Four Aspects of Scholarly Texts That Require an Extra Check
In the proofreading business, especially when your clientele is international, you see many different kinds of problems in the documents scholars plan to publish, present, submit, post or disseminate in some other way. There is enormous variation, of course, but there are also certain trends that seem to cut across cultural and linguistic divides. Among these are aspects of academic and scientific writing that tend to be particularly rife with errors and are always in need of an extra check before a document is shared.
References must come at or very near the top of any list of problems commonly encountered by academic and scientific proofreaders. Both in-text citations and the more complete references to sources that are included in a final list or bibliography require checking. In-text and in-list references should be checked against each other as well as against the original sources to ensure that names, titles, publication dates and places, and information such as page numbers are correct in every case. All of this sounds straightforward, of course, if time-consuming, but it is truly wondrous how easy it is to introduce errors to dull bibliographical material and indeed to pass over those errors when proofreading your own work.
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The same principle applies to tables, figures and lists if you use them. They are likely to have been developed early in the writing process, and though they may have been scanned by a quick eye numerous times, they are often not proofread with the attention to detail they demand. They do tend, after all, to contain vast amounts of information in very concise forms, yet authors are often very familiar with what they contain or should contain. This is to say that their creators already know what should be there, so the likelihood of seeing correct information rather than the mistakes that may actually exist increases accordingly, and errors crop up in tables, figures and lists with enormous frequency. These elements therefore always require a close check.
Although headings and other structural indicators would seem far too obvious on the page to sport errors by the time they reach a publisher, they are in fact another aspect of scholarly documents that often require correction. Numbering of sections can pose problems, particularly when the automatic functions of computer programs are involved, and so can fonts, which are often used to make headings stand out, but can also vary to distinguish different levels of heading in a document and different elements of the document as well (table headings, for instance, rather than section headings). In some cases spacing around headings must also maintain consistency within levels and distinction between them, so headings are obvious texts that require checking with an alert eye and ideally some understanding of font, spacing and numbering functions in the relevant software program.
Somewhat incredibly, personal information is among the aspects of scholarly papers that frequently require correction. Perhaps it is because they are relieved to have the document itself finished or utterly bored with reading instructions by the time their references are polished, but scholars often do not seem at their best by the time they add the personal information required by a journal or press. Typing errors, incomplete and misplaced data, and even personal information included in opposition to a publisher’s requirements for blind peer reviewing are all too common, so do take a second look at this material before submitting your writing.
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At Proof-Reading-Service.com we pride ourselves on our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. Our proofreaders and editors are highly educated native speakers of English and their areas of specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and perfect all kinds of research manuscripts for successful publication. Many members of our team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, ensuring that formatting and references conform to author guidelines with precision and correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and simple typing errors so that our customers are able to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and earn publication.
Our editing services for authors of scientific papers and books are especially popular, but we have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books in every scholarly discipline as well as beyond them, and some of our carefully trained proofreaders and editors work exclusively on helping students improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation or publication, polishing a professional report to share with your colleagues, or tackling the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of academic or scientific document, a qualified member of our expert team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work. Our translation services for scientific and academic documents have also proven immensely helpful for many of our international clients.