2018.12.18 Editor: M.G.

To all our wonderful clients at NAI,

As the year is again drawing to a close, we reflect on the enormous workload accomplished by both authors across Japan and the editors at NAI living across the world. With so many interesting manuscripts to read and polish, editing is like virtual travel, taking editors to Japan every week from the comfort of their home to explore new developments in the health and medical landscape of the country.

As native English language editors, we are fortunate that English is the language we grew up with and that it remains the predominant language of academia and the scientific publishing world. To edit is to massage a text into something that meets the strict requirements of academic publishing. The issues that emerge in editing often lead not only to a vastly improved written body of work, but also an increased understanding of the oddities of the English language for editors as well as for authors.

Thank you to our clients for their collaborative efforts during the past year and wishing everyone a happy and relaxed festive end-of-year season. May next year be even more productive and rewarding.

Best wishes,

2018.11.01 Editor: C.F.

Predatory journals and conferences: Current status and advice for Japanese researchers

Last year we published an article about “predatory journals”, which charge high publication fees without providing the editorial and peer review services associated with respectable scientific journals.

In 2018, predatory journals remain a problem affecting Japanese researchers and over 5,000 articles have been published in such journals by Japanese authors1. In addition, there is a growing threat from “predatory conferences”.

Predatory journals and conferences send emails to researchers worldwide inviting them to submit a manuscript or abstract. Work submitted to predatory journals is published and predatory conferences take place. However, such organizations are only motivated by making a quick profit and typically have no quality control procedures. Furthermore, predatory organizations often make false claims such as stating that high-profile researchers will attend their conference or that their journal has a high impact factor.

Researchers have tested predatory journals or conferences by submitting deliberately flawed or nonsensical work including a chemical theory disproven hundreds of years ago2, a manuscript written using iOS autocomplete3, and a paper composed of a single insulting phrase4. These submissions were accepted by the predatory organizations, demonstrating their total lack of quality standards.

There are several ways for researchers to protect themselves against predatory journals and conferences, as detailed below:

・Be aware of the main publishers and conferences in your field and be cautious about responding to emails from organizations that you have never heard of.

・Perform an online search with the name of the organization and the keyword “predatory” to assess whether they have previously been reported for predatory practices.

・Carefully check the email and the organization’s web page. If frequent errors in spelling and grammar are present, then the organization probably is not legitimate.

・Check whether the organization appears on the following web page, which lists suspected predatory organizations: https://beallslist.weebly.com.

・Finally, if you submit work and it is accepted very quickly, with a high publication fee, then the journal probably has not followed appropriate editorial and peer review procedures and is likely to be predatory.


1. Over 5,000 Japanese articles published in 'predatory' journals (Sep 2018). The Manaichi. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180903/p2a/00m/0na/010000c [Accessed 23rd Oct 2018].
2. Stoye, E. Predatory conference scammers are getting smarter (Aug 2018). Chemistry World. https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/predatory-conference-scammers-are-getting-smarter/3009263.article [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].
3. Hunt E. Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference (Oct 2016). The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/oct/22/nonsense-paper-written-by-ios-autocomplete-accepted-for-conference [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].
4. Safi M. Journal accepts paper requesting removal from mailing list (Nov 2014). The Guardian. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/25/journal-accepts-paper-requesting-removal-from-mailing-list [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].


昨年、「ハゲタカ出版(Predatory journals)」についての記事を公開しました。(https://www.nai.co.jp/recommend/column2017.html) ハゲタカ出版は、正当な科学出版誌と関係のある編集者と専門家の査読を提供せず、高い出版料を請求します。











1. Over 5,000 Japanese articles published in 'predatory' journals (Sep 2018). The Manaichi. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180903/p2a/00m/0na/010000c [Accessed 23rd Oct 2018].
2. Stoye, E. Predatory conference scammers are getting smarter (Aug 2018). Chemistry World. https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/predatory-conference-scammers-are-getting-smarter/3009263.article [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].
3. Hunt E. Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference (Oct 2016). The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/oct/22/nonsense-paper-written-by-ios-autocomplete-accepted-for-conference [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].
4. Safi M. Journal accepts paper requesting removal from mailing list (Nov 2014). The Guardian. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/25/journal-accepts-paper-requesting-removal-from-mailing-list [Accessed 24th Oct 2018].

