The Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) is a nonprofit association that was founded in 1991 with three goals:

  • To establish a standard of proficiency for editing in the life sciences
  • To provide qualified editors in the life sciences a way to demonstrate their editorial proficiency
  • To provide employers and clients of editors in the life sciences a way to identify proficient editors

Currently, BELS has more than 1200 members worldwide.

The ELS examination is a three-hour multiple choice test that covers grammar, punctuation, mechanics, usage and diction, syntax, organisation, internal consistency, numbers, bibliographic references, tables and illustrations, units of measure and scientific terms, publishing requirements, and traditional principles of ethics of scientific inquiry, writing, and editing.

Editors who successfully complete the exam may use the designation ELS (Editor in the Life Sciences) after their names.

BELS will offer a certification examination on Saturday, 11 May 2019, in conjunction with the IPEd conference in Melbourne. To learn more about the application and registration processes, please visit

Early bird registration closes next week

Don’t forget that discounted early bird registration closes Wednesday 6 February. That’s next week!

Attending the conference is an investment in your business and your professional development. It offers unprecedented networking opportunities. It counts towards renewal of accreditation for AEs. Conference costs may also be tax-deductible (talk to your accountant).

As for the program, session details will be available as soon as possible and we can already confirm:

  • Four distinguished keynote speakers – Sue Butler, Michael Williams, Penny Modra and Katherine Bode
  • Six in-depth workshops (although one has already sold out)
  • A progress update on the seventh edition of the Australian Government Style Manual, by Libby Varcoe, Head of Content, Digital Transformation Agency.
  • A presentation on recent changes to copyright legislation – in particular, fair dealing – by Grant McAvaney, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Copyright Council.
  • a Super Book Club with a focus on popular fiction, featuring Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen series

For a few sneak peeks at likely sessional content, it pays to follow us on social media.

Lead image via Pexels.