A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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A. Stanley Higgins and the History of STC's Journal   (PDF)

A profile of Stan Higgins, one of the first editors of STC's journal. Based on archival research and an interview with Higgins. Includes a table of journal titles (e.g., TWE Journal, STWE Review) and names of editors.

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>TC>Publishing>History


Aardvark et al.: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Publication in quality journals has become a major indicator of research performance in UK universities. This paper investigates the notion of `quality journal' and finds dizzying circularity in its definitions. Actually, what a quality journal is does not really matter: agreement that there are such things matters very much indeed. As so often happens with indicators of performance, the indicator has become the target. So, the challenge is to publish in quality journals, and the challenge rewards gamesmanship. Vested interests have become particularly skilful at the game, and at exercising the winners' prerogative of changing the rules. All but forgotten in the desperation to win the game is publication as a means of communicating research findings for the public benefit. The paper examines the situation in management studies, but the problem is much more widespread. It concludes that laughter is both the appropriate reaction to such farce, and also, perhaps, the stimulus to reform.

Macdonald, Stuart and Jacqueline Kam. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Publishing>Management>Research


About Freeloading

Jess McMullin, a Usability Analyst at Cognissa, and a long time reader of WebWord, wrote me a lettera couple of days ago. His basic complaint was that I don't give my readers enough credit. I'm pretty sure that he feels offended that I have called my readers a bunch of 'freeloaders'. What does that mean and what is freeloading?

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (2001). Articles>Publishing>Online


The Added Value Features of Online Scholarly Journals   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Online scholarly journals have become an important tool for the generation of knowledge and the distribution and access to research. The purpose of this article is to analyze the features of online scholarly journals and to determine whether they incorporate new Internet-enabled features and functions which help to meet the needs of the members of the scholarly community more effectively. Drawing on Taylor's concept of added value [1], the features of online scholarly journals were classified into the following types: features which enhance ease of use and facilitate access to data, features that provide selected information and thus reduce noise, features which improve quality, features which address specific user needs, and features which contribute to time or cost savings. The analysis revealed that, although some online journals operate in the same way as print journals, there are others which incorporate innovative features which are transforming the journal to make it a more effective tool for scholarly activity.

Luzón, María José. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online


After Launching 300 Content Websites, These Are My Observations

To help those people who are considering going online and to offer some thoughts to those who already have a website here are 10 observations I’ve made over the last few months.

SubHub (2008). Articles>Publishing>Online>E Commerce


Amusing Titles in Scientific Journals and Article Citation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The present study examines whether the use of humor in scientific article titles is associated with the number of citations an article receives. Four judges rated the degree of amusement and pleasantness of titles of articles published over 10 years (from 1985 to 1994) in two of the most prestigious journals in psychology, Psychological Bulletinand Psychological Review. We then examined the association between the levels of amusement and pleasantness and the article’s monthly citation average. The results show that, while the pleasantness rating was weakly associated with the number of citations, articles with highly amusing titles (2 standard deviations above average) received fewer citations. The negative association between amusing titles and subsequent citations cannot be attributed to differences in the title length and pleasantness, number of authors, year of publication, and article type (regular article vs comment). These findings are discussed in the context of the importance of titles for signalling an article’s content.

Sagi, Itay and Eldad Yechiam. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Publishing>Research>Scientific Communication


Applying Hypertext and Hypermedia to Scholarly Journals Enables Both Product and Process Innovation   (peer-reviewed)

Early uses of hypertext technologies were associated with scholarly communication. New electronic-only journals have been quick to adopt hypertext/hypermedia technologies. Existing print journals have also started to adopt such technologies as they make the transition to parallel delivery. The widespread uptake of the World Wide Web has enabled journals to improve, enhance and transform what they do. This paper surveys these developments and places them in context.

Treloar, Andrew E. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Articles>Publishing>Hypertext


Are you Hurting Your Career By Not Blogging or Podcasting?

Talks about myths, rewards, trends, tips, and issues surrounding blogging and podcasting, especially in terms of how it affects your career.

Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Publishing>Online>Podcasts


Ask mb: What the TK?

Confused by wacky mag-world jargon? From the lede to the kicker, with a nut graf in between, here's mb's handy glossary.

Mitchell, Celeste. mediabistro.com (2003). Articles>Language>Publishing>Writing


At the Touch of a Button

Are the days of print documentation over? How ‘usable’ is your print documentation?

Nair, Manjusha. Indus (2009). Articles>Documentation>Publishing


Bantamweight Publishing in an Easily Plagiarised World

Bantamweight publishing is popular among those who feel brevity is a virtue. But when an entire work of art is bounded in 140 characters, even brevity has its limits. Sometimes, squeezing in a proper attribution through editing content can change the original meaning, when the edits unwillingly shift from cosmetic to substantive.

Drapeau, Mark. O'Reilly and Associates (2009). Articles>Publishing>Online>Plagiarism


A Basic Guide to Power Blogging

Blogs (web logs, online journals) are nearly mandatory now. From presidential candidates and CEOs to avid hobbyists and local clubs, blogs are being used to share ideas and opinions. As the next new communications/community building/marketing tool beyond conventional web sites, blogs offer a more dynamic, timely, and personal interactive experience. Join over 4 million other bloggers by following these easy steps to Power Blogging.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Publishing>Online>Blogging


The Basics of Book Profits

Most writers have no idea how much money they can expect when their book is published. The formular, however, is fairly straightforward. To begin with, a writer generally receives an advance. An advance is payment, in advance, based on the expected initial earnings of the book. Royalties (ranging from 4% to 8% in most cases) are generally based on the cover price of the book, but that does not include books that are discounted or remaindered. So, for the sake of argument, say you sold 20,000 full-price copies of a paperback priced at $7 (I know it would more likely be $6.95 but I am going to use round numbers.) If your royalty percentage were a generous 8% you would make a total of $11,200.

Hewitt, John. Writer's Resource Center (2004). Articles>Writing>Publishing>Writing


Becoming a Journal Author    (PDF)

This session will help participants understand how to write and submit a manuscript for publication in Technical Communication. It covers the types of articles the journal publishes, its audience, and suggestions for choosing topics, doing research, and preparing a manuscript.

Hayhoe, George F. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Writing>Publishing


Becoming a Journal Peer Reviewer    (PDF)

This session will help participants understand the process for reviewing manuscripts submitted to

Hayhoe, George F. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Publishing>Editing


Best Practices for Digital Archiving   (peer-reviewed)

The rapid growth in the creation and dissemination of digital objects by authors, publishers, corporations, governments, and even librarians, archivists, and museum curators, has emphasized the speed and ease of short-term dissemination with little regard for the long-term preservation of digital information. However, digital information is fragile in ways that differ from traditional technologies, such as paper or microfilm. It is more easily corrupted or altered without recognition. Digital storage media have shorter life spans, and digital information requires access technologies that are changing at an ever-increasing pace. Some types of information, such as multimedia, are so closely linked to the software and hardware technologies that they cannot be used outside these proprietary environments [Kuny 1998]. Because of the speed of technological advances, the time frame in which we must consider archiving becomes much shorter. The time between manufacture and preservation is shrinking.

Hodge, Gail M. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2000). Articles>Publishing>Online


Blogging, Podcasting, and Screencasting: Eight Characteristics to Attract Devoted Followers (Part II)

Devoted followers stay updated with each new post, podcast, or screencast, eagerly awaiting the next new one. They’re intimately familiar with your content and either comment regularly or regularly return to your site.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2009). Articles>Publishing>Blogging>Podcasting


Blogs on the Side

Blogging as a trend has gained enormous popularity with the simplification of automated self-publishing systems, such as Blogger at www.blogger.com, or MT at www.moveabletype.org. Blogging as a way of life is also gathering adherents at a rapid pace.

Young, Lisa. MetroVoice (2003). Articles>Publishing>Online>Blogging


Book Design

An overview of the typical components of a printed technical book and the typical content, format, style, and sequence of those components.

