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Training Materials
ChatGPT for editors: enhancing efficiency and effectiveness
Yunhee Whang
Sci Ed. 2024;11(1):84-90.   Published online February 20, 2024
  • 1,467 View
  • 89 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
This tutorial examines how ChatGPT can assist journal editors in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of academic publishing. It highlights ChatGPT’s key characteristics, focusing on the use of “Custom instructions” to generate tailored responses and plugin integration for accessing up-to-date information. The tutorial presents practical advice and illustrative examples to demonstrate how editors can adeptly employ these features to improve their work practices. It covers the intricacies of developing advanced prompts and the application of zero-shot and few-shot prompting techniques across a range of editorial tasks, including literature reviews, training novice reviewers, and improving language quality. Furthermore, the tutorial addresses potential challenges inherent in using ChatGPT, which include a lack of precision and sensitivity to cultural nuances, the presence of biases, and a limited vocabulary in specialized fields, among others. The tutorial concludes by advocating for an integrated approach, combining ChatGPT’s technological advancements with the critical insight of human editors. This approach emphasizes that ChatGPT should be recognized not as a replacement for human judgment and expertise in editorial processes, but as a tool that plays a supportive and complementary role.
Writing letters and emails in English: correspondence for the editorial office
Yunhee Whang, Pamela Wendler-Shaw
Sci Ed. 2021;8(2):186-192.   Published online August 20, 2021
  • 6,199 View
  • 170 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
One of the main responsibilities of the editorial office is to communicate effectively with authors through emails, formal letters, and most importantly through decision letters. Even when the content is informative and constructive and the editor has only good intentions, if the tone and level of formality are not managed properly, the image of the journal may be negatively affected, which may deter authors from submitting papers to the journal again. Despite their best efforts to treat authors respectfully, some editors may unintentionally cause offense if they lack the appropriate sociolinguistic knowledge required for effective English correspondence. In order to ease the burden of the editorial office, this tutorial aims to assist non-native English speaking editors by demonstrating the basic format and principles of writing formal letters and email, providing tips on how to select an acceptable level of formality, and offering strategies to avoid unintentional rudeness. Specific tips include framing issues positively, using indirect language, and using hedging. Through this tutorial, non-native English speaking editors are expected to develop sociolinguistic competence to write professionally and improve their efficiency in corresponding with authors.
Reviewing a journal article with clarity and politeness: key language tips for non-native English-speaking reviewers
Yunhee Whang
Sci Ed. 2020;7(2):204-208.   Published online August 20, 2020
  • 10,638 View
  • 241 Download
  • 3 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
One of the important responsibilities of peer review in academic publishing is to help authors improve the quality of their manuscripts by providing clear, constructive comments that are neither unpleasant nor disparaging. However, non-native English-speaking reviewers sometimes have difficulties in complementing or criticizing with clarity. It can also be difficult for reviewers to write appropriate and inter-culturally sensitive reviews. Thus, the goal of this paper is to help reviewers (and authors) improve clarity and achieve politeness in their writing. This paper focuses on understanding information structure (how information is generally arranged in a given context), cohesion (how ideas or sentences are connected), and emphasis (how to control emphasis with sentence structure or linguistic devices); it also introduces various politeness strategies for writing compliments and mitigating criticisms. The specific strategies include the use of conditionals, hedging, and pairing good news and bad news. Examples of effective and ineffective reviewer comments and cases of potential miscommunication that might occur between reviewers and authors are also presented. Developing skills to write peer review comments more clearly and politely enhances communication between reviewers and authors, which in turn further improves the journal’s overall quality.


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