Original Research

The use of comments as a strategy in the accountable editing of academic texts

Amanda Lourens
Literator | Vol 37, No 2 | a1277 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v37i2.1277 | © 2016 Amanda Lourens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 January 2016 | Published: 30 September 2016

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Amanda Lourens, Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Existing guidelines regarding the editing of academic texts (compare those of the SU Language Service; internationally, also those of the Institute of Professional Editors [IPEd]; the Editors’ Association of Canada [EAC]; and the Council of Australian Societies of Editors [CASE]) emphasise that editors should not alter the content and structure of this type of text. However, in practice, it is not always clear how editors should deal with problems in the content and structure of such texts. The goal of this study is to provide guidelines for editors of academic texts who adhere to a process approach. The editing of eight academic articles is investigated, with specific reference to the use of comments as a strategy to empower the author to effect changes regarding content and structure. Comments by the editors of these articles are described, interpreted and evaluated in order to formulate guidelines for an accountable editing strategy.

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