This post continues our series by a onetime academic job seeker, now academic-at-large, on the best blogs for academic inspiration and higher ed advice.
The beginning of the fall semester is a great time to read up on academic productivity, writing strategies, and work-life balance, so you can slide back into the busy season full of new ideas and energy. In the past, academic blogs have been a great place to find this kind of general advice, which applies across disciplines. Although many of our favorites seem to have stopped posting as frequently in recent years (come back, blogs!), the archive of wisdom they pulled together is still evergreen and vital. Here are a few places to start.
The Thesis Whisperer
The Thesis Whisperer, run by Inger Mewburn, is all about advice for people who are in graduate programs and trying to finish dissertations. The blog has distinguished itself by being super-consistent and high-volume (it had many contributing writers in its first almost-decade of existence), offering post after post on a wide range of matters of concern to doctoral students from:
- Choosing a dissertation topic, to
- The fine art of complaining effectively about problems in your program, to
- The ins and outs of parenting as a doctoral candidate.
Get a Life, Ph.D.
Pair The Thesis Whisperer with Get a Life, Ph.D., run by Tanya Golash-Boza. This blog has slowed down somewhat in recent years, but a lot of the advice—on maintaining an exercise habit as an academic parent (yeah, right!) or on restarting a practice of everyday writing after a long time away—still applies.
The Research Whisperer
The Research Whisperer, which was originally inspired by the thriving Thesis Whisperer, is run by Australians Jonathan O’Donnell and Tseen Kho. The blog focuses on all aspects of doing academic research—not, as the site’s “About” page stipulates, just the matter of finding funding (though that topic is definitely in the mix). Some sample posts include topics like:
- On being a co-author
- Which academics are happy, and why
- On accepting, and not accepting, feedback on your work.
Writing for Research
On his blog Writing for Research, Patrick Dunleavy takes a craft-specific approach, offering posts on such topics as writing abstracts to go along with journal articles and efficiently turning articles into blog posts.
- Resources to consult when you have to edit your own writing (and you hate that task)
- Best practices for facilitating international conferences
- Thoughts on using Google Forms for online quizzes
ProfHacker always found the sweet spot between writing advice, productivity tactics, and tech geekery, and although posting seems to have slowed down recently, the deep archive of posts is still gold.
Blogs and social media (here are 10 great academic Twitter accounts) that speak to the academic community can be invaluable as you navigate the nuances of higher ed. What are your bookmarked sites and go-to blogs? We’d love to hear your recommendations. Tweet us @Interfolio.
In case you didn’t know, Interfolio’s website has several sections of academic content relevant to individual scholars and academics in research or administration. They partner with academic thought leaders, clients, and others to explore topics in higher education.
- Their blog boasts several series of content, like this post in their “Ask a Candidate” category, which you can jump to via the right-hand side of the blog homepage