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I'm helping a family member by editing a translated version of a book they wrote. The book is about lacemaking, a subject I know very little of, so we got a subject matter expert involved, who was able to look through the book and make sure any terminology was used correctly.

So, when it comes to crediting the expert, it feels like there should be a "proper" term for this, but trying to look it up only brings up corporate business blogs. These are the terms that I could think of:

  • [name], Subject matter expert
  • [name], Subject matter advisor
  • [name], Lace terminology advisor

What's the best way to put this?

2 Answers 2

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In acknowledgements, in my experience, the common way to thank an expert is to give their name, profession, and field of expertise, for example like this:

I also want to thank Roberta Williams, lacemaker, for her help with translating technical terminology.

or

Textile engineer Joan Smith has been of invaluable help in translating lacemaking terminology.

I have never seen anyone called by the function they have in relation to the book, e.g. "expert" or "advisor".


The term, if you want one, for an expert in a field, is expert in [a field] or expert on [a subject matter] or [subject] expert, so lacemaking expert or expert in lacemaking.

The person you are consulting is not a "terminology expert", but an expert in the field the terminology belongs to.


In the context of large-scale professional translation services, e.g. for the United Nations, there are so-named translation consultants or translationists who are usually both trained translators (with a degree) and experts in a certain field (often with a second degree) whose job it is to make sure that technical translations (e.g. of legal documents) uses the correct terminology in the target language.

That is not what your lacemaking expert is, because she doesn't have a professional background as a terminology consultant, but that is the function she had for your book, so you might use that term informally or tongue in cheek.

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  • I'm looking for a term to use in the front or back matter, rather than in an acknowledgements section, so I'm interested in something more terse, I guess. Good point about "terminology expert", though.
    – Andrey
    Commented Apr 17 at 11:37
  • @Andrey You need to explain in more detail in what context you want to use the term. Is it in the foreword or afterword? And in what way will you mention that person there?
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 17 at 14:59
  • @Andrey I added another option in an edit to my answer (the third section at the end). Does that answer your question?
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 17 at 15:19
  • I'm talking about the front matter, where people other than the author who had a part in making the book will be credited in a very brief way. E.g. "Cover designer [person who did the cover design]" or "Translator [person who did the translation]". "Translation consultant" sounds like it's exactly what I need, but if I understand you correctly it's got very strict prerequisites, so it probably doesn't work.
    – Andrey
    Commented Apr 17 at 15:52
  • @Andrey You mean the copyright page. The only persons mentioned there are: the author, the pulisher, the translator, the cover designer, the printer, the typesetter, sometimes the agent, and the programme editor, if the book is part of a programme – no one else! That is not the place to list everyone who helped you.
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 17 at 17:49
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The term is Consulting Editor.

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