What is an academic editor

What Is An Academic Editor?

An academic editor is, very simply, an editor who edits academic texts. These pieces of writing can range from theses and dissertations to journal articles and assignments from students. Editing for academic writing is not simple. There are a lot of issues that you need to take into account when you edit an academic text.


Academic Editor Tip #1: Watch Your Tone


A lot of students will have never written in a formal academic manner before for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, although the resources are there at tertiary institutions to guide them in how to write in the style required, it is not a requirement for students to seek this advice. Thus, many theses and dissertations end up being written in ‘colloquial’ speak. This means that it’s up to the academic editor to ensure that the thesis or dissertation is always written in a very formal manner. (Click here for a schematic of how I go about academic editing.)

Academic Editor Tip #2: Know Your Referencing Guide

Each tertiary institution will follow their own guide to referencing. Massey University lists these:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Oxford
  • Harvard
  • Chicago

Built into Microsoft Word is a referencing function. How this works is that you select the referencing style that you require. You then input the information that the system requires you to enter based on the fields that it provides you.

However a word of caution is that sometimes tertiary institutions change little things in the referencing guide that are peculiar to their institution. For example, where a comma should in the parent style they change it to a comma. So if the student decides to use this automatic system of referencing, please be aware that you will not be able to change it as Microsoft Word follows their in-built system quite strictly.

Academic Editor Tip #3: Agree To Your Terms and Conditions Upfront

It’s good practice – from from a business and editing point of view – to have a set of terms and conditions that you and your academic editing client both agree to before work is started. This avoids a lot of potential miscommunication and negative feelings when it comes time to settle the account!