2018.10.02 Editor: J.E.

Applying principles, not rules, to scientific writing keeps your manuscripts interesting

Some authors query whether it is important to use the same, consistent phrasing and word-choice throughout their manuscript sections, cover letters, peer review rebuttals and oral presentations. The rules on this point in the Japanese writing system may be stricter than those used in English, and this can lead to stylistic differences between the author and editor when it comes to language editing. I write this column based on my previous experience as a Journal Editor for an English-speaking publisher.

In scientific writing, accuracy is paramount and it is essential that results and arguments are not wrongly stated or interpreted. Thus, it is very important that when stating a specific result or experimental condition, consistent language and the precise figures and numbers are used where appropriate. If a particular experimental group has been given a certain name, then it is important to always refer to this name in the same format throughout all documents relating to your manuscript. This will avoid any potential confusion or ambiguity. Specifics with regards to methodology should also be maintained. For example, if stating a genetic knock down, then you should refer to this as a “knock down” throughout, rather than using terms such as “depletion”, “silencing”, “loss”, etc. at random, as this can introduce confusion and doubt when interpreting your data.

The overall phrasing and sentence construction used in different manuscript sections or contexts (such as a cover letter versus a manuscript) can, however, differ as they each serve a different purpose. For example, the cover letter and abstract must convey your entire study in just a few hundred words to provide a general over-view. Here, the text should be simple and sentences are typically shorter than those used in the main manuscript, to ensure easy reading. For example, you may state in your letter that “overall gene expression greatly increased”. In your results section of your manuscript, however, you should fully describe your data, and thus it is more appropriate to state a “10-fold increase in gene X expression, 5-fold increase in gene Y expression and a 200-fold increase in gene Z expression”. Such “non-conformant” phrasing is perfectly acceptable and not an issue that a journal editor will typically pay attention to, as both are correct. “Non conformant” text only becomes problematic if the data are misrepresented between different manuscript sections or contexts.

The take-home message is that although a formal discipline, scientific writing must tell a story and be interesting to read. You need to entice readers, and sell your study to the journal editors and peer-reviewers. Using interesting language and not relying on repetitive phrases keeps your study alive and relevant. Accuracy is very important, but applying strict rules to sentence and word mirroring is not always essential. By following good principles of English language rather than strict rules, you will produce a manuscript that is both accurate and interesting to read.



論文を執筆するに当たっては、正確さ(accuracy)が最重要事項であり、結果や議論を誤って述べず、また誤って解釈しないことが肝心です。結果や実験条件について述べる際、必要に応じて、一貫した言葉や正確な図・数字を用いることが非常に重要となります。ある実験群に名前を割り当てたなら、原稿に関連する全ての文書において同じ名前を使用する事が重要です。そうすることで、混乱や曖昧さを回避できます。方法についても同じ事がいえます。たとえば、gene knock downについて書く場合、depletion、silencing、loss等とランダムに言及するとデータ解釈に混乱や疑いが生じる可能性があるため、一貫してknock downと書くべきです。

しかし、原稿各項やコンテクスト(例えば、カバーレターと論文原稿など)に使用される全般的なフレーズや文章構造は、それぞれ違った目的を果たしているため、異なる場合があります。たとえば、カバーレターと抄録はわずか2~300ワードで研究の概要がわかるようにしなければなりません。ここでは読みやすさが優先されるため、原稿本体と比較して文章はシンプルで短いほうが良いです。例を挙げるなら、カバーレターでは「overall gene expression greatly increased(遺伝子発現が全般的に大きく増加した)」といった風に書きます。しかし、論文原稿の「結果」では、データについてしっかりと説明するため、「10-fold increase in gene X expression, 5-fold increase in gene Y expression and a 200-fold increase in gene Z expression(遺伝子Xの発現は10倍増、遺伝子Yの発現は5倍増、遺伝子Zの発現は200倍増)」と書くのが適切です。この種の表現の違いに問題は全くなく(どちらも正しいのだから)、ジャーナル編集者も気にしないでしょう。問題なのは、原稿内やコンテクスト間でデータが誤って描写されている場合です。

