Highlights from October webinar

Highlights from October webinar

Last month, on the 26th of October, we had our another webinar entitled: “Top Tips and Common Mistakes in Scientific Writing”. It was a huge success and we were really happy to see such a turnaround – over 100 people subscribed. It was moderated by co-founder and chief editor of eCORRECTOR, dr. hab. Mark J. Hunt, PhD, and our main guest, who conducted the entire lecture, was dr. Jerry Carr-Brion, MRSC, CChem who obtained his PhD in Chemistry from Queen Mary’s, University of London, UK, and is the author of recently published book Process Development: An Introduction for Chemists.

The main purpose of the webinar was to introduce to the attendees the best tips and common mistakes in writing scientific papers – especially in the field of chemistry/biochemistry.

Many PhD candidates who participated were issued a certificate of attendance, which they could attach to their end of year report of their progress.

eCORRECTOR as a proofreading end editing company always try to help authors with the submission of their papers by offering proofreading/editing services or even just by giving some tips and pointers, that is why we want to share with you some highlights from our recent event:

  1. Before you write your paper
  • Check you’ve done all the experiments you need to. Controls are important.
  • Stick to a clear story. Leave out irrelevant experiments.
  • Read the ‘Instructions for authors’ for the journal to which you plan to submit your paper.
  • Decide whether you want to write in UK English or US English; stick to this throughout the paper
  1. Advice on Style
  • Avoid very long sentences with lots of different clauses, since they often lead to confusion. They may be perfectly clear in your native language, but ambiguous in English.
  • Avoid sentences with too many adjectives, which can often be found in introductions and conclusions.
  1. Time after time…
  • In general, keep the text in the past tense (with some exceptions).
  • In the method and results sections, nearly everything you report should be in the past tense: ‘The yeast was added to the buffer solution.’ The exception is when you refer to figures or tables: ‘Figure 1 shows…’ !!!
  • When discussing the work of others (typically in the introduction and discussion sections), well-established facts can be written in the present tense, such as ‘Sodium metal reacts violently with water.’
  • Where there is disagreement, or if you are reporting the results of a single research group, use the past tense. ‘Bloggs et al. claimed to have achieved high enantioselectivity using magnetic fields.’
  1. Some of the most common mistakes to avoid
  • Leaving out ‘a’ or ‘the’ or putting them when not needed. However, there are some cases, typically when discussing a class of objects in general or abstract concepts, where no article or equivalent is needed.
  • Putting adjectives after a noun, not before, such as ‘The precipitate above-mentioned was centrifuged’, when it should be ‘The above-mentioned precipitate was centrifuged.’
  • Misplaced apostrophes, such as ‘Alzheimers’ disease’ (should be ‘Alzheimer’s disease’) or ‘Both precipitate’s were…’ (this should be ‘Both precipitates were…’).

!!!Note that in statistics, it should be ‘Student’s t-test’ with a capital letter and an apostrophe, since ‘Student’ was a pseudonym.

  • Using decimal commas instead of decimal points. An instruction such as ‘Carefully add 1,333 g of concentrated nitric acid’ would lead to an English-speaking chemist adding 1.333 Kg, probably giving a rather vigorous reaction.
  • Misuse of ’during’. ‘The mixture was heated during 5 hours’ should be ‘The mixture was heated for 5 hours.’ ‘During’ normally refers to something that happened within a particular period of time, for example ‘The mixture was heated for 5 hours; during this time a yellow solid precipitated.’

As you can see just from those few highlights, working on a scientific paper is not an easy task, so why not make it less stressful and ask for a professional help?  😉

You can find out more about our proofreading and editing service here. As for the PhDs who work on your papers, you may find more information about them by visiting this site.

New webinar: Scientific Writing – An Unexpected Journey

New webinar: Scientific Writing –  An Unexpected Journey

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a new science writing webinar on the 30th of November, 5:00 PM GMT+2. This webinar will be held by Keith ό Proinsias, PhD. Keith has been providing editing and proofreading services at eCORRECTOR for over 4 years. He also worked with proofreading companies in Japan and India. He will share with us a story of his unexpected journey to become a proofreader, and how to write better papers in English. He will also share some useful tips to make your writing easier.

