AuthorAID researchers begin to take up Research Square’s free editing offer
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Ravi Murugesan provides an update on the free editing offer available to some developing country researchers in the AuthorAID community thanks to the support of Research Square.

Researchers spend months or even years carrying out a research study. When they get to the happy stage of having enough results to write up a research paper, many researchers face a new challenge: writing in clear, precise English. This is particularly difficult for researchers who have limited proficiency in English.

At AuthorAID, we work with researchers living in developing countries around the world, and we have often sensed their need for manuscript editing support. Editing even a short research paper can take hours of effort, and is ideally done by a trained English language editor. However, manuscript editing is expensive when one has limited funds, like many of the researchers in the AuthorAID network.

With this in mind we were delighted when Research Square offered to waive the fees on its manuscript editing service for a group of researchers trained by AuthorAID. In February 2015, we extended this free editing offer to about 260 researchers from several developing countries who had recently completed an AuthorAID workshop or online course and showed an improvement in their knowledge of core concepts.

We have already seen some in the AuthorAID community begin to take advantage of this offer and we expect that as the offer nears its expiry period in December 2015, there will be a spike in the uptake. We have also received a number of positive comments from researchers who have benefitted from this offer.

One agricultural scientist in Kenya, for example, commented: “I have just completed the paper I started writing after the training and this offer is God sent. Will send it for editing now. Thanks for the training and this bonus!”

Another Kenya-based scientist echoed these thoughts: “Thanks for this. I am actually developing some papers and this will be of great importance.”

For some, the availability of this offer provides a focus for finishing the papers they are writing. “There is a manuscript that I am working on, it may be ready within a month. I will certainly make use of the free editing,” noted a biologist in Uganda. A social-science researcher in Ghana agreed: “Thanks for the information and the offer. That is encouraging and spurs me on to do at least one paper before the deadline.”

An Indian biologist echoed these thoughts: “I am going to use this free editing service for my review paper, which is being written.” There has even been a comment in Spanish from a biologist in Mexico: “Estimado (a), así es necesitaría pasar al ingles el manuscrito , pero si en su editorial se presta este servicio, será de mucha ayuda. Gracias!!” (which translates as “[…] indeed, I need to translate the manuscript, but if your company lends this service, it would be very helpful. Thank you!”).

Research Square’s Ben Mudrak said: “We simplify the communication process for researchers so they can focus on making new discoveries. Through our partnership with AuthorAID, we are delighted to help international researchers from developing countries remove language barriers when publishing their work. We hope that the offer of free editing through our AJE brand encourages participants from AuthorAID courses to submit their work for publication. This collaboration will enable them to focus on the valuable scholarship they are producing instead of the words used to describe it.”

INASP hopes that this free editing offer will eventually make a big difference to those who make use of it. We thank Research Square for this very generous offer, and we look forward to collaborating with them further.

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About Ravi Murugesan

I live in India and I'm an INASP Associate. I work for the AuthorAID project, mostly as a trainer, and I spend a lot of time on INASP's online learning platform.
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