Editing Policies & Procedures

Timing of submission:

Authors are encouraged to communicate with SERCC staff about projects as early as possible so that a timetable for submission and turn-around can be set in advance. In the absence of advance planning, a project will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Projects may be submitted:

  1. by appointment using either our Schedule an Editing Project form or this e-mail template.

  2. or as ready (in this case they will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis; please use our e-mail template).

For single-project grants, we strongly recommend first making an appointment to have the Specific Aims page edited well before the funding agency deadline (ideally 8 weeks beforehand), and a second appointment for sending in the revised Specific Aims page plus the Research Strategy (ideally 4 weeks before the deadline). We recognize that it is not always feasible to comply with our ideal timeline and will work with later submissions as well; however, we find it very helpful if we can provide a first round of feedback on the Specific Aims page before the remainder of the other scientific sections of the grant are written.

File Types to be submitted for editing, by project type

Average turn-around times relative to date of submission to SERCC:

Drafts of R01-style grants  10 business days                                                                                                                                                         
Research manuscripts  10 business days
Short (1–2 page) documents    3 business days 

Project prioritization:

Although every writing project is unique and prioritized based on numerous factors, general information on turn-around times and factors that will influence the timing is provided below.

Type of submission Grants and related correspondence are given highest priority near funding-agency deadlines* ; research manuscripts and related correspondence receive priority over "other" projects
Pre-submission of grants Submission of Specific Aims page by 2 months prior to application deadline, and submission of revised Specific Aims page with remainder of documents by 3 weeks before deadline
Amount of notice From authors prior to submission and/or involvement of staff in planning of complex grants


* Priority periods for grants (based on common NIH deadlines):

1st–24th of these months

Multiple drafts of a document can be edited if time permits. This is encouraged, although it may not be possible during busy periods. Usually one revision of the document or up to 20 hours of work can be accommodated for a single-PI grant or a manuscript. Further work on projects that exceed either of these limits will be done only if it does not interfere with other editor commitments.

For documents requiring extensive revision (including significant shortening), input may be limited to general suggestions; more detailed editing (e.g., proofing, sentence-by-sentence shortening) will be carried out after the authors have revised the document

Usually time constraints and logistical issues preclude work on references in grants and manuscripts – whether inserting them in the main text, reformatting them in the text, or generating reference lists (using EndNote or otherwise). However, we may note a lack of adequate references while reading the main text, or internal inconsistencies while scanning reference lists, in which case we will flag these issues. 

Consultation with core staff:

Prior to writing To discuss strategies and timelines
Prior to editing  To clarify what the authors want to convey/their editing needs
After editing  To discuss problem spots identified/clarify meaning