Code of Ethics

In all our editing and interactions with our clients and editors, Capstone Editing maintains the highest standards of academic and professional integrity.

Editing for postgraduate students

When editing for students, we strictly adhere to the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’, which were revised by the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) and approved by the forerunner to the Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc—the Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies—on 12 November 2010. (They were revised on 25 February 2019.)

These Guidelines mandate that our editing is restricted to copyediting and proofreading, as outlined in Parts D and E of the Australian Standards of Editing Practice.

The Guidelines state that ‘in relation to matters of substance and structure (Part C), the professional editor may draw attention to problems, but should not provide solutions. Examples may be offered in order to guide the student in resolving problems.’

Specifically, this means that professional editors must not provide substantive editing (also known as structural editing) to students. Substantive editing is editing that interferes with the content (i.e. the ideas, argument, information and research) of the thesis or that interferes with the language to such an extent that it constitutes rewriting.

Our Terms and Conditions, to which all clients must agree when submitting a document to us for editing, dictate that students must follow these Guidelines. The student’s responsibilities in following these Guidelines include (but are not limited to) seeking the permission of their supervisor to have their thesis professionally edited, and ensuring that such editing is correctly acknowledged in their thesis.

All our specialist academic editors have completed a comprehensive training program—designed by our former Director, Dr Lisa Lines, who was involved through the Canberra Society of Editors (CSE) with the latest update to the Guidelines—that ensures they both understand the Guidelines and possess the advanced skills necessary to adhere to them correctly in every instance.

Plagiarism and academic integrity

As outlined in our Terms and Conditions, Capstone Editing will not edit any document or section of any document that we believe to be plagiarised.

We will not provide any services that we believe may assist a student to plagiarise, such as editing a document or section of a document that has been written by someone other than the student, or by rewording direct quotations.

No refund will be given for any sections not edited due to plagiarism. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure the originality of all material submitted to Capstone Editing.

Editing for students other than postgraduates

Capstone Editing will only provide editing for students other than postgraduates when special permission has been obtained by the student from the person assessing (grading) their work, such as their lecturer, tutor, teacher or instructor.

Circumstances under which special permission is granted normally include when the student has English as a Second Language but it is not their language skills that are being assessed; when the student is working on a special project and the assessor would normally provide editing or feedback but is unable to; and other circumstances in which the provision of professional editing does not have a negative impact on the student’s learning outcomes. In these circumstances, the assessor normally prefers to see a copy of the document both before and after editing.

All Capstone Editing’s services for students are aimed at assisting students to achieve higher-quality learning outcomes appropriate to the course or studies they are undertaking.

Editing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and research from or about those communities

Capstone Editing recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional and rightful custodians and owners of the land of Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to the land, water and community. We pay respect to all Elders past, present and emerging.

Capstone Editing follows the ‘Guidelines for the ethical publishing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and research from those communities’, developed by Aboriginal Studies Press (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies), and the ‘Language and Terminology Guide’ developed by Australians Together.

All documents authored by or on the subject of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are edited by academic editors who have undergone specialist training to ensure that our work is ethical, respectful and culturally appropriate.

IPEd and the CSE

Capstone Editing firmly supports both IPEd and the CSE and all their aims, activities and initiatives.

IPEd’s central aim is ‘to advance the profession of editing, by planning and implementing activities that support its members’. IPEd is also responsible for the national accreditation scheme, which ‘offers Australian editors a mechanism for demonstrating their competence. At the same time, it provides potential employers with confidence in the skills of the editors they hire.’ Further information about IPEd, its aims and accreditation can be found on its website at http://iped-editors.org/.

The CSE’s aims are to:

  • Promote contact between editors
  • Encourage the exchange of ideas
  • Maintain editorial standards
  • Promote the use of editorial services
  • Cooperate with other societies of editors and related bodies

The CSE initiated the national mentoring program, which allows editors ‘to improve their editing skills with professional oversight and feedback from experienced editors.’ Further information about the CSE can be found on its website at https://www.editorscanberra.org/.

The overwhelming majority of the editors who work with Capstone Editing are Accredited Editors and Professional Members of IPEd. Every editor who works with us is strongly encouraged to become a Professional Member of IPEd (and the CSE, for editors located in Canberra) and, if not already accredited, to sit the accreditation exam at the next opportunity (noting that it is only offered every two years then only in capital cities in Australia).

Our editors

Capstone Editing understands that our editors are partners in our success. Our mission is to work together to create a friendly and supportive team environment in which editors can enjoy job security and satisfaction.

We see our editors as important team members and collaborative partners, rather than as personnel. We recognise that our editors’ happiness is the key to our ability to provide a consistently high-quality service.

Our editors are always treated fairly and with respect, employed under extremely favourable working conditions, and paid exceptional rates of pay.

We provide intensive training and ongoing professional development to ensure that our specialist academic editors are always performing at the highest level and continuing to grow and be challenged in their profession.

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