Alphabet soup? No problem.

It’s time to boast about my latest accomplishments.

This past week and the end of the previous week, I copyedited and formatted what was probably the most challenging scientific paper of my editing career so far. The paper was not long at all, but since it centered on immunology and pharmacology, it had a large number of abbreviations. I call these abbreviations “alphabet soup.” As an editor, if I don’t keep a record of these abbreviations, what they stand for, whether they were defined at first use, and whether they appear less than four times in the paper, I’m sunk. (The journal to which the paper was to be submitted has specific rules regarding abbreviations.) The PerfectIt add-on is good for this task, but despite its name, it is not perfect.

Copyediting the paper was actually the fun part of the job. The not-so-fun part was formatting. Let me please ask all scientific authors: If you do not want to pay a significant amount of money to have an editor do your formatting for you, then please pay attention to the format in which your target journal desires your paper, especially your references and in-text citations. If you have written all of your citations in numbered style, for example, be sure that your target journal doesn’t want them in author-date style. If you would rather an editor reformat your paper, no problem; the editor would love to do the job, but you will be paying more money if Edifix doesn’t have the specific format the journal wants. It’s all up to you.

When I turned in the edited, formatted paper, I was complimented on how quickly I did it. This was a surprise compliment to me, since I didn’t think that the time in which I completed the job was astoundingly fast. But then again, I don’t just meet deadlines—I very often beat them!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Next weekend, I will be on vacation with my hubby, so there will be no new blog post from me next week. I’ll see you all again on July 3rd.

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