「形式が大切とはいえ、論文にはストーリーがあって、読んで興味深いものでなければならない」というのが私からの“Take-home message”です。読み手の気を引き、ジャーナル編集者や査読者にあなたのストーリーを売り込む必要があります。興味深い表現を使い、同じ表現の繰り返しを避けることで、あなたの論文に命と意味が吹き込まれます。正確さはもちろん大切ですが、厳格なルールに則って文章を構築したり、単語をミラーリングしたりすることは必ずしも必須ではありません。がちがちのルールではなく英語の優れた原則に従うことで、正確で読んで面白い論文を書くことができます。

2018.09.03 Editor: J.E.

Pleasing Peer Reviewers with the Perfect Rebuttal Letter

In my previous column, I discussed the importance of staying polite and calm when handling referee comments. In addition, I highlighted that there is no requirement to agree to every point the referee makes on your manuscript. Here, I outline exactly how to form a rebuttal letter.

  1. Thank the referees and editors for their time and insight, regardless as to whether they have been positive or not. Explain that their comments have helped you improve and enhance your manuscript and that you value their expert opinion.

    For example: “We would like to thank the three referees and the editor for their time spent evaluating our manuscript. All the comments and suggestions have helped us to enhance our scientific message and as a result, produce a stronger manuscript. We have addressed each point made by the referees in turn below.”

  2. Acknowledge each point made by the referees, whether they are major or minor issues. Copy all the referees’ comments into a new Word document and provide a dedicated answer underneath each point. If you are unable to address a suggestion or comment, you must explain why this is the case, rather than ignore it. Perhaps it is an experiment that is outside the scope of your current manuscript, or perhaps you have other supporting data that you feel already sufficiently address the question.

  3. Do not accuse the referee of being wrong. If you think that a reviewer has stated something that is incorrect, you should note in your letter that you think there has been a “misunderstanding” and then clearly explain where you think this misunderstanding has derived from.

    For example: “Thank you for your note regarding this point; however, we consider that there may have been a misunderstanding, likely from the way in which we presented this point in our original manuscript. We show that…..We hope that this now clarifies this issue.”

  4. Highlight the changes in your manuscript and provide the line numbers corresponding to these changes in the rebuttal letter. The referee does not have time to look for your changes in the manuscript. You can also insert new or amended figures into your rebuttal letter so that the referees and editor can see them alongside your written response.

  5. Put care and attention into the presentation of your letter. Make sure that the text is clear and accurate, using good English language and grammar. Enlist the help of an editor, such as those at NAI, to read your letter and check for any problems before you submit.

  6. Do not make any changes to the referee comments. It is tempting to tidy up the language and any typographical errors once you create your rebuttal letter document, but you must leave the referee comments in their original form.

  7. Do not repeat answers if the same question has been asked by more than one referee. Save yourself and your editor some time by simply referring the referee to your previous answer.

    For example: “Thank you for your valuable comment. This point was also raised by Referee number 2; therefore, please refer to our earlier response on page X, line XX where we address this issue in full.”

If you have been given the opportunity to respond to the peer reviewers in the form of a rebuttal letter, then you are a step closer to publication. At this stage, the editor is seriously considering the content of your study, but has identified that there is some room for improvement to maximise success for both you and the journal. Stay concise: the rebuttal letter is not an opportunity to put in all the details that you could not include in your original manuscript. Overall, the editor is looking for a clear and polite letter that addresses each point in turn.



  1. 査読者とエディターに対して、彼らの(査読に割いた)時間と洞察に感謝する。原稿に対して好意的であるか否かに関わらず、コメントは原稿の改善に役立ったこと、そして査読者の専門家としての意見を尊重しているということを伝えましょう。

    例:“We would like to thank the three referees and the editor for their time spent evaluating our manuscript. All the comments and suggestions have helped us to enhance our scientific message and as a result, produce a stronger manuscript. We have addressed each point made by the referees in turn below.”

