Book review: Writing for science journals

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by Geoffrey Hart
Diaskeuasis Publishing
Quebec, Canada, 2014
Web: http://www.geoff-hart.com/index.html
Online bookstore:
Printed version of the book

Review by Stephen White (Editors WA)

In science publications as anywhere, it remains largely the case that early-career scientists are supposed to learn by osmosis what it means to write science well. Commonly, the skills needed to write good publications are gleaned to a greater or lesser degree from supervisors, who may or may not themselves be good writers.

Enter the editor, who is sometimes better placed to know what it means to write well for a successful publication. A 2014 book Writing for science journals: tips, tricks and a learning plan by Geoffrey Hart, Canadian science editor, addresses exactly this topic, and then some.

Bearing in mind that Geoff Hart has written this book mainly for writers of science publications, it is also true that understanding the principles of good writing is as essential for editors as it is for authors. As editors, our work must be informed by the requirements of the discipline, as well as by the standards of the intended publisher or publishing medium. Thus, editors in Australia—including thesis editors and especially, but not exclusively, editors of science writing—might find it useful to browse Writing for science journals as a supplement to other editing references.

But before you dive into the 600 page ebook, you can read a recent detailed review. At the author’s request, Stephen White (Editors WA) has written a review that may help other editors target chapters of Writing for science journals that best suit their needs.

Read the full review here.

Go directly to the internet to download the ebook here.


If you write it, but no one reads it, you still haven’t done it.

David Lindsay, 2011, Scientific writing = thinking in words:
CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, p. 3

SoEWA–IPEd transition 2016: 3rd ballot results

The results of the 3rd Society of Editors (WA) – IPEd transition ballot have been tallied. Members of the Society have voted by a substantial margin to approve the resolution that the Society shall wind up.

Total 62
Survey answers Number Percent
YES, I agree to the special resolution 60 96.8
NO, I reject the special resolution 2 3.2

This is a very pleasing turn out. More details can be viewed in surveysummary_all-results_final_11232016 derived directly from an export of data out of SurveyMonkey.

Once winding up of the Society is effected, this leaves Editors WA – as the branch of IPEd succeeding the Society – to represent, advocate for and support the interests of editors in Western Australia.

I would like to personally thank everyone who has participated in the process, from its beginnings in 2013–14 up to now, and into the future. Despite many uncertainties, doubts, fears, glitches and a multitude of considerations to be digested, it’s heartening to see such a large majority of members embracing the change.

It has not been easy and it has never been the only option; Canberra Society of Editors remains an independent organisation in that territory. Our task now is to make the most of the opportunities the national membership structure offers editors in Western Australia. Please support your branch.

Coming up

A few places are still available for the Christmas function:
When: Sunday 4 December
Where: The Royal in East Perth

A final AGM for the Society of Editors (WA) will open at 12.00 noon. The Christmas function will get underway from 12.30 pm. We will be acknowledging our debt to the Society of Editors (WA) since its inception – as EditorsWA – nearly 25 years ago.

Go to https://ipedmembers.memnet.com.au to login and book a place. Booking through MemNet is free; payment is per person on the day.

Ballot re: winding up of Society of Editors (WA)

NOTICE OF SPECIAL RESOLUTION

Important third ballot on IPEd Direct Membership and proposed winding up of the Society of Editors (WA) Inc.

Introduction

Following the results of the ballot that culminated in the General Meeting held on 16 May 2016:

  • memberships of most Society of Editors (WA) members were transferred to the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) on 1 July 2016
  • funds and assets of SOEWA are (as of October 2016) in the process of being transferred to IPEd
  • SOEWA ceased to be a society member of IPEd
  • a branch of IPEd in Western Australia — Editors WA — was formed.

