This week, we caught up with Josh Pennington – one of our most active Peerwith experts! Based in the US, Josh holds a doctorate in Linguistics and works with the Slavic languages in translation (mainly Russian and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian). He has edited over 30 published books on theology and the humanities and has been offering his editing services via Peerwith since early 2017. Josh is one of our Brill Academic Publishing experts.
Hi Josh, you’ve been working via Peerwith for a few months now – what do you find the benefits of the platform are, both as an expert and for the authors you work with?
Peerwith is unique because it protects both the author and the editor from being taken advantage of throughout the editing process. On the one hand, the editor is guaranteed payment (held through Peerwith, as a mediator), which is great motivation to do a great job in order to have the payment released. On the other hand, the author must be satisfied in order to release the payment. It’s a completely regulated process where both author and editor leave satisfied with the platform and can continue future collaborations on Peerwith, knowing that the process is fair. Also, both authors and editors tend to be serious scholars and professionals, and this helps to avoid scammers.
What’s the most interesting piece of work you’ve ever edited?
I edited a lot of books on theology and the humanities, more generally. However, as a linguist, I found a book I edited on medieval Hebrew grammarians to be fascinating. They way they described how language works was so unsophisticated by modern standards but completely understandable in the cultural context of the time.
Do you ever work with researchers on subsequent projects, following your initial connection?
Yes, I have enjoyed working with a few authors on multiple projects. It’s easier for them to stick with one editor on Peerwith, once they know the system, your pricing, and your abilities. The security that Peerwith offers all parties makes it a no brainer.
Finally, could you share your three top tips for researchers looking to improve the impact of their work?
1) Simplify the most important aspects of your research for the readers. Being overly sophisticated in your style can turn readers off, which I think most agree is the opposite of the intended effect.
2) Structure your work so that it tells a story and the story of how you arrived at your conclusions. What is the great surprise or unexpected finding?
3) Trust your editor! If he/she says your manuscript needs more work than you think, then accept it. This impacts budgets and deadlines. Also, if he/she says your English is much better than you think, accept that your manuscript doesn’t need to have a complete overhaul. Perhaps a light proofreading might be in store. This is why you should provide the text immediately in order for it to be properly evaluated in connection with bidding.
If you’re seeking help with your manuscript, you can get in touch with Josh and request his help via his Peerwith expert page: http://peerwith.expert/joshpennington