How a textbook is made

A lot of work goes into creating a textbook.

Publishers, authors, designers and printers all need to work together to create high quality resources that help educators teach and students learn. Sometimes it can take four or more years for a textbook to go from idea to published book.

The below infographic presents the many stages a textbook goes through, illustrating our commitment to the dissemination of knowledge and our objective of excellence in research, scholarship and education.

How a textbook is made

Download the infographic as a PDF or JPEG.

All the facts in this infographic were correct at the time of publication.

Using dynamic and real world case studies to inform learning

When we were approached by Oxford University Press to create a book about language development, we were given some clear directives about what it needed to be: interprofessional (for linguists, educators and speech-language pathologists), locally relevant (for an Australian and New Zealand audience) and useful (for students, lecturers prescribing it as a text and for professionals). So we set about developing a book that we would use as professionals, teachers, and online learners.

We invited contributions from authors with backgrounds in education, linguistics and speech pathology from around Australia to ensure the text was interprofessional. Most of these authors had worked in the field and their knowledge and experience of the Australian context ensured their chapters would be relevant to our prospective audience. Then we did something a little unusual, we asked them to think about the kinds of case studies they wished they had easy access to, those that would be useful to show in classes and lectures to enhance their teaching and improve student learning and retention.

We knew from our experience that real world examples are the key to explaining concepts and demonstrating ideas. But, rather than creating imagined, one dimensional (paper based) case studies as supplementary resources to aid understanding, we wanted to utilise real, dynamic, engaging children and adults. We wanted our case studies to be easily and immediately accessible to staff to frame their teaching, and to students to inform their learning. We used suggestions from the chapter authors to plan our case studies and then invited children, students, and adults to participate in filming for the book. Ten videos were created and made available online. Chapter authors were then invited to select the video content that was most useful for them to illustrate their chapter content, and to write these case studies into their chapter. Supplementary materials (e.g., transcripts of the videos, look and learn activities) were also developed to aid lecturers in planning curriculum design and content. We even used a photograph of one of our 2-year-old video stars on the front cover.

The result is a text that is undeniably Australian (the accents give it away!) and authentic. It is available as an interactive ebook with access to the videos, live links to resources and additional online activities. Students can access the materials independently, but have reflective questions to guide their study. Lecturers can use the videos and online activities in their teaching or set tasks for students to do in their own time. The book is intended to meet the needs of the new breed of learners and the lecturers who teach them. We hope it does just that.

J9780195527926ane McCormack, PhD
University of Sheffield, March 2016

Jane is a speech pathologist with experience in early intervention and education. Jane is the co-editor of Introduction to speech, language and literacy (2015) with Sharynne McLeod.

McLeod, S. & McCormack, J. (Eds.) (2015). Introduction to speech, language and literacy. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 9780195527926)

Top tips for entering the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition


Have you been thinking about entering the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition this year?
Are you having trouble getting started with your film?
Do you need help getting your creative juices flowing?

We recently spoke to some of our previous film competition winners about their filmmaking experiences and asked if they had any advice for law students thinking of submitting an entry in 2016. Here are their top tips:

Molly Clarke, University of Notre Dame Sydney
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Winner 2015

Choose an area of law or case that you are passionate about. If you are passionate about it, it’ll make you want to work so much harder.

  • Utilize any technology that is available to you. We shot some of the film on an iPhone 6! Some things you already have, like your phone or your computer, will be nearly as good as professional equipment.
  • Take this opportunity to collaborate with students that study law with you. We had such a great time working on the film together and we are excited to get the group together to make another one again this year!

Watch Molly’s team entry, Chester v Waverly Council (1939) 62 CLR 1

Katy Milne, Monash University
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Winner 2014

  • Choose an aspect of the topic that you are personally drawn to and explore this fully rather than trying to cover the whole field. I read a whole lot of different cases about lawyers doing naughty things (the topic was legal ethics) before I decided how to proceed. This was very entertaining in itself.
  • Be quite brutal with yourself. I wrote out a narrative before I started and then listened to how it sounded. Some bits just didn’t work so I removed or reworked them. There were parts of the story that I really quite liked but cut because I couldn’t get the story to flow well with them present.
  • Leave a good amount of time for the technical stuff. I used an iPhone and tripod to make my film however, the sound from the iPhone was not of sufficient quality. As a consequence, I recorded the voiced narration directly on to my computer. As someone with no film making experience, it took a fair bit of experimentation and time to work out the best combination of equipment to make the film.

