Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A call for volunteers: 'Be a volunteer language editor - be an OR hero'

Here's a little ditty written by Dr James Bleach
Dr James Bleach is a Senior Analyst who applies analytical and modelling techniques to generate high quality, objective and robust evidence that informs UK Government policy makers and enables them to make better decisions. In addition to being the Founder and Managing Editor of the ōbex project, James, whose academic background is in Astrophysics, has also been a member of the Editorial Board for the science journal Open Physics since 2003, and a Language Editor for Paladyn. Journal of Behavioral Robotics since 2013.

Opportunity to support the ōbex project – a free language editing service for operational researchers from non-English speaking regions seeking publication in an English language journal.

Full article:
Be a volunteer language editor - be an OR hero

On the 8th September 2016 I was called a hero by a relative stranger who also requested that he have his photograph taken with me - it has to be said, this has not been a very common occurrence in my over 13 year career in Operational Research. 

It was the final day of the Operational Research Society Annual Conference (OR58), and the reason for my temporary celebrity was the language editing support I had arranged for the author of one of the papers published in the conference Keynote Papers Handbook, for which I was the Managing Editor.

I was struck by how appreciative the author was of the support he had been given. In fact a number of contributors to the handbook had expressed their thanks for the language editing support my editorial team had provided, and over the course of the conference I discussed with them the issues they sometimes faced getting published in English language journals.

Following the conference, I decided it was time to apply my editorial experience more extensively within the field of Operational Research – and so in October 2016, with the support of a high calibre editorial team, the ōbex project was officially launched (www.theobexproject.co.uk).

the ōbex project is a free language editing service for operational researchers from non-English speaking regions seeking publication in an English language journal. The word ōbex is Latin for barrier (obstacle, hurdle, etc.) – and so is used to represent the barrier to publication that the English language can be for some operational researchers.

I am now seeking to expand the editorial team by recruiting a number of additional volunteer language editors to support the project.
The Skills volunteer language editors require are:
    -Excellent attention to detail – such as being able to correct mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and ensuring consistency of terminology.
     -Delivering to deadlines.
Volunteer language editors are not required to be highly experienced operational researchers as these are language editing rather than technical editing roles.
Time commitment:
An initial estimate is between 1 and 4 manuscripts per year (each typically between 5 and 15 pages). Initially the number of manuscripts may be towards the lower end –  and may even remain so depending on the long term level of engagement from the international community and the size of the expanded editorial team.  

Volunteer language editors are expected to complete the review of a manuscript within 5-10 days of accepting the task, depending on the author's requirements. 

If you are interested in being considered for one of these volunteer roles please send an email with a short statement containing your background and any relevant experience (just a paragraph or two will a suffice) to Dr James Bleach, the managing editor of the ōbex project, at the following address:

And also please Cc the project Gmail address:

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