ESL Editorial Assistance for NIME 2022

The English-As-A-Second-Language Editorial Assistance shepherding scheme is designed to help level the field for authors who are non-native English speakers accepted to publish at NIME. According to the NIME 2020 General Survey, 48% of NIME attendees reported being from native English speaking countries, compared with native English speakers making up roughly 5% of the global population. Many of us have probably read (or will read) papers with good ideas, but where the author’s current level of English impairs the communication of these ideas. Whether you have unintentionally benefited from the privilege of writing publications in your first language, or have struggled with and now mastered writing outside your first language, we’re hoping you might be interested in helping those still at a disadvantage.

The ESL shepherding scheme is the result of suggestions and discussions from the NIME Diversity Survey and 2021 Diversity Workshops and was initiated as a means to help improve diversity and inclusion within NIME. Last year (2021) we had our first ever pilot English/NIME-As-A-Second Language editorial assistance scheme. We had 16 volunteer editors and 7 papers that received E/NSL help, and ended up providing QA for papers needing shortening. With the addition of the inaugural Mentorship program, for 2022 we are just focusing on ESL for post-review editorial assistance.

As an Editorial Volunteer:

What to expect:

Paper eligibility for ESL will be determined as part of the existing review process- only accepted papers are eligible. We are expecting acceptance notifications sometimes around March 14th-19th 2022. At that point you will be assigned a paper based on the number of papers eligible, your relevant expertise and whether or not you have requested to provide assistance for a paper you reviewed. Feedback as an editor will not be anonymous, though whether you reviewed the paper will remain anonymous. You will be responsible for coordinating with the assigned author and confirming improvements to any provisionally accepted papers. The date for completing editing assistance will be announced once registration deadlines and camera ready deadlines are announced.

What kind of feedback is allowed:

Feedback should be limited where communication issues could be due to language. For example, helping with sentence phrasing is okay; helping with professional language is okay; so is help with syntax, grammar, and word choice. Examples of what is not okay would be helping with structural changes, references, idea formation, or rewriting of research. If a paper has had feedback on such topics from a reviewer you have leeway to decide whether to assist or not. If authors are struggling to understand feedback from a review, helping to clarify it as you understand it is encouraged. A reminder, papers have already been through the review process. The idea isn’t to give people a potentially unfair advantage for acceptance to NIME, but to help accepted authors at a language disadvantage ensure a good publication. If you find yourself questioning whether something is appropriate, please ask.

How to give feedback:

As with last year, we are going to leave feedback styles up to you and the authors you are assigned to assist. You can try PubPub, Overleaf, or sending PDFs-back-and-forth. This includes that if you feel like the fastest approach is to have a virtual face-to-face feedback session, for instance due to a paper with small but regular errors, please do. If you are able to help authors understand why you are recommending changes, that would be brilliant.

If you have any questions about the ESL scheme please contact the diversity team.


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