English language editing and copy editing

English language editing and copy editing

This is the first in a series of articles on aspects of the production process at Sciendo. This article covers language editing and copy editing services. Language editing and copy editing services help make improvements to an article or book by addressing a wide range of potential issues with language.


In this article, we focus on English but Sciendo offers language editing services for all the languages we publish. So for German, Spanish, Italian, French and Polish also.

What is English language editing?

English language editing involves editing a manuscript written in English, typically although not exclusively, by a non-native speaker to improve English language use. In simple terms, the text is edited so that it reads like it was written by a native speaker.

What is the difference between the copy editing and language editing?

In copy editing, the text is checked for consistency and accuracy. Any inconsistencies, mistakes, and repetition are removed. Together, English language editing and copy editing ensure that publications meet the standards that are expected of high quality scholarly publishing.

Why are English language editing and copy editing important?

English language editing and copy editing matter because they can significantly improve the quality of English use in a manuscript. Poor quality English remains a common reason for the rejection of academic submissions. And this really matters because English is currently the international language of science, that makes works immediately accessible to scientists around the world.

Whilst it is important for all researchers to make sure that their work is as good as it can be, it is naturally more of a challenge if English is not your first language. English language editing and copy editing services help ensure that your work is as good as it can be, increasing the chances that it will be published, read, cited and have the impact it deserves.

Editing services offered by Sciendo

Sciendo offers three levels of language editing and copy editing services, which are Light, Medium and Heavy. We offer this for both British English and American English and the appropriateness of the language is verified by services such as Clarivate and Scopus.

Light Edit

The Light Edit is a style-focused edit which polishes the English language usage. The Light Edit includes minimal corrections to the text beyond style and consistency points, citation checks and fundamental grammar corrections. The author’s voice is not changed unless there are major grammatical errors, and a small number of queries may be raised with the author.

Medium Edit

The Medium Edit includes all tasks of the light edit and adds a thorough reading of the text for sense, style and structure. Sentences are corrected to ensure that tenses match consistently, and that definite and indefinite articles are used correctly. Any long, poorly worded or confusing sentences are queried with the authors, asking them to clarify, and so the number of queries raised with the author will be slightly higher than with a Light Edit. This level is suitable balance between quality and cost for many publications.

Heavy Edit

Whilst a Medium Edit is suitable for most publications, we also offer a Heavy Edit. The Heavy Edit goes even further by making corrections to the language even when the meaning is clear. This includes correcting the use of fewer/less for countable/uncountable nouns, of predicative/attributive adjectives, and the use of which/that. There may be revision of structure and language in keeping with the author’s intent and voice. Very long or confusing sentences or paragraphs will be recast to shorter ones. Additional attention will be given to check that the details given in tables and figures match those in the text itself. In general, far more author queries are raised during a Heavy Edit.

To find out more about Sciendo’s English language editing and copy editing services please visit our page and contact our sales representative.

Image source: freepik.com

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