Peter J Matthews

Recently Rated:


Blogs: 6
Groups: 1
Location: Kyoto
Work interests: ethnobotany, prehistory, crop history, plant domestication, Colocasia, Araceae, Asia, Pacific
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: pjm [at] minpaku [dot] ac [dot] jp
Favourite publications: Aroideana, Economic Botany, Ethnobiology, Plants People Planet (PPP)

Category: Writing Advice

LIS LE (1st translation of 'Read it!')

By PJ Matthews, 2022-07-28


relis tes Mots
un Etranger a toi mme, avec les Meilleurs Intentions du Monde
dcouvres les Relations
Progniture Non voulu, Faits Orphelins
et Promesses Manques

dors y
ton lit Dfait
vite le charme inutile
reconnais tes Amis et cites tes Sources

Contradiction et Echec
peuvent Te rendre Fort
affronte Les honntement, fais En bon usage
le Respect pourrait encourager a
des Rsolutions Inattendues

imagine les Futurs Lecteurs
soit un bon souvenir, si aprs tout
trouve ton Propre Chemin, avec les Mots
puis lis le, encore, et encore
avant de le Laisser Partir

P. J. Matthews, 2002 
traduit par N'dri paul Kouadio 2009

Relis-toi (2nd translation of 'Read it!')

By PJ Matthews, 2022-07-28

Pome lintention des auteurs...

Avec un regard extrieur mais bienveillant
Dcouvre de nouveaux liens
Dtecte des rejetons non dsirs, des affirmations orphelines
Et des promesses avortes

Laisse passer une nuit
Dans ton lit dfait
Laisse ton inconscient faire son uvre, saisis la bonne fortune
Fuis les flirts oiseux
Mentionne tes amis et cite tes sources

La contestation et les imperfections
Peuvent te renforcer
Affronte-les honntement, utilise-les bon escient
Les respecter peut engendrer
Des solutions inespres

Aie en tte ton futur lecteur
Noublie pas de laisser une belle empreinte
Donne forme ta propre personnalit, avec tes mots
Puis relis-toi, relis-toi encore
Avant que ton texte ne puisse schapper.

P. J. Matthews
Kawasaki, Japan, 2.1.2002


Traduit 2010 par Marie Girardin avec Anne Gosset.


Read It (Poem - original English version)

By PJ Matthews, 2022-07-28

read again your Words

a Stranger to Yourself, with Best Intentions
discover the Relationships
Unintended Offspring, Orphan Facts
and Broken Promises

sleep on it
your Unmade Bed
let Dreams come, welcome Serendipity
avoid Pointless Flirtation
acknowledge Friends and Sources

Contradiction and Failure
can make You strong
face Them fairly, use Them well
Respect may foster
Unexpected Resolutions

imagine Future Readers
be remembered well, if at all
find your Own Way, with Words
then read it, again, and again
before The Letting Go

P. J. Matthews
Kawasaki, Japan, 2.1.2002

Lis-les (3rd translation of 'Read it')

By PJ Matthews, 2022-07-27

Pome lintention des auteurs... Lis-les!

Relis tes mots
Toi, tranger toi-mme, anim par les meilleures intentions
Dchiffre les liens
Ou tu donneras naissance des hritiers non dsirs, des faits abandonns
Et une promesse brise

La nuit porte conseil
Dans ton lit dfait
Laisse libre cours tes rves, accueille lheureux hasard
Fuis le badinage inutile
Reconnais tes amis et cite tes sources

La contradiction et lchec
Peuvent te renforcer
Affronte-les dignement, utilise-les bon escient
Le respect peut favoriser
Des accomplissements insouponns

Imagine tes futurs lecteurs
Laisse une belle empreinte
Trouve ton propre chemin, avec tes mots
Puis lis-les, lis-les encore
Avant de les laisser aller.

P. J. Matthews
Kawasaki, Japon, 1
er fvrier 2002

(Translator Anon)

Editing costs

By PJ Matthews, 2015-06-21

Though happy in my in my job, I do sometimes wonder what other people earn doing similar work in other countries... and how that might relate to the local cost of living. This is not a very useful exercise.

It would be more useful if I could judge the scientific and educational value of using some of my income to regularly employ an editor to look at everything I write, even though I am an experienced writer. 

The basic expectation where I work is that I produce work of relevance for my research discipline and for society in general - in academic and non-academic publications, by attending conferences, through teaching, and through museum exhibitions. Publishing in so-called "high impact" journals is not a requirement, though of course it would be welcomed.

So... how much should I expect to pay for an editor?

I need someone with experience in writing and editing generally, together with some understanding of science and scientific writing styles.

Recently I discovered a website called

I joined and then asked for a report on what I should pay, as a 'university', for a publications editor in Australia (the concept of 'employer' being an individual does not seem to be recognised).

The website generates a scenario job based on my answers to a series of questions, and describes the roles of publications editor as:

Ensuring adherence to a style guide, correct formatting and consistent use of language within a document; reviewing, rewriting and editing the work of other writers; developing story or content ideas; and holding a Bachelor's Degree. Supervisory Role: No. Skills should include Technical Writing, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Proposal Writing, Grant Writing, Scientific Writing. (my precis)

That's all rather more than I expected. I just want someone to read and edit my work, one-to-one. Still, I am after a benchmark to think about, so I looked further into the report.

The website automatically selects relevant profiles of existing subscribers to the service and uses these to generate a range of estimates.

For the particular job category I asked about, the site reports that there is much variability in compensation levels, so the estimates are not rated as highly accurate or reliable - a realistic caveat!

Here are the estimates given:

Base salary per year ($AUD): 60,607  (i.e. c. 5.8 million yen per year).

Hourly rate: $29.14  (i.e. c. 2,774 yen per hour)

This estimate was based on 165 profiles of people in the database.

The hourly rate looks reasonable to me, relative to pay scales and living costs in Australia and Japan, but I doubt that there are many jobs available for publication editors with a base salary that is so high.

For such a salary, the person would need to be managing editor of a very high impact journal that is able to attract high-paying authors or subscribers.

If many editors, proofreaders, and translators can submit profile information to (or a similar site), we might be able to get a more global view of what they are able to earn and expect in different countries.

That would be useful for all of us here at the Research Cooperative.

If you can recommend - for members of our network - other websites with information on pay scales, please comment on this blog post!