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Re: [Fwd: Inorganica Chimica Acta (2006) 359: 383-387]

> I think that such services are not the main solution to the problem of poorly 
> written papers, but they may be useful in a limited number of cases.

   I agree.  The responsibility is definitely with the authors.

   I was very very very irritated recently by the attitude of one of the 
authors of a paper that I refereed for one of the IUCr's journals.  The 
paper was a multi-author paper with the majority of the authors 
(including the contact author) coming from and residing in a non-English 
speaking country, and two others residing in an English-speaking 
country. One of the latter is definitely born in the aforesaid country 
and holds its citzenship and nationality of which he is very proud, and 
hence speaks and writes English fluently.  The editor who sent me the 
paper for refereeing has the same nationality as the contact author.  He 
makes the same characteristic mistakes in writing English as the contact 
author and with which the manuscript was full.  One can not read the 
text without noticing the mistakes in the English and wishing to correct 
them.

   In my report I wrote that the English needed correcting and the 
native English-speaking authors should undertake this task.  There were 
also some mistakes in the science that I pointed out.  As is usual in 
such a case, the paper came back to me for comment after correction by 
the authors.  The English had not been improved at all.  I complained 
again but this time faxed my hand-written English corrections to the 
editor (so they would stop being a nuisance to me and send me the paper 
yet again).  The editor thanked me profusely (he owes me a beer now) and 
then told me that the contact author had unsuccessfully pressurized the 
English-speaking author to correct the text but this person was too busy 
to undertake the task.

   I think the offender never read the manuscript.  This paper is an 
international collaboration and part of the responsibility of the 
English-speaking authors is to correct the text and not just get yet 
another publication.  If this particular person stands up in public (or 
private) and starts pontificating on the responsibilites of scientists 
(as he is wont to do) he can expect to hear a mouthful of cynical abuse 
from me!


>  I cheerfully claim that much of my original draft was clever,
> witty, urbane, profound and subtle. Nicola's careful editing removed
> most of these sparkling attributes

   Are you wishing to state that one of the attributes of an IUCr Senior 
Editorial Assistant is a capacity to write monosyllabic English.  If 
this is so, why did they complain so much about me at school?

H.
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