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Dr. Zoran Dinev 5 minute read
January 13, 2019

Do You Really Need Proofreading and Editing Services?

Probably not!

A pen and an image of a dictionary definition of research

There are thousands of proofreaders and editors out there. So how do you choose the best one for your needs? You can look for a freelance editor and hope for the best. Sites like freelancer.com and fiverr.com are the best place to look.

Hard decision. How do you choose?

You might strike it lucky and establish an ongoing relationship with someone that you can work with for a long time. It is by far the cheapest option but also the most risky and difficult to implement.

They all do the same thing. Pick any one.

There are also hundreds if not thousands of companies out there, just like The Science Editorium, that provide author support services to help you with the preparation of your manuscript. Service provided by these companies are usually more expensive because they need to factor in the costs of running a business, including salaries, marketing, and insurance. But they do reduce the hassle of looking for your own freelance editor. These companies have done the hard work for you and have vetted the best freelance editors to work on your manuscript. It might be more expensive but also less risky and takes the hassle away from finding a freelance editor you can trust.

Here is a list of some of them in no particular order: Enago, Edanz, Editage, Biosciencewriters, Scribendi, American Journal Experts…and any major publisher will direct you to their own language editing service. These are all our competitors, sort of. You can choose any one and in a few days or weeks you will receive a perfectly edited or proofread manuscript.

Is there a better option? We think so!

How will proofreading or editing help you with your ultimate goal of publishing your paper? A good editor or proofreader will fix many, if not all, of your grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, punctuation. An excellent editor, especially one with the right technical background, will also pick up on wrong word choice or intended meaning. Some might even ask probing questions if your intended meaning is not clear. But will this be enough to help you publish your paper? In some cases, yes…in most cases, no.

What is the better option?

When I launched The Science Editorium, we didn’t offer proofreading or editing services. I didn’t think that they were necessary. Coming from a background as a freelance editor, both peer-review and technical editing, I was so convinced that editing and proofreading were not necessary, I launched The Science Editorium, a publishing support service for scientists, with one main product, a Manuscript Health Check. You can click on it to find out more, but in short, it is a complete analysis and critical review of your paper from the perspective of the Editor-in-Chief, who will screen your paper before sending it to a peer-review editor.

What really matters?

Getting your manuscript past the Editor-in-Chief, or the peer-review editor that is screening your paper, is the biggest hurdle that authors face (non-native and native English speakers). And it has hardly anything to do with whether you have every comma in the right place or whether you have used a hyphen instead of an en-dash for your number range, or, god forbid, as a minus sign! It has everything to do with the flow and structure of your manuscript, the clarity of your introduction, the effectiveness of your abstract, and the support of your conclusion. Proofreading and editing might fix some of these things, but not all of them.

Some of you savvy readers might have noticed that we actually offer a proofreading service, which might cause a bit of confusion. The reason for this is because we were receiving many requests for proofreading and editing, either because that is what most scientists are used to or because it was specifically requested by the journal editor. To cater to the needs of those customers, we offer a traditional proofreading service.

Do you need your paper to be perfect or published?

In summary it comes down to this.
If you want a manuscript in perfect English, go ahead and order proofreading and editing, either from us or from any reputable company you can find.
If you want a manuscript with high impact that will highlight your research in the best possible way, try our Manuscript Health Check.

Ready to find out more about our document health check services?

If your paper is rejected we will edit it for free. Just follow these steps.

  1. Order a manuscript health check or concierge service.
  2. Follow our guidelines and comments to improve your paper.
  3. If your manuscript is rejected because of the English, send it to us so we can edit it for free.