These actions mean that, as determined by the constitution of SOEWA clause 25 and the Associations Incorporation Act 1987, 2015, SOEWA is now limited in its powers to actions related to winding up. Accordingly, the SOEWA committee invites members to vote on the following motion:

Special Resolution

That the Society of Editors (WA) A1008898X (‘the Society’) shall, according to the rules of the Society constitution clause 25 and the Associations Incorporation Act 1987, 2015, copies of which have been made available to each Member of the Society, voluntarily wind up and cease to operate as an incorporated society in Western Australia.

The SOEWA constitution, and the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 Part 6 (p. 27) and  Associations Incorporation Act 2015 Part 10, Division 2 (p. 68) can be viewed by clicking on the links.

This motion is put to the vote by online ballot, and may also be voted on by proxy, and in person at a General Meeting to be held on Monday, 21 November 2016. In circulating this notice, SOEWA is fulfilling its obligations to provide members with a minimum of 21 days notice before the resolution is presented to the General Meeting and the results of voting declared.

To pass a special resolution requires that at least 75% of eligible members who vote cast votes in favour of the resolution. If the resolution is passed, actions to initiate winding up of SOEWA will proceed forthwith.

How to vote

You must be a financial member or honorary life member of SOEWA in order to vote. Membership of Editors WA means you are also a member of SOEWA, until the society winds up. There are three ways to vote (you may only vote once using one of these).

1. Vote online

The link to a SurveyMonkey online ballot is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RL3RRDL
Please reply to either of the contacts below if you have any difficulty opening the SurveyMonkey page.
Online voting opens at 9.00 pm, Sunday 30 October 2016
Online voting will close at 9.00 pm, Sunday 20 November 2016.

2. Vote in person at the special general meeting

Date: Monday 21 November 2016
Time: 6:00 – 6:30 pm
Where: The Warehouse Café, 221 Onslow Road, Shenton Park WA 6008

3. Vote by proxy

Complete the ‘Appointment of proxy’ form. Send it by email to Stephen White, WA Councillor for IPEd, at southwind07@icloud.com or post it to PO Box 99, Subiaco, 6904. Proxy appointments must be received by SOEWA by 5 pm WST, Friday 18 November 2016. If posting, please allow enough transit time for delivery.

For enquiries on the voting process, contact:

Stephen White
southwind07@icloud.com
phone 0430 921 929
OR
Cheryl Bettridge, President, Society of Editors (WA)
cbettridge@hotmail.com
phone 0418 947 836

Thank you

Changes to contact emails

IPEd recently announced changes to contact email addresses for several positions on the Editors WA committee. The new emails have been created to standardise the lines of communication throughout IPEd, and to reflect the move towards a common ‘look and feel’ for IPEd branches across the country.

The new email address for Editors WA committee positions are as listed below.

President edwa.president@iped-editors.org
Secretary edwa.admin@iped-editors.org
IPEd councillor cr.edwa@iped-editors.org
Accreditation Board delegate edwa.abd@iped-editors.org
Budget (formerly Treasurer) edwa.budget@iped-editors.org

We have updated these addresses at various places in this website. For instance, if you go to Contacts on the left side of the Home page and, in the list of names of committee members you see there, click on Cheryl Bettridge, you will find it opens a new email message to edwa.president@iped-editors.org.

These position-based emails are now being used for all specified committee positions. Committee members without particular positions still use their personal email addresses.

These addresses allow you to directly contact the committee member best able to help with any questions, requests or suggestions to do with particular aspects of your membership, such as accreditation, council representation, and so forth.

For preference, we ask that you send enquiries about your IPEd membership to Nicole Mathers* at members@iped-editors.org. However, you can also contact me, Stephen White, or the secretary, Georgina Gregory, if you need an intermediary to speak with IPEd staff.

Please contact Stephen White if you find any email addresses in this website don’t work, or if position titles still point to personal emails. Please also contact Stephen to suggest further improvements to the website, or to let us know about corrections or updates for your Register of Editors profile (the website administrator position is not yet linked to an IPEd address).


