Answer about certification by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences

Subject: Answer about certification by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences
From: "Kerstin Peterson" <kerstin -dot- peterson -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: dodd -at- teleport -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 16:26:48 -0400

Here you go Patrice:

To be certified one must pass the certification exam. It is a 3-hour,
multiple-choice exam that draws on both (language) education and editorial
experience. Because the exam is given by the Board of Editors in the Life
Sciences (BELS), the science involved is necessarily life sciences. The
questions require answers of an editorial nature but do not demand a
knowledge of the specific science. Some of the questions are tied to a
paragraph that contains 2 or 3 aspects of interest to an editor, e.g.
wordiness, acronyms, contractions, tenses, symbols (Greek and otherwise),
citation styles, sentence structure, ease of understanding, and so forth.

The exam is given several times each year, always in conjunction with the
annual meetings of American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and the
Council of Science Editors (CSE). The exam is also given in Princeton, NJ,
at least every other year, and at other venues around the country.

A brief study guide is available from BELS as is an exam schedule. The exam
schedule is probably listed on the website (I haven't visited it lately).

Patrice can email her questions to Leslie Neistadt, the BELS Registrar, at
lneistadt -at- hughston -dot- com (That's a lower-case l, not a capital eye, and the
institute she works for is indeed hughston.)

Gee, Thanks for asking!

[Shirley M Peterson]

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