The following resources are useful for both authors and editors, especially those working in global public health.
Working with an editor
21 top tips to make the most of your freelance copyeditor or proofreader. The UK Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) polled its community members to compile this list. The advice is based on years of experience and highlights important points to consider when hiring an editor.
Beyond copy-editing: the editor-writer relationship (Technical Editors’ Eyrie). Editing is often narrowly defined as making corrections after a document is written. However, a skilled and experienced editor takes on more responsibility and offers many benefits to the client.
Types of editing
What is substantive editing? (Technical Editors’ Eyrie). Both substantive editing and copyediting are essential but focus on different issues.
The scientific editor: an advocate for transparent research (Science Editor, 2023). The role of scientific editors, what they offer, and the difference between scientific editing and manuscript editing/copyediting.
Language and words
Conscious Style Guide. This website aims to help writers and editors think critically about using language—including words, portrayals, framing, and representation—to empower instead of limit. It includes style guides covering terminology for various communities and articles debating usage.
How (not) to write about global health (BMJ Global Health, 2020). Author Desmond T. Jumbam from Ghana presents brief guidelines on how (not) to write about global health.
How we talk about public health and why it matters (PATH, 2020). Harmful power dynamics plague the public health sector. Better word choice is one small way communicators can help challenge them.
Current guidance on inclusive language for medical and science journals (Science Editor, 2022). Inclusive language guidelines from the AMA Manual of Style, a resource used by scientific authors, editors, and publishers worldwide.
Inclusive Language Guidelines (American Psychological Association, 2021). These guidelines aim to raise awareness, guide learning, and support the use of culturally sensitive terms and phrases that center the voices and perspectives of those who are often marginalized or stereotyped.
Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts (American Medical Association, 2021). This guide provides physicians, health care workers, and others a valuable foundational toolkit for health equity.
Disability Language Style Guide (National Center on Disability and Journalism, 2021). It is becoming increasingly difficult for communicators to figure out how to refer to people with disabilities. This style guide, which covers dozens of words and terms commonly used when referring to disability, can help.
Successful scientific writing and publishing: a step-by-step approach (CDC, 2018). Guidance and recommendations to help authors working in public health to more efficiently publish the results of their work.
How to write a scientific masterpiece (Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2019). This article offers advice on generating a scientific manuscript with maximum impact.
The science of scientific writing (American Scientist, 2018). If the reader is to grasp what the writer means, the writer must understand what the reader needs.
The intrinsic story structure of original research manuscripts (AMWA 2023). The three-act structure can help authors tell a story: Act 1—setup (introduction) and tension (research question), Act 2—action (methods and results), and Act 3—climax (first paragraph of discussion section) and resolution (discussion and conclusion).
What is the Toulmin Method? (Purdue Online Writing Lab). The Toulmin method is a style of argumentation with three fundamental parts: the claim, the grounds, and the warrant.
The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science (Montgomery, 2017). This book addresses crucial issues in the changing landscape of scientific communication, focusing on writing for corporate settings, government, nonprofit organizations, and academia.
Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE, 2023). Produced by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, these recommendations are intended to standardize the ethics, preparation, and formatting of manuscripts.
CDC/TEPHINET scientific writing course. This free course teaches the art of scientific writing to public health researchers. Topics include basic writing principles, how to write the Introduction, Methods and Materials, Results, and Discussion sections of a manuscript, and how to write an abstract.
Best practices in table design (Science Editor, 2021). Designing an effective table is more complicated than you might expect.
Common mistakes in submitted images (AMA Style Insider, 2020). Here is a short list of common errors to watch out for when preparing figures.