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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does the Office of Scientific Writing (OSW) offer to UTHSC investigators?

How do I use the services of the OSW?

Where can I find the service request forms if I want to initiate service with the proper form attached?

Is there a fee for the OSW editing service?

What is the turnaround time for OSW assistance – when can I expect to receive my edited proposal or manuscript back from OSW?

What if I have an “emergency” deadline, due to unforeseen problems with writing, or with the sponsor– can I negotiate an “emergency” one- or two-day turnaround?

Is the OSW service only for faculty? Can postdocs and students use the OSW?

Does the OSW provide writing assistance for all UTHSC campus locations?

Can students receive assistance in writing papers for coursework or for dissertations?

Will the OSW provide any training for proposal or manuscript writing, in addition to providing editing services?

Answers


What does the Office of Scientific Writing (OSW) offer to UTHSC investigators?

You can request simple copy editing – checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes – or for a more detailed editing job that will result in suggested revisions in formatting, overall organization of the manuscript or proposal, even suggestions about how to best present the scientific content. But remember – this is your work, and all suggested revisions are just that, only suggestions.

How do I use the services of the OSW?

Send an email to the Director, Dr. Richard Redfearn, with your request. He will send you the proper service request form to initiate the editing service that best fits your needs. You will be asked to contribute a first draft of your proposal narrative or manuscript for publication before we can begin to collaborate. In terms of the language that we use, your proposal or manuscript will be called a “submission.” The product that we deliver back to you will be called a “markup” or a “marked-up file” – we will “mark up” your original text with suggestions for revision.

Where can I find the service request forms if I want to initiate service with the proper form attached?

The service request forms are available for downloading on our Forms webpage.

Is there a fee for the OSW editing service?

No, there is no payment expected for the OSW editing services from clients.

What is the turnaround time for OSW assistance – when can I expect to receive my edited proposal or manuscript back from OSW?

Due to the high demand for services, for grant proposals we require a one-week lead time for scientific writing assistance, prior to the internal submission deadline set by the Office of Sponsored Programs, and also one week for manuscript editing, depending upon the complexity of the editing request and the length of the manuscript. We will negotiate the delivery date for the markup from the OSW to the client at the time of the initial request, and timing starts after the OSW receives a completed service request form.

What if I have an “emergency” deadline, due to unforeseen problems with writing, or with the sponsor– can I negotiate an “emergency” one- or two-day turnaround?

The key to faster service from OSW is effective communication – inform us at the time of submission when you have a hard deadline that is imminent, and we will do our best to provide a faster turnaround. You may be asking OSW to move your project ahead of work that is already in progress. Since we have to be fair to all submitters, this may not be possible if the pipeline is already full, or we are already dealing with other “emergency” submissions.

Is the OSW service only for faculty? Can postdocs and students use the OSW?

No, we offer writing assistance services to the entire UTHSC scholarly community. However, postdocs and students are asked to involve their faculty mentors from the inception of their request for assistance.

Does the OSW provide writing assistance for all UTHSC campus locations?

Yes, We will assist faculty, postdoctoral staff, and students working on our Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville campuses.

Can students receive assistance in writing papers for coursework or for dissertations?

At this time, the priorities for assistance are for grant proposal narratives intended for submission to an external sponsor and for manuscripts targeted for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. However, resources for writing all types of scientific content can be found on the OSW website.

Will the OSW provide any training for proposal or manuscript writing, in addition to providing editing services?

Currently, the OSW does not provide any face-to-face training. However, we have created a Scientific Writing self-paced curriculum that is available in the form of ebooks, printed resources, and suggested files and websites that can assist you in your quest to become a better scientific writer. Contact us to discuss your particular need for training, and we will help you to design a self-training regimen that is customized for you.

For these writing tips, vist our Resources webpage and click on the link to the "UTHSC Library Research Guide". You will find printed and ebooks resources, as well as other downloadable files and web resources. Once you review these training options, contact the Office of Scientific Writing if you need further guidance in designing your self-training regimen.

Last Published: Sep 11, 2017