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Editing

The NIH Library provides editing services and suggests resources to assist authors with getting manuscripts ready for journal submission. 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 manor, allows authors to clearly see suggestions and decide what best fits their needs.

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 HHS-work related manuscripts.

Submit an Editing or Plagiarism 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 reporting or presentation, such as:

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

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.

 

NIH Library Service