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

The ingredients for editing cookbooks with Jude Blereau

1235280_658984820787615_327826813_nJoin us at our next meeting for an insight into editing cookbooks with chef, author, and food activist Jude Blereau.

Jude has been involved with the organic and wholefoods industry for more than 18 years. Her focus is on helping people learn about good food — what it truly is, where to get it, how to use it — and to give them the tools and information they need to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lives. Jude believes healthy food both nourishes and delights. She has published four cookbooks, the most recent of which, Wholefood Baking, was released in May, 2013.

At our meeting Jude will share her experiences and demonstrate her talents both as a writer and as a chef.

Where: Tom Dadour Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6008
When: Tuesday 15 October, 7.30 pm
RSVP and queries: to Cheryl Bettridge, at cheryl.bettridge@education.wa.edu.au or robinb@westnet.com.au
Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members

November networking meeting: defamation

Date: Tuesday 20 November 2012
Venue: Tom Dadour Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Time: 7.30 – 9.15
Cost: Members $5; non-members $10
RSVP: 19 November 2012 to Jan Knight

Tea, coffee, and biscuits will be provided.

Defamation in publications
At our final networking meeting for 2012, guest speaker
John Hammond, Director of Hammond Legal, will take us
into the tricky topic of defamation, something that every
editor should know about.

Everyone concerned with the writing and distribution, or
republishing, of defamatory matter may be liable – the writer,
editor, publisher, printer and, to some extent, distributor, although
it is a defence if secondary distributors such as librarians and
newsagents prove they did not know that the publication contained
defamatory matter.

Hughes, B (ed) 1993, The Penguin Working Words: An Australian Guide to Modern
English Usage, Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, p. 165.

~
Editing therefore requires knowledge of the following matters:
… A3.1 Current definitions of libel, defamation, obscenity,
discriminatory language, intellectual property, plagiarism, moral
rights and copyright, and their implications for a publication.
Council of Australian Societies of Editors 2001, Australian Standards for Editing
Practice, South Australia, p. 2.

~
Getting indemnity insurance for work doesn’t necessarily indicate
that something is dodgy.
SoE(WA) member, 2012

~
Pretty much every large corporation or government department I’ve
worked for in the last ten years has required my company to carry
professional indemnity insurance.
SoE(WA) member, 2012

October networking meeting: Cooking writer, editor and teacher Jude Blereau

Date: Tuesday 16 October 2012
Venue: Tom Dadour Community Centre
363 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Time: 7.30
Cost: Members $5; non-members $10
RSVP: 15 October 2012 to Robin Barnes
barney9277@optusnet.com.au
Tea, coffee, and biscuits will be provided.

Cooking with words

Our guest speaker is Jude Blereau, who will speak on writing and editing a cook book. This is a topic that has been requested a number of times and will be very interesting. So come and enjoy a very different topic. Jude has been asked to bring along her latest cook book for sale, if you would like to purchase on the night, it will be cash only and retail for $45.00. Read more on Jude Blereau at the website <http://www.wholefoodcooking.com.au>.

Jude Blereau is a natural foods chef, author, food coach, cooking teacher and real food activist who has been involved with the organic and wholefoods industry for more than 18 years. She first became involved in the natural food industry while living in the US in the late 1980s, where she was inspired by the work being done in health and nutrition. She returns there often.

In 1997, Jude co-founded The Earth Market, a much loved wholefood store and café in Perth, Western Australia. In 2001, she founded Whole Food Cooking. Her focus is on helping people learn about good food—what it truly is, where to get it, how to use it—and to give them the tools and information they need to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lives.

Jude released her first cookbook Wholefood … heal, nourish, delight in March 2006, and her second Coming Home To Eat … Wholefood for the Family in March 2008.

November networking session: editing scientific writing

Details
Date: Tuesday 15 November
Time: 7.30-9 pm
Place: Tom Dadour Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Cost: $5 members; $10 non-members
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
RSVP 10 November Robin Barnes

Fundamentals of science editing

We are very fortunate to have Professor David Lindsay as our guest speaker this month.

Professor Lindsay travels the world teaching researchers about scientific communication. Now an Emeritus Professor at The University of Western Australia, he developed and for many years taught units in science and its communication, and scientific extension, to undergraduates in the Faculty of Agriculture.