(* The IPEd membership officer hired in July, Karen Gillen, has unfortunately had to resign for personal reasons. The position of membership officer is currently being handled by Nicole Mathers of Editors Victoria. We will keep you up to date if and when there are any other changes to IPEd staff positions.)

Welcome to the new IPEd!

On 1 July 2016, the transition from state society to direct, individual membership of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) took effect. A new branch of IPEd in WA—Editors WA—was constituted at the same time. Editors who were members of the Society of Editors (WA) at 14 June 2016 have had their membership transferred to be managed by IPEd.

The new Editors WA will support editors in Western Australia and continue to run activities for IPEd members: this includes regular meetings, networking events and professional development programs. Editors WA will continue for some time to host a branch website (http://editorswa.com), produce the Bookworm newsletter and maintain social media accounts (https://www.facebook.com/SocietyofEditorsWA/https://twitter.com/editorswa).

Questions specifically about membership may be emailed to the IPEd Membership Officer: members@iped-editors.org.

Once login usernames and passwords have been distributed, membership information may be viewed and updated via the new My Membership portal (https:ipedmembers.memnet.com.au/Login.aspx). This is also one avenue for booking meetings and events you would like to attend.

Over the next few days and weeks, you will notice changes to this website as we rebrand and realign the content to the new membership structure. For further information about changes to the way we, as individual members, will interact with IPEd, and with our state branch, please email WA IPEd councillor, Stephen White: southwind07@icloud.com.

Welcome to your direct membership of the Institute of Professional Editors – IPEd!

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IPEd from 1 July 2016 – what can you expect?

This page contains important information about changes to the Society of Editors (WA) Inc. For other news, events and options, please click this button

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From 1 July 2016, the members of state-based societies of editors that supported the IPEd transition will become direct members of IPEd. This includes Society of Editors (WA). Transfer of membership records is currently underway.

The new IPEd membership system, MemNet, will have an online member portal on the IPEd website that members will be able to use to:

  • review and update personal records
  • renew and pay subscriptions
  • book and pay for events
  • subscribe to the Editors Directory (ED), if eligible, and enter and maintain directory information
  • access members-only information.

At the same time, these societies of editors become branches of IPEd and will continue to organise events, member meetings, training and mentoring activities much the same way as the societies did. Events and meetings will be promoted on the branch websites but with bookings and payments handled by IPEd.

Renewing your membership
As a member of IPEd, we will keep the same membership renewal date as we had in our society. For members in Western Australia, the next renewal date will be 31 January 2017.  On this date, we will be sent a renewal notice from IPEd and will be able to renew our membership using the MemNet online portal.

WA members will receive a credit against the IPEd subscription fee for the unexpired portion of our membership (that is, until 31 January 2017). The new IPEd fee may be higher than our society fee, requiring a pro-rate top-up fee for the balance of the IPEd subscription for the year. We will receive an invoice indicating the top-up fee. The WA committee is considering ways to subsidise our members for this top-up amount.

More detail regarding the above is available in the ‘Your Transition questions answered’ document on the IPEd website.

IPEd membership fees for the 2016—17 financial year

Honorary Life MemberNil
Professional Member$180
Associate Member$135
Student Member$65
Corporate Member:
• 2–3 editorial staff
• 4–6 editorial staff
• 7–10 editorial staff*

$360
$720
$1,260
Concessional subscriptions (available for any of the above categories):
• Retired or temporary (>6 months)
• Concession-card holders
• Hardship consideration (for existing members only)


$85
$65
$65

* For more than 10 staff, add additional subscriptions as appropriate

Editors Directory (ED)
The records of the freelance registers and databases from the societies of editors will be transferred to IPEd and, soon after 1 July, the national Editors Directory (for professional members only) will be created. This will be publicly available on the IPEd website. The branches of IPEd will maintain their freelance registers until the ED has been developed to ensure a consistent online presence for freelancers.

