Advice on Formal Academic & Scientific English & Journal Guidelines

Formal Academic and Scientific English and Journal Guidelines
In this PRS article, we discuss the writing of professional English that meets the expectations and requirements of academic and scientific journals. All scholarly journals publishing articles in the English language will want (and the guidelines provided by many of them will specify the need for) papers written in formal English that is both clear and correct. It is very rare, however, for such guidelines to provide much detail about exactly what is expected in terms of language and writing style, so we thought it might be helpful to explore briefly some aspects of writing professional English prose that prove problematic in many of the academic and scientific articles that we proofread here at PRS.

British versus American English
Often the requirement to use either British or American English is the only advice about language to be found in the guidelines of academic and scientific journals. Some journals will prefer one type to the other, and even those journals willing to accept papers in both will not want a mixture of British and American spellings in a single article. There are many differences between British and American English, some of which are inconsistent and tricky (‘metre’ in British English, for instance, whereas American English uses ‘meter’, but ‘parameter’ in both British and American; ‘programme’ in British and ‘program’ in American, but ‘program’ for a computer program in both), so a good dictionary will need to be consulted to determine the correct spelling for all the words in an article. Some of the most common differences include ‘ou’ in British (colour, behaviour) whereas American uses only an ‘o’ (color, behavior), ‘re’ in British (theatre, centre) whereas American uses ‘er’ (theater, center), doubling of consonants in British (modelling, labelled) whereas American uses a single consonant (modeling, labeled) and ‘ae’ and ‘oe’ in British (aesthetic, manoeuvre) whereas American uses an ‘e’ alone (esthetic, maneuver).

Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At 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 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 proofreaders and achieve publication.

Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading 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 proofreading 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.

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