How to Explain Your Role to Non-Editors: Production and Copy Editing


“What do you do?” We’ve all been asked this at one point or another. It is a question that often comes up at social gatherings. For editors, it is not always easy to explain what we do and why. Here at CSE, we are lucky to be surrounded by fellow scholarly editors who “get it.” But to someone who works in a different field, the world of editing can be a mystery. We hope that this series of articles can serve as a basis on how to describe your role to non-editor colleagues. First up: production and copyediting. What Is Scholarly Publishing? One place to start is by describing scholarly publishing. You can explain that the basis of scholarly publishing is peer review, wherein experts in a given field review an author’s work to determine whether it is an appropriate fit for their journal. Ideally, during peer review the editors provide helpful comments to assist authors in refining their writing and preparing it for publication. This process can result in several rounds of revisions, each of which may introduce new material to the paper while increasing the possibility for errors and inconsistencies. Describing the basics of scholarly publishing can provide a transition to describing your role as an editor since one of the key areas editors provide value is in resolving these errors and inconsistencies once the final round of revisions is complete and the paper has been accepted for publication. Production Editing It is a good idea to draft […]

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