Our authors do the hardest part of publication, researching and writing articles to add to the urgent care literature. Then once we have assessed the big-picture issues during peer review, we polish the manuscripts until they shine, through a process called copyediting. We take care to ensure that after editing, your writing still sounds like you, not like our editors. Here is a partial list of the issues that our editors address during copyediting:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Syntax
  • Good transition from one topic to another
  • Overall topic organization
  • Logic
  • Accessibility:
    • Did the author present enough information so that readers with various levels of expertise—longtime physician, nurse-practitioner, intern, medical student—can understand what is meant, or are there information gaps that should be explicitly addressed?
    • Even though a specific abbreviation is already defined in the text, is it also defined in the caption for the figure where it is used, so that skimming readers don’t have to search the entire article to find out what the figure’s abbreviation means?
  • Consistency (e.g., did the authors use an abbreviation throughout, or did they use the full term sometimes and the abbreviation at other times?)
  • Topic, figure, and table cross-references in text
  • Verification of names of drugs, genera and species, and actual people, places, and organizations
  • Appropriate citation of references
  • Wordiness (getting rid of it)
  • Jargon (making sure jargon is used appropriately—or whether it needs to be used at all)
  • Bias-free writing:
    • Sex
    • Gender identification
    • Parents versus nonparents when discussing pediatric patients
    • Emotions (e.g., in research papers, using “killed the rats” instead of the emotion-laden “sacrificed the rats”)
  • Style:
    • Uppercase versus lowercase
    • Standardizing references to follow American Medical Association style
    • Trademarks versus generic names
  • Presentation (What works best for reader comprehension here: straight text, a bulleted list versus a numbered list, a sidebar, a table, a figure?)
  • Meta-issues (e.g., can we add an editorial comment referring readers to another article in the same issue or in a past issue on a topic related to the one covered in an article in our current issue?)

It takes time for our editors to address all of these issues in helping you make your writing its very best, so please be patient. We’re on your side.

How JUCM’s Editorial Process Helps Our Authors
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