Frequently asked questions

What type of manuscript do you edit?

I work with you, the academic researcher — early, mid and late career — to bring a high standard of language and style to your doctoral dissertation, master’s thesis, journal and conference papers, books and book chapters, research proposals and reports, and funding and ethics applications.

I’ve edited countless manuscripts in the social sciences, particularly in the field of education, although I’ve worked with academics in many other disciplines, too; head over to my Portfolio page for a snapshot of some of my work.

Whether your paper needs a light touch to add shine or a heavier hand to improve flow, contact me to see how I can help.

What type of editing services do you offer?

After years of working with academic researchers, I’ve carefully designed the following services with your needs in mind, but they can be tailored to meet your requirements. The Editing Services page has full details of each option.

Option 1 Copyedit, one pass
Option 2 Copyedit, two passes
Option 3 Proofread
Option 4 Page proof
Option 5 Manuscript formatting
Option 6 Reference formatting

Do you offer a sample edit?

Yes, I do! A sample edit not only helps me to determine the level of editing (and/or formatting) required, it’s also a chance for you to see the quality of my work and to check we’re a good fit for each other — so important when choosing an editor.

To estimate how long your job will take, I’ll ask you to send me your draft manuscript (or a sample that reflects your writing as a whole), and I’ll copyedit 500 to 1,000 words to work out the number of words I can copyedit per hour. Based on this sample, I’ll calculate a fixed cost for the whole project.

Not only will you receive a fully marked up sample edit annotated with my notes and recommendations, I’ll provide you with a quotation that details the work to be done and my draft Style and Vocab Notes, unique to your manuscript, that give a summary of action to take, spelling preferences, a list of expressions you could employ more succinctly, language and style notes relating to your preferred style manual, and more.

The fixed cost I calculate for your project is in line with the Institute of Professional Editors’ fair pay rate for a self-employed editor with my qualifications, skills and experience. IPEd’s Pay Rates webpage explains what the hourly rate represents. See indicative costs of academic editing provided by IPEd here (scroll down to the table of costs).

Sometimes, costs can be negotiated by tailoring services to your requirements, so don’t hesitate to contact me.

How much do your editing services cost?

Every project is different, with many factors affecting the cost, so it’s difficult to answer that question here. Taking the example of a 75,000-word manuscript, the cost can range from A$1,500 to A$3,000, depending on the options you choose and level of editing and/or formatting required. Following a sample edit, I’ll calculate a fixed cost for the whole project.

Calculating the fixed cost
The fixed cost is based on the hourly rates set out by the Institute of Professional Editors’ fair pay rate for a self-employed editor with my qualifications, skills and experience. IPEd’s Pay Rates webpage explains what this hourly rate represents.

You can see indicative costs of academic editing provided by IPEd here (scroll down to the table of costs).

If the options don’t quite suit your budget, they can be tailored to your requirements, so it’s best to contact me to find out how I can help. My quotation will include a timeline to enable you to meet your deadline.

Copyediting (one or two passes)
For a fairly ‘clean’ manuscript (i.e., one that does not require much work), you should allow around 2,000 to 3,500 words per hour for one copyediting pass. For manuscripts requiring a deeper edit, allow 1,000 to 2,000 words per hour.

Unless significant revisions have been made, a second copyediting pass should take less time than the first, and I usually estimate this at 65% the cost of the first pass.

Manuscript formatting
A manuscript of 75,000 words can cost in the region of A$300–500, depending on your requirements. I can give you an accurate quotation when I see your full draft manuscript.

Reference formatting
For a manuscript of 75,000 words, formatting your reference list to your publisher’s or university’s requirements can cost around A$175–300. This does not include searching for references online for missing information. I can give you an accurate quotation when I see your completed reference list.

How long will the work take you?

As an example, a 75,000-word manuscript (excluding ToCs, reference list and appendices) can take six to eight days for one copyediting pass (Option 1), manuscript formatting (Option 5), and reference formatting (Option 6), with a further six to seven days for a second pass (Option 2).

Which days of the week do you work?

I work full time, five days per week, Monday to Friday.

I might advise that I need eight days for your edit, but I could have other projects booked in the month you’re thinking of scheduling. So I might start work on your project on, say, a Wednesday and end the Friday the following week.

How much time should I allow between sending my thesis to you and submission?

It really depends how much time you have to spare before you submit — that is, it depends on your own time commitments such as full-time work and/or family.

When I return the manuscript to you, you’re required to review each of my recommended edits, and this can be a lengthy process. I’d therefore recommend the edit takes place when it’s as polished as you can make it, otherwise you can run the risk of inadvertently introducing inconsistencies or errors when you make further changes following the edit. Ideally, the edit should be as close to submission as possible.

Many of my clients ask me to perform one pass, then after a week or two, and just before they submit (perhaps a few days), they’ll return it to me as a ‘clean’ document for my page proof (see Option 4); during this time, I can review any outstanding issues, copyedit any material they’ve added (using track changes), and tidy up any formatting that might have gone awry, etc.

I need to follow a publisher's style guide

No problem! I can copyedit and format your manuscript to your required style — for example, APA’s Publication Manual (6th/7th ed.), Australia’s Style Manual, the UK’s Oxford Guide to Style or your university’s or publisher’s specific requirements.

My manuscript is for an overseas publication

If you’re writing for an international audience, please let me know if Australian, British, US, Canadian or other English is required.

How soon do I need to book your editing services?

I can be fully booked four to eight weeks in advance, but this can extend up to three months in busy academic periods, so the sooner you contact me, the easier it will be for me to schedule your preferred dates and draw up a timeline for completion.

I sometimes receive cancellations or postponements, so it might be possible to schedule at short notice.

Shorter manuscripts, such as book chapters or journal papers, can usually be scheduled more easily than longer manuscripts like books and theses.

Let me know your deadline, and we can take it from there.

What is the process for submitting my manuscript to you?

I’ll provide you with a link to a shared Dropbox folder created especially for your project and ask you to upload your clean manuscript (i.e. free from track changes and comments), along with your preferred style guide (e.g. APA’s Publication manual or the Oxford guide to style), your publisher’s or university’s requirements, or other set of guidelines to which your manuscript is required to conform.

I’ll keep a copy of all versions of your work as we go along. This process will be agreed with you before work begins.


What are your payment terms?

A booking fee equal to 25% of the agreed total cost (minimum A$150, but no more than A$750) is required on signature of my short, industry-standard agreement to book my services for the required period. I may ask for further milestone payments, depending on the size of the project, and the balance will be payable when I return the edited manuscript to you.

The terms, set out in our Agreement for Editing Services, will protect both our interests. In some cases, a payment plan can be arranged.

How do I make payment?

Payment is preferred via bank transfer (for Australian and UK clients) or by Transferwise (for clients outside Australia and the UK; this method is usually much cheaper than other forms of transfer).

Other payment options can be considered.

Where are you located?

I’m based in Melbourne, Australia — but I’m able to work with you wherever you are.

All work is undertaken electronically, and I work with clients from Australia, Southeast Asia/East Asia, the United States and UK/Europe.

Can’t find the answer you need?

Drop me a line — I tend to respond within 24 hours.

Questions are the root of all answers.
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