Our full editing service includes all the features of the proofreading service but goes much further in the depth of review and revision that the editor will undertake. The process is broken into five stages:
Stage One – Language and Clarity Edit
Sentences or paragraphs that are unclear will be rewritten and, if necessary, the paper will be restructured to ensure that the argument is delivered in a focused and powerful way. Our editors will make sure abbreviations are appropriate and are used consistently and they will also make sure that the language used is appropriate for academic discourse (often where English is not a first language, authors struggle to find the most appropriate words to use, choosing words that a native speaker would not necessarily use in that context, or using too many technical or specialist words).
Stage Two – Style and Formatting Edit
Once our editors are happy that the paper is clearly articulated and free from errors they will review the structure, style and formatting of the work to ensure consistency and, if required, alignment with the target journal’s style guide. In other words, we will make sure that the paper is structured and presented as expected by the journal you wish to submit it to and that citations are consistent and conform to the specified style.
Stage Three – Reference Checking
The final stage of this initial editing process is a thorough review of the reference list. Experience has shown us that reference lists are often not given sufficient time and attention by authors and that, consequently, there are frequently significant inconsistencies in format and layout between individual references in a paper, as well as inaccuracies in details like authors’ names, article or book titles and page numbers. Many editorial services do not undertake full reference checking – indeed – some require authors to remove reference lists before sending work to them. While we can’t check every reference you have made for its relevance to your argument and while we also, obviously, cannot act as guarantors for the academic integrity of referencing in an article, we can and do make sure that reference lists cite other academic work accurately and consistently. We believe that an accurate and well-presented reference list is an important part of making a good impression on journal editors and peer reviewers. If, however, you do not wish us to undertake such a reference check then simply the remove the reference list from the document you submit to us.
Stage Four – Academic Review Report
Once the editing processes have been completed your manuscript is examined by an academic consultant who writes a brief report summarising its strengths and weaknesses. This serves as a trial peer review – giving you some insights into what the strengths of your argument are so that you might build on these; whilst providing suggestions for areas that you might wish to consider further before submitting the manuscript for publication. The Academic Review Report has the advantage of being entirely confidential and independent (unlike traditional peer review or asking colleagues for advice). It can also be helpful as a way of identifying issues with writing in English to help improve your future papers.
The Academic Review Report includes:*
- Identification of any major structural issues with the argument of the paper;
- An evaluation of the overall clarity and organisation of the argument;
- An evaluation of the quality of the research itself and the strength of the interpretation / conclusions;
- Advice regarding any additional factors that might merit discussion in order to improve either the quality of the argument or the impact of the research;
- Advice on any common stylistic or linguistic errors to help you improve your English writing style in future papers.
*The Academic Review Report is structured according to the particular needs of each paper and, therefore, this list is indicative only.
Stage Five – Certification and Re-editing
Here at Academic Research Editors once our initial edit is complete we do not consider our job to be done. Whilst we will send you your completed manuscript together with our certificate of editing and our Academic Review Report, we recognise that when you submit that article for publication journal editors and peer reviewers may have other valid observations and suggestions. Very few papers are accepted for publication without further amendments being required, and this is especially the case for the most competitive high-impact journals. If you need to make changes to your article we are happy to re-edit the article to make sure that the changes are well-written and to provide advice as to how far they meet the journal peer reviewers’ requirements. We ask only that not more than 40% of the text has changed compared to the first version edited by us, and that the word count of the draft has not increased by more than 20%.