I was in Mexico recently and my wife, who speaks fluent Spanish, had to teach me about all the different ways you can say “I’m sorry” in Spanish. I was using “lo siento” quite often, and although that isn’t wrong exactly, it’s probably a little too strong of a phrase to use while moving past someone in a market when “perdón” would suffice.
Upon returning to the States, I found this helpful blog post that breaks down the three common ways to say I’m sorry in Spanish: Lo siento, Perdón, & Disculpe. In many cases, any of the three variations can be used but there are important differences. My favorite example: if a friend tells you their pet died, be sure to use “lo siento” instead of “perdón”, which implies that you are to blame for the death of your friend’s pet. Unless of course that’s true, in which case, you probably need to say a lot more than just I’m sorry .
I was reminded of this as I read Dmitry Tychinin’s recent Science Editor article with tips for non-native scientists writing in English: “Our Data Can Serve as a Basis for …”: Adspeak in Russian Scientific English. Understanding the nuances of a non-native language can be tough, and Dmitry provides some helpful suggestions so writers can avoid overselling their research in ways that can seem hyperbolic to English speakers. This article also serves as a reminder to editors and reviewers to avoid focusing too much on poor grammar or word choice: poor writing can be fixed in copyediting, poor science cannot. Of course, in the end, his advice to “be concise, honest, and specific” applies to all writers of scientific publications, no matter their native tongue.
Editor-in-Chief, Science Editor
ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for Meeting Reporters
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Reports on the CSE Annual Meeting sessions are very important to the readers of Science Editor, especially those who cannot attend the meeting or a concurrent session. Serving as an Annual Meeting Reporter is a great way for first-time attendees or newer members to become involved in CSE, an opportunity to meet speakers and moderators covering topics of interest, and a chance to have an article published in Science Editor.
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Recent Early Online Article
If you are a freelance editor, it’s not uncommon to be asked to edit a sample before receiving paid work. But as Erin Nyren describes in her article, Freelance Editor “Auditions”: A CSE Email List Discussion, sometimes these requests can seem like quite a bit free work as some companies may take unfair advantage of freelancers. The discussion offers freelancers some tips on what to look out for and some examples of reasonable requests.
Hot Articles from Recent Issues (For CSE Members Only)
As a CSE member benefit, once Science Editor articles are moved to an issue, they are available only to CSE Members for one year.
It’s been a year and a half since the 2017 Peer Review Congress, but the research and discussions from the meeting continue to resonant. Brittany Swett provided a great rundown of a few of the sessions in her article Editorial and Peer-Review Process Innovations: 2017 Peer Review Congress. Her takeaway: “Each presentation demonstrated how flexibility in peer review can help the publication process respond to evolving needs in the scientific community.”
Not a CSE member? Additional membership info along with instructions for becoming a member of the Council of Science Editors can be found here.
From the Archives
Authorship of scientific publications has always been a bit imprecise, so the increased use of contribution tables and shared taxonomies, such as CRediT, has been a welcome improvement. In 2017, Alison O’Connell provided an article on Implementing CRediT: An Interview with Cell Press’s Gabriel Harp that still serves as a helpful guide of journals looking to start down this path.
Resource of the Month
Being an editor and working at a scientific publication requires being ever knowledgeable of a rapidly changing scientific and publishing landscape, so each month I highlight a resource that will hopefully make this at least a little bit easier.
This month it’s the upcoming CSE Webinar Making the Most of Your Publisher Search Process on April 18, 2019 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. Choosing the right publisher can be one of the most consequential decisions an organization can make, and this webinar will provide “an overview of the full publisher search process and include tips for preparing an effective RFP, asking the right questions, setting reasonable timelines, and managing relationships throughout.”
Question of the Month
My favorite April Fool’s jokes feature a format typically associated with a factual account, such as a news report or magazine article, as a vehicle to deliver an absurd tale. Even if you know it to be false, you can still appreciate the tweaking of the format. In that spirit, this month’s question is, what’s your favorite example of a fictional scientific article? Not necessarily a hoax article, although those work too, but a writer using the format of scientific article to tell a story or add detail to a larger story.
If you have an example you’d like to share, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome at email@example.com.
We are also always looking for new submissions or article suggestions you may have; for more details, see our Information for Authors.