So you think you want to be a manuscript editor? Nature Nanotechnology associate editor Ai Lin Chun offers a glimpse into what makes a successful manuscript editor tick on the Asia Pacific and Beyond forum at Nature Network (http://network.nature.com/groups/nnano/forum/topics/3730).
Chun outlines what she has learned on the job for “those interested in editorial jobs to reflect if these are the things that really interest you and are the set of skills you really want to build”. One of her first lessons was both “humiliating and humbling”, she says — submitting her own writing to the journal's editorial mill.
Besides being comfortable with someone else correcting your writing, Chun writes, manuscript editors must also “shamelessly ask many questions and offer suggestions” to authors. She notes that, above all, editors must evolve into the ultimate speed-readers, able to 'sniff out' the main essence of a paper in short order, and keep up with manuscripts while on the road.
And finally, they must be prepared to answer the dreaded question: “Why did you reject my paper?”