A Checklist for Proofreading Academic and Scientific Journal Publications
The summer months may bring with them a little welcome freedom from teaching and other institutional duties, but for most academics and scientists this freedom means finally having the time to achieve the research and publication goals that all too often lie dormant during regular university terms and semesters. In many cases, a good deal more work than can actually be completed is planned for the vacation, resulting in a pressing need to crank out text and send it off to publishers as quickly as possible. This is especially the case with scholarly articles for journals, which tend to be relatively compact and can often be drafted in a short period of time. It is important to remember, however, that each paper requires careful proofreading and polishing if all your hard work is going to pay off in successful publications. The following list outlines some key aspects of scholarly articles that tend to require painstaking editorial attention prior to submission.
• Check all author guidelines and instructions provided by the journal against the relevant parts of your article to ensure that every detail in your paper meets the requirements precisely.
• Pay special attention to the structural specifications indicated by the journal and make sure that each part of your paper appears exactly as and where it should.
• The instructions for bibliographical references should be followed with accuracy and precision, but errors can slip in very easily, so take the time to check every one of your references (in both the main text and the list) against the journal’s examples.
• Tables, figures, lists, appendices and other ancillary material also require careful checking: their content and format must conform to relevant journal guidelines and all information must be clearly presented for readers.
• Remember to observe any length limitations for individual parts of your article, such as the abstract, and for the paper as a whole, and check the guidelines for restrictions on the number of references, tables and figures for articles like the one you will be submitting.
• Ensure that you are using the form of English (British or American) preferred by the journal and that your usage consistently maintains the correct spelling, phrasing and punctuation patterns.
• Take a close look at the specialised terms and nonstandard abbreviations you use. Each one should be clearly defined or explained for readers when first introduced and then used consistently throughout the paper.
• Proofread your prose with your anticipated audience in mind, ensuring that every sentence will be clear not only to those who are specialists in your discipline and subject area, but also to more general or lay readers.
• Keep in mind that modern audiences for scholarly writing tend to be international, so it is essential that your language communicates in ways that distant as well as local readers can readily understand
• Adopt an objective approach as you read through your article and try to assess your argument from a reader’s point of view by asking yourself a few key questions: Is the argument logical and engaging? Does it develop in a smooth and effective manner? Does the evidence obtained from the research support it? Could the argument be clarified or strengthened in practical ways?
• A second opinion can be enormously helpful, so have a qualified reader such as a colleague, mentor or professional academic or scientific proofreader look over your paper and give you feedback, and then be sure to make good use of the advice you receive.
• Write a professional covering letter that introduces your work to the journal editor and outlines its importance in your discipline and field, and make sure that the letter is as carefully written, proofread and revised as your paper.
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At Proof-Reading-Service.com we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders and editors are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and achieve publication.
Our scientific editing services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript editing services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical editing services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.