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HealthMay 20, 2021

Manuscript assistance: The benefits of asking for help

“Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”
―William Howard Taft

After your research is complete, writing the resulting manuscript is the last, vital step in the process. It is in the writing, not the research itself, where many authors encounter difficulties. Authors for whom English is a second language can be particularly challenged in writing for English language publications. Fortunately, there is a host of services available to authors.

Language barriers: The scope of the problem

It is estimated that out of the total countries in the world, a little over one-third have English as the primary language. So, for the remaining two-thirds of the world, English is, at best, a second language. For many authors, this can present a serious challenge in crafting a publication-ready manuscript for an English language journal.

Beyond language: Other assistance needs

In addition to help with English language and grammar, other types of assistance are available that can save you time and effort as you prepare your manuscript.

  • Journal selection: Submitting to a journal whose scope matches your work is a necessary first step, otherwise you risk getting an immediate reject from the Editors.
  • Technical assistance: Obtaining expert assistance can improve your manuscript’s chances by checking for issues such as poor structure, weak argument, inadequate description of the methodology, and other issues.
  • Artwork: Augmenting your data with effective images can greatly enhance your manuscript’s impact.

Author services: What are your options?

Editage, in partnership with Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, offers the following services to authors:

A few, final words on manuscript assistance

Non-English-speaking authors often confront an additional problem: Peer reviewers do not always distinguish between the manuscript content and style of writing. Thus, their manuscripts may end up getting negative comments even if the research is of high quality.
From “Most common reasons for journal rejection”
The biggest thing for authors to remember [when submitting a manuscript] is this is a presentation of your work. It should be the best presentation; it should not have errors and it should be according to guidelines. That’s what tells me you really want to be published in the journal and it shows you are careful and detailed in your work—a big flag for me.
Shawn Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Nursing

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