Educated with PhD in Physics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Biological Sciences. She is a member of organizations such as the New Zealand Microbiological Society, Entomological Society of New Zealand (Auckland Branch), Vintage Phonograph Society of New Zealand and has also been the secretary of the former Self-Publishers' Association of New Zealand.
- Do not change a word or phrase that looks "wrong." It might be normal terminology in the author's specialist field.
- Do not alter words such as "examined," "explored," and "discovered." When I was an amateur myself, I once altered "examined" to "discovered" and the authors did not like it one bit!
- Quality is paramount. It is preferred to inform that certain assignments will be delayed and hand the job outside of deadline (but still within reasonable limits) rather than handing in a sub-standard job before or exactly on deadline. That said, the deadline should be respected as far as possible
- Try to maintain the author's voice. Some authors pose questions in their manuscripts; this is fine. Some authors consistently use the passive voice, so the voice should be changed to active only when it significantly improves the sentence. Also, check the journal requirements as a few journals still discourage the active voice.
- A second pass is mandatory. You will find not only the odd grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistake but also changes you have made that look clumsy or downright wrong. You will want to amend these before sending the manuscript back to the client. The second pass will polish your edit so that it looks great, and you will get a great deal of satisfaction.
- Be on the lookout for common errors made by non-native English authors (double spaces between sentences, tildes instead of en-dashes for number ranges, incorrect attempts to make a ° symbol, variables that are italicized in equations but not in text).
- Most importantly, one should always take short, well-timed breaks, especially for assignments, that are extremely lengthy or require too much of your intervention. This reduces the possibility of you overlooking or introducing any errors and helps in maintaining the quality of the file.
- Also, it is important that academic editors stay updated with the latest technological developments happening in the field, including new software packages being developed for aspects such as consistency checks or fact-checking, as these may prove to be futuristic tools for reducing the number of human errors in editing a document. For example, the software tool PerfectIT allows editors to check certain inconsistencies and language-related errors.
- One can also attend events such as editor conferences, join online discussion forums and editor associations, and meet other editors to widen one's horizon in this field.
In addition, following questions addressed by the editor are available on our Knowledge platform, Enago Academy.
What are you most careful about while editing a manuscript?
Could you give us an example of a manuscript that challenged your skills as an editor?
How do you edit a paper that is not from your core subject area?
How has your experience been with manuscripts written by non-native English speakers?
In your experience, what mistakes do non-native English speakers usually make? Do you have any general and/or specific tips for authors?
How would you define substantive editing, and differentiate it from copyediting?