English Professor Elisabeth Buck publishes her first book

Professor Buck's book covers the process of academic writing and publication, as well as the push from more open access and multimodality.

By:Leesa Prescod

In November of 2017, English Professor Elisabeth Buck published her first book,—Open-Access, Multimodality, and Writing Center Studies. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, it covers the process of academic writing and publication, as well as the push from more open access and multimodality.  

“My book is sort of about writing center scholarship, which is a really small field, and it can perhaps reveal important things of the nature of academic publishing,” Buck said. “Especially because we’re at a time where there’s more acceptance for digital and open-access forms of scholarship, but sometimes they’re not perceived with as much legitimacy as a paper copy of a journal.”

An interest in writing centers studies

Buck’s passion for writing center studies had grown tremendously since receiving her PhD in rhetoric and composition at Ball State University in Indiana. One of the issues Buck wants to bring attention to is the limitations of academic publishing involving writing center studies. To do this, she used different methodologies to conduct further research into writing center studies and publication, which involved surveys and interviews with other frequently published scholars.

“The first research method I did was a survey – an international survey,” Buck said. “Then I asked people about their perceptions of academic publishing and where it was, or where they think it is right now. And the interviews kind of came after that."

Along with the interviews and surveys to gather research for book, Buck also looked at every single article published from the only three journals centered around writing center studies, with publications starting in the late 1970s.

Multimodality and creativity in the classroom

Buck emphasizes that there should be more open access journals, as well as encouragement for multimodality.  “I think students can do so much when given the opportunity to be a little bit more creative in the classroom,” she said.

Buck believes that more digital and open-access forms should be perceived with as much legitimacy as a paper copy, and that there are various ways in which students and scholars can demonstrate different arguments exceeding traditional writing.

 “I’m really looking for ways to bring about further attention to multimodal writing in particular," she said. "Writing is often a combination of design, and I want to give students additional examples—or additional ways—to demonstrate how to argue beyond just the traditional printed page." 


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