METM18 panel discussion
Acknowledgments in the eyes of scholars using language services: perceptions of language professionals
Wendy Baldwin, Mar Fernández Núñez, Jackie Senior, Kate Sotejeff-Wilson. Moderator: Valerie Matarese
Editors and translators of academic texts have a variety of attitudes about being formally acknowledged for their work – some insist on it for transparency’s sake, some eschew it because they are not in control of the final version of the text, and others leave the decision to the authors or decide on a case-by-case basis. But what are the views of users of academic language services? In this moderated discussion session, four language professionals will share anecdotes and discuss their own clients’ practices about giving credit for writing assistance. The discussants work in different academic fields in different settings across Europe, so the session will highlight the range of scholars’ attitudes to acknowledgment.
Topics for discussion may include: How do scholars deal with acknowledging writing assistance? Do acknowledging practices differ between editing and translation? Do they vary among genres, disciplines or countries? Is acknowledgment a decision made solely between author and language professional, or do university officials, agencies, journal editors or publishers have a say?
The insights revealed by the discussion will help editors and translators understand how their clients may react to our requests (or refusals!) for acknowledgment on academic texts, and will shed light on how our work is viewed by academia.
About the panel
Valerie Matarese is an authors’ editor specializing in the biomolecular sciences. Born in New York, she trained in biochemistry and cell and molecular biology at US universities and worked in research in the US and Italy prior to launching a sole proprietorship offering editing, writing and training services. Valerie served as editor of the multiauthor volume Supporting Research Writing: Roles and Challenges in Multilingual Settings (Chandos Elsevier, 2013), based on a panel discussion from METM09. Her latest book is Editing Research: The Author Editing Approach to Providing Effective Support to Writers of Research Papers (Information Today, 2016).
Wendy Baldwin is an authors’ editor and ES>EN translator specializing in linguistics, language acquisition, education, computer science and engineering. Prior to starting her freelance business in San Sebastián, Spain, Wendy trained in linguistics in the US and taught academic writing in universities and colleges in the US and Sweden. She has recently returned to her academic writing roots, offering writing courses and workshops to academics and PhD students in the Basque Country.
Mar Fernández Núñez was born in Madrid but now works in Paris. She attended Spanish and French universities and trained in biology, environment, agronomy and oceanography. She first worked as a researcher in fisheries for the IFREMER (France) and the IEO (Spain). In 1999 she started her translator career, mainly working for agencies, and in 2012 she started teaching Spanish for foreigners. Since 2007 she is a freelance and combines her dual scientist and translator experience to help Spanish authors publish their research articles in specialized journals. She has conducted training in scientific translation for Spanish and French translators’ professional associations (Asetrad and SFT), and she has published two articles about academic writing in the journals Traduire and La Linterna del Traductor.
Jackie Senior works as an editor and webmaster for an ambitious research department in the Netherlands (Dept of Genetics, University of Groningen/UMCG, the Netherlands). Nowadays she works mostly on biomedical texts but she started as a geologist working for Shell. She has been editing and translating for more than 40 years. She was a founder member of SENSE (Society of English-language professionals in the Netherlands) in 1990, served twice on its executive committee, and is now an honorary member.
Kate Sotejeff-Wilson enjoys “midwifing” people’s texts into being. She has been translating and editing non-native English writing for academics for nearly two decades, starting during her history PhD research in London, Warsaw and Berlin. Born in Wales, she is now also a Finn and an active NEaT member. Her favourite projects this year have been translating Kimmo Katajala’s Historical Atlas of Vyborg (AtlasArt, Helsinki 2018), and language editing Elina Vuola’s Searching for a Cross-Cultural Virgin Mary (Routledge, Oxford 2018).