Language editing

Language editing is one of the processes involved in publishing that can take more or less work. Some articles are submitted by writers highly skilled in the language of publication that have taken the time to ensure high quality of their work that require little or no editing. Other articles are submitted by writers that are less skilled, too busy for proofreading, or for whom the language of publication is not their native language.

There are different ways to approach language editing. For example, this service can handled by the publisher, by the author, or a choice can be offered.

The Journal of Prenatal Medicine site offers some interesting language (that follows) on their directions for authors requiring language editing. Guidance is provided to authors on expectations and referral to services; however the journal itself does not take on this work. I see advantages to this author-centric language editing service. Authors who are just busy may decide it’s worth the time to proofread carefully to save a bit of money. Authors who need services can find the best deal economically, and may develop a relationship with a copyeditor who gets to know their work, the terminology used and stylistic preferences. If universities and funders expect authors to publish in international journals with a different language, shouldn’t they provide authors with language editing services? This type of work may fit very well with other types of work that is needed by universities. A copyeditor that gets to know an author’s work could also help with preparing grant applications and university communications services. Food for thought.

From the Journal of Prenatal Medicine site:

Pre-acceptance English language editing service

Authors for whom English is a second language should have their manuscript professionally edited or edited by a fluent English speaker before submission. This service is aimed to:
• improve grammar, spelling, and punctuation;
• improve clarity and resolve any ambiguity caused by poor phrasing;
• improve word-choice and ensure that the tone of the language is appropriate for an academic journal.
Please contact if you would like to receive the economic details of such services.
The service is paid for and arranged by the author, and use of these service does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges and the resource requirements projects.

From conference to newsletter to journal: a challenge to the emphasis on peer review

The reason for posting the following excerpt from one of the resource requirements interviews is intended to raise the question: is the current focus on the technical aspects of peer review out of touch with the communication / community aspects of scholarly communication of which formal publishing is arguably just one part?

This journal is one among the many thousands of small, scholar-led fully open access journals that would clearly meet all of the requirements for inclusion in DOAJ, including the peer review process. However, the peer-reviewed journal is just one portion of the rich history of the communication of this scholarly community, which flows from the conference(s) and early newsletter. Does it really make sense to separate the peer-reviewed bits from the larger history of communication among this scholarly community? I argue that it does not, that to fully understand the peer-reviewed literature it is important to know the historical context.

What about today’s emerging scholarly communities? I think I am seeing a narrow emphasis on the technical aspects of peer review, understandable in the context of open access debates but probably not optimal for scholarly communication and communities. This would be a good topic for further research, one that might appeal to historical researchers. There is probably a good deal of material within scholarly journals (there are often editorials about recent developments) and on the websites of scholarly societies. Current scholarly societies could be interesting to explore for researchers in anthropology or other social sciences.

In the words of the anonymized interviewee:

“we had a conference on this in [years several decades ago], at [our university], on the topic of we called it [our topic] and it was sort of a new field in [our discipline] and by the way we’re all [members of our discipline] it’s a multidisciplinary field now and I guess it always has been, but anyway we had this conference and people discovered that they’re breaking away from previously standard arguments / approaches [in our discipline] independently and in much the same direction and so it’s quite exciting to find that among the [less than 100] people that came to this conference that there was this commonality, and somebody said that we should keep in touch, and so we offered to set up this newsletter, and so we had a newsletter from [period of 5 years] but people began to send us manuscripts and people who didn’t need to publish in a refereed journal to get tenure sent us manuscripts and we began to get more and more articles and by [the end of the 5-year period] we said clearly there is a demand for the journal so we turned ourselves into a journal by getting ourselves an editorial board and establishing some procedures”.

This was a rich interview and content will be included in other posts. The purpose of this narrow excerpt is to focus on this challenge to the narrow focus on peer review.

This post is part of the resource requirements for small scholar-led open access publishing project.