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Do freelance editors for academic and scientific researchers seek acknowledgement? A cross-sectional study

Issue: 45(2) May 2019. Original articles Pages 32 – 38

Joy Burrough-Boenisch
Freelance editor, translator and educator, Renkum, Netherlands, [email protected]


Objective: To investigate the practice among freelance language professionals relating to seeking acknowledgement for editing texts by EAL (English as an additional language) scholars and scientists.
Methods: Freelance editors were recruited from three European organisations for freelance editors and translators. They completed an 8-question online survey (country of residence, broad area of specialisation and
acknowledgement for their work). The data analyses are descriptive.
Results: There were 131 respondents, residing in 16 countries and representing four broad disciplinary areas (biomedicine (36;27.5%), humanities (27;20.6%), science (31;23.7%) and social science (37;28.2%). Netherlands based editors were the largest group (60;45.8%). Only 19 (14.5%) of all respondents always actively encouraged authors to acknowledge language assistance: The two main reasons for always or sometimes seeking acknowledgement were ethics and self-publicity, each mentioned by 33(60%) of the 55 ‘always’ + ‘sometimes’ respondents). Among the remaining 76 respondents, the two most frequently mentioned reasons for not seeking acknowledgement were never having thought about being acknowledged (24;26.7%) and the expectation that authors would introduce errors in the text before publication (21;23.3%).
Conclusions: Seeking acknowledgement is not a priority among these editors. They fear their work and reputation will be compromised by authors introducing post-editing errors and infelicities unintentionally and without consultation.


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