Native English Speaker – A vast majority of the scientists from non-English speaking countries find writing up their research findings in English for publication in professional journals a monumentally daunting task. English is the lingua franca for almost all professional endeavours worldwide. One has to have a good grasp of English to do well in just about any endeavour that has an international audience. Inevitably for research workers the need to publish in English is a real challenge even if their command of English is good.
It is inescapable many research workers from non-English background find the task of writing up their research findings far more challenging than the research work itself. In the “publish or perish” scenario a significant proportion of employers in nations where English is the second language or is not spoken provide funds to edit manuscripts. The idea is to ensure manuscripts written by their scientists and subsequently edited by native English editors will appear professional and be accepted for publication. This policy is to ensure English does not become a barrier for publishing the works of their research workers.
We at nativeenglisheditor.com have more than 45 native English editors on board that have the expertise needed to amend the English in scientific manuscripts, theses and books so that English shall not be the reason for rejection of the work by journals or publishers. Our coverage is worldwide. We receive inquiries from Arabian and North African countries, such Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia and from Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Indonesia to name a few.
What turns off many research workers is that often-times the journals’ instructions for preparation of manuscripts can be extremely tedious, time consuming and tiring, not to mention exasperating. It can be particularly frustrating for a busy scientist with very little time available for writing manuscripts. What’s more, every journal has its own format. Consequently if a manuscript is rejected by one journal, the manuscript has to be rewritten all over again to meet the format requirements of the second journal chosen for re-submission. This matter will not become such a persistently difficult chore if the authors engaged professional native English editors to assist them write up their manuscripts according to the formats of the journals of their choice.
Due to the stringent requirement imposed by publishers of journals it is not surprising the average time taken to publish one manuscript in a professional journal is about 18 months!! The research performed to acquire the research findings often-time take less time to perform than the effort needed to prepare the manuscript to publish the research findings. The stress on the research scientist to publish frequently and periodically to meet his/her KPI requirements in the “publish or perish” scenario can be enormous and punishing to the point of becoming quite unhealthy. A few scientists have moved to other vocations to avoid the stress of having to publish a given number of manuscripts every year. This is not a good thing if we are going to lose good scientists because of the “publish or perish” issue. However there is an alternative. The research worker need only engage a professional native English editor to help them prepare the manuscript for submission. It will remove all the unnecessary stress out of preparing manuscripts for publication.
Some professional journals insist manuscripts written by non-English speaking authors be edited or proofread or even re-written by a native English speaker. This is understandable. The journal wants to maintain its high standards and will not compromise its quality and image by publishing manuscripts that contain grammatical errors or were written in a form that may prove incomprehensible to the readers. It can be embarrassing both for the journal as well as the authors if manuscripts that are poorly written were published.
Are native English speakers the answer? May be not. From the various forums that discussed this issue it is can be inferred a native English speaker may not always be good in English. Sometimes native English speakers can be no better than non-English speaking research scientists. On the contrary native English editors are trained professionals whose job is to edit/amend manuscripts to make them “publishable”. So the best advice given by some reviewers was to seek out professionals that are “native English editors” instead of “native English speakers”. As professionals, native English editors know exactly what has to be done to make a manuscript “respectable” enough to be acceptable for publication in professional journals.
It is well recognized the number of manuscripts submitted by authors whose native language is not English is increasing at a colossal rate. Sadly however, bad English can mask good science. High impact journals of considerable influence receive a large number of manuscripts practice a large rejection rate which is a measure of their high quality. These journals will immediately reject poorly written manuscripts without even considering the scientific value of the manuscript. The authors of such papers may at times be dejected enough to give up on pursuing publication of their work which will be a terrible loss. These authors need not give up. They can seek the services of native English editors that will assist them prepare their manuscript in impeccable English and in the format of the chosen journal.
The difficulties do not end with writing alone. The research worker will have to respond to peer-reviewers’ comments, queries and suggestions. While in most instances the comments of reviewers will be reasonable and worthwhile considering as it will usually help improve the quality of the subsequent draft of the previously rejected manuscript. At times however the reviewers’ comments and suggestions can be very trying and in some instances exasperatingly infuriating especially if the reviewer is not well versed in the area of research and pretends to know better than the authors or if the language s/he uses is grammatically wrong but has the audacity to point out the authors’ poor command of English, or makes comments without reading the manuscript carefully. The latter unfair comments from reviewers can be avoided if the manuscript was well written in the first place. A well written manuscript will exude an aura of respectability and will ensure reviewers view the manuscript with the respect it deserves. Reviewers will be more careful in making callous remarks if they perceived the manuscript was written by an expert group that knows what it is talking about. Manuscripts written in poor language on the contrary somehow gives an erroneously poor image of the authors such that the reviewers assume the quality of the work presented in the manuscript is also poor. As a consequence reviewers take a dim view of such manuscripts. Reviewers are human too. Reviewers are NOT PAID to perform the review. They are academics, doing the job of reviewing voluntarily to meet their KPI requirements. Many do not relish doing the job as it was something “forced” upon them. Some reviewers agree to perform the review merely to satisfy the KPI requirements. Poorly written manuscripts can be difficult and hard on the reviewer, and be a source of stress (sometime even extreme stress) for them which could lead them to recommend the manuscript be rejected. This highlights the need to have the manuscript well written before submission. The quality of the manuscript can be ensured if it was edited by a native English editor before submission. Contact us at: www.nativeenglisheditor.com so that your manuscripts can be edited by a native English editor.
Authors and reviewers are invited to lend us their voice and comment on the issues raised in his blog. Let us hear from you and make this a worthwhile discussion. Hopefully we may receive some useful practical suggestions for making publishing less of a chore and a lot more manageable, pleasant even, for the research worker.