It is quite well known in the PhD community that research is not the only thing students should (or could) do. You may remember that I have blogged about this a while back when I had a bee in my bonnet about wanting to do something extra. I am the type of person where one project just is not enough!
Anyway, I have been working on that something extra and I’m please I can tell you about this now.
A while back, my supervisor Prof Hazel Hall sent me an email as there was an information science related journal asking for help. Apparently Hazel thought I’d like to help out and forwarded me the email of the person who was asking for that specific help. Apparently, Hazel was right! I contacted the editor about the advert I had seen and got to know more about what was being offered, so here it goes…
The email was advertising for voluntary copy editors (a vague definition here) for a journal called Information Research. Now Information Research is an open access journal so the appointed person (or people) needed to have a belief in this and a desire to do something about it. I’m quite an open person myself and I believe wholeheartedly that research should be too. I delivered a talk not so long ago and I questioned what happens when research is not open access, and where do people go? If we don’t have our research open access then we are technically restricting who can see it and how… and that’s not the best approach as not everyone can subscribe to high price journals, or journals with a lots of restrictions in viewing (Information Research is not one of these journals I might add).
Anyway, I contacted the journal’s editor, Tom Wilson, who some of you may have already heard of. Tom is recognised for his work in the information science fiend and to be quite honest, I had not heard of his work before until I started my PhD at Edinburgh Napier. I heard of Toms work during the ISIC conference last year so when saw his email at least I could put a face to the name. I’m quite sure he cannot do that for me (yet!). Tom sent me a ‘test article’ to see how I handled the copy editing process, and to see if there were any mistakes I could not spot.
Luckily, before I edited the article, I had read the requirements for the journal type and style so I definitely understand my task. I found that it was not an easy thing to do, firstly as I was not used to editing articles where I did not understand some of the content, and secondly because it’s a generally hard task to do in the first place! The worst part of the process was knowing that I myself make some of the mistakes that I pointed out so I know how it feels to be corrected on these things.
It appears that I must have done an alright job in the copy editing test process and that my efforts were not unnoticed. I can now happily say that I am a copy editor for Information Research and that my editing skills are going to be put to the test!