  2. 査読者に指摘されたひとつひとつの項目について回答する。重要であるか些細であるかに関わらず、査読者のコメントをすべてコピーした新しいWord文書を作成し、それぞれの項目の下に詳細な回答を記述しましょう。対処できない示唆やコメントに対しては、無視するのではなく、対処できない理由を説明しなければなりません。例えば、その様な実験は今回の原稿の範囲外であると説明する、またはその様な質問に既に十分に答えていると思われる他の参考資料を示す等の方法があります。

  3. 査読者が誤っているとして非難しない。査読者が何か不正解なことを述べていると感じる場合には、反論の手紙には「誤解」があるように思えると記し、その様な誤解を生じる原因になった可能性のある事柄が推測できれば、それを明瞭に説明するようにしましょう。

    例:“Thank you for your note regarding this point; however, we consider that there may have been a misunderstanding, likely from the way in which we presented this point in our original manuscript. We show that…..We hope that this now clarifies this issue.”

  4. 原稿内の変更点をハイライトで強調する。反論の手紙の中にこれらの変更点に対応する行番号を明示するとよいでしょう。査読者たちには原稿内の変更点をひとつひとつ探している時間はありません。査読者と編集者が回答と一緒に確認できるように、新たに作成または修正した図表を反論の手紙の中に挿入するのもよい方法です。

  5. 手紙の体裁に細心の注意を払う。良質な英語の文言と文法を使用して、文章を明瞭かつ正確なものにしてください。提出前にNAIなどの校閲の専門家による支援を受けて、問題がないかをチェックしてもらいましょう。

  6. 査読者のコメントに変更を加えない。反論の手紙を書き上げると、文言や誤字を修正したいという誘惑にかられるかもしれませんが、査読者のコメントは元のままに残しておくことが大切です。

  7. 複数の査読者により同一の質問が為された場合には回答を繰り返さない。単に既に記述した回答を参照するように記して、あなたとエディターの手間を省きましょう。

    例:“Thank you for your valuable comment. This point was also raised by Referee number 2; therefore, please refer to our earlier response on page X, line XX where we address this issue in full.”


2018.08.01 Editor: J.E.

Responding to Reviewers: getting the right tone in your rebuttal letter

Getting published is becoming increasingly difficult with the exponential increase in the number of studies being performed. Just getting noticed by the journal Editors is hard enough, let alone making it to the next stage ? peer review. Peer review is often dreaded by authors: what critiques, flaws and problems have the referees found with my manuscript? This negative psychology, however, is where many authors go wrong when putting together their rebuttal letter. Here, I outline two key concepts to help you get the most out of the peer review process.

(1) Peer review is a positive and beneficial exercise

Editors recruit leading experts in the field as peer-reviewers, in order to maintain the integrity of their journal. The ideal referee should, therefore, be unbiased and try to help you maximise the impact your data will have. Consider each “critique” as either (i) an opportunity to improve your work or (ii) a chance to give more explanation (or unseen data) to the Editor and referees that you could not include in the original manuscript.

(2) Your response is a “rebuttal” in which you can defend and argue your point-of-view

You are not obliged to agree with everything the referee says. Should a referee be asking for something that is outside the scope of your manuscript, it is fine to point this out. Some referees can seem overly critical ? but perhaps you are disproving a hypothesis or challenging consensus that they are not able to agree with. This is the nature of science, and a different opinion is not a wrong opinion. You do not have to perform new set of experiments to re-prove your findings if you don’t think they will be valuable. Instead, you can explain your reasoning, provide evidence as to why your data and opinions are valid, and acknowledge other possible explanations.

In summary, if you remain polite and calm, your points will be listened to by the editor. You do not need to agree to everything, but do recognise the referee’s right to an opinion. Don’t be embarrassed by or defensive towards a referees critiques; this is why peer review exists. Picking up on any issues now is much better than a problem being found after your manuscript has been published. Should you not be successful after peer review, go back to your referee comments and consider whether they can help you improve your chances of publication elsewhere.



