Proofreading or editing

Proofreading or editing?

Which service do you need to get your article published?

When an article is submitted to a high-quality journal, it is examined critically before it is selected for peer review. For instance at Elsevier, between 30 and 50 percent of articles submitted to our journals are rejected before they even reach the peer review stage, and one of the top reasons for rejection is poor language.

Make sure your work is submission ready

The journal submission process is also often extremely time-consuming; it can take up to 25 weeks before your work has been reviewed. After all of that waiting, you don’t want to take the risk that your work will be rejected for language reasons.

In order to make sure your work is submission ready, it is a good idea to have a professional examine and correct your article for any language-related errors. There are a lot of options available.

Now the question is: Should you choose a proofreading service or a language editing service?

What is the difference between proofreading and editing?

The terms ‘proofreading’ and ‘editing’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but in fact there are important differences between the two.

Proofreading focuses on correcting superficial errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and formatting. Therefore, it normally occurs at the end of the writing process as a final step before submitting a paper which is otherwise ready to be published.

On the other hand, editing takes a deeper look at how information and ideas are presented. While editing includes all steps involved in proofreading, the focus is on making changes that make an article easier to understand, better organized, and more suitable for the audience. Because editing is an essential part of formulating a research argument, it occurs multiple times throughout the writing process.

Proofreading or editing: which service do I need?

Researchers often believe that they only need proofreading to finalize their articles before submission. However, in our experience, proofreading is often not enough, and when we edit papers we always have suggestions for authors on how to better structure and present the content of their articles.

An editor who understands your field can provide even more useful feedback. For example, the editors we work with are PhD-level professionals selected according to your research area, so they have the subject matter expertise experience necessary to understand and critique your work on a deeper level.

Submitting a paper that is not only error-free but also clear and understandable is essential to getting published. With proofreading alone, you miss out on the kind of constructive criticism that could make the difference between your manuscript getting accepted or not. 

Because we have found that there is always room for improvement, we are convinced that authors should have their papers edited and proofread before submitting. That’s why we include both editing and proofreading in our English Language Editing and Language Editing Plus services.

Do I need Language Editing or Language Editing Plus?

The main difference between Elsevier’s English Language Editing and Language Editing Plus services is that Plus includes unlimited rounds of editing, along with other premium editing services.

If you are confident that your paper is nearly ready and that you will submit it directly after editing, then English Language Editing should be the best option for you. 

However, it is not uncommon for an author to rewrite portions of their paper late in the writing process. These last minute changes should also be edited, since the rewritten text should not only be checked for superficial errors but also for consistency and cohesiveness with the rest of the article.

If you believe that parts or sections of your article will need to be rewritten multiple times before it becomes the final version and you would therefore like to take advantage of multiple editing rounds, you’ll need Language Editing Plus.

Conclusion

Poor language is one of the top reasons why journals reject articles. Having your article corrected for language errors will allow reviewers focus on the quality of your research rather than your language skills and should increase your chances of getting published. 

While proofreading is an important final step before submitting a paper which is otherwise ready to be published, it only focuses on correcting superficial errors. Meanwhile, editing takes a deeper look at the content of your paper and can help make it much easier to understand, better organized, and more suitable for the audience. With proofreading alone, you miss out on the kind of feedback that can make the difference between getting published or not. 

Because both proofreading and editing are essential to helping you produce the best possible paper, we include both editing and proofreading in our English Language Editing and Language Editing Plus services.


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