I don’t know a lot about the scientific research and its concepts. What is the difference between this book and any research paper?

From my understanding of the research world, I know that link.springer is a journal and journals publish research papers after reviewing. If that is the case, then what is that book doing in link.springer? Is it really just a book? or Do people call it “published book”?

In the past, I experimented a lot with the layout of my thesis. Until I managed to find a PDF of a standard book layout of some publisher, which attracted me so much that I copied it for my thesis.

enter image description here

The problem is: I can’t remember where I got this layout from. Does anyone have an idea? It was the standard layout example of some publisher …

Thanks!

Background

I am a Permanent Resident living in the USA (CO) and studying part-time at a Christian distance-learning institution which is accredited in the USA and based in Missouri. The course is a BA in Bible & Theology. I read widely in law, history, and theology. I have physical and cognitive disabilities which severely affect my ability to perform well in timed exams, but am bright academically and consistently top-grade at coursework.

The Textbooks

Each class/module has its own textbook written by the faculty member. I have signed up for two of these classes, got the two books, and both are consistently ignorant, partisan, and unprofessional. They do not cite any references within their text yet are happy to frequently contradict well-established scholarship – even other books set by the university! This question would be far too long if I gave detailed examples, so please just trust me when I say that these textbooks are bad.

The Exams

A huge chunk of the class’s grade comes from a multiple-choice test at the end of each module. These are meant to be just like the practice tests in the textbooks – which are awful. Many answers are extremely subjective, often the correct answer is the author’s opinion. Sometimes none of them are really correct. Many times I have got a practice question “wrong”, even though I have good scholarship on my side (again, including other books set by the university). It’s all extremely unprofessional. Fact-checking the textbook constantly is also exhausting.

In other words, to pass the course, I will have to memorize and regurgitate answers that I know are disputable or even demonstrably wrong. I will have to un-learn the good scholarship I have read in my spare time (a lot), and replace it with junk from the textbooks I can parrot. In the exams, I will be trying to remember, “wait, is that the right answer? Or is that what the textbook said?”

The bottom line is: I do not wish to take multiple-choice exams based on these awful textbooks.

So, what are my options?

I see the possibilities as follows:

  1. Ask the university to completely re-write their dozens of textbooks and exams according to proper scholarship. (Unlikely to happen, I think…)
  2. Ask the university to allow me to write additional coursework essays instead of taking a multiple-choice exam. (This would be appropriate for my medical needs anyway. Perhaps I could try this without mentioning their bad textbooks?)
  3. Attempt the exams, writing a note explaining whenever question/answer premise is wrong, (e.g. “None of the above are correct answers. Markan chronology is based on Mark’s splitting the book in half between Galilee and Judea, whereas the other gospels explicitly describe a multitude of travels between these locations. See ‘Jesus The Messiah’ by Robert Stein“). However, I am sure this will be ignored; I think the marking is done by computers anyway; and that means I’ll take too long and may not finish the paper. Not good.
  4. Attempt the exams, keeping a copy of my answer sheet (this is allowed). If I get a bad grade, ask to see the mark scheme (not sure if this is allowed), and dispute any answers which contradict good scholarship, demanding those questions are removed from my mark and the percentage recalculated, and that the mark scheme is rewritten to remove the bad questions for future students. I think this would only happen with a 100% demonstrable case where there is no dispute outside of the textbook’s divergent opinion. (There are some of these, but mostly it’s just 90% demonstrable)…
  5. Report the university to their relevant accreditation authority and hope they force (1) or (2).
  6. Leave the university demanding a refund due to the bad scholarship in the textbooks. (Partial refunds are available in the early parts of a course, but I’m past those dates now). If no refund, go to the accreditation and see if they’ll force them to give refund. (It’s only triple figures, but that’s substantial in my financial situation).

I would like feedback on the feasibility of options 1-5. Has anyone had a similar experience? I think #2 is my best bet, probably – has anyone been granted this concession at degree level? (Is there even a legal precedent I can cite?) (I have, in lower education, in the UK). If it comes down to #6, what are my legal rights to a refund if the quality of the education is demonstrably bad?

I am not sure if this is generalizable to all subjects. What I have noticed in some of the sciences, for example biology, ecology, and environmental sciences, is that the authors of the most used textbooks are not very highly cited scientists. Perhaps they have a book which is well cited but not used as a primary textbook, however it is not always the case, as it depends on the level of the book. Of course, books written for undergraduates are not necessarily cited in research papers. Regardless of the writing skills, which are of course important, I would prefer a textbook to be written by the most expert of a field and not just by the best educator or writer, who might lack in depth knowledge. Of course, a combination of both would be ideal.

I would expect that the maximum experts of a topic would also write a book which is heavily used in class or in research, but it does not seem to be the case.

Is it because researchers with a lot of citations (i.e. experts) are mostly dedicated to writing papers rather than books? Or is it because they work at the edge of knowledge and are not interested or capable of writing books for rookies?

My book manuscript of ca 250 pages was accepted by a publisher. The book contract obliges me to either prepare an index myself or to delegate the task to the publisher, who in turn would hire a freelancer at my expense, which the publisher estimated at GBP 300 (Eur. 340, USD 400).

I have never compiled an index before. Now I am wondering if it is worth it to compile the index myself or if I should rather have it made for me. Of course, this is quite subjective. But those with pertinent experience may know:

  • How much time and effort does it usually take to prepare an index?
  • Are there any tools or methods to (partly) automate the task and that still yield an acceptable outcome?

I have just completed my PhD in Mathematics and accepted a job as a visiting assistant professor. The course I am assigned to teach allows me to pick the textbook I wish to use.

I am currently looking for lower-cost/free textbook options for my students, and I have found a textbook that I really like in the SpringerLink database. My school’s library has a subscription to this database which give students access to an electronic copy of this book free of charge. Are there any rules which prevent me from assigning this as the textbook for the class and giving them the option to download it for free through the library?

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 rather than exactly where you need them (e.g., in the middle on one page and on top on another page). Why? Assuming single-column layout and that no huge line stretching, no huge vertical gaps, and no vertical overflows occur, what good reasons could exist nowadays for figures to be moved out of the very place where you need them?

An example could be the figures in the CSP book: they are placed typically where the reader needs them rather than always at the top/bottom of the pages.

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, but not exactly where you need them (e.g., in the middle on one page and on top on another page). Why? Assuming that no huge line stretching, no huge vertical gaps, and no vertical overflows occur, what good reasons could exist nowadays for figures to be moved out of the very place where you need them?

An example coupld be figure in the CSP book: they are typically where the reader needs them rather than always at the top/bottom of the pages.

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, but not exactly where you need them (e.g., in the middle on one page and on top on another page). Why? Assuming no huge line stretching, no huge vertical gaps, and no vertical overflows occur, what good reasons could exist nowadays that figures must be moved out of the very place where you need them?