Saturday, 5 November 2005: 10.30-11.45
METM 05, Barcelona, Spain

Four layers of manuscript editing at the Croatian Medical Journal—practical examples

Aleksandra Mišak, MD, language editor, Croatian Medical Journal, Zagreb, Croatia

Croatian Medical Journal (CMJ) is a “small” scientific medical journal published in English in a non-native English-speaking (NNES) country. Most manuscripts submitted to the CMJ undergo substantive editing before publication. The editing process, before and after peer review, deals with four tightly intertwined “layers” of a study report – the study itself, the narrative (IMRaD format), the scientific reporting style, and the language, as we recently described in Journal of Second Language Writing. The CMJ editors first try to discern whether a study was poorly performed or it was poorly described. They point out what needs to be said in each section of the manuscript (IMRaD) and suggest to authors how to present the information in a clear and simple way. The clarity and consistency of terminology is insisted upon. For the language and style, the American Medical Association Manual of Style is followed. All four layers are dealt with simultaneously. This presentation will show real cases of editorial interventions to illustrate in what way and to what extent CMJ editors intervene in each of the four “layers” of a manuscript. Translators and other language professionals interested in medical and science translation may find this approach more challenging, but also more intellectually, professionally, and financially rewarding.