An Editor’s First Editorial Season

Due to confidentiality reasons, the authors' names have been blocked out.

Due to confidentiality reasons, the authors’ names have been blocked out.

As a first year university student, I’ve not only had to adjust to university life but also to the editorial life. Even though I only graduated high school in June, I have four years of research experience through high school and through an internship at Columbia University Medical Center. Being published twice, I understand what it’s like to experiment for months and finally get together with your mentor to write an article. Being a part of MSURJ, I’m beginning to get a glimpse as to what editors want in the articles they could potentially publish.

Let me add that the editorial life is not that of Miranda Priestly’s from The Devil Wears Prada: filled with people who would die to serve you and designer clothes at your disposal. I understood very quickly that I would have to fetch my own coffee and be open to any form of criticism from my fellow editors. Editing for an undergraduate science publication can be challenging as it includes reading articles from many scientific realms and being in contact with the article’s author, peer reviewers for that specific article, and the other editors. Miranda Priestly would not care about other people’s reviews on potential articles. In a science journal, it’s not just one editor who makes the decision but it is a group of editors and peer reviewers.

If you had been at our most recent meeting, you would have thought we were participating in The Hunger Games. For 15 minutes, we all frantically typed our names next to the article we so desired. Some of us got into mini arguments after one person deleted someone’s name and wrote their own. Such an experience happened with me and I gave the spot to the other editor who was older. Remember, I’m still a first year and I have to work my way up.

Perhaps the best part of my experience is learning from the other editors. They’re very opinionated, they know what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it. It’s a tenacity that is to be honored and respected and I only hope to reach that level of ‘beastliness’.


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