Contact us via email to register for the webinar!

Proofreading software. Is this the perfect solution?

Proofreading software. Is this the perfect solution?

Proofreading software, like every human invention, is designed to make life easier. The development of technology and artificial intelligence has contributed to the creation of many tools that allow non-native speakers to improve the quality of the written language thanks to software that will perform the so-called proofreading, i.e., text correction. Currently, the most popular application of this type (especially for the English language) is Grammarly.

 

What is Grammarly, or what’s all the fuss about?

Grammarly is a tool for professional language correction of English, which thanks to the built-in functions in real-time indicates spelling, stylistic, grammatical and punctuation errors, and suggests the correct version of the analyzed text, as well as able to check the tone of the speech. The application is also equipped with the function of checking the content for plagiarism.

The popularity of Grammarly has been growing for several years, to such an extent that academic centers around the world recommend its use to their students, PhDs and employees (i.e., University of Silesia, Wrocław University of Economics, and Warsaw University of Technology, as well as the University of Arizona or Iowa State University).

 

Proofreading software ? is it worth trying in scientific texts?

As is usual with commercial software, Grammarly has two versions: 1) free ? basic proofreading and 2) paid ? extended linguistic proofreading. It is the latter that is recommended by universities, but is it worth using this software at all? Przemysław Fidzina (a linguist) analyzed both versions on his blog. He stated that while Grammarly in the free version catches the simplest errors, which, incidentally, will also be detected by MS Word, it gets lost in more complex sentences, but there is no rule here, because the program omitted 5 basic grammatical errors in the sentence: It?s a story dating back to mid-1950?s.

 

Premium version of language proofreading in Grammarly

So does the premium version offer something that the basic version does not? Yes and no. The most interesting option seems to be ?vocabulary enhancement correction?, i.e., the selection of synonyms, better collocations, more precise vocabulary. You can also set the so-called objectives of the text, i.e., whether it is business, informal, etc. The cost is approximately 30$ per month. This version catches more errors, but some of the obvious ones are still not being visible by the software.

 

The examples of what the application cannot seem to deal with:

  1. It?s story date back to middle ? 50ies? -> Its story dates back to mid-50s?
  2. It have been build -> it has been built
  3. Can you know why are there bars ?. -> Do you know why there are
  4. [?] people jumping this building ? -> [?] people jumping off this building ?

proofreading software

Can a proofreading software replace a native speaker (proofreader) in the proofreading of scientific texts?

The premium version of Grammarly finds a few more mistakes than the free version, but the algorithms are not able to catch some of the rather rudimentary ones. Simply put, without even having a somewhat good knowledge of English, it is not advisable to completely entrust the quality of your work to this software, because it does not find all the mistakes, and does not display them. This, in turn, can falsely reassure users and they are unaware that errors remain in their manuscript. Additionally, we found Grammarly can sometimes recommend changes that can actually introduce a linguistic error, for example the ?The role of (the) BDNF in Parkinson?s disease?. In our opinion Grammarly certainly has advantages and can help polish the English of academic texts, but it has limitations outlined above.

As you can see, despite the fact of the advancement of technology, algorithms getting better at this type of task, and machine solutions being strongly promoted by universities, it is not yet time to trust this type of software in 100%. In this respect, a machine is not yet able to replace a human proofreader, a native speaker of a given language.

 

The most effective proofreading of scientific papers

If you want to be sure that the text does not contain any linguistic errors or flaws and will be suitable for publication, it is best to use professional proofreading services, i.e., linguistic proofreading being done by a native speaker. Despite technical advances, it is still the best solution to ensure the highest linguistic quality of the manuscript.

An additional advantage of such a solution in the case of scientific research is that, by selecting the appropriate service, the text can be checked by an active scientist from an academic center in an English-speaking country. Moreover, what the software mentioned above cannot do, which is possible thanks to a proofreader, is to give a manuscript fluency characteristic of a native speaker, as well as the insight of an expert who understands the given research area and makes sure that specialized vocabulary is used. You can find a description of such services at this link.

