American Journal Experts

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Contract Editor

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Contract Editor (Remote/From-Home)  in  Durham, NC
Current Employee - Contract Editor (Remote/From-Home) in Durham, NC

I have been working at American Journal Experts as a contractor for more than a year

Pros

You can't beat working from home for extra money. You set your work load, and it's a great supplement to a student stipend while obtaining an advanced degree.

Cons

I've only worked on a contract basis. I can't comment on what it's like to work in the Atlanta office.

Recommends

48 Other Employee Reviews for American Journal Experts (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Extra income if you're okay with low wages

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Journal Experts as a contractor

    Pros

    - Ability to work from home to earn extra money to supplement your grad school stipend.
    - Flexible work hours within the 72-hour deadline

    Cons

    - The actual hourly wage is lower than the advertised pay because editing takes longer -- sometimes much longer -- than expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - If you are dissatisfied with a contract editor's performance, provide direct feedback via a quick e-mail message to remedy the situation. It is easy for the contract editor to become inured to the canned problem area feedback, as even an excellent edit will have some problem areas. Additionally, the average score may not accurately reflect performance over the past few assignments, so the contract editor may not be aware of recent, potentially serious, problems that annoy the managing editors.
    - The advertised average hourly compensation seems impossible to achieve.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    I earned less than minimum wage and was fired for complaining

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contract Editor  in  Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Contract Editor in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at American Journal Experts as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    The flyer in my building on campus was appealing: Make $25 per hour for editing scientific journal articles in your discipline! Flexible hours, work from home, read interesting papers, expand your knowledge in your own field! This all turned out to be true except the "$25 per hour" part - more on that below.

    I did enjoy the actual task of editing, and AJE provided good guidance and training on how to hone my editing skills. The papers I was assigned were broadly within my sphere of knowledge, and I was pleased to help non-native English speakers gain a better chance of publishing their work. The automated online assignment queue and submission system was efficient and user-friendly, and the performance bonuses were a good motivator. I got detailed feedback on my work from senior editors. All in all, this would have been a great part-time job for a graduate student, if only it paid more than minimum wage.

    Cons

    Compensation is per paper edited, not per hour of work, and no matter how hard I tried, I averaged about $6-$7 per hour. I followed all of the "speed tips" given to me by my managing editors, but my hourly wage was never above $12, and on particularly incoherent papers, it could drop to less than $4. (Some of the editors in my training cohort were faster than I, but nobody approached the $25/hr mark.) I was usually in the best 20% of the editor pool and was consistently getting performance bonuses, but I was obviously still doing something "wrong."

    This was especially maddening in light of what the customers pay. Although contract editors do the vast majority of the work on any given paper, they generally receive less than 20% of the customer's total fee (e.g., for a standard paper, the customer pays $230 while the contract editor gets $40). Who gets the other 80%? AJE wouldn't give me any information on this.

    I began to comment on these discrepancies via the AJE internal discussion forum for contractors (which is also read by AJE management). Many other contractors chimed in to agree with me, and some staff editors reiterated the "speed tips" and assured us that we would soon be making a good salary. Eventually I got an email from AJE staff saying they would like to discuss my experiences via conference call; I readily agreed to this request. Before the call could take place, I got another email telling me my contractor account had been terminated.

    On the now-moot conference call, AJE staff said that they were looking into ways to improve communication with contractors and make the editing process more efficient, but they provided few details. I ended my relationship with AJE feeling disillusioned and exploited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's a shame that I had such a bad experience at AJE, because I think in many ways their business model and mission are admirable. I also had a lot of respect for some of the individual managing editors with whom I worked, and I got helpful feedback on my editing. But that is small comfort when one is earning $5 per hour. I hope AJE takes a hard look at their compensation practices and their contractor turnover rates.

    Doesn't Recommend
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