Listed alphabetically by presenter.
Viva la Novella editing competition
Viva La Novella has been running for three years, seeking out new works of short fiction. After the first year, the competition expanded to provide a unique professional development opportunity for editors as well as writers.
The nature of editing makes it difficult to judge. When the final product is put forward, it’s hard to be sure of the editorial component. What was the state of the original text? How long did the editor have to work on it? How much liaison was required? What were the budgetary restraints? Were there specific challenges and limitations?
Viva is a structured program that fosters good editorial practice from editors who are selected in a competitive industry process. The editor-judges choose a manuscript and then proceed through the processes of contracting and manuscript development to print and post-publication promotion.
It is a valuable means for talented early career fiction editors to develop their skills. They receive:
- recognition for their contribution, vital in an industry where editors are too often invisible
- mentorship from both publisher and editorial mentor
- leverage to further their careers with a prize-winning work to their name
- experience of selection of manuscripts, guidance with the stages of production from assessment and editing through to production and launch.
Viva la Novella gives editors the chance to be publisher, project manager and editor of a work of their choosing. It helps emerging editors overcome the hurdle of their first commission and results in the publication of high-quality Australian short fiction.
Teaching editing: online approaches to a moving target
How do you convert a set of postgraduate distance education editing courses to online delivery, expanding coverage from print to digital and beyond?
This is the story of one approach, a guide to the directions taken in revising a university editing and publishing program. The highlights?
- straddling traditional and emerging technologies in current industry practice
- balancing Australian English and editing practice for Australian students, including a focus on the Australian standards for editing practice and IPEd accreditation requirements, with the language and usage needs of international students
- moving from a paper-based, external program to integrated online delivery, while retaining a practical, hands-on focus
- expanding coverage to incorporate major new content areas including fiction editing, freelancing, academic editing and digital publishing
- developing options for students in specialist and interdisciplinary Masters programs
- sourcing authentic manuscripts across multiple genres for students’ major projects
- introducing an online publishing platform for students to showcase their skills.
This presentation outlines the choices and decisions taken in a substantial revision of an online editing program. The pedagogical, technical and logistical challenges raise broader issues for the future of editing education.
Pamela Hewitt, AE, has been involved in editing and publishing for over 25 years. After an in-house career in educational and academic editing, she established a freelance editorial practice specialising in fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work includes educational and mentorship roles. Pamela has taught in universities, and run editing courses for writers’ centres, and societies of editors around Australia, in New Zealand and Singapore.
Improving subject access to the Office for Learning and Teaching’s resource collection
Philip Hider, Barbara Spiller, Pru Mitchell, Robert Parkes, Ying-Hsang Liu, Carole Gerts, Carla Daws, Barney Dalgarno and Sue Bennett
The federal government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) has built up a collection of resources for teachers in the higher education sector. Although these resources are freely available on the OLT website, the OLT regards them as underutilised.
A group of librarians and academics from the Australian Council for Educational Research, Charles Sturt University and the University of Wollongong has been commissioned to reorganise the database, using more accurate and consistent metadata. The project is due to be completed in June 2015.
This paper is a case study focusing on the process of improving subject access to this collection.
It describes how existing controlled vocabularies in the education field were evaluated as candidates for adoption, according to various criteria, including the depth to which the vocabularies cover the subfield of higher education, their linguistic and ontological alignment with the target audience, their levels of maintenance and institutional support, and the extent to which they conform to international standards.
The paper then describes how the Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors (ATED) was selected as coming closest to meeting OLT requirements, but that, as a general education vocabulary, it lacked some of the specificity needed to describe higher education research. Areas where ATED’s coverage was not adequate were identified via a mapping exercise. Selected terms were then assessed for their suitability to be incorporated into ATED.
This paper highlights how established vocabularies can not only be utilised in different environments, but can also themselves be strengthened through the process.
Associate Professor Philip Hider has been head of the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University since 2008. He publishes, researches and teaches in the field of information organisation. Philip is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, an associate of the Australian Library and Information Association, holds a PhD from City University, London, and served on the Australian Committee on Cataloguing from 2004 to 2009.
Barbara Spiller has worked as a cataloguer and indexer at the Australian Council for Educational Research’s Cunningham Library for five years. She co-edited the 4th edition of the Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors.
Pru Mitchell is manager of Information Services at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Management of vocabularies has featured in Pru’s recent education librarianship experience with involvement in ACER’s Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors, and previously the SCIS Subject Headings List, and the Schools Online Thesaurus. She is an adjunct lecturer in the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.
Demystifying numbers: editing numerical content in prose, diagrams, tables and graphs
Although this is the age of ‘big data’, some editors are not confident editing publications that are dense with numbers or statistics. Yet the goal of the editor is the same as with pure text documents: provide clarity for the reader by ensuring the numerical content (prose, diagrams, tables, charts and graphs) convey the intended meaning.
This presentation will demystify the world of numbers and provide guidelines on how to approach editing any text with a numerical component. It will identify the options for presentation of numerical data, and discuss the rise in the use of infographics and how design elements can be misleading. Examples of best (and worst) practice will illustrate some simple principles and draw parallels with the approaches used for editing text to achieve clarity, consistency and completeness. The topics will include the elements of good design for tables and graphs; terms that have a precise meaning (such as ‘significant’) in a research context; and guidelines for deciding on display format (table or graph) for different data types.