 

We wish you many successful publications,

eCORRECTOR team

Summer, Science & Art with eCORRECTOR

Summer, Science & Art with eCORRECTOR

It’s full summer, the sun behind the windows, lush nature, but we know that the holiday season for scientists is not necessarily a time for rest because scientific journals constantly have open submissions, so when preparing manuscripts to publish, remember to give it to a native speaker for proofreading ?. The same applies to students and PhD candidates who, despite a break from classes at the university, sometimes also need help in preparing an abstract for a summer conference, or checking a manuscript for a journal. However, to make this transition period in the form of holidays pleasant, we have a little surprise!

We are happy to inform you that our team would like to strike an artistic chord in our clients. Besides your pursuit of science do you have any interests in art? Or by any chance during the said pursuit, you had occasion to take any interesting, creative, or quirky photos or even prepare some drawings (it can be in chemistry, physics, history, in general, all fields are viable)? If so, we would like to invite you to share them with us because we would like to have them included in our unique academic calendar for 2022-2023!

If you are interested, please send us your images by 5th August 2022 (ideally TIFF format). Of course, the calendar has only 12 months, so we will have to choose the best pictures. But it is not without its merits. The name of the artist and affiliation will be included with each image and each artist whose pictures we use will receive 3-5 calendars. Images may have to be adapted slightly to fit the dimensions of the calendar page. Below you can see several pictures of what we are looking for:

Thank you for reading this entry. If you are interested in news regarding publishing academic papers as well as PhD proofreading and editing, we recommend you visit our website and online calculator. For more news check our social media: FacebookLinkedin and YouTube profiles.

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Sarah

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Sarah

dr Sarah

Sarah, PhD in history University of St Andrews

As a part of “Meet our editors and proofreaders” series, we interview some of the native speakers who edit and proofread your texts. Today we publish an interview with Sarah, PhD in History, from the University of St Andrews. She discusses her work and provides helpful advice about how to improve your academic writing.

Research interests

eCORRECTOR: What are you researching?
Sarah: I’m researching medieval English law. My main focus is on how cases were argued in court and how legal experts gained their knowledge.

eCORRECTOR: What inspires you about research?
Sarah: I really enjoy getting to read through manuscripts from 800 years ago to try to find out what people were thinking! It makes the Middle Ages seem so much more real.

eCORRECTOR: What is the major scientific challenge, in your field, for this decade?
Sarah: The major challenge to medieval legal history today is that we need to reassess the sources. Most of our scholarship is based on work done in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which focused on institutionalised law and neglected large bodies of local, customary law.

eCORRECTOR: Have you read a breakthrough paper recently?
Sarah: I recently discovered that people in the twelfth century sometimes tried to use their last wills to distribute land (which you can’t legally do in the Middle Ages). This shows that people were willing to experiment with the laws that were available to see what they could get away with.

Golden tips about writing papers

eCORRECTOR: What is your golden piece of advice when writing a paper?
Sarah: Write an outline before your start ? the more detailed, the better! Then you can just fill in the blanks with your research.

eCORRECTOR: What is the most common mistake you notice when you edit/proof papers?
Sarah: Grammatically, the construction “allows to” appears very frequently. In English grammar, words like ?allow? and ?let? have to have a direct object before the infinitive, such as ?this case allows me to examine?? as opposed to ?this case allows to examine??. You can also get around this by saying, ?this case allows for the examination of??, which is just a slightly different construction that lets you avoid the first person. Ridiculous, I know! 

eCORRECTOR: Do you have a presentation/stylistic tip?
Sarah: Use the same font throughout the entire paper, 12 point for the main text and 10 point for the footnotes. It seems like a small thing, but it makes a very big difference to how professional your paper looks.

eCORRECTOR: What example phrase should you use when writing a paper?
Sarah: I’m quite fond of the phrase “X is crucial for our understanding of Y because…” . It makes the point very strongly!

