As ChatGPT becomes more prevalent and developed, editors may be able to utilize it to make their lives easier.

ChatGPT is a hot topic these days, and there are many who think that it’s a risk to their jobs. However, ChatGPT may not be a risk to writers’ and editors’ jobs. Rather, it might help us take the ideas and information we input into it to create a rough draft, helping to streamline the writing process. For the editing process, some things that ChatGPT can be specifically helpful with is a lot of the copyediting, such as finding spelling errors, spacing and punctuation errors, and simple grammar errors. These advantages could allow both writers and editors to focus on more complex issues and really make documents shine.


The purpose of the research conducted by Shakked Noy and Whitney Zhang (2023), published in their article titled “Experimental Evidence on the Productivity Effects of Generative Artificial Intelligence,” was to investigate how ChatGPT could be used to improve the editing process. Noy and Zhang gathered 444 college-educated professionals and divided them into control and experimental groups. The control group performed two workplace writing tasks without ChatGPT. The experimental group wrote the first task without ChatGPT. They were then taught how to use ChatGPT and given the option to use it on the second writing assignment if they felt it would help them. After both groups finished the writing assignments, Noy and Zhang had a group of evaluators give all the assignments a quality score. 

Although the research is not yet peer reviewed, the results of this experiment indicated that those who used ChatGPT on the second writing assignment spent less time writing the rough draft and more time editing their work. Therefore, they were able to produce papers of higher quality for their second assignment and receive higher scores than the papers from the other participants who did not use ChatGPT. Noy and Zhang also discovered that participants who used ChatGPT completed the second writing assignment about ten minutes sooner than their counterparts who did not use ChatGPT. Overall, these results suggested that ChatGPT helped reduce the time participants spent on the second writing assignment, enabling them to spend less time on the initial draft phase and more on the editing phase. Noy and Zhang even found that the scores (on a scale from 1 to 7) improved for those that used ChatGPT.

“Humans and ChatGPT working together could produce more than the sum of their parts.”

—Shakked Noy and Whitney Zhang


While the full implications of these results remain to be seen, a possible interpretation is that ChatGPT can be used, even at a higher level of writing, to help streamline the writing process and cut down on the time spent working on rough drafts and frameworks. This could allow writers more time to edit their work and bring it to a higher standard. This means that writers would be able to produce better work at a faster pace, which would make them more valuable assets to a company. But this assumes that the writers have the necessary editorial skills to bring their ChatGPT-generated work to a higher standard. If not, there could be a shift in demand for people with editorial skills. This would result in editors becoming more valuable assets to a company. ChatGPT is an exciting tool available to editors and writers to help us with our work, one that we should be getting familiar with to prepare for the future.

To learn more about ChatGPT and editing, read the full article: 

Noy, Shakked, and Whitney Zhang. 2023. “Experimental Evidence on the Productivity Effects of Generative Artificial Intelligence.” SSRN Electronic Journal.

—Parker Cook, Editing Research


Find More Research

Study more about ChatGPT by reading Curtis Nigel’s (2023) The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal article: “To ChatGPT or not to ChatGPT? The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Academic Publishing.” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 42, no. 4: 275–275.

Or you can learn more about ChatGPT in scholarly editing and publishing by reading Tsigaris, Panagiotis, and Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva’s article (2023) here: “The Role of ChatGPT in Scholarly Editing and Publishing.” European Science Editing 49.