Denise Holden, BComm MA, majored in statistics and worked as a media analyst and researcher prior to establishing a communications consultancy. Her corporate career included roles in marketing, media, advertising and research. She has extensive experience in statistical analyses and in writing and editing research reports and presentations. She assumed her first editor role in 1995 as editor of Media Update, a monthly newsletter reporting on trends in the media industry.
‘Evidence of hype’—accuracy and clarity in science writing and editing
Dr Julie Irish AE
Science is integral to our understanding of the world, but we’re not all scientists. We rely on reports of scientific progress and discoveries to help us make informed decisions, and the language we use in science writing can make all the difference. Does ‘no evidence that ice cream causes cancer’ mean that ice cream doesn’t cause cancer, or that no-one has done any studies on it? If ‘the benefits of eating spaghetti are yet to be shown’, how do we know there will be benefits? And is ‘a 50% greater risk’ always meaningful? I will discuss how to recognise and avoid biased language, how to write clearly and accurately about risk and evidence, and why nothing can be scientifically proven.
Styling Australian science
Dr Julie Irish AE, Dr Janet Salisbury AE ELS
In 2013, Biotext took on the daunting task of developing and publishing a style manual for scientific and technical writing and editing. The Australian manual of scientific style (AMOSS) is an easy-to-use resource for anyone who writes or edits scientific, technical or other complex information. We will describe the process of creating AMOSS, from initial concept, through gathering content, grappling with the nuts and bolts of scientific style
(including where to follow Australian Government style and where to recommend a change), and designing and publishing in print and interactive digital formats.
Dr Julie Irish, AE, used to be a research scientist but decided she liked words more than lab work. She works as a science writer and editor for Biotext Pty Ltd, and specialises in health and medical topics. She is based in Sydney.
Planning your indexing legacy
Frances S. Lennie
The catalyst for this talk was the excellent presentation by Judith Cannon and Jenny Wood (‘Empty chair: succession planning for indexers’) at the ANZSI ACT/NSW regional conference in August 2014. We will look at this topic from the perspective of the freelance indexer. The adage that indexers never die but simply fade away—literally or metaphorically—begs the question about what happens to your ongoing indexes (revision, serial and cumulative) and the potential impact on clients. A career based on closely built relationships need not be finite: with some forethought it can be extended indefinitely. This talk will look at ways to gracefully pass the baton to your eventual successor with minimum disruption to the indexing and publication process.
Frances S. Lennie
In this small-group format we will explore some of the overlooked features of the software that enhance the work experience. Come and find out what you’ve been missing, be prepared to ask questions and share work habits and ideas. Together we can all learn something new and worthwhile.
Frances S. Lennie began her indexing career in 1977, working on medical and economics texts for Holt-Saunders Publishing Co. in the United Kingdom. After her relocation to the United States in 1982, she continued building her indexing business while developing indexing software for private use that was released in 1986 as CINDEX™. Her company, Indexing Research, continues to develop and maintain CINDEX (for PC and Mac) and provides indexing and abstracting services in medicine and the humanities, as well as file conversion services and software training. Fran served as treasurer for the American Society for Indexing (ASI) from 1992 to 1998 and as ASI president 2003–2004 and 2010–2011. She was honoured with the Theodore C. Hines Award in 2005 for continuous dedication and exceptional service to ASI.
From bakkies to takkies, amabokoboko to zozo huts: an ‘A to Z’ of indexing texts in South Africa
Thanks to the influence of at least 10 languages on South African English, indexers in South Africa are often faced with a multitude of complex lexical challenges when it comes to indexing subjects and concepts, especially in publications that are likely to have an international audience. This is graphically illustrated in the title of this presentation, where the influences of Afrikaans (bakkies, takkies), trade and other names indigenised to African languages (zozo), and coinages involving two or more languages (amabokoboko) are clearly evident—all of them words familiar to most South Africans. The indexer will therefore need clear guidelines as to the conventions to be followed: italicise such words or not; provide their standard English equivalents in the entry; where to place them in an index (let not appearances deceive!); whether to provide double entries; or treat them in some or other accessible way for the unwitting reader! Some of the commonest indexing challenges are presented in this session.
You’re only as good as your briefs
Briefs give service providers the essential information and instructions that enable them to do their jobs to the satisfaction of their clients. There’s always a degree of assumed knowledge among those ‘in the know’ in our field—ranging from basic to specialised—so a brief should contain only enough information to get the specific job done. Right? Or should it be anything but ‘brief’ if the service provider is to deliver the goods on time, within budget and to the specified specs and standard?
In this session, through specific examples, we’ll investigate the requirements of good briefs, their purpose and their content. In the end, an effective brief should ensure that any gap between expectations and deliverables is reduced to negligible—and we have satisfied, happy clients, reputations intact and repeat business!
John Linnegar, an Accredited Professional Text Editor, has been active in the publishing industry for more than 30 years, as author, text editor, proofreader and indexer. He has been training text editors, proofreaders, subeditors, indexers and project managers since 1999; in 2013, his index for Text editing: a handbook for students and practitioners (UPA, 2012) was a runner-up in the ASAIB Awards. His PhD research at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, is focused on developing an effective blended learning model for mentoring language practitioners online.