Watch Katy’s entry, Ethics in Social Media: Advice for the legal hound-dog

Jason Allen, Deakin University
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Joint winner 2013

  • Focus on sound.  Given the choice between working on your picture or your sound it seems most people focus on the video.  Think of your experiences with YouTube – most people will put up with less than cinema quality video, far fewer people stick through a video with annoying, poor quality sound.  If you have limited resources you’ll get more “bang for your buck” in terms of the quality of your overall end product by focusing more on your audio than you otherwise might.

    As a side note every camera going around works off of light.  Almost invariably adding more light will get you a better quality picture – grab some cheap Bunnings floodlights and use them to look a TON better.

  • Aim for humour. All things being equal funny but wrong probably wins over a boring yet scholarly lecture (think of your Uni lectures).  It doesn’t need to be a ROFL comedy but try and make your work at least funny enough so as not to be dry.  Not much worse than a boring educational video…
  • Take the road less travelled.  There’s probably going to be one or two fairly obvious angles you could take on whatever the topic is.  Spend the time to try and come up with something unique, a bit more creative – an idea that you don’t think anyone else will go with.  It’s far easier to stand out in a crowd of one than a crowd of dozens.

Watch Jason’s entry, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Law

Learn more about the competition, read our submission guidelines and download an entry form from the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition homepage.

Written by Stephanie Swain, Higher Education – Marketing and Product Specialist

Where is Annie’s room?

In this article, reproduced from our latest issue of Ozwords, Mark Gwynn investigates the questionable etymology of the Australian phrase up in Annie’s room.

In Australian English the term Annie’s room refers to an unknown, mythical, or unspecified place. It is chiefly used in the phrase up in Annie’s room, a facetious reply you may give to a question asking the whereabouts of someone or something, especially when you don’t know the answer. ‘Where are the car keys?’ ‘Up in Annie’s room,’ you might reply, or even (in a later, extended form): ‘Up in Annie’s room behind the clock’, as recorded by Nancy Keesing:

Had Christopher Robin been an Australian child the answer to his plaintive query: ‘Has anybody seen my mouse?’ might have been: ‘It’s up in Annie’s room behind the clock’. (Lily on the Dustbin, 1982)

As an answer to a question, up in Annie’s room seems to have its origin in military slang. It is first recorded in W.H. Downing’s Digger Dialects (1919), a glossary of words used by Australian soldiers in the First World War. Downing defines in Annie’s room as ‘an answer to questions as to the whereabouts of someone who cannot be found’. After the war Australian Private Edward Lynch wrote about his wartime experiences (published much later in 2006 as Somme Mud). In his account he comments: ‘When I enquire of the O.C.’s whereabouts someone replies, “Up in Annie’s room”‘. And an entry for Up in Annie’s room is included in the Glossary of Slang and Peculiar Terms in Use in the A.I.F., compiled during the early 1920s at the Australian War Museum by A.G. Pretty. He defines it as a ‘facetious answer to questions as to the whereabouts of someone who cannot be found’.

A couple of earlier references to Annie’s room have a military context but a different meaning, and are likely precursors of the idiom up in Annie’s room. Private Garnet Rundle’s account of his experiences on board a transport carrying Australian troops to Egypt includes this comment about soldiers who jumped ship: ‘The – deserters returned early this morning, and report having a great time. They’re in “Annie’s room” now (otherwise the Detention Room), so they shall repent a leisure.’ (Terang Express, 15 January 1915) In 1916 a New South Wales newspaper published a letter from Sergeant-Major Norman Pinkstone, who was at Gallipoli. He heads his letter with a fictionalised location: ‘”Annie’s Room”, “Coota Alley”, Somewhere in Gallipoli. 11 December, 1915.’ (Cootamundra Herald, 29 February)

Both these instances of Annie’s room refer to a specific place of privation or hardship. A sense of privation (in its ultimate form – death) is expressed in another military reference to Annie’s room, this time in the familiar form of a response to a question: ‘Baldy Evans, the cook, went up in the shell burst … “Where’s Baldy?” … “Up in Annie’s room.”‘ (Anzac Memoirs: Humorous Sketches by a Returned Soldier, 1920) The location of Annie’s room here is not specific, as in the two previous examples, but euphemistic and ironic.

