I heartily agreed with the opinions voiced in "Scientific Journal Editors Say Polished Prose Clarifies Research" (K.S. Brown, The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1997, page 16) that careful writing enhances understanding of an article's scientific content. However, missing from all the other useful advice was one tip: namely, to seek out the services of a medical editor. So-called author's editors (who assist authors by preparing manuscripts before submission to journals) work in many medical schools and corporate settings, or as freelance consultants. Experienced medical editors can improve prose in any discipline.

Why use medical editors? Here are some characteristics of a professionally prepared, well-crafted manuscript: (1) It goes promptly to an appropriate journal, in the appropriate format. (2) It spends less time in revision, because careless math errors, inconsistent phrasing, or sloppy logic were eliminated before the reviewers saw the manuscript. (3) Therefore, it is published in a...

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