Please refer to the FAQs page on the IPEd website for more information.

Memberships on the move

Membership_image

While we are always glad to receive new members, at present the Society of Editors (WA) is in the process of transitioning to direct membership of the Australian national body, the Institute of Professional Editors (iped-editors.org/).

This means that, in the period from 14 to 30 June 2016, new membership applications are unable to be processed. In this time the membership of financial SOEWA members will be transferred to direct membership of IPEd and a new Western Australian branch of IPEd EditorsWA – will be formed, becoming active as of 1 July 2016. The former committee of SOEWA will become the interim committee of EditorsWA, and the structures and funds of the society will be transferred and aligned with those of IPEd over the following months.

From 1 July 2016, new members are requested to register directly through IPEd on the IPEd website.

Thank you to everyone for your help and patience as we adjust to the new landscape. We look forward to welcoming you in our newly minted professional organisation for editors in Western Australia, a branch of the national body, IPEd!

Renewal of accreditation for 2011 AEs

A reminder for WA editors accredited in 2011: it’s time to renew your accreditation!

Accreditation is valid for five years. After this, you must renew your accreditation to continue to be recognised as an accredited editor (AE).

You don’t have to sit another exam for renewal but you will need to show that you’ve been actively involved in the editing profession and undertaken appropriate professional development activities over the past five years. All information should be provided to IPEd via the application form on the website.

Applications close 31 August 2016.

See Renewal of accreditation for more information, including the guidelines and application form.

If you have any queries about the exam, please send me an email.

Sue Thomson
Accreditation Board delegate WA

2011 accreditations due for renewal this year

If you gained accreditation in 2011 you will need to renew it later this year to retain your status as an accredited editor (AE).

We’ll be in contact with you about this in the next couple of months. In the meantime, take a look at the requirements for renewal on the IPEd website.

If you have any queries about the exam, please send me an email.

Sue Thomson
Accreditation Board delegate WA

Accreditation exam update

Preparations are in full swing for the next accreditation exam which will be held on Saturday 25 June 2016. Registrations will open in early March.

The structure of the exam, the allocation of marks, and the required pass mark have not changed. What will be different is that instead of being on paper, the exam will be presented as a set of Microsoft Word documents. To complete the exam, you will be required to edit passages of text onscreen, type in short passages of text, and select from multiple choice options or drop-down lists. But the exam will NOT be a test of expertise in Word and knowledge of advanced Word features is not required.

We will be holding an exam preparation workshop and will let you know more in the next few weeks. The workshop will cover the aims of the exam, how to prepare, what to study, how to manage time in the exam, and possibly a chance to review some basic editing practice. We strongly encourage anyone thinking of doing the exam to attend the workshop.

An online tutorial is being developed – this will demonstrate the onscreen format and provide tips for navigating around the documents. Also, at least one of the existing sample exams will be converted to the onscreen format around the time as registrations open. Make sure you read the guidelines for candidates on the IPEd website also.

If you’re a Mac user, we’re planning to make a number of Macs available. However, we may not be in a position to offer the same level of technical support as for PCs.

Fees have been set at:
• Society member sitting the exam for the first time (fee $610; early bird $580)
• Society member resitting the exam (fee $300; early bird $285)
• Non-society member sitting the exam for the first time (fee $765; early bird $730)
• Non-society member resitting the exam (fee $380; early bird $360).

The accreditation scheme is run on a cost-recovery basis. The Accreditation Board endeavours to keep the fees as low as possible, and has managed to avoid any increases since 2012. However, the onscreen exam has incurred some extra costs, particularly in the hire of venues. Although there are off-setting savings in many areas, it has not been possible to avoid a very small increase in the 2016 fees.

Thanks to Ted Briggs (Chair, Accreditation Board) for most of the work on this article.
If you have any queries about the exam, please send me an email.

Sue Thomson
Accreditation Board delegate WA
sjthomson22@yahoo.com.au