Reflecting on 2021 as a self-employed academic editor

The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and a long lockdown in Sydney in the second half of 2021 has been a time of reflection for many on work and work–life balance (and whether working from home helps or not). Editors are used to working efficiently from home offices but there was still a change.

Work life continued in my home office with email inquiries and the occasional more desperate phone call, but without the usual breaks away from the computer. Universities have been affected by COVID and funding reforms, but academics seemed to be even more productive, or have more recognition of the need and value of editing. I edited student theses that were clearly affected by the COVID pandemic in various ways from data collection to challenges to wellbeing. Research continues to be important, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to the dissemination of high quality research.

My ongoing work in voluntary roles on IPEd’s Pay Rates Working Party and Standing Committee on Academic Editing highlighted some important issues in the profession this year. I analysed responses to IPEd’s survey of members which focused on income and working conditions, and wrote a report for members. The survey confirmed the low annual work hours and income of many self-employed editors. I will continue to work to improve the economic status of editors.

As a member of IPEd’s Standing Committee on Academic Editing, it was pleasing to devise and release guidance on indicative costs of academic editing, and a range of other useful resources for academic editors.

We need to raise awareness amongst clients of good practices for an effective relationship and raise awareness amongst professional editors of business practices for a sustainable career.

As part of my professional development, I participated in the online IPEd conference. I renewed my status as an accredited editor, and am a mentor in IPEd’s mentoring program.

2022 brings continued focus on serving my own clients and improving the professional status of editors so we can continue to provide high quality editing for clear communication.

Here’s a recap of my blogs in 2021:

Please contact me for editing inquiries at rhdaniels@bigpond.com

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