A Conversation for Volunteer to be a Sub-editor

I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 1

Lily-LLM

Hello! I have been visiting h2g2 for a few months, and I finally pluck up the courage to write here. I want to sub-edit, and I have read the guidelines for sub-editors. What should I do next?

BTW, here's some background of me: I did translation and linguistics in the University, and I have been working in an NGO on environmental issues for two years. I have no sub-editing experience, but I love to read and write, and I volunteer as a translator regularly. I hope this will do. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of some help! Thx!!

Lily


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 2

Malabarista - now with added pony

Hi Lily, good to have you hear - and excellent that you've taken the first step and read the guidelines!

May I ask which languages you translate into/out of? Mere curiosity, because I'm a part-time translator myself. smiley - ok

Before you start subbing, you'll need to get a feel for the House Style and how the system works, so I suggest you have a look around Peer Review and comment on a few entries - or even write one of your own, we can always use more on linguistics!


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 3

Lily-LLM

Hi, nice to meet you, and thanks for your advice!

I do Chinese/ English translations, mostly subtitles. It's fun! I can watch all the movies and drama I like and (sometimes) get paid. Sometimes I feel like a magician smiley - blush, turning a piece of art into another form and bringing joy (or tears, depending on the theme) to a group of audience that the writer/artist was not aware of.

Time to go and check out the peer review forum. Thanks again!

Lily


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 4

Malabarista - now with added pony

smiley - magic Sounds like a great job. I know of at least one other person on h2g2 who does subtitles, but his are Dutch.

If you need any help, feel free to ask. I'm a sub-editor myself, and a scout, so I know my way around those fairly well by now.

Have you been watching us long? smiley - bigeyes


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 5

Lily-LLM

It's a great job, pity the tasks come with deadlines as a package.

I have been around for a few months. I came across this site when I was doing research. The website is brilliant, it talks about everything and anything, in a voice that never sounds detached if I must say. I love it.

Thanks for your offer, I will certainly need help soon!

Lily
P.s. I read your profile, it's really impressive! Have you been sub-editing here for long?


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 6

The H2G2 Editors

Hi Lily. Great news that you would like to become a sub-editor. Sounds like Mala is doing a great job of pointing you in the right direction. Please let us know once you think you've got a feel for the style and the way Peer Review works, and feel free to ask us anything you like about the process. Cheers smiley - ok


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 7

Malabarista - now with added pony

Glad you're enjoying h2g2, Lily. As you may have noticed, things are a little chaotic around here right now, but we're working hard to save it!

I've been subbing for a few years now - not as much as I'd like, lately, because it's very similar to what I do for my job at the moment.


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 8

Lily-LLM

Hello everybody! *wave*

Thanks for your offers of help! I do have a few questions, and they are a bit silly. Hope you don't mind me asking.

I read that the sub-editor will be given "a batch of entries" to sub-edit. Does that mean the sub-editing work involves rewriting the entries of similar topics into a single entry/article?

And second, I see one of the sub-editor's job is to make sure the final product comply with the houserules; but other than that, how far does the revision/sub-editing process go? For example, if a certain point is too brief/ lengthy, is it acceptable to introduce new content/ summarise the points/ rearrange the content?
(I understand the researchers value their entries, so I am rather concerned about what we can/should do to their creations.)

Thanks again. *run off to read some more*

Lily


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 9

Malabarista - now with added pony

Don't worry, those are all excellent questions! smiley - magic

The "batch of entries" just means you'll usually get two - or three, if you'd rather have three - entries to work on at a time. It's just less work for the Eds that way, and means you can pick which one you want to work on first. smiley - ok

You can certainly change the entry around if it really needs it. But a light touch is preferable, because as you say, people can be very precious about their entries. It's best to have them re-write that kind of thing themselves while the entry is still in Peer Review; that's why we have it, after all!

But sometimes you'll find entries that have been selected that do clearly still need a lot of work - especially ones by first-time authors or non-native English speakers (we have quite a few of those.)

Some sub-editors don't, but as a general rule, most of us contact the authors of the entries we're subbing. So when you do that, you can either ask an author to clarify or even re-write specific passages, or re-write them, then tell the author about the changes you've made and give them a chance to read over the entry again before it gets sent back to the Editors. It's not mandatory, but it's generally considered good manners.

But the fact that you're taking time to think about these things is a good sign that you'll make an excellent sub-editor!

How are you getting on with h2g2 in general? smiley - smiley


I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 10

Lily-LLM

Thank you thank you!! I get it now ~ thanks for your detailed explanations!<

I visit h2g2 every other day. There is always something interesting to read. I think it's the writing style that I like the most- detailed but never overly encyclopedic, funny with a hint of sarcasm. It usually make my day.

I think I can only tell if I understand how sub-editing works by trying it. How should I start?



I want to be a sub-editor!

Post 11

Malabarista - now with added pony

Have you got a topic you're particularly interested in that you'd be willing to write an entry about? If you put a piece of your own through the system, you'll understand better how it works.

Otherwise, I suggest that you visit Peer Review, find an entry currently being reviewed, and comment on it. And read the other comments, of course; that will help you see how we try to fit them to the house style.

This might be a good one to start with, since it was written by a first-time author who's getting a lot of feedback: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/A80646762

But just take a look at the list and find something you're interested in to comment on!smiley - ok

For the actual sub-editing part, our lovely Italics set a test to see whether you understand how it works before you're set loose on other entries - but they're very busy at the moment, so it might be a while before they get around to that. They usually prefer you to have experienced Peer Review for yourself first, though, so you have nothing to lose by writing and/or reviewing some pieces.

Good luck!


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