Editorial Standard and Intervention

Before producing the final version of the thesis for submission for examination, the candidate should ensure that:

  • All textual errors, including typographical and formatting errors, have been corrected;
  • Spelling, grammar, punctuation and choice of language are of an appropriate standard; and
  • The referencing is complete and exact.

Attention to textual detail is essential as mistakes are extremely irritating to examiners and divert them from the substance of the thesis. If a professional proof-reader or editor is used in preparing the final thesis, the candidate must declare that they have read and complied with the Guidelines for the Editing of Research Theses by Professional Editors [2].

The advisors of research higher degree students are expected to provide editorial advice to their students. Candidates are permitted to use additional editors in preparing their thesis for submission, but should discuss this with their Primary Advisor and provide the editor with a copy of these guidelines before they commence work.

Editorial intervention should be restricted to:

  • Proofreading: that is, detecting and correcting the presentation of the text to conform with standard usage and conventions (e.g. spelling, quotations, italics, lists, word usage, punctuation, graphs, charts, citations, references, heading hierarchies, symbols and equations, headers and footers, style of numbers etc, as noted in Standard E, of the Handbook on Australian Standard for Editing Practice
  • The identification and provision of advice, with corrections as exemplars only, in matters of structure (the need to restructure and reword, deletions, additions); the conventions of grammar and syntax; use of clear language; logical connections between phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections; voice and tone; and how to avoid ambiguity, repetition and verbosity, as noted in Standard D of the Australian Standard for Editing Practice

Editorial interventions will normally be limited to the matters listed in Standards D and E of Australian Standards for Editing Practice (Council of Australian Societies of Editors, 2001). Where editors do deal with matters outside of Standards D and E then this should be noted in the acknowledgements of the thesis.

When a thesis has had the benefit of professional editorial advice, of any form, then:

  • The name of the editor and a brief description of the service rendered, in terms of the Standards cited in the Australian Standards for Editing Practice, should be printed as part of the list of acknowledgements or other prefatory matter near the front of the work when it is to be presented for examination.
  • If the professional editor’s current or former area of academic specialisation is similar to that of the candidate, this too should be stated in the prefatory matter.

You may contact Dr Liz Tynan at the Graduate Research School (Elizabeth.Tynan@jcu.edu.au) to receive details of suitable external proof-readers and editors. The GRS does not fund external editing services, but candidates may use Minimum Resources Funding for this purpose.