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The NIH Library provides editing services and can suggest resources to assist NIH and select HHS authors who are preparing manuscripts for journal submission (or book chapter[s] for publication). As a free service, we provide light and medium editing for NIH- and HHS-related work. Authors who submit a request for editing will have their manuscript returned with suggested edits marked in MS Word track changes. Providing editing results in this manner, allows authors to clearly see suggestions and decide which edits to keep or omit.

The NIH Library also offers free plagiarism checking, using iThenticate, to identify missed citations or paraphrased wording that is too similar to a published source. This service is available for NIH and select HHS authors preparing works for publication. A Library editor will provide the author with a similarity report and links that can help with understanding the report; however, editors will not interpret or offer an opinion on the report results.

Please submit a separate request for each document. Make sure document files are clean (track changes turned off and no comments in margins).

Editing Services Policy

It is NIH Library policy that all requests for editing and plagiarism checks are made by an author of the document requiring our service. The author must request service through our Editing or Plagiarism Review Request form found on the NIH Library website. The service request will be assigned to a Library editor and once assigned, the editor will use the information included in the ticket request to contact the author to request the document for service. The author must ensure that the document has a title, authors listed, and institutions included on the first page of the document. Failure to include any of these three requirements will result in a temporary hold of services, until an updated document is sent inclusive of all requirements. This verifies that at least one of the authors is giving approval for our services. We cannot use plagiarism check services on an article that is already in publication or print nor for an article where the requester is not an author of the article.

At this time, these services are only available to NIH and select HHS employees. 

Submit an Editing or Plagiarism Review Request

What We Do

Light and Medium Editing for NIH and Select HHS Work-related Manuscripts
NIH Library editors will review and suggest revisions to improve your manuscript, slide deck, poster, and more. We look at spelling, word usage, grammar, punctuation, and table and figure layout; as well as issues with consistency and clarity. Please allow a minimum of 7-10 business days for completion of editing suggestions.

Copyright Resources and Consultation
We can direct you to resources on topics that include permissions, fair use, copyright law, and federal government employee guidelines.

Writing and Publishing Training
Classes on topics related to writing, editing, and publishing are available from the NIH Library's training program. Look for upcoming classes on the training calendar. Tutorials and customized training by NIH Library staff can also be provided.

Virtual Access to Writing Resources
Dictionaries, style guides, and more are accessible via the Writing Resources webpage.

Editing Request Details

Light Editing includes:

  • Identifying needed corrections in spelling, word usage, grammar, and punctuation
  • Cross-checking text with elements such as tables and figures for correct association
  • Reviewing text to suggest changes that could improve consistency

Medium Editing includes:

  • Suggesting text and heading changes that create parallel structure
  • Ensuring consistency of a journal style according to the publisher's instructions to authors
  • Noting where passive voice might be changed to active voice
  • Flagging writing that could be made clearer for the reader

We provide assistance when preparing documents for publication or presentation, such as:

  • Manuscripts
  • Book chapters
  • Protocols
  • Case studies
  • Posters
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Conference abstracts

We are unable to edit the following types of documents: 

  • Alien of Extraordinary Ability, "green card" application letters
  • Blog posts
  • Congressional reports
  • Grant applications
  • Job or school applications
  • Manuscripts written for non-NIH related work (other agencies or academia)
  • Resumes, CVs, personal statements, or biographical sketches
  • Theses or dissertations
  • Website content
  • Whole books

Additional Editing Support

Fellows and students have access to other formal writing and editing programs.

Fellows Editorial Board

Fellows have the option to submit ready-for-publication manuscripts to the Fellows Editorial Board. Submissions are accepted electronically and require a 10-day turn around. This is a comprehensive editing service provided by volunteer scientific editors.

Office of Intramural Training Education (OITE)

Postdoctoral fellows, postbaccalaureates, and summer interns have writing classes and career counseling support available through the OITE. NIH staff wishing to receive help editing medical school applications, please contact OITE.