Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 2150


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Salary Range 21 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887 $4072 $4265 $4479 $4690 $4914


The SCIENCE OR TECHNICAL EDITOR reviews drafts of articles, monographs, or books related to one or more scientific or technical fields; corrects spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax; and modifies copy to assure clarity of meaning and conformance to style and format requirements.


This is a single classification and not currently part of a series of classes.


  1. Assignment Review. Typical tasks: reviews work order to determine publisher, due date, length, and format requirements; reads through copy for meaning (may be hard copy or on disc or tape viewed through VDT); researches and determines publisher style requirements; when necessary reads related background material to gain familiarity with specific subject and terminology used; consults with supervisor and author to discuss need for special graphics, tables, graphs, or other special items for inclusion and plans general format; researches references and quotations in text to verify accuracy.
  2. Copy Markup. Typical tasks: reads copy word for word (hard copy or from tape or disc through VDT) to discover and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax; marks hard copy with standard editing marks to indicate corrections or keys in proper codes and corrections at word processing or computer terminal; moves or amends sentences or paragraphs to enhance clarity or continuity; changes or rewrites language (consistent with author's intent) to enhance clarity; inserts definitions through text or footnotes to clarify obscure or specialized terminology; recommends expansion of text to elaborate on scientific or mathematics assumptions which may not be clear; deletes unnecessary verbiage; verifies form, sequence, and accuracy of specialized symbols used in scientific or mathematics formulas; plans and marks logical page formatting of lengthy formulas or schematics to assure clarity and integrity of author's intent; verifies (directly with calculator or through author) accuracy of computations shown in text; marks up or keys in recommended type faces and type styles, as well as identifying special type fonts to accommodate text, formulas, graphs, and specialized symbols required; makes, or obtains from printer, proof of edited copy; proofreads proof copy to mark and correct typographic errors; refers corrected proof to author and supervisor for review and approval.
  3. Consultation. Typical tasks: consults with author on any significant changes in language that could improve clear expressions of author's intent or the scientific or technical integrity of the text; consults with author regarding format of charts, graphs, schematics, or formulas to assure accuracy and integrity in reproduction of author's work; in some cases, may need to consult with other technical experts or library references to assure the proper form and accuracy of technical materials; explains length and style requirements of publisher; consults with author regarding probable audience for work and explains need to adjust language and style to best fit needs of audience (e.g., work is oversimplified or needs greater simplification for audience); refers unresolved editing problems to supervisor; consults with graphic artist or designer regarding special graphics needed, paper, ink, typestyle, and size to be used as they may affect final editing; consults with author or editor regarding need for legal permission to quote or reproduce materials referenced or reprinted in draft; consults with printer regarding production schedule; consults with publisher regarding progress and status of work being edited; may coordinate between two or more authors on single work; may go through many draft changes to final approval by author and publication review committees; submits proof of each new draft to author and supervisor for review and approval.
  4. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: performs library research of general subject matter or specific references in text to verify accuracy and reliability of material; researches copyright status and need for permission to quote or reprint materials in text; obtains (directly or through author, publisher, or supervisor) legal permission to quote or reprint protected materials; composes (with author's permission) revisions of text, brief introductions, or explanatory notes to be incorporated in final copy; researches, reads, and maintains current of knowledge of general subject matter, specialized terminology or language, and recent developments in specialized scientific or technical field(s); researches and maintains file on publishers and organizations in a given scientific or technical field(s) (includes style and format requirements); maintains current list of individuals and groups who can serve as advisory resources in specialized field(s); develops and uses effective listening and oral communication skills in order to work with variety of authors of varying temperaments, backgrounds, and skill levels in resolving editing problems; works on several editing assignments at a time, setting own task priorities based on author availability and production deadlines; may use computer terminal or photocomposition equipment to perform editing tasks (learns and uses one or more coding systems) and may set type and impose copy on such equipment for direct telecommunication to printer; may operate electronic printer to obtain proof of edited copy; may attend conferences or conventions related to specialty field(s) to maintain current of knowledge; may take academic classes to maintain or enhance knowledge in specialty field(s); may research and write abstract from recent publication activity in specialty field for unit resource files; may perform cut and paste technique to lay out and make up camera ready copy from proofs.


Employees in this class have frequent telephone, in person, and written contact with authors to discuss, clarify, and persuade about changes needed in copy being edited. There is frequent telephone or in person contact with printers or graphics specialists to discuss and plan production of materials being edited. There is occasional telephone or written contact with publishers to discuss or clarify style, format, or requested editing changes. There may be occasional telephone or written contact with technical experts to obtain advice or assistance in specialty fields related to materials being edited. There may be occasional telephone or written contact with copyright holders to arrange for permission to quote or reprint protected materials.


Employees in this class receive work assignments and general supervision from a unit supervisor or manager. The employee works with considerable independence but must consult with the author or supervisor regarding any substantive changes being made in material edited. Work is reviewed both in progress and as complete for accuracy, timeliness, effectiveness, and conformance to required standards of style and formatting. Guidance is provided through consultation with author, supervisor, publisher, technical experts, graphic artists, designer, and printers; and in a variety of style guides, dictionaries, library resources, and applicable laws (copyrights); and department or division rules, policies, and procedures.


Positions are found in central and remote locations throughout State government (e.g., general government agencies, human or natural resource agencies, correctional, mental health, or higher education institutions, hospitals, etc.). They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.


  • Three years of general publication writing and/or editing experience; OR 
  • one year of publication writing and/or editing experience which involved a scientific or technical subject matter area; OR 
  • a Bachelor's degree, or similar documentation, providing proof of successful completion of an education or training program in a scientific or technical subject matter area and 12 quarter (8 semester) hours of college English courses in expository or professional writing; OR 
  • a Bachelor's degree with a major in English or Journalism.

NOTE: You may be asked to bring examples of your work to the interview.

Transcripts must be submitted for all required and/or related courses.