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Scientific Manuscript Editing Services

July 25, 2011 Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Writing 

In my experience as editor, rarely do I reject a manuscript solely because of improper use of the English language (usually from authors who are non-native English speakers, although not entirely). Many rejected manuscripts have this problem, however, so poorly written manuscripts contribute to the author being unable to convince reviewers that their research is valid, original, or interesting.

Thus, anything that an author can do to improve the quality of the language, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary in their manuscript is a step closer toward publication.

One way to get that help would be to find a native English speaker (who is also a good writer!) to either proofread your manuscript (for free or for a fee) or to join as a coauthor (be involved in the research and writing of the manuscript).

Not everyone may know someone willing to contribute in this way. Thus, scientific manuscript editing services are another way to get help. It is hard to recommend specific editing services because I haven’t used any, but I provide the following suggestions as places to start your search.

1. Simply type “scientific manuscript editing” into your search engine and start looking at the services provided by the different companies.

2. The American Meteorological Society has two recommendations on its Web page: (http://www.ametsoc.org/PUBS/preeditservices.html).

3. A former atmospheric science professor, Dr. Jon Nelson, runs a scientific manuscript editing service: Redmond Physical Sciences.

4. Mary Golden, my editorial assistant for Monthly Weather Review, also performs manuscript editing. Contact her at “mwrgolden at yahoo dot com.”

In Eloquent Science (pp. 200-201), there is a list of questions written by Mary Golden to ask these services before you engage them. One of the more important questions to ask is whether they will help you throughout the peer-review process or their service is a one-time-only fee for manuscript editing. In the world of manuscript editing, you usually get exactly what you pay for. So, going with the cheapest company may not always be the best.

(Image from www.authoright.com)

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