Do I charge for required research time when content editing a manuscript?
Thread poster: Sandra Peña de Ortiz

Sandra Peña de Ortiz
Puerto Rico
Local time: 03:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 7

Greetings to all!

I am content editing and copyediting chapters for a book. For the content editing, I am charging on a per hour basis. I am using Time Tracking software. For the current chapter, there have been several instances where I have had to actually conduct research of scientific literature and or other Internet resources, read papers, to then add required content to the chapter. This has, of course, extended the time it has taken me to complete the content editing. My question is, should I charge for the time it takes for me to conduct research during the context editing or not?

I would really appreciate your thoughts and comments on this matter.

Thanks in advance,

Sandra


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:45
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Well, you certainly shouldn't be doing anything for free Jul 9

Sandra Peña de Ortiz wrote:
I have had to actually conduct research of scientific literature and or other Internet resources, read papers, to then add required content to the chapter.

As the title says, you shouldn't work for free. If it isn't something you're doing for yourself or your business (e.g. reading up on something that will be useful for the future) then you're doing it for a client - and that client should pay for it.

However, is this research something that the client should reasonably expect you to need to do (you say it's "required content", but does your client know it's required?)? Was it mentioned when you discussed the scope of the project? Does it look likely that the job will stay within budget even though you include this work? If you can answer "yes" to all questions then you have a clear mandate to charge for your time, without even itemising exactly how much of it is being spent on research. If there are any "no" answers, you need to stop and reassess the situation. You might well need to get back to your client to inform them of the situation and justify why the expenditure on research is necessary.


Teresa Borges
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:45
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
An hour of your time... Jul 9

...is an hour of your time regardless on how you are spending it (work wise, of course). If you need to do research in order to complete your project, then charge for it, and keep the time tracking on. So of course you will charge for that time. After all, this is part of the editing work you are doing.icon_wink.gif

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
#1 The rule of thumb Jul 9

First ask the client
Some novice translators seem to shy away from asking their clients to be deemed profi, yet reasonable inquiries are very professional and is a must--it's about time and money for both parties!

After our strategic alignment, I always charge hourly for checking links/sources, not to mention official translations--quoting and using the adopted variants.


 

Sandra Peña de Ortiz
Puerto Rico
Local time: 03:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jul 9

Thank you for your comments. They are of great help.

Sandra


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 00:45
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree Jul 10

Good advice in both responses above. Research hours should be counted as normal work hours but first discuss that with the client so that you don't get misunderstanding or complaints afterwards.

 

Min Kyu Kim
United States
Local time: 02:45
Need to charge for each bit to do for the client. Sep 27

Yes, of course, you should charge for each bit of work done to complete the project. A professional Client will never deny paying for it also, as it is in his benefit only.

 


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