What if you don’t understand my research?
This is the most common question I’m asked. The truth is, I don’t need to fully understand your work. The principles and rules I work with are universally true for any English-language writing. Some of your reviewers may not even understand your work perfectly, or certainly not as perfectly as you do; your work, in whatever discipline, needs to be clearly communicated—not to an absolute layman, but at least to a generalist colleague. You don’t need your data checked for accuracy; you need to make sure your writing clearly communicates what that data means. Whether you’re working in neuropsychology, microbiology, or constitutional law, a good copyeditor can make sure your language is clear, precise, and suitable to communicate your research.
That being said, I do extensive background research for every single manuscript I take on, and I always stay in communication with my clients during the editing process to be absolutely sure everything is 100% correct.
How much does your service cost?
My rate is $25 per hour. It generally takes 6 to 10 hours of billable work to finish a standard research article, though that time can extend on either end depending on what’s needed as far as formatting and reference checking. I require a 4-hour ($100) deposit before I start work, with the rest on delivery of your edited paper.
What does the process look like?
First, you contact me with the basics: your name, your field, what kind of paper you want me to edit, and what your timeline looks like. I’ll get in touch with you quickly, and we’ll talk about details, scheduling, and any questions you may have. Then you email me your manuscript to look over. I send you back (again, quickly) a turnaround time and a price calculation based on your paper’s length. If everything checks out, you send me your payment. As soon as I receive it, I start work on your manuscript.
I begin with background research. I’ll read over your paper, then research the basic principles of your work, the common terms and concepts in your field, and the specific formatting and language preferences of your target journal or journals. This gives me a very clear picture of the most important facets of your research.
The actual editing process includes a few different types of edits. I start with any necessary substantive edits—reorganization, rewriting statements for clarity, etc. (This is the part of the process where I might contact you to clarify a few things.) I also do a detailed language and style edit, making sure your tone is consistent and your grammar perfect. I also check your formatting and, of course, fix all spelling errors and typos. All of this is tracked, so you’ll be able to see each change.
Once you get your manuscript back, you’ll look over the edits and comments and then get in touch with me with any questions you have. I’m always willing to take another look at a section or two if you want me to tweak something a bit further. If you have any additions to make—for example, some of my clients send me manuscripts before they have the final data calculated—I highly recommend sending those pages for a final, quick edit.
What’s your turnaround time?
Generally speaking, a week. There are times when a draft can be turned around in three days; there are times when it needs two weeks. We’ll work that out together based on your deadlines and my availability. That time is used for background research, several revision drafts of my own, and communication between the two of us to get any questions answered before I put the final polish on a manuscript we can both be proud of.
How do I pay you?
I accept PayPal, Venmo, and checks sent through the mail. I don’t start work until I receive payment, so you should choose your method based on how quickly you want to receive your edited manuscript.
What if I don’t agree with some of your edits?
This issue comes up surprisingly infrequently, primarily because academic editing doesn’t involve substantive changes in content. You did your own research, and you came up with your own conclusions. I don’t change that; I just make it clear to the reader. That being said, all edits are tracked and reversible. You will receive two documents: one with all the changes tracked, and another “clean” copy. You can either go ahead with the final version or go into the tracked one and reverse some of my changes. If you choose to change anything, it’s especially important that you take advantage of that final copy edit! I’ll leave your changes as they are and just make sure no typos or formatting errors were introduced during your last revision.
What if I have other questions?
Contact me! I’m happy to chat about the process—no commitment required.