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checklist for authors

Please review the following checklist before sending me your paper:

 

  • Send your paper in a Word.doc format that I can modify (e.g., no "read only" docs), and when possible, send your tables and figures. Please compress large files. For text with LaTeX, you can send your paper as a PDF.  

  • Let me know the name of the journal you are targeting so I can read their guidelines for authors page. 

  •  If a journal has already reviewed your paper, please send me their feedback or correspondence since this allows me to focus on areas that they found problematic and confirm whether you have indeed satisfied their requests. Also, include your correspondence to the editors where you reply to their queries or changes, and I will also revise this as well.

  • Indicate if you have an urgent deadline and if possible, try to send your text 14 days in advance of your deadline. Most times I can return a text in 1-3 days, but this is not always the case, especially on weekends or when I have numerous papers waiting in a queue to be revised. I am available for urgent deadlines (1-2 days) but in some cases where I am forced to work late into the evening, on weekends or beyond our normal workload to complete a job, I will charge an extra $15/hour (see our payment page for more details about price). I rarely need to do this, but instead would prefer to charge our regular rate and not work late evenings, weekends or holidays. So please send your paper two weeks in advance if you have an urgent deadline as this gives me more flexibility with my schedule. I am also often not available to work during certain US holidays. Since these holidays differ from holidays in your country, you may wish to consider the holidays I observe so you can plan accordingly: US Holidays when I am not available for work.

  • Include in your paper an affiliation section where you name of all the co-authors, principal investigator and their affiliated laboratory and institutions. If you are a first-time customer with us, if you have not been referred by our long-term customers, and if you do not include the contact information for the co-authors, we reserve the right to request that you pay an estimated 50% downpayment (typically $90) for your paper in advance before we revise it.

  • If English is not your first language, consider using English that is most familiar to you. Use formulaic expressions (see my book) and the technical language that you have seen commonly used in other research papers in your field. Avoid jargon, pretentious, newly invented words, and jokes and expressions that do not always translate well to English, and aim for a simple and practical word choice that you and your reader may be most comfortable with. Do not over rely on online translating software since extensive word-by-word translation using such software tends to create bizarre and confusing texts. 

  • Avoid literally translating the word choice or grammar and syntax rules of your first language to English, as this tends to create countless errors. If you are not at a moderately high level of English proficiency, consider paying someone to translate your text, and consider taking classes with me or someone else to improve your English before you try writing a research paper. 

  •  After you have thoroughly edited the contents of your paper, read it again slowly and carefully focusing on issues of clarity, brevity, grammar, formatting, and stylistic errors. Read it aloud or have one or several of your colleagues or students read it. Use the spelling and grammar tool of Word.doc to help with this. For detailed information, refer to style guidebooks in our references. The more proofreading of your text that you do before you send it to us, the cheaper your final cost will be. 

  • Be careful with spelling-and-grammar-check tools found on your computer. Often these tools offer an alternative to what may be a misspelled word; however, it cannot determine if a word is correct or incorrect for a given context: it only highlights words that are commonly mistaken (affect/effect, etc.) and ask you to consider which is correct. Don't assume because a word was questioned by the spell-checker that it was incorrect, as often, it is indeed the correct word and spelling. So be sure to check (use a dictionary if necessary) whether the word it recommends has the meaning you intend to express. Likewise, if you use the wrong word, but spell it correctly, the spell checker will not be helpful. Yet, ultimately, if you miss any such errors, I will correct them. Check the guidebooks listed in references if you wish to learn more about English grammar and stylistic conventions of research papers. 

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