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Editorial exchange

by Geoff Hart

Previously published, in a different form, as: Hart, G.J. 2000. Editorial exchange. the Exchange 7(1):2.

Welcome to my first issue as editor of the Exchange. I hope you’ll like the new look for the newsletter (since I had to recreate the template from scratch anyway…), but if you don’t, make sure you let me know so I can fix it. I’d like to begin my tenure by thanking Alexa for keeping the Scientific Communication SIG going this past year or so, and for managing to get out as many issues as she did given her career change and the difficulty in getting articles from the members. Since Alexa has stepped down as manager of the SIG, we’re looking for a new manager. I’m told the job doesn’t take much work, and I’d take it on myself—except that I’m already stretched too thin. So if you’re interested in the job (it looks great on your résumé), contact Ray Urgo (rurgo@aol.com) for details.

My first goal as newsletter editor will be to increase the number of issues we produce per year. To do so, I’m going to need your help. This issue features an article by my colleague and friend, Matt Stevens, writing to us from Australia, and I’m hoping to convince Matt to keep writing for us. There’s also an article by me, but I don’t want this to be the “Matt’n’Geoff ” newsletter, and that means I need contributions from the rest of the SIG.

Don’t be shy! It doesn’t take a lot of time for skilled technical communicators to produce a 500-word article on some subject near and dear to our collective heart, and getting published looks good on your résumé. I’d be happy to publish long articles, but I’d rather have several short articles than none at all. Read a good science book lately? Tell me what impressed you about it. Surfed over to a decent reference site? Send me the URL and a few words on why you keep returning to it. Got a heretical viewpoint to promote about scientific communication? Send it along, and I’ll start up a column entitled “Free radical” to host jeremiads, opinions, and any axes you have to grind. Any successes you want to brag about or failures you want to dissect so we don’t repeat them? Case studies make for really good reading too. Drop me a line with suggestions for articles, and I’ll get back to you as soon as my schedule permits.

Another goal of this newsletter will be to investigate who we are and what we do so I can propose articles that target our specific needs. I’ve included a survey in this issue to get the ball rolling, and I’ll report the results in the next issue.

Finally, one of my personal goals is to stimulate some cross-pollination between our SIG and the rest of STC: What can we learn from the computer people and engineers that we can use in our own work? What can they learn from us? All of these things are good grist for our mill.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


My essays on scientific communication have now been collected in the following book:

Hart, G. 2011. Exchanges: 10 years of essays on scientific communication. Diaskeuasis Publishing, Pointe-Claire, Que. Printed version, 242 p.; eBook in PDF format, 327 p.


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