The Elephant Roundup (August 2021)

Yelena Kalinsky's picture

An occasional newsletter from Feeding the Elephant: A Forum for Scholarly Communications.

First Person

  • Jen Malia, “Reading Beyond Neurodivergent Stereotypes,” Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2021,
    • “If an agented and published author like me faces ableism from a publisher, how is the publishing industry treating unagented aspiring authors? Are agencies and publishers doing the work to learn how to engage with neurodivergent authors appropriately? Are they pursuing sensitivity training that educates them about ableism and the importance of neurodiversity? Are they hiring and promoting neurodivergent employees?”

  • Audra Wolf, “Real Talk,” Never Just Science Newsletter
    • “I get a lot of requests from learned societies and/or history departments to ‘talk to our grad students about making a living as a historian.’ [...] I don’t actually ‘make my living as a historian.’ I make my living as a publishing professional, and my ability to do so has very little to do with my Ph.D.”


Higher Ed

  • Melissa Blankstein and Dylan Ruediger, “Leading Community College Libraries During the Pandemic Library Directors Share Their Experiences,” Ithaka S+R, August 2, 2021,
    • “Since 2019, Ithaka S+R has led the Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE) research initiative to better understand the academic and student support infrastructure at community colleges, and how libraries can best develop and sustain services to contribute to student success within this ecosystem. [...] we have seen that the pandemic has only magnified the importance of library services while placing incredible demands on the faculty and staff who administer them. [...] 31 community college library leaders shared their challenges and successes over the past year and reflected on how their experiences will shape the future of their libraries and student support initiatives.”

  • Michael M. Crow and William Dabars, “Improving intellectual infrastructure in American higher education,” The Hill, July 31, 2021,
    • “In our recent book, The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), we advocate managing the tension between excellence and accessibility in college education. Excellence and accessibility are complementary because talent is distributed throughout the socioeconomic spectrum; international competitiveness depends on extending opportunities to individuals from all demographic strata; diversity enhances academic quality; and the success of our democracy depends on an educated citizenry.”


State of Publishing

  • Dushko Petrovich Córdova, “Independent Together: The State of Art Book Publishing,” Art in America, July 26, 2021,
    • “This elaboration of the DIY traditions of zines, poetry chapbooks, and activist publications has been encouraged by the rise of desktop publishing, the internet’s validation of subcultures, and a growing disdain for the art world’s starkly unequal economy. Perhaps most important, all these disparate kinds of publishers have been regularly gathered together, often under a literal big tent, to share their works with the public and learn from one another.”

  • Researcher to Reader Conference recordings, YouTube,
    • “​​The Researcher to Reader Conference aims to be the premier forum for discussion of the international scholarly content supply chain – bringing knowledge from the Researcher to the Reader. The conference takes place in London in February each year.”



  • Ovul Sezer, Kelly Nault, and Nadav Klein, “Don’t Underestimate the Power of Kindness at Work,” Harvard Business Review,
    • “This past year, most management advice has focused on how to sustain productivity during the pandemic, yet the power of kindness has been largely overlooked. Practicing kindness by giving compliments and recognition has the power to transform our remote workplace."


Writing Advice

  • Larry McEnerney, “LEADERSHIP LAB: Writing Beyond the Academy,” YouTube, (h/t @aandr314)
    • “...academics who work outside academia are endlessly criticized for writing ‘like a professor.’ [...] Very often, they try to change aspects of their writing that are not troublesome, and they leave in place aspects of their writing that are making their writing less clear, less logical, and less valuable to their readers. This session will be about a few patterns of writing that are likely to aggravate non-academic readers. [...] patterns that are often difficult for academics to see, but are actually fairly easy to change.”

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