McMurrey, David A. Illuminati Online (2001). Articles>Document Design>Publishing


Bridging the North-South Divide in Scholarly Communication in Africa   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article takes a broad, general perspective of scholarly communication in Africa, using a simple systems model based on the Lasswell formula. The model identifies and analyses the following components: Creators, Contents, Mediation, Users and Infrastructure. It recognizes that these are to be studied in their cultural, political, economic, legal and ethical contexts. Taking each component in turn, a number of critical issues and problems relevant to the North-South/South-North divide are identified and some observations are made on the position and roles of libraries. The article presents a list of desiderata and emphasizes that scholarly communication has both digital and analogue dimensions. It is a complex phenomenon that needs to be addressed holistically.

Lor, Peter Johan. IFLA Journal (2007). Articles>Publishing>Research>Africa


A Brief History and Technical Overview of the Current State of JAC Online, with a Few Observations About How the Internet is Influencing (or Failing to Influence) Scholarship: or, Who Says You Can’t Find JAC Online?   (peer-reviewed)

This article has two purposes. A number of people have asked me what has been involved in producing the current version of JAC Online, and so the electronic archive’s history and technical development is presented here for them. In the process of working with JAC Online, I have come to some tentative conclusions about the role electronic research plays in scholarship, the significance electronic publications hold for paper publications, the question of e-publication and tenure, and how much technical knowledge is relevant to current and future scholarship in the humanities. I present these tentative conclusions in the context of my experience as an online editor. It is important to emphasize that my experience is limited to a single journal and my role with that journal is limited to that journal’s needs, and thus what I say is local knowledge. But like a lot of people I see all knowledge as local, even in cyberspace. To create the context for what I will suggest about the current state of online scholarship, I will first recount the history of JAC Online.

Pullman, George. Kairos (2002). Articles>Publishing>Online


Building E-Books: A Tool Overview for Technical Writers

As e-books become another option for publishing technical content, writers are faced with more choices among the tools to produce them. In my previous articles on e-book readers and formats, I noted the similarities between e-book formats and the online help formats that technical writers have been using for many years. In this article, I’ll look at some of the tools you can use to create EPUB books, the most common e-book format. I’ll also show how you can convert an EPUB to Amazon’s Kindle format.

Soltys, Keith. TechWhirl.com (2012). Articles>Publishing>Online>eBooks


Business Model Issues in the Development of Digital Cultural Content

This paper examines business model aspects of digitizing cultural content. It is based in large part on a Study conducted by the author and his colleagues for the Department of Canadian Heritage. Based on data collected from several cultural institutions regarding their efforts to digitize content, the study found that implications for the cost side have been significant, leading to explorations of facilities and content sharing programs, formalized budgeting, the need for better copyright expertise and improved mid to long term planning. On the revenue (funding) side, a clear need for more rigorous assessments of user demand emerged. In addition, the possibility of revisiting organizational mandates was identified, as well as various revenue-generating opportunities including sponsorship, user-fees and private/public sector partnerships.

Wall, Gerry. First Monday (2003). Articles>Publishing>Online


Can the Experience of Paper Be Replicated on a Screen?

A number of organisations are experimenting with how the experience of reading a paper book or a magazine can be replicated when they are displayed on a screen. Underlying all of these, is an assumption that people can and want to read content online (or on screen) in the same way as they read paper books and magazines.

Pratt, Ellis. Cherryleaf (2010). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Publishing


CD-ROM Publishing: Personal Coaching from Industry Experts   (PDF)

Are you considering publishing your documentation on CD-ROM? Sign up for an individual consultation with industry experts. NOTE: This "workshop" takes place in individual 15-minute one-on-one sessions; with three consultants, we can offer 20 sessions. Please try to arrive early and sigh up for your time slot; then you're on your own (for example, to visit exhibits or meet with colleagues) until your session time. This way all participants receive the complete attention of a CD-ROM consultant. We'll work with drop-ins if any time slots remain unassigned.

Gale, John, Stephanie L. Rosenbaum and Pamela Sansbury. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Publishing>CD ROM



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