Scientific editing

As you may have read elsewhere on this site, I became self-employed and VAT-registered in Amsterdam in 1997 and am now based in England. I’ve previously lived in the States.

Initially, back in Amsterdam, my associates and I offered my colleagues in academia a way to outsource some of their many tasks.

Examples include teaching graduate students, editing drafts of scientific articles, working on grant proposals and carrying out desk research (studies).

The business that I started in 1997 still exists, but I no longer have a proper business website. That’s right, that large website that had several links from Wikipedia, for example from Wikipedia pages on rare earth elements, no longer exists. Clients have almost always exclusively found me via word of mouth or other forms of networking anyway.

l am no longer able to provide the extensive scientific editing services that I used to offer. Specifically, I no longer work on grant proposals (the actual files).

Instead, I have a new prepaid-only service.

You can pay before or at the start of the video call. It’s £50 for up to 30 minutes or £75 for up to an hour, exclusive of any VAT (20%). For 1 to 2 hours, it’s £120. You may want to ask your university department to arrange a subscription for its staff next; as university departments in the EU have VAT numbers, I can defer VAT when I bill them, but I can’t do that for individual scientists unless they happen to be VAT-registered.

Please pre-book. I may not be available at short notice so it is helpful to let me know in advance that you’ll want to have video call with me on or around a particular day or at a particular time.

Video consultation, up to 30 minutes (no VAT added)

During a video call, you and I go through 1) a paper or 2) a grant proposal before you submit it. You will be the one who corrects any mistakes that we catch and carries out any other improvements, so the editing happens on your side.

£50.00

Video consultation of up to 60 minutes (no VAT added)

During a video call, you and I go through 1) a paper or 2) a grant proposal before you submit it. You will be the one who corrects any mistakes that we catch and carries out any other improvements, so the editing happens on your side.

£75.00

Video consultation of up to 120 minutes (no VAT added)

During a video call, you and I go through 1) a paper or 2) a grant proposal before you submit it. You will be the one who corrects any mistakes that we catch and carries out any other improvements, so the editing happens on your side.

£120.00

Stripe payments are available too.

  • For traditional editing, I prefer to work with scientists who have worked with me before and I prefer to work in my own fields of research or in fields that are close enough to my own background and interests. I do make exceptions.
  • I have edited many scientific papers, book chapters and grant proposals, in Word and in Latex.
  • I use my own 22-item checklist to which I add specific items to check as I go through a paper. I also sometimes download other papers to sort out questions I have or issues I run into.
  • I used to work with proofreaders like Anna in Canada and Julie in the US because that saved me time when I was very busy. It helps to have an extra set of eyes go over a paper when you’re pressed for time (but I no longer do that much editing).

Papers have come to me in a wide range of conditions and from all sorts of academic authors, via word of mouth, and often in flurries (after fieldwork, after modelling runs or during holidays – because of the break in the teaching schedule – or shortly before someone’s PhD defence).

Responses I have gotten over the years have included “Holy cow… you did such a great job!” from an American scientist for work I did on a geochemistry paper and “I like to thank you for reviewing our paper. I am impressed by the quality of the improved version.” from a professor in the Netherlands for an environmental technology paper. He also wrote that he did not want to advertise my services at his department “otherwise they’ll all come running”.

One scientist with whom I had worked on a grant proposal wrote back to me that she’d felt super supported by me. She didn’t get the grant, but most scientists I have worked with on grant proposals were successful. We’re talking at least ten million by now.

During a shallow water flows (tidal rivers) SOBEK computer modelling lab, one graduate student told me that she really liked the lab and added that it connected very well with the corresponding material in the reader (called “syllabus” in Dutch). I’d written most of that chapter on tidal rivers, using examples from Hillsborough County in Florida, Canada and other places from around the world, linking the physics of tidal rivers with the real world. The bare bones high-level physics had already been done by the leader of the group and I translated that into English. I carried out desk research and fleshed out the chapter.

I also offered presentation skills training for scientists for a while, but it was probably a bit too soon for that at the time. (NATO was the only client.)

Two papers that I remember particularly were one that made me sit up with delight – I knew right away Nature was going to accept it because the work was that good – and a paper started by a scientist who had passed away.

Here are examples of journals that I have revised manuscripts for:

  • ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
  • Annals of Glaciology
  • Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research
  • Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
  • Carbon
  • Chemistry & Sustainability – Energy & Materials (ChemSusChem)
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
  • Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
  • Continental Shelf Research
  • Desalination
  • Energy and Environmental Science
  • Environmental Science & Technology
  • Hydrology Journal
  • International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
  • International Journal of Climatology
  • Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA)
  • Journal of Applied Meteorology
  • Journal of Environment and Planning
  • Journal of Food Engineering
  • Journal of Geophysical Research
  • Journal of Glaciology
  • Journal of Membrane Science
  • Journal of Transport and Land Use
  • Marine Geology
  • Nature
  • Ocean and Coastal Management
  • Postharvest Biology and Technology
  • Proceedings of Beyond the Standard Model
  • Proceedings of AIP conference DSU 2010
  • Proceedings of the Twelfth Marcel Grossmann Meeting on General Relativity
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • Reviews in Geophysics
  • Science
  • Science of The Total Environment
  • Separation and Purification Technology
  • Surface and Coatings Technology
  • Tellus
  • Transplantation
  • Transplant Proceedings
  • Water Environment Research
  • Water Research
  • Water Resources Research

This can be a handy book to have, by the way:
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 8th Edition