Helping non-native speakers of English polish their articles for submission to US and UK medical journals is my specialty. I have edited manuscripts for authors from the following locations, in addition to the United States: Brazil, Czechoslovakia, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, and Turkey.
If you are new to the U.S. biomedical publishing system, I highly recommend that you read this book: What Editors Want: An Author's Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing (book review here). If you are unsure which journal you should submit your manuscript to, you may find these guidelines helpful: part I, part II, part III, part IV, and part V. You may also want to try this tool: Journal Selector.
What I Do During Editing
When I edit journal manuscripts for authors like you whose first language is not English, I am doing these tasks:
- Changing incorrect wording
- Polishing your writing so that it sounds as if you are a native English speaker
- Making it easier for readers to understand your writing
Even if I make a lot of changes to your writing, that does not mean that your writing is of poor quality. Native English speakers need editing assistance too. That is because excellent research skills and excellent writing skills seldom occur in the same person, regardless of the person's native language. I am your advocate in the publishing process. By doing a thorough edit, I am doing my best to help you communicate your research to your English-speaking peers worldwide.
Requirements for Working with Me
Thank you for your efforts on my article. I believe you are a responsible editor. I'm looking forward to our next cooperation.
—Weidong Xu, MD, Department of Orthopedics, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University
Hiring me to edit your manuscript does not guarantee that your target journal will accept it for publication. But my editing does help your writing to be more polished, which may increase the likelihood that it will be considered for peer review.
Journal editors base their decision about whether to publish an article on several things: the quality of the research, how well that research is documented and described, how important they believe the research to be, and whether such research has already been described in their journal or elsewhere. I cannot fix those things by editing your writing.
Also, because I am a medical editor rather than a medical writer, I will not write any new material for you. However, I will edit your writing to make it flow smoothly and follow the conventions of your target journal.
If I edit your manuscript and then you make more changes to it that you do not allow me to review, the journal's editor-in-chief may think that you did not have your manuscript edited by an English-language editor. I am not responsible for such an outcome. It is your responsibility to give me a chance to review all changes that you make to the manuscript before submission.
Until I receive full payment for editing your manuscript, I retain copyright ownership of the work that I have done on the manuscript. This means that no journal can legally publish your article if you have not paid me for my editing. When I receive full payment from you, I no longer have any copyright claims on your article.
Journals require complete transparency about authorship and about editorial assistance. Therefore, I require that in the Acknowledgments section of your manuscript, you include the following sentence: Medical editor Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, ELS (East Setauket, NY, USA) provided professional English-language editing of this article.
The Editing Process
Usually, the whole process of editing and reviewing takes about 1 week, if the author and I are not interrupted by work emergencies.
Thank you for editing our manuscript. It was greatly improved. ... I totally agree to your kind corrections.
—Tomoyuki Matsumoto, MD, PhD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
For each manuscript, I perform two edits. The first edit takes the longest. My pace for editing manuscripts written by non-native speakers of English is approximately 2 pages per hour, where 1 page = 250 words. (In the US publishing industry, the document word count is used instead of Microsoft Word's physical page numbering to determine the number of pages in a manuscript.)
After I complete the first edit, I will e-mail the manuscript to you for review. I will provide reviewing instructions for you.
Here is the remainder of the process:
- You review the edited manuscript materials and answer all my queries, and then you e-mail the reviewed manuscript materials back to me. If your work schedule does not permit you to review and return the edited manuscript materials within 48 hours of receipt, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to immediately schedule the final edit.
- I do a quick cleanup edit, incorporating any final changes that you request and reading through the manuscript one last time.
- I send you the finalized manuscript materials and my invoice as e-mail attachments.
- You then can submit the edited manuscript materials to your target journal.
- You pay me within 15 days of the invoice date, in US dollars, by
- Clicking the PayPal icon on this page to send funds to KOK Edit electronically, via PayPal, a secure international payment service), or
- Sending KOK Edit a check from your medical institution or university (not a personal check) by air mail, or
- Having your bank wire funds to KOK Edit's bank account (If you want to do this, then please let me know, and I will provide all of the information that your bank will need to complete the transaction.)
- If you feel that you and I worked well together, I will be available to edit future articles for you, for submission to the same journal or to another journal. You can find my client list here. I also accept referrals to my clients' colleagues. You can find a list here of the journals in which my authors' articles have been published after I edited them.
- Sometimes after I have edited a manuscript for authors, they make additional changes to it and submit it to a journal without asking me to review it again to double-check the language. In such cases, the journal may then request that the authors re-revise the manuscript for language-related reasons. If this happens to you and you want me to review the manuscript again for language, I will charge you a fee for this service in addition to what I have already charged you for editing that I performed before your first submission to the journal.
- Sometimes after I have edited an article for you and you have submitted it to a journal, the journal will then request that you revise it for science-related reasons rather than language-related reasons. You can then ask me to edit the revised manuscript before you resubmit it. But does that mean I am going to edit just the sections that you tell me you have revised? No. Here is an explanation.
How to Prepare for Working with Me
If you agree to this process, please do the following:
- E-mail your manuscript materials (including the text, unblinded title page, figure legends, tables, reference list, and cover letter) to me as Microsoft Word documents, along with your figures, so that I can assess them and then provide a cost estimate. It is important for me to see the figures so that I can ensure that the figure legends properly describe them.
I can feel your enthusiasm [for] helping non-native English speakers, and it does make a difference. Please keep on helping people like me.
—Wenbo Mu, MD, Department of Orthopaedics, First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University
- Tell me the name of the journal where you will submit your manuscript.
- E-mail to me a PDF version of an article of a type that is similar to yours (e.g., case study, original research, literature review) that has recently been published in your target journal. I will carefully study the published article and read the journal's instructions to authors so that I can follow the journal's conventions when I edit your article.
- Provide the complete postal address for your institution, along with your telephone and fax numbers there.
- After I e-mail you to provide my fee estimate and scheduling information, let me know that you agree to the cost of editing.
When you send your manuscript materials to me, please keep the following in mind:
- I will not reserve time in advance for editing your manuscript until you have agreed to the estimated cost of editing.
- I almost always have other editing projects in process and so must work on both those projects and yours.
Therefore, please plan ahead and leave enough time in the schedule for editing to be completed well before your target journal's submission deadline. I usually cannot schedule emergency editing.
I prefer to operate my business without employees, so when you contract with KOK Edit for editing, you can be assured that I am the editor, with extensive editing skills and experience, who is polishing your documents. I also do not subcontract my projects to other editors. However, if you need an editorial service that I do not provide, such as translation, medical writing, design and layout, proofreading, or indexing, I can refer you to my colleagues who have those skills.