and a whooping 125,000 words.  The project will have 22 chapters from 44 contributing authors, with one group of three authors submitting two chapters.

I know that the work is not yet done, but I do have a feeling of relief, like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  It is amazing how much of a burden the mental strain is on your body.  I really haven't stopped thinking about the project since I received the first email inquiry.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

sound quality in synchronous sessions

although it may seem really awkward, remember to speak slowly and take a significant pause at the completion of each slide.  If the sound is buffering for participants, this will allow the audio transcript a chance to catch up.

also (although I can't believe I am saying this as it breaks my #1 PPT rule) put your key points on your slides.  If participants are not able to hear what you are saying, at least they will be able to read your key points.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

a little snippet

So if you will have to write an introduction to a book project on which you are an editor, take my advice: when you respond to the authors of contributed chapters, capture all of the points that resonated with you, and key points of interest.  Then as you are working away, start filing those thoughts in a document.  This will make writing the introduction so much easier!

We decided to do it the hard way.  We are writing the introduction after the fact.  In a few cases, I do have email descriptions to fall back on.  And I guess it doesn't hurt me to review the chapters one more time...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

be your own lead actor

I am currently listening to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertailli.  In one section the characters are talking about being a main character in a play, which got me thinking about the importance of being the lead actor in your own story.  I realize that we have many roles to play in life, which include supporting roles in the lives of others (your children, your family, your friends, etc.), but playing the leading role in your own life is also vital.  Who else will be your own personal advocate?  Who else will know your story, 100% from your own perspective?

I have also spent some time recently reflecting on how individuals portray themselves to others.  I am often around people who apologize for their lack of organization, or their lack of preparedness for meetings and the like.  Perhaps this is because I live in Canada, and Canadians do like to apologize, but perhaps it is also a sense of insecurity on their part.  I say, stop admitting that you are not prepared.  Get prepared, do the work that is necessary and if you haven't don't advertise it.  I immediately lose confident in you as a leader if you constantly show me that you haven't done the work necessary.  Reschedule the meeting, delegate the role of chair, or brainstorm ideas and agenda items in the meeting.  Be your own lead actor, stop selling yourself short, fake it till you make it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I have always prided myself on my ability to take on multiple projects at the same time.  I like to be really busy.  I quickly get aggravated if my mind is not always occupied.

But, I think I have finally hit the wall of how much I can manage.  Or perhaps it is something to do with "when it rains, it pours".  For the month of January, we had so much work to do with our book, that I have found myself increasingly behind, and as a consequence not able to meet deadlines.

I have finally caught up, but I am sure this moment of relief will be short-lived.

The chapter that I am writing with 3 contributors is about to enter its final draft.  Almost all chapters are near completing the peer review phase.  Seems hard to believe that we may meet our deadline of April 30 for the completed product.  Just less than 3 months now.

At this point I would note several items that I would recommend should you ever wish to edit a book:

  • Use an email address that has been created only for the project.  That way you can keep everything in one place.  I have found it difficult to manage a work/project account.  Also, I changed jobs halfway through this project, another reason why a separate email address would have been helpful.
  • Work with at least one other person, and preferably someone who has a different skill set than you.  I am super enthusiastic at the beginning of a project and eager to get started.  I do start to fizzle towards the end however, so it has been useful to have someone who can keep me going as we trudge along towards the finish line.
  • Organize your folders by author, not by process.  We currently have contributor, chapter, and peer review folders.  I think it would be better to organize by author and/or chapter and then keep everything from that chapter in the same place.  Or create sub-folders within the main folder for the different processes.
  • We have a file naming procedure that I think has been very helpful.  For example: 27_Environmental Scan_Maddison.  It helps us to keep everything straight.  When we receive a peer evaluation we then would use 27_1_etc and 27_2_etc to identify the separate files.  

I have learned (part 2)

That when you paraphrase in APA you do not need to include page numbers.   And that you can use footnotes and endnotes to explain text that would be extraneous in the body of the article but are necessary for understanding the content / context.  They are not recommended as they are costly publish, but you can use them.

Two more reasons why peer reviewing can be a huge benefit to your professional development.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

on a roll....

we started the day with 4 chapters yet to be assigned peer reviewers and 2 chapters with one peer reviewer assigned.

we are now at only 1 chapter yet to be assigned and 2 chapters with one peer reviewer assigned and it is only 2:00 PM in Saskatchewan.

look what can happen when you start bugging your friends and colleagues!

also to report: 14 of our chapters have been reviewed by two peer reviewers and are awaiting final comments from one of the co-editors.  2 of our chapters are completely complete (giggle), having finished the peer review process and we have received their final revised edition.