Scientific editing

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» When to request editing

» Practicalities

» Editing process

» After peer review

Expert editing in the biomolecular sciences

This service is designed for researchers who wish to optimize the chances that their manuscript be favorably reviewed and accepted, for publication (research papers) or funding (grant applications). The aim is to ensure a fair and accurate peer evaluation of the content, without interference by poor writing or confusing presentation. Therefore, the editing considers—and improves where necessary—both the language (e.g. grammar, style) and the content (e.g. organization, argumentation, referencing).

Because the ability to perform this type of editing requires both language skills and specialist subject knowledge, I limit my presubmission editing to the biomedical sciences and, more specifically, to the biomolecular sciences—the field in which I studied and did original research.

When to request editing of your manuscript

Ideally, prior to submission
Editing should be requested when the manuscript is complete and its content has been approved by all the co-authors. Because editing may require several rounds (iterations) between you (the authors) and me (the editor), for best results editing should be started with ample time before any deadline.
After a first round of peer review, if the journal editor determined that language editing is required before publication.
While editing the manuscript, I will check that you have made all the modifications requested by the peer reviewers and, if necessary, I will help you interpret the reviewers' criticisms if these are not entirely clear. I will also edit your point-by-point response letter, making sure that it is well argued and has the right tone. Altogether the editing takes on a strategic nature aimed at securing acceptance.
After multiple rejections from different journals.
In this case, I will evaluate the manuscript to determine the causes of rejection. If the problems lie in the reporting but not in the research, I will propose a radical revision of the manuscript. This work, called developmental editing, requires a particularly close collaboration between me (working as a "developmental editor") and you, the authors, who will be requested to supply new information to make up for the deficiencies.

Practicalities: price quotation, acceptance of the offer, payment

To request a price quote, send me your complete manuscript, including the title page, all figures and tables, and the bibliography, for a confidential, no-obligation evaluation. It is helpful if you would indicate the journal or funding agency to which you intend to submit your manuscript, if you have a deadline, and if the manuscript has already been peer-reviewed.

I will assess your manuscript for length, complexity of the subject and quality of the writing, and calculate my costs. The quoted price covers multiple rounds of editing until you are satisfied with the manuscript, editing of the cover letter, and assistance after peer review (editing of your revised manuscript and point-by-point responses to the peer reviewers).

To accept my offer:

Editing process

I will attempt to edit the entire manuscript during the first round of editing; if this is possible, the turn-around time is usually about one week (unless we have made other agreements). Sometimes during editing, I encounter problems with the content of the manuscript (e.g. contradictions, missing data) that make it impossible for me to edit to the end: if this happens, I'll return the partially edited text to you with instructions on how you should improve it before editing continues.

Generally, between two and four rounds of editing are needed until you are satisfied and I have no more changes to make. With each round, you will receive the revised text with my changes highlighted and with numerous questions and suggestions written as "bubble comments" or within the text itself, e.g. [ please check that my changes maintained meaning ]. You are requested to review my changes (accepting or rejecting them) and make additional changes, guided by my annotations: you will be your own editor! At the next round, I will see your changes and additions, and continue to improve the text.

After peer review

Research articles are sometimes accepted immediately after peer review. Although immediate acceptance is rare, in my experience it is possible and worth aiming for. More commonly, journal editors ask authors to revise and resubmit the paper for a second evaluation. For papers that I've edited, the requested revisions deal almost exclusively with the experimentation, not the reporting. After you have made your revisions, I will edit the manuscript again, taking into account the peer reviewers' comments. I will also edit your point-by-point responses, with a critical eye to be sure that you have dealt with all the criticisms in an effective manner that can secure acceptance.


To know more about how editing works and what it can do for your research team's publishing agenda, you are welcome to call me with questions or invite me to speak in your department about effective biomedical writing of articles and grant applications.

© UpTo infotechnologies. All rights reserved. Document created: 6 March 2015; modified 12 January 2017

Presubmission editing by an editor working for the authors is called
author editing
(as opposed to editing for publishers) and it is done by an
authors' editor
(not a publisher's editor).