Whether you need a thorough review of a scientific or technical document, or a simple proofread prior to pressing the print button, Nature Edit offers a range of editing services to suit your requirements. There are a number of different types, or levels, of editing that are generally recognised: substantive editing, copyediting and proofreading.
A related and overarching concept is ‘plain English’. Plain English editing is usually done as part of a more intensive edit to ensure your document is clear, east to read and suited to your audience. It ensures that information is presented in a way that an interested reader will readily understand. Plain English editing (or rewriting) is particularly useful prior to public release of technical, scientific or other complex reports and strategies.
Editing can be done at several levels but generally includes the following basic tasks (what I refer to as a copyedit) *:
- ensuring a consistent approach to spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation, presentation of lists and tables, spacing and heading styles
- clarifying unclear terminology and explaining key terms
- removing unnecessary jargon
- ensuring correct and consistent use of acronyms and abbreviations
- correcting all grammatical errors and problems with word use
- highlighting or correcting confusing sentences or paragraphs.
For a more intensive edit, (what I refer to as a substantive edit) I will also:
- rewrite cumbersome (or clunky) sentences
- check facts (or flag content that may need to be checked)
- indicate inconsistencies in content
- review logical flow of text
- cross-check citations in text and reference list
- cross-check references to tables, figures and appendices.
Formatting and assigning styles to text and headings also forms part of the editing process.
Editing is fundamentally about ensuring your document is clear, concise, consistent, correct and coherent (the ‘five C’s of editing’).
Please note: I do not take on editing and proofreading of theses, dissertations, scripts or fiction manuscripts/books.
An example of my editing
To give you an idea of how my editing can improve the readability of your document, here is a small example from a document written for the general public. The edit ensures that the words used are those that the general public will understand, and clearly explains technical/scientific terms (e.g. species abundance and composition).
Ecosystem services are produced by the functions that occur in healthy ecosystems. These functions are supported by biodiversity and its attributes, including the number of individuals and species, and their relative abundance, composition and interactions.
Ecosystem services are
produced provided by the functions that occur in healthy ecosystems. These functions are supported by biodiversity and its attributes, including the number of different species in an area, the number of individuals and of each species , and (i.e. their relative abundance), the composition or mix of species in any particular area, and the interactions between these species.
Ecosystem services are provided by healthy ecosystems. These functions are supported by biodiversity and its attributes, including the number of different species in an area, the number of individuals of each species (i.e. their abundance), the composition or mix of species in any particular area, and the interactions between these species.
* Acknowledgements: This description of editing and the descriptions of the various types of editing on other pages are based on Institute of Professional Editors Australia, the Style manual (Snooks & Co 2002), Australian standards for editing practice (Institute of Professional Editors Limited 2012) and Commissioning checklist (Canberra Society of Editors).