Portraiture

This year’s IPEd National Editors Conference wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Dr Lisa Lines is the woman behind our Gold Sponsor, Capstone Editing.

As an academic editor, Lisa combines two passions: words and tertiary education. Prior to moving into editing as a profession, she spent more than a decade in tertiary education, lecturing in history and as an academic learning advisor. Lisa feels experience in the education sector is valuable for academic editors.

Although she formally moved into academic editing 16 years ago, Lisa’s editing career began early. She tutored and helped high school friends with their essays. Her favourite subjects were French and English. This formative experience sparked a passion Lisa has explored through her own education and working life.

“I have always had a love of words, reading and writing,” Lisa says. “I am very passionate about precise and elegant communication, especially in the written form.”

Lisa has continued to learn throughout her career. She holds two PhDs and has both worked and researched at a tertiary level, so academic editing is a perfect fit. She loves editing diverse, interesting and innovative research.

“That’s why I established Capstone Editing specifically as an academic editing service, rather than a generalist editing company,” she says.

A lack of understanding about the value of a professional editor is a challenge for students in the internet age. People can choose from thousands of editors all over the world, but they may not know what to look for when selecting their editor. Lisa believes that unqualified or inexperienced people offering academic editing services has led to an increase in plagiarism through substantive editing.

“When someone has a massive number of services to choose from, but doesn’t know how to select an academic editor that best fits their needs and can perform the job to the required standards and following the required guidelines, this can be a huge problem,” Lisa says.

As well as more public education about the role of academic editing, Lisa would like to see a revision of the ‘Guidelines for editing research theses’ and a widely accessible national training program for aspiring academic editors.

“We all still receive inquiries every week from people who simply don’t understand why we charge what we charge because they have no idea of the level of skill and the amount of time that it takes to perform a thorough, professional edit of an academic document, let alone a postgraduate thesis,” she says.

Two ways Lisa feels we can raise the profile of editing and move the industry forward are by coming together at events such as the National Editors Conference and by increasing IPEd membership. Through technology, editors can connect with colleagues around the country or the world to share information and work through issues we face as a group.

“Editing can be an isolating occupation, especially for freelancers but even for in-house editors who largely work from home these days, since the technology to support that is readily available,” Lisa says.

“I’ve always found that members of IPEd are collaborative, and we need to extend on that. We need to work together to enhance our skills, avoid price undercutting and to improve our conditions overall.”

At the conference Lisa is looking forward to meeting in person editors she’s met online and the formal and informal discussions about how to advance our profession as a unified national organisation. She’s also passionate about professional development for editors and recommends new editors seek out development and mentoring programs.

“I would say these days it is often expected that a professional editor will have a tertiary qualification in editing, such as a Graduate Diploma or Masters in Editing and Publishing,” she says.

“But I would stress that these qualifications, in and of themselves, are no substitute for copious amounts of practice, individual reading and learning, the professional development program offered by our IPEd branches and mentorship, such as that offered by the national mentorship program initiated by the Canberra Society of Editors.”

Lisa is conducting a workshop and speaking about academic editing at the 8th IPEd National Editors Conference in Brisbane. Visit Capstone Editing for more information about her work.