David Stuart

Web Analyst and Consultant

The Importance of the Editor….Generally

Posted on | December 16, 2009 | No Comments

In addition to regularly writing magazine articles, I regularly review books for a couple of library and information science journals. It provides a great way to get books I wouldn’t buy otherwise [academic books can be VERY expensive]. Unfortunately in editing one book review recently (best example of how not to publish a book), the editorial process which generally improves the quality of published work actually managed to weaken the argument and introduce errors!

The original comment on the book’s index:

The eclectic nature of the work means that an index is essential for the social software researcher, but whilst it has an index, it is eccentric to say the least. For example, whilst the foreword informs readers that it covers issues such as tagging and folksonomies, these terms are missing from the index, whereas, bizarrely, both World of Warcraft, dark forest scene; and World of Warcraft; are worthy of inclusion. The index is littered with such idiosyncrasies.

The edited version:

The eclectic nature of the work means that an index is essential for the social software researcher – while there is an index, it is eccentric to say the least. For example, the foreword informs readers that it covers issues such as tagging and folksonomies, but both terms are missing from the index, whereas, bizarrely, the World of Warcraft is worthy of inclusion.

On its own the original finds nothing bizarre about the inclusion of World of Warcraft.

Coupled with which, in a review complaining about the book’s number of typos, my editor managed to introduce a typo! It went from “There is little to recommend this book” to “There is little to commend in this this book”.

Whilst exasperating, this my only bad experience of the publishing so far, although as I’m currently working on a proposal for a new book, I’m sure there are many more annoyances ahead.

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Why a Blog?

This blog is for letting people know some of the things I am working on, although it is extremely infrequent. As my writing has expanded from blog posts to professional journal articles, and finally to books, the number of blog posts I write on my various blogs has inevitably tapered off.

Why blog? For me it turned out to be the first step on the road to a book deal!

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