Friday, March 19, 2021 - 13:40

Resources for Independent Scholars


NCIS Guide for Independent Scholars

Edited by Amanda Haste and Linda Baines with Barbara Wilson

Deadline for proposals: 15 December 2022

Scheduled publication date: December 2023
Do you have an idea or something you are bursting to write about on life as an Independent Scholar (IS)? If you are a member of NCIS (Full or Associate), we would love to hear from you.
We are developing the NCIS Guide for Independent Scholars (‘IS Guide’), which will provide much-needed up-to-date resources and supportive materials for Independent Scholars in a wide variety of fields. In the spirit of the seminal Independent Scholar’s Handbook by Ron Gross (and with his blessing) the tone will be supportive, positive and informative, with a focus on providing solutions to the issues faced by ISs. The target audience is current and potential ISs.
The Guide will consist of articles on various aspects of independent scholarship, such as its status as an intellectual form; individual and group activities in different fields of study; resources for independent research; personal statements by independent scholars describing their journey of research and development; and similar related topics.
The Guide will be peer-reviewed and published online as a PDF so it will be free to access and download.
The timetable for preparing the IS Guide is set out below.

Deadline for submitting Chapter proposals in the form of an abstract    15 December 2022
Decisions on proposals                                                                                   15 January 2023
Deadline for submitting full chapters                                                           30 June 2023
Peer review process                                                                                        July – Sept 2023
Publication                                                                                                      December 2023

We already have some chapters in hand on topics/ such as deciding on the merits of having a PhD, and the ethics of independent research. Other topics include aspects of technical and academic writing, and conducting interdisciplinary research.
We are open to ideas and new ways of thinking, and we are inviting not only proposals for chapters of 5,000 – 6,000 words (excluding references) on any aspect of life as an IS, but also photos, painting, drawings and cartoons (as long you own the copyright).
If you are interested, please send an abstract of up to 500 words (excluding references) by 15 December 2022 to If you have any queries, please also address them to

Global Cuisines by Independent Scholars: A Learned Cookbook
 Edited by Helen Ross with Linda Baines and Amanda Haste
The NCIS cookbook project Global Cuisines by Independent Scholars: A Learned Cookbook features members’ recipes, each accompanied by a brief peer-reviewed scholarly essay. The essay may illuminate the recipe in a wider scholarly context—historical, cultural, social, scientific, economic, environmental, etc. – or the recipe may complement the topic of the essay. The Cookbook will be published online as a PDF, and will be free to download. Watch this space!
<a rel="license" href=""><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="" /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>.



As well as members' presentations on their research, we continue our series on upskilling/reskilling which aims to enhance our digital skills and brands and contribute to our growth and development as researchers.
You can reserve your place on Eventbrite, but we ask you to log in to the meeting via Zoom as logging in via Eventbrite can be problematic.



Sat 5 November 2022 (2pm EST/7pm BST) SANDBOX PARTY
Put on your glad rags (or at least something clean!), bring a drink (sparkling or not) and meeet other indies. We'll be sharing our tips and tricks, tools and software that we use to support our research.
Book your place at


Videos are available on our YouTube channel, unless there are copyright issues. 
24 Sept 2022 SKILLS 3: “Building your Website; EstablishingB your Research Identity” presented by archaeologist and egyptologist Dr Hannah Pethen-Barrett. You will also need to download the PDF provided by Hannah
18 June 2022 "Letters, Lines, and Logs: Researching Early Modern Atlantic Merchant Ships, presented by Philip Reid, maritime historian, NCIS grantee and a 2021 Eisenstein Essay Prize winner (Copyright Phillip Reid 2022)
2 April 2022  SKILLS 2: Demystifying Special Collections and Archives for Independent Scholars, presented by special collections specialist Joanna Baines
12 Feb 2022  SKILLS 1: Social Media and Your Research Identity, presented by Hannah Pethen-Barrett, PhD (Copyright Hannah Pethen Barrett 2022)
  7 Nov 2021  "Independent Publishing," presented by Philip Stover, RioVista Press. PPT available on
16 Oct 2021  "Independent Scholarship: A Colloquy with Ron Gross (author of the seminal Handbook for Independent Scholars) (Copyright Ronald Gross 2021)
19 Sept 2021 "Sandbox Party" Come and meet other independent scholars, compare notes, make friends in your discipline and beyond. Bring your own drinks and snacks!
23 June 2021 "Creativity in Research" presented by Helen Kara, PhD (Copyright Helen Kara 2021)
15 May 2021 "Chronology of a Transnational Social Movement: Japanese American A-Bomb Survivors and their Community Newspaper (Rafu Shimpo)"  presented by Gloria R. Montebruno Saller, Ph.D. (NCIS Research Grant recipient)
17 Apr 2021 "The Early 18th-Century Apocalypse: How the Unforeseen Actions of a Few People Forever Changed Our World of War, Plague, and Smallpox, " presented by Margaret DeLacy, PhD
24 March 2021 QuickFIRE Alt-Conference hosted by the Forum for Independent Research Endeavours (FIRE-UK), the British Partner Group of NCIS.  
                          Dr Helen Ross, "Mind the Gap: understanding teachers’ and parents’
                               differing views of dyslexia-friendly practice in COVID-19 remote-learning."
                          Dr Jasmine Hazel Shadrack, "Black Metal, Trauma, Subjectivity and Sound:
                               Screaming the Abyss"
                          Dr Amanda Haste, "Refocusing Music & Identity: Challenges of Creating a
                                Monograph from a Musicological Thesis"
This podcast on “Publishing Your Thesis” is the result of an NCIS webinar featuring panelists Jess Farr-Cox (academic editor), Dr Lyle Skains (creative digital writer) and Dr Jasmine Shadrack (music sociologist).
The questions tackled in this podcast include:
    whether to publishing your research as journal articles or as a book…or both!
     the emotional effect of revisiting your thesis
     the transition from thesis to book
     when to reach out to a publisher
    personal writing style: academic or narrative
    digital vs. print publications

We are frequently asked about ethical approval, and although we have not been able to offer this outrselves we are pleased to share this link to a post by Dr Helen Kara which will answer many of your questions.

Free, virtual  programs available from the UK-based Hay Festival (programme in British Summer Time).
Free resources during the Covid epidemic:
Project Muse: Open access
How to Thrive in Academia
Women's History Month
If there's a broken link, or you know of more free resources for indies, please email us on

To help you stay focused and achieve your research goals. Team up with one or more researchers for (usually silent) writing sessions:
FocusMate 50-minute 1-2-1 sessions. Can specify preferred gender of study partner. Up to 3 sessions per week for free.
MoocLab Study Buddy
If you can recommend other platforms, please let us know on


Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars