Overcoming Barriers to Publication Success

Getting published in a prestigious journal is a challenge for any researcher. But even when the science is strong, language problems can sometimes undermine a submission.

After submitting his manuscript to the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), lead author Joey Zhouyuan Li of Tsinghua University was pleased to receive positive comments from the journal.

“My research focuses on the ecological restoration and regional climate change in the fragile grassland ecosystem in China, applying macroscopic observation and remote sensing,” said Li. “It is a kind of study not frequently published in ES&T. I was encouraged by the comments from the reviewers and the Associate Editor.”

However, Li also received criticisms on some details and a request for a major revision. After Li revised the manuscript to the satisfaction of the Associate Editor, there was still one more hurdle to overcome. “You need to improve the English for comprehension and grammar,” noted the Associate Editor in the decision letter. Using a link included in the letter, Li turned to ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services for assistance with language editing.

“We naturally went to the ACS Publications website to solve the language problem,” said Li. “When we chose ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, our aim was to get the language of the manuscript polished and edited in a short amount of time. We believed that ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services would provide efficient and high-quality support, with professional, experienced English editors.”

Since March 2014, ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services has been helping scientists communicate research results more effectively. While English editing is by far the most popular service, ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services also assists authors with figures, formatting, and translations. It is important to note that ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services does not guarantee acceptance; it helps polish a manuscript prior to submission to a high-impact publication.

After receiving Li’s manuscript, the staff at ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services took the first step in the process. They matched the manuscript to an expert editor based on the field of study.

“Our editors have research experience and are deeply familiar with their respective areas of chemistry and related sciences,” said Brandon Jernigan, Ph.D., Operations Director at ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services. “Each editor has received or is completing an advanced degree at a top U.S. research university or institute, and all editors are continually assessed to ensure that they meet our high-quality standards.”

Since Li had selected Premium Language Services, his manuscript received all of the edits performed for the Standard Services, such as fixing spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word choice. In addition, the editor corrected sentence constructions made improvements to transitions and flow and ensured a consistent style throughout the manuscript. Another benefit of the Premium Services, which Li especially valued, was a summary

“We were satisfied with the professional quality of the manuscript editing,” Li said. “But the most impressive part of the process was the letter summarizing all of the comments in a personalized way. These honest and accurate suggestions for improving our English and writing style will be truly helpful for improving future writing by our research team.” After incorporating the changes recommended by ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, the article was published in ES&T.

Second from left, Dr. Zhouyuan (Joey) Li, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, with colleagues and partners from Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“ We had confidence in the quality of our science and the significance of our research,” said Li. “But with an all-Chinese research team, it was challenging to present it internationally in English. By getting the article published, it has received the attention around the world that we believe it deserves.”

Make your research shine with ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, go to es.acschemworx.acs.org

If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.