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Scottish Language Dictionaries Managing Editor

Salary:             £27,000 - £32,000

Terms:             Permanent; 35 hours pw, fixed (part-time may be considered)

Location:        Edinburgh (West End)

Starting date: April 2020 (negotiable)

Closing date:   3 January 2020

Scottish Language Dictionaries is Scotland's independent lexicographical body for Scots. It is also a publicly-funded, charity. Our Scottish National Dictionary and Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue are national institutions, providing a unique, diachronic record of the language -- and of the history, culture and traditions -- of the UK’s Scots-speaking peoples.

We publish our work in a range of formats, primarily: online as the Dictionary of the Scots Language; in print (our most recent reference work is the revised Concise Scots Dictionary; our most recent popular work is 100 Favourite Scots Words); and as applications for mobile devices. We additionally work in partnership with organisations such as Education Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, and the Universities of Scotland to support people of all ages and abilities in their knowledge and use of Scots vocabulary.

We are soon to embark on a new strategic phase which will see the expansion of our in-house editorial team from three employees to five. We seek a Managing Editor to manage this expansion and to relieve the CEO of the day-to-day management of the ongoing programme of editorial projects.

The post-holder will report directly to the CEO (currently also our Editor-in-Chief).

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Plan the annual production schedule, ensuring all content is delivered on time and to the required standard
  • Manage freelancers and external suppliers, such as designers and typesetters
  • Assist, coach and train the in-house editorial team, ensuring the highest standards of communication, teamworking, involvement, and individual and team development
  • Lead the implementation of new editing technology
  • Lead the planning, control and successful delivery of dictionary-related projects
  • Develop effective data collection systems to enrich our coverage of the language
  • Foster initiatives and collaborations which contribute positively to our national profile
  • Promote the work of the organisation through social media, at public events, and at specialist conferences

Experience, skills and knowledge

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate the following attributes:


  • At least five years’ experience of professional lexicography or reference publishing
  • Excellent organisation, prioritisation and project management skills
  • Experience of managing freelancers and external suppliers
  • Great interpersonal skills and confident, effective communication
  • Strong track record of building positive relationships with key stakeholders


  • Degree in language, literature or linguistics
  • A genuine interest in Scots
  • Familiarity with Dictionary Production System (DPS) software
  • Familiarity with other modern publishing technologies, e.g. XML, WordPress
  • Line management experience, ideally in a project-focused environment
  • Experience of managing change
  • Experienced in using social media platforms to connect with audiences

Other information

  • The post-holder will be automatically enrolled in Scottish Language Dictionaries’ Royal London pension scheme, subject to membership criteria.
  • Holiday entitlement for full-time staff is 34 days’ paid holiday (including public holidays) rising after two years’ service by one day per annum to a maximum of 39 days.

If you require further information, please contact the CEO, Dr Rhona Alcorn, at

Scottish Language Dictionaries reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between Scottish Language Dictionaries and any individual.

Application and selection procedure

Please send your CV (maximum 4 pages) with a covering letter (maximum 2 pages) and referee details to by 5pm on Friday 3 January 2020. Your covering letter should outline the reasons for your interest in this position and summarise what you would bring to the role. We will not contact your referees unless required at a later stage of the process and then only with your consent.

By 20 January 2020, short-listed candidates will be invited to attend an interview in central Edinburgh during the week beginning 27 January 2020. The successful candidate will be informed shortly thereafter.

Scottish Language Dictionaries Managing Editor

Scottish Language Dictionaries, Edinburgh
Charity, Publisher
Brand, Business, Commissioning Editor, Copywriter, Copywriting, Editor, Events, Publishing, Publishing Support, Other Publishing, Management, Conference and Events, Business Development, Project Management, Digital Editorial, Editorial
30 £ gross annual income