Friday, July 20, 2012

Contract Editing Jobs with American Journal Experts - First hand experience from Rebecca

I wanted to share my experiences working as a contract editor for American Journal Experts (AJE) and let other postdocs (and grad students) know about this opportunity.   AJE recruits PhD-level scientists to edit papers that were written by international authors for submission to English-language journals.  The editors try to make the grammar and style of the text sound like a native-English speaker wrote it; they don’t try to edit or even comment on the scientific content.   I joined last fall after they held a recruitment session on campus.  So far, I have edited about 9 papers (I took a big break to write a review for lab), and I think it has been a good experience.  I like knowing that I am helping the authors have a better chance of getting their work published.  Senior-level editors at AJE check each assignment and give you feedback, so you know how you are doing and can be sure that the author receives a high-quality edit on the paper.  As a result, my writing skills have definitely been fine-tuned, which has helped me write my own papers more clearly.

What I like about this job is that it is under my control.  When you sign up, you tell AJE what fields you feel comfortable with, and they only assign you papers in those categories.   For example, I edit papers in Biotechnology, Analytical Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering.  Furthermore, you decide how many papers you want to edit each week, if any.  When I am working late in lab, or working on my own paper or a grant, I set myself to “unavailable” so that I am not distracted by editing assignments.  When I am available, I limit it to 1 paper per week (though more are allowed), so that I can do the editing in my spare time and not detract from my lab work.  The papers vary from interesting to rather routine.  It usually takes me a few hours to complete an edit, though I know that in general I am a slow editor.  The most poorly written paper I received took me about 6 hours to edit, which I was discouraged by, but the very next paper I got only took 2 hours.  It averages out.  You do get paid for each paper you edit, and while the compensation isn’t going to make you rich, it’s nice to have a little extra spending money each month.

I am happy to talk to you about my experiences if you are curious.  Anyone who is interested can apply for the editor position under Contractor Opportunities on their “careers” page:

Rebecca Pompano