KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Certification Is Valuable

I'm a certified editor in the life sciencesYesterday I wrote about my pleasure at having been notified by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences that I am now officially certified as an editor in the life sciences.

But why is certification a big deal? After all, I've been a medical copyeditor for nearly 18 of my almost 25 years in publishing. But having certification certainly will help me be more confident in raising my rates come January. And yesterday, I notified all of my clients by e-mail that I'm newly certified and explained what I believe that it means for them:

What this means for you as my client is that whenever I edit medical documents for you, you are getting the services of someone well trained and very experienced in medical editing. My skills have been vetted by experienced professionals in my field. Even when I edit nonmedical documents for you, I bring to my editing the precision and attention to detail that are earmarks of a medical editor. I sought the certification as part of my continuing commitment to excellence in serving you. I will continue to seek out educational opportunities to keep my skills current so as to serve you well.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, ELS

Several of my international authors are now oohing and aahing over my certification, viewing it as the editorial equivalent of their being board-certified in their medical specialty. And they're telling their colleagues that they know of this great certified medical editor, which will certainly mean more clients for me in the near future. One author in China, on hearing that I was preparing for the certification exam, told his supervisor and mentor, who suggested that he write, for the hospital's newsletter, about the editorial assistance I have given him. I have apparently now been profiled in Chinese in the newsletter; he even asked me for a photograph of myself to accompany the article.

And because I got into medical editing through the back door—by learning on the job rather than by first earning a degree in the biomedical sciences and then taking medical-editing courses—the ELS (Editor in the Life Sciences) designation lends extra legitimacy to my skills. After all, my only academic degree is a bachelor of arts in journalism. I will likely eventually sit for the ELS(D)—ELS diplomate—exam within the next few years.

I suspect that the reason more U.S. clients don't seek out BELS-certified medical editors is that BELS hasn't done a great job of educating the publishing world about its existence, its goals, and the value of the certification that it offers. I hope to help change that. After all, how many copyeditors in nontechnical fields have bemoaned the lack of certification for copyeditors?

1 comment:

Mary Beth said...

I am VERY impressed! You Go!

Template created by Makeworthy Media