information genie (ĭn′fər-māʹshən jēʹnē) n. – 1. One who transforms unstructured information into clear, usable, and visually attractive materials. 2. Researcher, writer, editor, information designer; usually analytical.
Editing & Information Design
Specializing in health care, policy, law, and academic content
I am a substantive editor—an editor who evaluates the document as a whole: its arguments, organization, readability, style, and design. My job is transforming your complex content into clear, useful, easily understood information that is designed for its intended use and audience.
I use my 15 years' experience in health care, policy, and law to specialize in preparing documents in those fields. I also work with academic content, drawing on my experience in peer-reviewed publishing and my interest in instructional design. But those are not my limits; research and an analytical mind bring many topics within my reach.
Editors take on any number of tasks that prepare content for publication in print and online. I specialize in substantive editing, which usually also involves copy editing.
This is the heavy lifting task of editing. I identify the objectives for the information and shape the material into its best possible structure. I ensure the ideas are organized, the arguments logical and complete, the information current and correct, and the style and design appropriate for the audience. I can also create or revise the visual content to ensure illustrations and photographs represent the information accurately and clearly.
This is the work most people associate with editing: using language, punctuation, and style guides to correct and polish the content. Copy editing also includes reviewing content, references, and visual elements for accuracy and completeness. Some projects may also include localizing content (for example, Canadianizing) or translating to plain language, writing captions and ALT text, listing and obtaining permissions, and making other changes needed for production.
I work in design as well as words, with a special interest in how text and images combine for optimal information sharing. I also use the principles of "story," such as narrative arc and case method, to shape information.
Good communication starts with the content and ends with presenting it the way readers need to get it. Making content usable involves designing visual and physical elements for best function. It may also involve adding graphs, charts, photographs, or other figures to the text. Aesthetics are part of the equation, but so is knowledge of white space, headings, image placement, font, and so much more that translates information into usable communication.
The quality of a document, print or online, depends not just on good content but also on a well-managed process for developing the product. When needed, I coordinate and edit a project from proposal or rough manuscript to final production, incorporating input from authors, illustrators, consultants, and reviewers. Management may also include budgeting, hiring, design supervision, and project co-ordination.
In addition to post-graduate certification in technical communication and degrees in English and Law, I offer:
Five years of freelance experience, planning and delivering a variety of communication projects for various clients (See my portfolio for samples of my work.)
Regular contributor to Envato Tuts+, publishing online articles and tutorials in photography, storytelling, and digital asset management
Editor at Ivey Publishing, editing business case studies and teaching material used globally for management education
Ten years' experience working and writing in health care policy:
- Researched and reported on environmental trends; developed organizational strategic plans; monitored, analyzed, and reported progress against plans
- Supported executives with briefs, reports, and analyses for issues management
- Established and managed correspondence secretariat for health care executives
- Analyzed law and policy on substitute decision-making and end-of-life neonatal care; synthesized results into policies, clinical guidelines, plain language guides, and book chapters
Ten years' experience working in clinical health care and research
Taught and published in academia:
- Published book chapters in law and peer-reviewed articles in law and health care policy (See my list of publications for more details.)
- Developed and delivered co-educational course in health law and policy for university law and health science students
- Contributed to legal briefs that informed development of drinking and driving laws in Australia
- Contributed to book chapters and handbooks in health law for health practitioners
An editor needs to have technical skills and these are mine:
- PC and Mac operating systems
- Microsoft Office and Mac Work
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Adobe Acrobat Professional
- CMS and formatting with Markdown
- Online databases and catalogues
- Data management specialist