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COMMON REASONS FOR NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON ENGLISH AFTER PEER REVIEW


  1. The language complaint was made—without any examples of errors—by a peer reviewer who is not a native speaker of English. This can happen even if you have had your manuscript thoroughly edited by a professional language-editing service. To prevent this sort of problems, it's a good idea to obtain a language certificate and to insert a sentence into Acknowledgments stating that English in the manuscript was edited by such-and-such company. You can determine whether a peer reviewer is good at English by asking a native speaker of English (or an interpreter with decades of experience) to read the peer reviewer's comments. If you got a language certificate from Shevchuk Editing and still received a request to "improve English" from an English-as-a-second-language peer reviewer, then Shevchuk Editing offers two options: a) a signed letter to the journal stating that the language complaint is invalid or b) free cosmetic editing of the manuscript to show the peer reviewer that English "was improved." Without a language certificate, such cosmetic editing will be performed at ⅓ of the price.
  2. The authors rejected many corrections and/or made changes in the manuscript after editing by a company. Such changes are especially visible in the title and abstract. Or the authors did not have some manuscript sections edited, for example, figure legends and methods.
  3. The authors misunderstood a journal's evaluation of English. For example, positive evaluation of English in MDPI's questionnaire is often misinterpreted as negative. ("English language and style are fine/minor spellcheck required" is the best evaluation in that questionnaire. The quality of English in your manuscript is OK, you don't need to do anything.)
  4. The authors did not show figures and tables to a language-editing company. Errors in figures and tables are highly visible too. Editorial board members often do not have time to read the whole manuscript, but they will look at the title, abstract, conclusions, and illustrations.
  5. This should be obvious, but after editing by a company, some authors submit their manuscript to a journal, obtain positive evaluation of English in the first round of peer review, and then make revisions and submit the unedited manuscript for the next round of peer review. In this case, it is unreasonable to demand free re-editing when you receive negative comments on English from the journal. If a language complaint comes 2 or more months after an edited manuscript was delivered to the authors, Shevchuk Editing will assume that the language complaint refers to the next version of manuscript, i.e., the complaint is invalid, unless proven otherwise.

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