What is the role of research in education?
Higher education is fundamentally built on research. All formal education curricula are based on the research conducted by academics and scientists. Education and research form the complete circle of knowledge sharing as education sow the seeds of future research in the minds of the youth in their educational journeys.
The above is true of India, as it has seen a rapid growth in research in recent years and now produces 5% of global research output, ahead of Germany, the UK, and Japan, according to a recent report published by the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. While Indian researchers have a significant footprint in published research, a lot of their research is conducted and published oversees. India’s not nearly where we should and can be as far as intellectual potential is concerned, largely because our higher education and research sectors tend to operate in isolation.
Do you think research and editing are emerging as alternate career options?
The number of people opting for research and editing as career options has seen a dramatic rise in the last decade. Research as a career is holding its fort in India, as several state-run and private research institutions, particularly in the biotech, medical, and pharma sectors, are promoting research through funding and state-of-the-art direction.
Major Western publishers have often looked towards East, at India, for their editorial needs. India is a major hub for the copyediting industry and a formidable contender in the language and scientific editing landscape. Academic editing is growing as a career option for English enthusiasts, researchers, engineers, medical professionals, linguists, and social scientists. Several young researchers are now moving out of labs to harness their love for science through academic editing.
Has research increased as a result of the rise in usage of electronic media? Is this a step towards improving the quality of research?
Certainly, the popularity of electronic media has brought conversations about science and research into the public domain. American science communicators like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye have made great strides in popularizing science in the US. They’re also fairly well-known among urban Indian youth who use international social media. Moreover, the electronic articles by Popular Science and Science Daily do a good deal of work in the communication of science to the layperson. The millions of views of NASA’s videos uploaded on YouTube is a phenomenon of today’s technological democratization. Progressive governments in Europe are mandating that science be made accessible to the public, and with this, scientific discussion and communication will only become more popular. Moreover, the discussion of science on electronic media, particularly social media, has given rise to the concept of altmetrics, where hashtags have the power to steer the impact of science.
The popularization of science has also necessitated discussions on transparency, ethical compliance, and equality in research and research communication. Publication ethics and retractions of scientific articles make it to the well-read sections of newspapers and social media news feeds. This is surely a positive sign of improvements in the future of scientific development.
How can publication support and academic editing act as solutions to help researchers?
Science communication is a big gap felt most keenly in countries where English is not the first language. The struggle of communicating science is compounded by difficulty in dealing with the complexities of English, which is overwhelmingly the language of international research. Academic editors apply their language skills and scientific understanding to help effectively and accurately communicate complex discoveries and concepts.
Publish or perish is the unsaid rule academia. The pressure to publish may lead certain researchers to unknowingly submit to the unethical practices of predatory journals. Professional publication support, publication-related training for researchers, and academic editing services work as antidotes to these problems.
More and more academic authors and researchers are acknowledging that qualified science editors understand the challenges authors face and have a deep understanding of what reputed journals expect from a research paper. They help authors weed out concerns related to plagiarism and predatory journals by helping them choose a reputable journal and supporting the publication of ethically conducted research. Published research then goes on to form the foundation of curricula in schools, colleges, and universities, completing the rich circle of research and education.
How does Cactus Communications select the right candidates? Do you provide work from home or part-time options?
CACTUS does indeed provide work-from-home opportunities. In fact, for the past three years, we’ve been ranked among the top 20 companies in the world for remote jobs (Source: Forbes.com) (https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2018/01/17/work-from-home-2018-the-top-100-companies-for-remote-jobs/).
People sometimes take “work from home” to mean “part-time.” However, we offer several full-time work-from-home jobs, ideal for professionals in cities where we do not yet have a physical office – or for those who’d just like to save on commute time. These professionals enjoy the best of both worlds – a full-time job from the comfort of their home.
In addition, we offer contract and freelancing arrangements (primarily in editing) to those who cannot work full-time or need a more flexible schedule. The part-time options are ideal for new mothers, retired individuals, and even people with special needs.
Our recruitment processes differ by role. For editorial roles – which form the majority – the process begins with a preliminary screening test that allows candidates to know within 15 minutes if they make it to stage 2. Stage 2 includes one or two pieces of text to edit or critique. This gives candidates a sense of what they’d actually be doing on the job. Tests are assessed on the basis of language, comprehension, and attention to detail, and those who pass make it to the final interviews.
We are always on the lookout for talented individuals who want to make a difference by helping our researchers get published!
What kind of professional growth Cactus Communications offers?
At CACTUS, we understand that not everyone wants to be a manager, and it is this understanding that drives us to create a variety of technical roles as well as managerial ones. As an established global scholarly communication agency, our goal is to partner with our authors at every step of the publication process. This has given rise to myriad services – editing, translation, journal selection, content review, and a host of emerging services. We are proud to say that most of our new services are spearheaded and driven by our current employees. We make all new positions available to our employees. Besides, we have one of the world’s largest editing teams, and this creates several opportunities for lateral and vertical growth. Our editors have gone on to become managing editors, trainers, and quality analysts. Some have even taken on key roles in marketing, analytics, and automation.