Despite the evidence that up in Annie’s room was clearly used in soldier slang during the First World War, it does not fully explain the origin of the expression. But Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1937) may provide a clue. He notes that ‘(up) in Annie’s room)’ was in military use slightly before the First World War. He defines it as ‘a military c.p. [catchphrase] reply to a query concerning someone’s whereabouts’, and says that it originally implied the missing person was ‘a bit of a lad’; that is, he was with a woman (Annie).

A sexual connotation is also associated with another sense of the term (recorded from the 1930s, and likely to derive from the earlier military use). In a supplement to a later edition of his dictionary (1974), Partridge records a meaning specific to the game of darts, where up in Annie’s room denotes a throw of a double one: ‘With a pun on double room, or a room being used as one.’ This implication has been lost in general Australian English use.

In post-war Australia, up in Annie’s room was used in a more general way to suggest a person or thing was missing:

My little girl age 4 is always asking where her doll and other toys are, and I always say, ‘Oh, up in Annie’s room’. The other night we had visitors, and I happened to be out when they came, and my wife said to our little girl, ‘Where is your father, Elaine?’ You can imagine her surprise when Elaine said: ‘Oh, I s’pose he’s up in Annie’s room!’ (Sydney Arrow, 11 March 1932)

In the absence of further evidence, we cannot claim to know with absolute certainly the origin of up in Annie’s room. However, the implication of sexual hanky-panky that Partridge associates with both the military and the darts usages of Annie’s room provides us with an interesting clue.

Mark Gwynn has been a researcher and editor at the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) since 2002. Mark is the editor of a number of Australian Oxford dictionaries and thesauruses. He has conducted research on various historical and social aspects of Australian English. Mark is also the manager of the ANDC’s social media platforms.

ozwords-logoOur biannual newsletter Ozwords contains articles on various aspects of English, especially Australian English, in partnership with the Australian National Dictionary Centre. If you are interested in reading more on Australian English and hearing news from the Australian National Dictionary Centre, why not subscribe?

Read this edition of OzWords and find previous volumes here.

Oxford Word of the Month: May – Tag dag

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noun: a person who accidentally leaves a garment label showing.

In 2008 a newspaper article with the heading ‘No panties OK, but what about the tag?’ drew attention to a fashion faux pas made by model Jennifer Hawkins. It wasn’t the fact she had chosen not to wear underpants, but that a garment label was clearly showing through the mesh of her dress:

The crowd at Australian Fashion Week was more offended by the visibility in the same photo of the care-instructions label on Hawkins’ dress. A stylist on site yesterday coined Hawkins a ‘tag dag’, and Josh Goot, who designed her black dress with mesh panels down the side, agreed she probably should have removed it. (Australian, 3 May)

Since the modelling of clothes is the point of Fashion Week, leaving a garment label showing may well be considered a shocker. The reference to this fashion fail in 2008 is the first evidence of tag dag in the written record, but it can be found in online evidence several years before this. The tag in tag dag usually refers to the label found inside the back of the collar on most clothing items, which is inclined to stick out above the collar of our shirt, jacket, or dress unless we tuck it back in. The ‘label’ sense of tag dates back to the mid-19th century.

The dag element in tag dag is derived from the Australian colloquial term dag, referring to someone who is unfashionable, lacking in style, or socially awkward (first recorded in the 1960s). The teen magazine Dolly included it in a colourful list of terms to describe ‘[t]he guy who wouldn’t pass the dress standards at an ABBA revival concert, but keeps asking you out … dag, dagarama, dag city, daggy fest, daggy suckhead’. (October 1990) The unfashionable dag derives from an older Australian meaning of dag: an eccentric or entertaining person (first recorded in 1916). Both senses derive from a sheep’s dag, a lump of matted wool and excreta hanging around the tail of a sheep. Nothing could be less fashionable.

However the appellation tag dag applied to Jennifer Hawkins and other unwitting tag dags is more likely to be jocular than censorious. It is less a term of abuse than a light-hearted way of pointing out a person’s fashion shortcomings or absent-mindedness. Those who don’t care about the finer details of their appearance are unlikely to take offence, but what is the proper etiquette if you wish to help a tag dag? Opinion differs:

You can either go over and tuck it back in for them without drawing other people’s attention to it, or you can sit back in your chair and yell ‘Tag dag!’. (A.W. Brownless, Billy’s Dictionary for Blokes, 2011)

Don’t use the juvenile ‘tag dag’ line, just tell the person you are going to tuck their tag back in—but say this before you invade their personal space. (Melbourne Herald Sun, Weekend Magazine, 25 May 2013)

Tag dag is included in the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary (forthcoming 2016).

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