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Editorial Research Assistants

The Job

Editorial research assistants work for many kinds of publishers, publications, and corporations. They assist research editors and other types of editors with the tasks necessary to provide clearly written, accurate reading material. Editorial research assistant is an entry-level job and job tasks vary depending upon the employer. For example, editorial research assistants may be assigned to support one research editor or one writer, an editorial team, or an entire department. They may work on one project at a time or several projects simultaneously.

Editorial research assistants generally perform research tasks such as verifying the dates, facts, names of persons and places, and statistics used by a writer. They may review a writer's sources and then verify that the information provided by these sources is correct. They may contact any persons interviewed by the writer to ensure that any quotes used by the writer are truthful and correct. Research assistants also contact experts in subject areas pertaining to the topic of the article, often to obtain additional information for the writer, or verify information already used in the article. If a research assistant finds any errors or discrepancies with the writer's text, they are expected to flag and correct them. A research assistant may meet with the writer and/or editor to discuss any discrepancies that are not easily resolved.

Research assistants use a variety of tools to do their jobs. They rely on telephones, fax machines, and computers to obtain the information they need. Researchers may utilize libraries, the Internet, and in-house collections of information as sources of facts, figures, and statistics. Although they may work in a variety of settings, many research assistants work in the magazine/periodical publishing industry.

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