METM22 presentation

Choppy waters: an editor/translator’s foray into peer review as a submitting author

Oliver Shaw, Madrid, Spain

Many language service professionals have a hand in more than one pot. A quick glance at the MET members directory shows thirteen specific professional activities that describe what we do, one of which is “other". In this presentation I will describe my ongoing efforts to add “training-educating” in higher education to my list of professional roles, which previously included “editor", “translator" and “interpreter". Two years after completing my PhD on academic discourse, I set out to publish findings from my doctoral thesis without abandoning my duties as an in-house editor and translator. My first attempt resulted in demoralizing failure: a rejection from a peer-reviewed journal after having rewritten the paper almost entirely after a single round of reviewer critique.

This talk will chronicle the experience based on an autoethnographic study of myself as an editor and translator seeking to join the academic community and the challenges that this entails. I will examine some missteps in my approach to writing and responding to peer review despite my previous experience supporting authors with their publications. Most of the materials will be in narrative form supported by slides, though part of the discussion will draw on extracts from correspondence with the journal editor and reviewers, a research journal, and emails exchanged with my support network. I believe the talk will be helpful for conference participants who support early-career researchers as well as those considering academia as a possible career.

About the presenter

Oliver Shaw is an editor and translator specializing in medical research texts. In addition to his work as a language service professional, Oliver is also an adjunct professor at Middlebury College in Madrid, where he teaches Spanish for specific purposes within the health and healthcare fields.