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Scientific Editing and Preparing your Research for Publication


Dr. Avriel Licciardi, Associate Editor

October 2020

Scholarly journals worldwide provide effective platforms for researchers to share their work; thus, journals are required to stringently monitor the clarity of the language being used and the quality of the science being presented. As a result, authors must effectively communicate their research to achieve publication; however, this requires presenting complicated concepts in a logical and succinct yet comprehensible manner.

Common challenges in scientific publishing

As a reader, you may already be intimately aware of certain challenges within the publication process such as unclear language, inconsistent formatting, and lack of novelty. However, those comments typically come from journal editors, not other authors. Ponder the following: have you ever found it difficult to understand what a manuscript is trying to say? Or perhaps you are curious why the authors neglected investigating a certain aspect of their study, especially if it would have strengthened their publication? These questions, among others, should be addressed before publication, to ensure that every reader can easily understand your primary conclusions and appreciate your contributions to the scientific literature. Where to start? One option is scientific editing.

What is scientific editing?

Scientific editing comprises revisions to an academic manuscript aimed at improving the manuscript’s scientific rigor, logic and experimental design, often by an editorial professional(s) with subject-area expertise. Scientific editing focuses on strengthening scientific arguments, improving local flow, eliminating inconsistencies, and identifying noteworthy omissions in academic documents. English editing or language editing, which ensures manuscripts are free of grammatical and/or spelling and punctuation errors, often accompanies scientific editing.

Express your science clearly in your next publication

While scientific editing can substantially improve the presentation of scientific research, it is not the only way forward. An alternative option is to start writing with the reader’s point of view in mind. Because authors are heavily invested in their work, they can easily become so familiar with their topic that they may ineffectively communicate their work to general readers, thus reaching only a narrow audience. Remember, it is essential to ascertain that the objectives of the article are clearly conveyed, the conclusions are justified and supported by the data, the novelty and validity of the data are discussed, and the methodology is well-reasoned.

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