Professor Lindsay wrote A Guide to Scientific Writing, which can be found on the bookshelves of most scientists. His new book Scientific Writing=Thinking in Words was published in February 2011.

If you wish to improve the quality of your editing overall or if you have questions about editing technical writing, this is one networking meeting not to miss! Members and non-members are welcome, so bring your friends.

Feel free to promote this session around your networks by using this flyer.

October: Nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation

Details
Date: Tuesday 18 October
Time: 7.30-8.30 pm
Place: Tom Dadour Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Cost: $5 members; $10 non-members
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
RSVP 13 October Robin Barnes

James Hansen and Anne Surma will answer questions on grammar and punctuation, adding their knowledge and skills to tricky problems posed by members. If you have ever had a difficult text to edit or want to know why a certain rule applies to a particular text, if you hate seeing apostrophes put in the wrong places, or you don’t know the best way to use a semicolon, come to this workshop. Even if you’ve been an editor or proofreader for years, we guarantee you’ll learn something new!

The presenters

James Hansen joined the society in its foundation year and is an honorary life member. He was a committee member for many years. Now retired, James has been a high school teacher (English and geography), educational media producer, equal employment opportunity officer (Education Department of Western Australia), editor, and lecturer in traditional English grammar (at the meeting, you can buy his book Take Charge! Using apostrophes and plurals correctly: an easy, friendly guide). James has also published a couple of short stories.

Dr Anne Surma lectures at Murdoch University in the English and Creative Arts program. Anne has worked in private industry as an editor and writer and, more recently, as a workshop facilitator and consultant, advising on communication strategy and practice. Anne’s research interests include public communication as ethical discourse and creative practice; corporate responsibility; and discursive approaches to dominant and marginalised narratives in public and organisational stories. She has published chapters and refereed journal articles from her work, and her monograph, Public and professional writing: ethics, imagination and rhetoric, was published by Palgrave in 2005. Currently, Anne is under contract with Palgrave to produce her second monograph, The power of professional writing: effecting social change in a global culture. An editorial board member of two international journals, Journal of Communication Management and Prism, Anne also holds the honorary title of Distinguished Editor, conferred by the national organisation, the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd).

August: ‘Small publishers doing big things’

The publishing industry in Perth is not large but it is varied and vibrant, and it might surprise you to know how many small local publishers are finding niches in the industry and making a stellar name for themselves.

In August, our guests are two such publishers: S.J. (Steven) Finch, editor of the online magazine dotdotdash, and Tehani Wessely, publisher/editor of speculative fiction press FableCroft Publications.

Steven and Tehani will talk about their experiences in producing and promoting their works, and how editing fits into that process. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions, discussion and networking, and books will be available for sale.

S.J. Finch Steven Finch is a current PhD student at Curtin University, member of the Perth Zine Collective, as well as the editor and co-founder of dotdotdash magazine. dotdotdash is a tri-annual creative publication that launched its first issue in September 2009, and publishes creative literature and art with a focus on Australian and especially Western Australian writers. Since the publication of issue 2, the magazine has been distributed in WA and Victoria, and has attracted mention and favourable review in The Australian, The West Australian, Indigo, Sixthousand and The Canning Times. The seventh issue, ‘Sacred’, is being launched later this month.

Tehani Wessely is firmly entrenched in Australian speculative fiction and small press. As well as her role as publisher/editor of FableCroft, she has edited for Twelfth Planet Press, and judged for the Aurealis Awards, the WA Premier’s Book Awards and the CBCA Book of the Year. She also writes reviews, non-fiction and interviews for ASif! and Fiction Focus, and in 2008 was awarded the Ditmar (Australia’s best-known award in the scifi/fiction/fantasy genre) for ‘Best New Talent’. Her latest project for FableCroft is an anthology titled Apocalypse Hope (currently open to submissions).

Date and time: Tuesday 16 August 2011, 7.30–9.15 pm
Venue: Tom Dadour Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco (opposite side and one block east of King Edward Memorial Hospital)
Cost: $2 members; $5 non-members

RSVP 10 August Robin Barnes