About tools and motivation

eCORRECTOR: How do you get motivated to start writing a paper?
Sarah: I start by organising all my evidence. Once I’ve done that, I can see what kind of an outline I need to write and might even have half of the paper written already!
When I’m having a hard time getting started, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Then, I write as much as I can in that time (even if it’s nonsense) and see what I have. The time limit makes me feel like I am writing for a deadline and doesn’t let me procrastinate.

eCORRECTOR: Can you recommend any app/tool for improving scientific writing?
Sarah: I highly recommend using Zotero or another citation software (Endnote, Mendeley) to do your references. This will ensure that you use the same format throughout and takes care of all the repeat references by automatically using “ibid.” and short-form citations.
Grammarly is also helpful, but the professional version can do more harm than good for non-English speakers, as it does not always understand what you are trying to say and will suggest things that are incorrect.

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Anthony

dr Anthony

Anthony, PhD in Urban Studies,
The University of Sheffield

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Anthony

As a part of “Meet our editors and proofreaders” series, we interview some of the native speakers who edit and proofread your texts. We started with Anthony, PhD in Urban Studies, from the University of Sheffield. He discusses his work and provides helpful advice about how to improve your academic writing.

Research interests

What are you researching?
My research has focused on the politics and management of urban infrastructures ? how cities manage their energy and water networks, how their telecommunications infrastructures are managed, and how transport operates. In an age of tight public finances, ageing infrastructures, growing climate concerns and debates over privatisation and nationalisation, how these infrastructures are managed is a vital public concern.

What inspires you about research?
The ability to learn something new and ?create? knowledge. Many academics have the stereotype of wanting to change the world (and that was what also inspired me to get into research), but the ability to delve deep into a subject and to fully understand the mechanics at work in a particular area is truly inspirational.

What is the major scientific challenge, in your field, for this decade?
Giving cities (and nations) the ability to fund and operate their existing infrastructures in a climate-friendly and cost-effective way in an age of dwindling natural resources and tight finances, while being able to provide fair and equitable access to all members of society.

Have you read a breakthrough paper recently?
Not really a recent paper (as it was published in 2001) but ?Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition? was a book I?d recommend to anyone involved in infrastructure research.

What made it great?
Occasionally you find a book or a paper that manages to tackle all the complexities and interactions that are already swirling around in your mind, and simplify them to such an extent that you can just sit there and think, ?of course, that?s exactly what happens?.

Golden tips about writing papers

How do you get motivated to start writing a paper?
I always find it easier to start writing a new piece of work than to finish an existing piece. New papers are exciting and fun, and you have a world of possibilities as to where your argument will take you. The problem for me is how to get over the boredom and annoyance that follows that initial excitement, when writing begins to feel more like actual work. My advice is to just keep writing. It doesn?t matter what, just keep at it. Put the words on the page as you think of them and just see what comes out. Stephen King famously writes around 2,000 words every single day ? some are good, some are not so good. But keep practicing!

What is your golden piece of advice when writing a paper?
Signpost your argument. I can?t overstate how important this is for the reader. ?In this paper I will? I start by examining? before moving onto? This will allow?? A reader is unlikely to read your paper more than once (and even if someone does download your paper, it is likely they will skim through to the most important parts ? academics are busy people!). Being able to see where your argument is going and being able to pre-empt what comes next gives the reader some impetus to keep reading.

What is the most common mistake you notice when you edit/proof papers?
Ignoring the question ?so what?? Why should I read your paper? What is the end goal? You might have invented the most efficient solar panel that has ever existed, but if you do not explicitly state this in the introduction and conclusion, then I will be reading nothing more than equations and difficult technical language that I may not understand, and your paper will be lost amongst the hundreds of thousands of other papers that are published each year.

Do you have a presentation/stylistic tip?
Try not to write overly long sentences. If you cannot avoid this, then sprinkle a few very short sentences into the text. Like this. A reader needs to able to ?breathe? when they are reading your paper, even if it is only in their heads. With sentences that get far too long and far too convoluted and fail to include any forms of punctuation that can help to break up the text to give the reader time to pause they can forget the point you are trying to make before they even get to the end of the sentence. So, break it up. Regularly.

