The life of an academic editor is often a thankless task, working in the background with little acknowledgement of the hours spent at the keyboard. With that in mind, and to give you insight into who is behind the scenes actually editing your papers, we’re pleased to launch “Meet the Team”, where our hard-working, gifted editing team share more about their backgrounds as well as thoughts on editing and academic writing.
In this interview our Senior Editor, Asha Sardar, tells us about her experience, views and suggestions for authors.
Could you tell us a little more about your educational background?
I’m based in Toronto, Canada, and I graduated with my second Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto 6 years ago. My studies were mainly split between life sciences and foreign languages, but I majored in general Biology and Human Biology. I’ve worked in a variety of other fields, including healthcare administration and research. In addition to being an academic editor, I also work as a content creator.
How long have you worked in the academic editing industry? Why are you interested in this line of work?
I’ve worked as an academic editor since I graduated in 2015. Before that, I held various extracurricular roles throughout my studies, beginning as a general editor and eventually securing the role of Editor-in-Chief for a student-run academic journal (highlighting notable student research on campus). Moving into my role as an academic editor with AsiaEdit in 2015 felt like a natural next step. I think my main attraction to this line of work stems from my interest in language studies as well as my enthusiasm for detail and accuracy, particularly in writing.
Do you have any suggestions for non-native English authors to enhance their chances of successful publication?
I would encourage non-native English authors to keep concision, clarity, correctness, and consistency in mind while writing. This would help ensure that all of their arguments and evidence are presented clearly and effectively. I would also encourage them to ensure that their manuscripts conform to the general standards in their field or to the guidelines set out by the journal with which they are seeking publication. Finally, authors should ensure that their manuscripts are error free. Proofread, proofread, proofread! When in doubt, hire an editing service!
What are the most common grammatical errors that you come across when editing journal papers?
I find the most common errors involve verb tense usage/agreement and long and complex sentence structures. Although verb tense may be harder to master even for native English speakers, sentence structure is much simpler to improve. I find that writers frequently try to include as much information as possible within single sentences, often without realizing that this can actually confuse readers. Shorter, more concise sentences are much more effective.
You must have to do a lot of reading and editing every day. What are your tips for staying focused?
This is still challenging for me, but two things really help me stay focused. First, always work in as quiet of an environment as possible. It’s always extra difficult to keep your mind on track when several other things are going on around you. Second, use a timer. I work in 30-minute time slots, setting my timer for 30 minutes at a time and not stopping until it goes off. If you need to take a break before the 30 minutes is up, pause your timer. This will really give you an idea of how much time you spend on working vs. other things (breaks, snacks, checking your phone, and all of the other things we do to distract ourselves). In turn, you can better determine how much time to set aside for certain work/editing tasks. I find it also prevents me from unnecessarily/unconsciously shifting my attention elsewhere, makes me work faster, and gives breaks more meaning.
We will be speaking with another member of our editing team in the next issue. Do keep an eye out for it!
Meanwhile if you are looking for a professional editing service to improve your chances of publication success, check out our academic editing service which is trusted by many leading academics!
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