Why did you make particular stylistic changes to my paper?


After an extensive review of several major style guides and journal preferences, our team of experts determined the most commonly preferred stylistic conventions for various aspects of academic papers. Since August 2021, we have been applying subsets of these conventions consistently throughout each paper, depending on the service requested.

Examples of preferences that we apply to Standard Editing orders are shown below: 

  • We now consistently capitalize “figure” and “table.”
    • As shown in figure 7 → As shown in Figure 7
    • (table 2) → (Table 2)
  • We remove the hyphen in “P-value” and “p-value.”
    • (P-value) → (P value)
    • p-value ≤ 0.05 → p value ≤ 0.05
  • We remove the space between a numeral and % symbol.
    • 311 % → 311%
    • 10–20 % → 10–20%
  • We add a period and remove the italicization of “et al.”
    • Illegal drug manufacturing is strongly correlated with high murder rates (White et al, 2010) → Illegal drug manufacturing is strongly correlated with high murder rates (White et al., 2010)
  • We add a space between a numeral and ° symbol for temperatures and Brix values but remove the space for angles.
    • incubated at 32°C → incubated at 32 °C
    • angle of 90 ° → angle of 90°
  • We add a hyphen to certain words that are commonly hyphenated in the literature.
    • decisionmaking and decision making → decision-making
    • decisionmaker and decision maker → decision-maker
    • HIV free → HIV-free
    • policymaking and policy making → policy-making
    • policymaker and policy maker → policy-maker
    • time consuming → time-consuming

Examples of preferences that we apply to both Standard and Premium Editing orders are shown below:

  • We enforce the spelling of certain words that do not always follow typical American English and British English spelling distinctions. 
    • colorimetry (both American and British)
    • humoral (both American and British)
    • laborious (both American and British)
    • tumorigenesis (both American and British)
  • We remove hyphens from prefixes in both British and American English papers.
    • pre-determined → predetermined
    • post-mortem examination → postmortem examination
  • We use an en dash in various compound terms.
    • Kaplan-Meier → Kaplan–Meier
    • red-green colorblindness → red–green colorblindness

We acknowledge that style guides vary, and sometimes there are multiple acceptable conventions. Additionally, as the author, you may prefer particular conventions. If you choose Premium Editing, which is our most personalized service, our editors will be happy to maintain your stylistic preferences and ensure consistency in those preferences throughout your paper. To ensure that our team is aware of your preferences, please include them as additional instructions when you create your order.

In general, we have found that most journals prefer consistent usage of any style over a specific style at the submission stage. Thus, to increase the likelihood that you receive useful and meaningful feedback as an author and that the journal copyeditors can more easily apply the journal’s preferred style, we recommend maintaining as much consistency as possible before submitting your manuscript for publication.

4 out of 4 found this helpful

Articles in this section

See more



Article is closed for comments.