Vacancy Copy-Editor (English)

Copy-Editor (English native speaker) Applied Linguistics / Geosciences Publications

We are currently recruiting permanent, fluent English speakers for professional language copy-editing lite for a partnership with a publisher of well-established international journals, with a focus on geosciences. This part-time (30-35 hours/week) or full-time (40 hours/week) permanent position is available immediately and open until filled. You studied English language or Geosciences? Applied Linguistics is your thing? You prefer mechanical over creative copy-editing? Then this might be the job for you!

Your tasks in this new position:

  • Mechanical copy-editing/Copy-editing light with focus on deep proofreading (not creative copy-editing);
  • Reading papers from both English native speakers and non-native speakers from all over the world, well-written and less well-written, to enforce inviolable grammar, spelling and punctuation while respecting the author’s personal stylistic preferences;
  • Using a comprehensive check-list to comb through the text for typical errors and inconsistencies;
  • Applying our client’s policy of copy-editing to manuscripts: spelling, grammar, articles/prepositions, punctuation, and word-choice corrections according to certain house rules and standards;
  • Copy-editing English language pre-prints in LaTeX, working via our client’s online platform;
  • Supporting authors from around the world by improving their manuscripts, thereby achieving higher credibility in the scientific community.

Type of copy-editing:

What this position is not about: Language Editing as in the creative copy-editing, working with the language, improving readability by changing phrasing, adding or deleting words, no content editing, no reorganizing or restructuring of the document, no type-coding, no developmental editing.

What this position is about: Light copy-editing of dense copy, on-screen with LaTeX and PDF, as in more heavy proofreading: a structured analytical combing through the text, closely reading for consistency, in accordance with the publisher's comprehensive house style guide.

Grammar and usage

  • Read papers from both English native speakers and non-native speakers from all over the world, read well-written and less well-written papers (the authors are scientists, not linguists)
  • Enforce inviolable grammar and punctuation and house rules while respecting the author’s personal stylistic preferences
  • Run-on sentences and subject-verb agreement

Mechanical editing

  • Use a comprehensive check-list to comb through the text for typical errors and inconsistencies
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Correct use of English, depending on the dialect of the paper (e.g. English GB, English US)
  • Hyphenation
  • Capitalization
  • Quotations
  • Numbers and numerals
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Additional elements, such as descriptions for charts, tables, and graphs
  • Initialisms
  • Page numbers, headers, and footers
  • Underscoring
  • Work with QC and type-setting teams
  • Leave comments for the authors or the type-setting team regarding any issues for content editing or type-coding
  • Receive feedback from QC and implement feedback and requests for corrections
  • Have regular meetings with your allocated manuscripts-team from the publishing house


Your profile:

  • You speak and write English at a native speaker level and have a passion for language.
  • You have a university degree in linguistics, English or the natural sciences.
  • You have some work experience and are familiar with academic texts.
  • You have a keen eye for detail and an excellent command of English mechanics, punctuation, and grammar.
  • You prefer mechanical copy-editing over creative copy-editing.
  • You are motivated and possess good organizational and time-management skills.
  • You are open-minded to learning new technologies for copy-editing.
  • You can adhere to strict style guides and house rules and quality expectations.
  • Knowledge of and experience with a markup-language such as LaTeX or html is a plus.

Important aspects we'd prefer you to be knowledgeable of:

  • Be technically savvy, adaptive to learning new software;
  • Understanding of VPN, TeamViewer, and Online-Meeting (screen sharing) usage;
  • Overall a good grasp on general IT operations;
  • Be very responsive and proactive with troubleshooting, and be communicative within a team;
  • Have a professional and level-headed approach to challenges.

We offer:

  • a starting monthly salary of between 15’000 – 25’000 ZAR (ctc FTE) depending on qualifications, experience and performance
  • training and mentoring in LaTeX software and expected quality standards;
  • a friendly working environment with open-minded colleagues
  • a challenging and rewarding job with opportunities to contribute your unique talents
  • a secure working position with performance-related allowances, and a family-friendly policy
  • great colleagues from Germany and South Africa, as well as a dynamic, competent, agile team
  • remote work with the possibility of in-office work if preferred
  • reasonably flexible working hours within a time frame

Please send your application with your CV and respective experiences as well as your asking salary to the application email below.

Application Deadline: Open until filled

We look forward to hearing from you!

Email Address for Applications:
info(at) or marlen.boehm(at)

Contact Information:
MSS Cape Town – The Language Agency
Roeland Square, Roeland Street, 8001, Cape Town
Fon DTL: +49 531 224593040 | Fon SA: +27 21 4617452

Vacancy Copy Editor Applied Linguistics (English native speaker)

Download Copy Editor Applied Linguistics (English native) job advertisement as PDF.

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