Roles of the authors’ editor in an increasingly competitive knowledge industry

Moderated by Sally Burgess
Panellists: Valerie Matarese (Italy), Margaret Cargill (Australia), and Maria-Lluïsa Gea Valor (Spain)
This panel brings together three presentations on the work of authors’ editors, i.e. editors who work with authors (rather than publishers) to make draft texts fit for purpose.  It seeks to define current roles and suggest future prospects for these editors who face increasing competition from online text revision services. The first presenter, Valerie Matarese, will discuss the lack of awareness of the term authors’ editor on the part of the general public, publishers and authors, and even other language professionals, a state of affairs which has led to confusion about what authors' editors do (and do not do). Her presentation will review current misconceptions about author editing, illustrate what can be done to raise the profile of these editors, and explain why it is important to do this. Next, a member of ENEIDA (the Spanish National Team for Inter-cultural Studies of Academic Discourse) will report on a survey of 1,717 researchers at four universities and one research institute in Spain. Findings from the strategies and training needs sections of the survey suggest that Spanish researchers prefer to work with editors who have field-specific expertise and consider that it is these professionals who should play a key role in English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP) training. Margaret Cargill, herself an ERPP trainer, will then describe her work as a post-training authors’ editor. She will explain how editors can take advantage of the new metalanguage and awareness of language function that authors have gained through attending training workshops – regardless of their language background. The panel will conclude with an open discussion on the future of author editing.
Valerie Matarese is an independent editor based in north eastern Italy. Born in New York, she trained in biomedical sciences at US universities and worked as a researcher in university settings and at multinational firms in the USA and Italy. In 1997, she launched an independent enterprise offering editing, writing and information research, and has served publishers, university researchers and companies offering services such as copy-editing, authors’ editing, team research writing and related training. She is the editor of Supporting Research Writing: Roles and Challenges in Multilingual Settings (Chandos, 2013).

Margaret Cargill runs a small consultancy business in Adelaide, Australia called ‘SciWriting: Communicating science effectively in English’, specialising in training, and holds an adjunct senior lectureship in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide. She began as a teacher of German and French in Australian high schools, has worked in the USA, Switzerland and Tonga (South Pacific), and earned a doctorate in Education in 2011 with a thesis on collaborative work between science and language experts. Her scientific writing and train-the-trainer workshops are given in Australia and Asia, notably China and Indonesia.
Maria-Lluïsa Gea-Valor is a Senior Lecturer in English Language, Linguistics and ESP at Universitat Jaume I. Her research interests lie in the field of genre analysis, especially evaluative and promotional genres. She is a member of the ENEIDA (the Spanish Team for Intercultural Studies on Academic Discourse).

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