Should the book I edited advertise my Ph.D.?
November 21, 2011 8:48 PM Subscribe
I'm editing a non-academic, non-fiction book to be published by a university library. Should the book advertise my Ph.D. credentials? If so, how?
posted by Orinda to Writing & Language (12 answers total)
After finishing a Ph.D. in literature, I was commissioned by one of the libraries at the same university to edit some private papers of historical interest from their archives. The library is funding publication of the edited papers in a hard-bound book.
As the editor, I made selections from the papers to shape an engaging "story," edited the selected texts for length, and added footnotes and an introduction to explain the papers' historical context. This was not a work of scholarly editing; the primary goal was to produce something readable, almost novel-like, aimed at the school's alumni. I did, however, spend a lot of time researching historical details, striving to make the footnotes and intro informative and accurate. My doctoral research was not directly relevant to this project, but my academic background gave me some general research skills, and I'd like to think that my study of literature helped me shape an emotionally affecting, well-paced story out of the raw materials.
The book is essentially finished but I'm still wrestling with the question of whether and how to indicate in the book (or on the cover) that I have a Ph.D. On the one hand, the library director chose me to handle this (very expensive!) project in part because of my expertise, and the library perhaps deserves the cachet of showing off my credentials. The book is meant as something of a promotional piece for the library, and it might be to their advantage to show people "we got a Ph.D. to work on this." On the other hand, I personally do not want to come across as flaunting my advanced degree. It just seems kind of tacky.
As initially submitted to the printer, the cover and title page read "Edited by Orinda Adniro", no letters after the name. In the Foreword to the book, the library director referred to me as "Dr. Adniro," but the director told me to edit the foreword as I saw fit, and I changed the phrasing to "Ms. Adniro." (In general, I think only M.D.s should be called "Dr. So-and-so.") I don't know of any plans for an "about the author" blurb, which is where I would prefer to put information about my academic training.
So, right now the book contains no reference to my Ph.D., but I still have time to change that. Should I? Should the title page and cover read "Edited by Orinda Adniro, Ph.D."? Should the Foreword read "Dr. Adniro"? Is there somewhere else where a reference to my degree should be inserted?