Interactive science editing

I specialize in an innovative and very effective approach to editing grant proposals and scientific articles. I call this approach three-step editing. The rationale for this approach is descrbed in the article Writing in the 'real world'

Three-step editing of grant proposals and scientific articles

I collaborate with a colleague, Charles Frink, to help authors write reader friendly articles/grant proposals that sharply focus on the credibility, relevance and value of their science. Three-step editing is especially efficient and effective for non-native English writers. It results in a logically structured and grammatically correct article/proposal with a substantive check built in—three people have independently reviewed it. Furthermore, it saves the author time and is very cost effective. Our three-step editing process works as follows.


Step 1

Without worrying about and spending time on the English grammar, the author submits a rough draft of the article/grant proposal. I review it for logical linking of ideas, consistency of terminology, and focus on the credibility and relevance of the research. I then return the article to the author with comments and suggestions, as necessary, to sharpen focus on the messages. Such suggestions usually deal with content and logical organization, so only the author can correctly revise the text,


Step 2:

Based on the comments and suggestions, the author revises the text. Here again, the author does not need to perfect the English, just the content and organization. He/she then returns it to us.


Step 3

My colleague, Charles Frink then edits it for the language details: spelling, grammar, linking, readability etc. When necessary, we consult with each other and the author. After this step, the article/proposal is usually ready-to-go.


This systematic combination of structural revision, a built-in substantive check, and language editing is surprisingly efficient and cost-effective for three reasons:

+ It saves the author time. The author does not have to spend time getting the English perfect. The first draft can, indeed, be a rough draft, and by sending this early in the writing process, it will save much time.

+ During step 2, the author does some of the work that an editor would otherwise have to “guess” at. Note that this step involves content that language editing alone cannot cope with.

+ Language editing, during step-3, goes much more quickly. Because the text is now well organized and focuses on the scientific messages—the language editor does not have to guess at the author’s meaning.

To shorten the time of the entire process, we suggest that authors send early drafts of their texts—do not worry about grammar etc. we take care of that in step-3.


In the article Writing in the 'real world' I explain some of the rationale behind this approach.