Can you recommend any app/tool for improving scientific writing?
Referencing software (EndNote, Mendeley) can be useful to help reduce the annoyances that come from fixing your references, but bear in mind they are not always accurate.

eCORRECTOR in 2018 ? a retrospect

eCORRECTOR in 2018 ? a retrospect

The beginning of a new year is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the passing 2018. We would also like to use this opportunity to wish our customers and native speakers all the best in 2019 – may it be a year of success and reaching for the stars.

A lot has changes at eCORRECTOR in 2018 ? top quality is still our paramount objective and we aim at it tirelessly. Introducing new paths in our functioning aims at providing tailor-made native speaker proofreading and translation services. Some have already been applied and it is our hope that they have a direct positive impact on the quality of our translation and proofreading services. Below you can find some highlights of 2018 at our company.

Projects – more and larger

Each year, we manage to successfully complete more and more native speaker proofreading and translation projects. There were about 5 000 of those in 2018 ? that’s 50% more than last year! Autumn was the busiest season for our native speakers, though some projects lasted throughout the entire year. We also carry out more and more projects using CAT tools, which allows us to complete larger projects within a shorter deadline. Returning customers prove that the quality of our scientific proofreading is very high.

Unique undertakings

This year was also a time of new tasks. We assisted our partners in preparing English-Arabic and English-Icelandic dictionaties. Our native speakers took part in an interesting project concerning emojis. We also took up a challenge of recording voice messages for one of our customers. Finally, namy fascinating discoveries got published thanks to our specialist proofreading service.

Conitnuations and novelties

We have prepared various entires in the Scientist’s Library, expanding the already rich offer of materials for academics willing to publish in English. We are also continuously working on the academic writing guidebooks. There was also a series of free online consultations with a native speaker, where you could ask questions about the English language.

New partners

We have established numerous business contacts with companies from the USA, United Kingdom, Denmark, the Czech Republic or Lithuania. We have also entered into a partnership deal with Smartcat. Together, we launched a campaign to increase the awareness of CAT tools amongst translators by hosting our first webinar. eCORRECTOR cooperates with a lot of universities and research facilities. Our new partners this year are, among others, the Museum of Koszalin, University of Casimir the Great, journals such as Human Movement, Meteorology Hydrology and Water Management ? Research and Operational Applicationand the Scientific Journals of the Maritime University in Szczecin.

Meeting partners, customers and translators

We participated in scientific conferences and industry events, where we could ponder upon translation itself and the education of translation specialists in Poland and worldwide. We started at the 5th International Conference Medical Science Pulse ?Interdisciplinary Science & Research? and the Warsaw edition of LocWorld, where we discussed the art of writing scientific texts. Another step was the Smartcat Partner Day in Warsaw ? our speech regarded the opportunities this CAT tool opens up for LSPs. Next, we attended the Konferencja Tłumaczy, where we talked about CAT education of Polish translators. During the Dimensions of Business Language and Culture DOBLAC  2018 event, we could present the technological means of providing top quality services. Incidentally, we also went to Zurich Zand the Russian Techtextil Week!

We are very eager to welcome the challenges of 2019. It is our hope that we will be able to assist you in reaching for the established goal by providing top quality native speaker services. 

O eCORRECTOR:
Cel działalności: dostarczenie tekstu, który będzie odpowiednio odczytany przez czytelników obcojęzycznych ? pozbawiony wpadek kulturowych czy nienaturalnych wyrażeń.

Wśród naszych klientów znajdują się osoby prywatne, instytucje kulturalne i państwowe, uniwersytety oraz ludzie nauki. Grono naszych zadowolonych klientów powiększa się bardzo szybko, co jest kolejnym dowodem naszego profesjonalizmu i rzetelności. Stale współpracujemy z kilkuset native speakerami języków docelowych, dokładnie weryfikując jakość ich pracy

LocWorld37 Warsaw with eCorrector June 2018

LocWorld37 Warsaw with eCorrector June 2018

Prestigious LocWorld scientific conference with the participation of eCorrector!

