When editors compare notes

Sally Hill & Daphne Visser-Lees, both from the Netherlands

When freelancers edit their clients’ manuscripts and grant proposals to improve both the message and the language, they usually work in isolation. While getting repeat work is usually an indication that we are doing something right as authors’ editors, we rarely compare notes with colleagues. So how do we really know if other editors are making the same kind of changes? This session will offer a brief insight into the editing processes of two experienced freelance medical editors. Before the session, the presenters will edit the same short text. During this head to head, they will compare their edits and comments, defending their decisions and noting differences in editing styles. Attendees will also be invited to share their thoughts on whether or not they agree with the changes.

The presenters will also share their views on client communication. Having known each other for some time and passed on clients to one another, the presenters are well aware that they do not always change the same things. But they are also aware that clear communication is essential so that the client knows what to expect in terms of the level of editing provided.

This session is likely to be of interest to both experienced and novice language editors, mainly those working for clients in academia. The text will be medical but not too technical, and accessible to anyone working with English. You can attend the session to compare your own skills with those of others with experience in your field, or simply to find out more about what being an authors’ editor involves.


About the presenters

Sally Hill

Sally Hill studied biology at the universities of Sheffield and Nijmegen. A former research scientist, she works as a freelance medical writer, editor and trainer in scientific writing at Dutch universities. She finds her experience in education sometimes slows down her editing work, though using the comments function to educate her non-student clients about good writing is not necessarily a bad thing. She is a keen networker and helps organise meetings for other Netherlands-based science and medical writers. She’s also a contributor to and editor of the SENSE blog.

Daphne Viseer-Lees

Daphne Visser-Lees has more than 40 years’ experience as a nurse and operating assistant, in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Being able to decipher physicians’ handwriting and abbreviations turned out to come in handy when she also set up as a Dutch-to-English medical translator. She is also an authors’ editor and trainer in scientific writing. Daphne volunteers for SENSE in her role as secretary on the executive committee

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