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Ghostwrftfng-The Spectrum from

Ghostwriter to Revfewer to Editor

to Coauthor

Number 48

A few years ago, I decided to tackle

the task of publishing an essay about

ghostwriting. My preliminary draft and

notes, both written and oral, were

turned over to Marianne Zajdel, then

manager of editorial materials at ISF.

She in turn asked Joan L. Cochran, one

of ISI’s staff writers, to prepare a more

detailed draft, incorporating the many

points stipulated in the outline we had

prepared. Joan had been an 1S1 staff

writer for about five years and had

helped me prepare dozens of articles.

She subsequently submitted yet another

draft to me, which I read and edited ex￾tensively. This revised draft was then

submitted to a group of reviewers I had


Not surprisingly, reactions were quite

mixed. Suggested changes ranged from

correcting a few words or lines to a ma￾jor rethinking and rewriting. I chose the

latter because the recommendation was

supported by massive contextual correc￾tions I simply could not ignore. One cdl￾tor extraordinairel made me realize that

the subject of ghostwriting was far more

complex than I had imagined. Indeed,

the potential range of the subject is vast.

It touches upon the domains of writing,

editing, and reviewing, as welf as the

ethics of authorship.

What follows is an interim essay on

this large subject. These ongoing reflec￾tions are bound to be protilonal.

Neither time, space, nor temperament

allows me the luxury of indulging in a

December 2.1985

Mertonian/Shandean exercise in self￾and domain-exegesis.z In order to pay

proper homage to those who have par￾ticipated in the creation of th~ essay,

however, I have incorporated their re￾marks verbatim wherever possible. This

helps illustrate how difficult it is to iden￾tify what is truly one’s own original writ￾ing, rewriting, or editing, as well as one’s

own ideas when research aides, re￾viewers, and editors are involved in a

truly social and interactive process. By

focusing attention on the fulf range of

editorial functions, I hope that the ethi￾cal problems involved in scholarly and

other writing will be clafi~ed.

In this essay, I examine various types

of ghostwriting and, I hope, separate

them from the many shades of editing

and writing (or speaking) that are not,

strictly speaking, original. By “original,”

I refer to what the author wrote before

the piece was submitted to others for

whatever type of help was needed. I also

d~cuss some issues that arise in deciding

how to give credit for those ideas incor￾porated in the text that are not originally

the author’s.

An essay I wrote several years ago

happily acknowledged the help I receive

from ISI’s large staff of information sci￾entists, librarians, writers, and other

professional colleagues.3 In a sense,

these people separately and collectively

perform the function of research asso￾ciates and editors. Still, it is tempting to

describe these activities as bordering on


Umiejętności: Article Writing, Edycja, Ghostwriting, Korekta tekstów, Pisanie artykułów popularnonaukowych

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