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Writing Basics

How To Get the Most Out of Your LetPub Edits


Amy Clark, Senior Associate Editor

August 2021

Research writing is a process. When you enlist the services of an editor, you are entering into a partnership with the editor to collaborate in a step in the process. A language editor fixes any errors in the English language by rephrasing the diction and syntax with text that is accurate and clear, in addition to correcting grammar and punctuation. If scientific editing is included, the editor assists in developing manuscript structure, scientific logic, and experimental design. LetPub editors want your manuscript to succeed; their job is to serve the manuscript and the research.

Throughout the process of using LetPub’s services, there are steps you can follow to take full advantage of the editor’s work.

What should you do to prepare your manuscript for editing?

• Make sure the manuscript you submit for editing is as complete as possible, with no missing elements. Providing a complete manuscript to the editor maximizes the editor’s ability to make comprehensive and consistent edits. It also ensures that the version you submit to the journal is fully edited.
• Ensure that the submitted file is a clean, uncorrupted Word document and that the text, including tables and figure captions, is editable.
• Make sure the English translation is completed by a skilled translator, not by a machine. Because machine translations are inaccurate and often incomprehensible, LetPub does not accept them.
• If you have a target journal in mind, consult the author guidelines available on the journal’s website and follow the journal’s requirements for word count, style, and structure. Be sure to indicate the name of this journal and note any special requirements. Your LetPub Client Communications Specialist will make sure this information is communicated to the editor.
• Choose a time frame that will give you plenty of time for follow-up edits if necessary. If you are a repeat user of LetPub’s services and you want to request an editor who has handled a previous paper, choosing a turnaround time of at least six days will increase the likelihood that the editor will be available for your current project.

Receiving the edited manuscript. Now what?

• Your manuscript will be returned with the editor’s tracked changes showing when the “All Markup” view is selected in the Review tab in Word. Comments will be included in bubbles. Keep in mind that you will be able to submit your manuscript for a follow-up edit. Think of the editor’s changes and comments as a communication from the editor to you. Now it’s your turn to respond to the editor’s questions and seek clarification about any changes that you don’t understand.
• Make a copy of the file to work with so that you retain the version you received from the editor for reference. Carefully review each edit section by section, first with tracked changes hidden (to read for flow and sense) and then with the markup showing (to make sure content was not deleted and meaning was not changed). Use the “Accept change” tool to accept the changes that you agree with.
• Address and respond to all comments made by the editor. For a guide to interpreting common types of comments, refer to our article “Interpreting LetPub Language Editors’ Comments.” Editors will do their best to fully edit the text, but in cases where the intended meaning is not clear, editors will include a comment asking you to clarify. In these cases, go ahead and revise the sentence (make sure tracked changes is turned on) and also respond to the editor’s comment using the Reply tool in the comment bubble.
• Note all edits that have been made to establish consistency of terminology and punctuation throughout the manuscript. Consistency is important for clarity, and you will want to be sure not to introduce inconsistencies when you revise after journal review. Even a small inaccuracy or inconsistency can make a big difference. As the American writer Mark Twain has famously said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Follow-up edits and finalizing the manuscript

• If you have questions about any of the edits made in your manuscript, or if there are areas that are flagged as needing development or clarification, we strongly encourage you to submit your questions and revisions for a follow-up edit. The editor will review and edit your tracked changes and respond to your questions and comments directly in the manuscript.
• A follow up of less than 200 words of tracked changes is complimentary for editorial projects. As explained on our website, if you include new material or need to substantially rework content for total tracked changes of greater than 200 words, your editor can review all of these changes for a scaled service fee. The fee is a proportion of the original project fee and will be quoted for you at the time of the follow up. To ensure nearly unlimited follow ups without fees, you can choose the Signature Revision Protection add-on at the start of your project.
• After the follow-up editing of your manuscript is completed and you are satisfied with all of the edits made, you will be ready to take the next step of submitting your manuscript to a journal. Avoid adding content or making changes after finalizing because you may inadvertently introduce errors. Be sure to provide the journal a clean document that does not show markups.

We recognize that enlisting the services of a language editor involves trust in the editor’s expertise. We assure quality of editing for each manuscript with oversight by a US-based Senior Associate Editor before the manuscript is returned to you. We encourage you to trust the editor’s changes, and if you have any uncertainties, we’ll be happy to explain. In the end, you have the final say. Your LetPub editor will be proud to have accompanied you during one segment of your journey toward publication.

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