A profile picture of Zoran Dinev, freelance scientific editor
Dr. Zoran Dinev 3 minute read
November 11, 2019

What is a manuscript health check?

Treating the cause not the symptoms of bad writing!

A doctor reading a manuscript

I have edited and proofread thousands of manuscripts. Most of them written by non-native English speakers. Some papers need more work than others but in most cases editing and proofreading is not enough to get a paper ready for submission. Because of my scientific research background and training, I found myself analysing the work and questioning the conclusions. I always had questions and comments that went above and beyond just editing. I started treating the author’s paper as my paper. So instead of just fixing grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, I started adding detailed comments and questions about the structure, content, conclusions. This was how the manuscript health check was born.

Why do you call it a manuscript health check?

Grammatical errors and confusing sentences are just the symptoms of a poorly written or structured paper. Yes you can just treat the symptoms by taking a pain killer (in this case proofreading and editing) but the pain comes back. So you need more pain killers or stronger pain killers. Our approach to manuscript editing involves a more holistic approach to improving the overall health of the paper. We treat the cause of bad writing not the symptoms. What does this mean? By focusing on the overall structure and flow of the manuscript, a lot of the grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes get resolved. Yes we do a final proofread and language polish as a last step but by this stage there is hardly anything to fix. Everything has been taken care of during the first assessment and analysis of the paper. As far as we know, we are the only company that offers this type of health check service. That is why it is one of our most popular services.

Will I need any other services?

In most cases, no. After you address our suggestions and comments we insist on a clarification round or a follow-up, which is included in the price. In this step we will do a final language polish and proofread of your paper.
We do provide other services that complement the manuscript health check. It forms the basis for all of our other services. If you are looking for a complete editing service so that you can just press the submit button, our scientific paper editing starts with a manuscript health check but also includes additional services such as restructuring, reference checking, and formatting to journal guidelines. If you want us to press the submit button for you then our submission or acceptance concierge services are services you are looking for. In addition to the manuscript health check, these services includes cover letter development, journal selection, referee report response and analysis, as well as re-submission, if required.

What is the pricing structure?

Doctors don’t charge for appointment per minute. Similarly, our pricing is based on the approximate length of the paper not the exact number of words; this usually depends on whether your paper is a communication, full paper, or a review. Because we look at the overall paper and focus on structure and flow, we don’t think it is necessary to charge per word. We also offer a $75 discount if you pre-order a service to use in the future.