How to Become a Scholarly Publishing Editor

How to Become a Scholarly Publishing Editor

Are you passionate about academic research and the dissemination of knowledge? If so, a career as a scholarly publishing editor may be the perfect fit for you. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to become a successful scholarly publishing editor, including the necessary education, skills, and experience required for this rewarding profession. Read on to learn more about how you can embark on a fulfilling career in scholarly publishing editing.

Education and Qualifications

Becoming a scholarly publishing editor requires a strong educational background and specific qualifications. Here are the steps you can take to achieve this:

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step towards becoming a scholarly publishing editor is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field. A degree in English, journalism, communications, or a related discipline can provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed for this career. Courses in editing, writing, and publishing can be particularly beneficial.

Pursue a Master’s Degree

Many scholarly publishing editors hold a master’s degree in a relevant field, such as publishing, journalism, or English. A master’s degree can deepen your understanding of publishing practices, editing techniques, and academic writing. It can also provide you with opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships or research projects.

Consider a Ph.D. in a relevant field

While not always required, a Ph.D. in a relevant field can further enhance your qualifications as a scholarly publishing editor. A Ph.D. can demonstrate your expertise in a specific area of study and can open up opportunities for advanced editorial roles, such as managing editor or editorial director. Additionally, a Ph.D. can be beneficial if you are interested in pursuing a career in academic publishing or scholarly research.

Gain Experience

One of the most important steps in becoming a scholarly publishing editor is gaining experience in the field. By getting hands-on experience, you will not only learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry but also build a strong foundation for your career.

Internships in Publishing

Internships in publishing are a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience. Many publishing houses offer internships for students and recent graduates looking to break into the industry. These internships can provide you with hands-on experience in editing, proofreading, and project management.

Work as an Editorial Assistant

Another way to gain experience in scholarly publishing is to work as an editorial assistant. Editorial assistants play a crucial role in the publishing process, assisting editors with tasks such as manuscript preparation, copyediting, and coordinating with authors and reviewers. By working as an editorial assistant, you will gain valuable experience and insight into the publishing industry.

Freelance Editing Projects

In addition to internships and editorial assistant positions, you can also gain experience by taking on freelance editing projects. Freelance editing allows you to work on a variety of projects, ranging from academic papers to book manuscripts. By taking on freelance editing projects, you can hone your editing skills, build a portfolio, and establish yourself as a reputable editor in the scholarly publishing industry.

Develop Skills

To become a successful scholarly publishing editor, it is essential to develop a set of key skills that will help you excel in this role. Here are three important skills that you should focus on honing:

Editing Skills

One of the most crucial skills for a scholarly publishing editor is the ability to edit and proofread academic content effectively. This includes checking for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and overall clarity and coherence of the text. Developing a keen eye for detail and a strong command of language will be invaluable in ensuring the quality of the published work.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is essential for a scholarly publishing editor, as you will be working closely with authors, reviewers, and other stakeholders throughout the publication process. Clear and concise communication will help you convey feedback and instructions effectively, as well as build strong working relationships with others in the academic community.

Project Management Skills

As a scholarly publishing editor, you will be responsible for managing multiple projects simultaneously, each with its own deadlines and requirements. Developing strong project management skills, such as organization, time management, and prioritization, will help you stay on track and ensure that all projects are completed on time and to a high standard.

Networking and Building Relationships

Building a strong network and cultivating relationships within the scholarly publishing industry is crucial for success as a scholarly publishing editor. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Join Professional Organizations

One of the best ways to network with other professionals in the scholarly publishing field is to join relevant professional organizations. These organizations often host networking events, conferences, and workshops that can help you connect with industry peers, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and build your professional reputation.

Attend Publishing Conferences

Attending publishing conferences is another excellent way to network with industry professionals. These events bring together publishers, editors, authors, and other key players in the publishing world, providing valuable opportunities to connect, learn, and collaborate.

Connect with Industry Professionals

Don’t underestimate the power of networking on a more personal level. Reach out to industry professionals via email or social media to introduce yourself, ask for advice, or simply start a conversation. Building relationships with experienced professionals can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and potential career opportunities.

Stay Updated with Industry Trends

As a scholarly publishing editor, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the industry. By staying updated, you can ensure that your work remains relevant and competitive. Here are some ways to stay informed:

Subscribe to Publishing Journals

One of the best ways to stay updated with industry trends is to subscribe to publishing journals. These journals often contain cutting-edge research, articles, and news related to scholarly publishing. By regularly reading these publications, you can stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in the industry.

Follow Industry Blogs and Websites

In addition to publishing journals, following industry blogs and websites can also help you stay updated with industry trends. Many publishing experts and organizations maintain blogs where they share insights, tips, and news about the industry. By following these blogs, you can stay informed about the latest developments in scholarly publishing.

Participate in Webinars and Workshops

Another great way to stay updated with industry trends is to participate in webinars and workshops. Many organizations and industry experts host webinars and workshops on various topics related to scholarly publishing. By attending these events, you can learn from experts, network with other professionals, and stay informed about the latest trends in the industry.

By staying updated with industry trends through subscribing to publishing journals, following industry blogs and websites, and participating in webinars and workshops, you can enhance your knowledge and skills as a scholarly publishing editor.


Becoming a scholarly publishing editor requires a unique blend of skills, knowledge, and dedication. From acquiring a strong educational background to gaining experience in the publishing industry, there are various steps one must take to excel in this field. By following the tips and advice provided in this article, aspiring publishing editors can navigate their way through the competitive world of scholarly publishing and establish themselves as reputable professionals. With passion for research, attention to detail, and a commitment to quality, anyone can succeed in this rewarding career path.


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