What is LocWorld?

Today eCORRECTOR participated in LocWorld37, Warsaw. LocWorld is a leading conference associating enthusiasts of international business, translations, global management and localization sector. The participants were those who are responsible for communication that transcends language and culture in the global market. With a special emphasis on global business, the conference provides an opportunity to exchange high-quality information on the language and translation services as well as the technology market.

Our scientific editor, Mark Hunt, gave a presentation on some of eCORRECTOR?s business processes at the Life Sciences Business Round Table. In the world of translation and location, the life sciences industry is different from other industries due to the unique and specific nature of its requirements. This field of science combines issues in the fields of biochemistry, biology, microbiology and many other related disciplines.

With the ever-changing market, the highest importance is attached to the quality of services. At the discussion forum, experts, including clients and entrepreneurs, will present and share their thoughts and experiences regarding specific processes, as well as discuss market requirements and challenges in the industry.

The topic that Mark spoke about was scientific proofreading and issues in the field of the location sector. The role of the quality assurance process is becoming more and more important. Mark in his speech drew attention to a very pressing issue: in the world of science, texts must be thoroughly checked – often scientific articles are created and translated by an author who is not a professional linguist. During this session on linguistic quality control, the problem was discussed from a slightly different perspective: in a world where medicine and medical devices dominate, what is usually highlighted as editing, correction and review in individual countries can sometimes be combined in a single step through commitment of experts or proofreaders.

Who was there?

The event also featured representatives of such companies as Facebook, LinkedIn, Globalese, Lingo24 and Google – the very cream of the industry. It was a very rare opportunity to be among the representatives of such large platforms gathered in one place, and LocWorld provided us with it. During the event there were also lectures on the utility of medical devices or the essence of correct translations in the company’s functioning.

This Friday, we warmly invite you to SmartCat Partner Day in Warsaw, during which our founders, Mark Hunt and Dorota Sakowska, as well as our colleague Magdalena Ochmańska, presentation how SmartCat can improve the functionality job processing.

We can?t wait! Will you be with us? We hope so! This is an opportunity you can?t miss!

Free language consultations online – March edition

Free language consultations online – March edition

Are you in the middle of writing a paper and have no idea how to express a point?

Are you preparing an important response to reviewers and it is difficult to defend your view in a polite way?

Perhaps you are ready to submit your publication, but have questions about the letter of recommendation?

Or you want to apply for a position and need some advice on a scientific CV as well as a convincing letter?

Is there a peculiarity of the English language that is difficult to grasp without a native speaker’s helping hand?

If you said yes to any of the above – great!

On 15 March between 6pm and 7pm CET you will have a unique opportunity to join free language consultations at eCORRECTOR. The expert answering your questions is dr hab. Mark Hunt. The goal of the consultations is to help authors of scientific publication who work on their papers, replies to reviewers or applications.

How does it work?

The only thing you need to do is to log onto our expert chat (15 March, between 6pm and 7pm), where dr Mark Hunt will be waiting for your questions. Your queries should be rather short and precise, expressed in the English or Polish language. You don’t have to sign up earlier or pay a fee – the consultations are totally free of charge!

If you want to know more about scientific writing, you can visit our Scientist’s Library.  It is a constantly updated and rich database of free materials (papers, books, webinars and online courses).

Dr hab. Mark Jeremy Hunt conducted his PhD research at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge. His biomedical research was then continued in French and British institutes. He has been tied to the Nencki Institute in Poland for almost 10 years and gained his habilitation there. Dr Hunt publishes over 20 papers in international journals, such as Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Neuroscience and Trends in Neuroscience, holding additional 15 years of experience in proofreading scientific manuscripts.

Accompanied by his wife, Dorota Sakowska-Hunt (MBA), he has been developing the eCORRECTOR company for more than 3 years. The offer includes proofreading and scientific editing for researchers and academic willing to submit their papers to international journals.

Konsultacje Mark 15.03.2018 About eCORRECTOR:

Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.