(1) ピアレビューは前向きで、ためになる訓練

エディターは、ジャーナルの完全性を維持するために、当該分野の指導的な専門家たちを、ピアレビューアとして採用します。従って、最良の査読者なら、公正でありデータの影響力を最大限に高めるよう著者を支援しようとするはずです。「批評」のひとつひとつを、(i) 研究を改善させる機会、(ii) 元の原稿に含めることのできなかった説明(又は表に出ていなかったデータ)をエディターと査読者に示す機会、と受け止めましょう。

(2) 返事は「反論」、論文の視点を守り論拠を示すことのできる機会


つまり、著者が丁重で冷静なままでいれば、エディターは、著者の論点を聞き入れるようになるでしょう。 査読者の意見全てに同意する必要はありませんが査読者には意見を述べる正当な資格があるということを必ず認めてください。査読者の批評に戸惑ったり身構えたりすることはありません。原稿を公表してしまってから問題に気付くようになるよりも、今のうちにあらゆる課題についてわかっておくほうがずっと望ましいのです。こういう理由で、ピアレビューがあるのです。ピアレビュー後にアクセプトされないことがあれば、査読者の論評に立ち戻り、役立てて、どこかほかのジャーナルで公表の可能性を高めることができるかどうか考えるとよいでしょう。

2018.07.02 Editor: K.B.

Rejection of a paper

After submission, manuscripts undergo a preliminary review by an editor for the journal. They will test for plagiarism; determine whether the paper fits the scope of the journal, its’ originality, quality and whether author instructions were followed. Depending on the comments, rejection at this stage may require the paper to be reformatted, data improved, the manuscript rewritten or edited, and resubmitted, or sent to another journal. If the document passes this first evaluation, the handling editor will send it out for peer review by at least two specialists in the field of research.
Rejection after peer review usually depends on a variety of factors, including inadequate data quality, analysis, and interpretation, or the title of the paper is not supported by the presented data. Editors often reject papers when too many additional experiments are required to improve the manuscript.

How to deal with rejection? Firstly, remember that rejection is not personal. Secondly, if you are upset, go away and vent by doing something you like. Thirdly, reread the letter with a clear mind and discuss the decision and comments with your co-authors. Be positive. If you firmly believe the decision is wrong or unfair, you could write to the editor and explain why your paper should be sent out again for peer review. However, think it through carefully because only one chance to appeal will be given. Also, journals rarely reconsider the decision of rejection. Reformatting the manuscript and sending it to another journal is usually a better alternative.
After assessing reviewer comments, you may decide that the paper indeed requires a major revamp. Carefully address all the comments point by point however irrelevant some of them may seem because one of the reviewers may receive it again. The manuscript can, depending on the type of rejection (e.g., ‘may be suitable for publication after major revision’), be resubmitted to the same journal. Otherwise, it must be sent to a different journal. Papers are frequently rejected several times. Do not give up if you believe your work will contribute significantly to your field of research.




2018.06.01 Editor: P.K.

What makes a manuscript publishable?

When working in the field of science or medicine, there must be translatable value attached to the end product.
Gone are the days of academic research becoming so niche, that it is hard to fathom what the real 'take-home' message is.
When the study has been performed and the statistics appropriately applied, there comes the issue of how publishable the written manuscript will be. Think carefully about the context and implications of the research - this will then tailor your work to the most appropriate journal. Consider what the 'unique selling point' of the work is and why the journal would want to publish the research. It may be that the method or setting is unique, or it may be a novel intervention that could have significant implications for patient health and/or outcomes. In the abstract, it is important to precipitate exactly the value of the research and that there is demonstrable impact beyond the research itself. For some Editors, they will not look past the title of the study thus there should be careful consideration of the title. It should not be over-long and should have a methodological component to it e.g. 'Impact of pre-exposure prophylaxis on HIV transmission amongst female sex workers; a longitudinal cohort study'. This title defines the intervention, the setting, and the methodological rigour that one may expect to see with this type of study. If we de-construct this further, we may consider 'what, when, and why?' - an epidemiological triangle that has great relevance to the type of research that we wish to conduct.


研究を実施し、データに統計解析を適切に適用したら、アクセプトされる原稿を作成するという問題をクリアする必要があります。まずは自分の研究のコンテクスト、意味合いを注意深く考えます。それを基に、最適な投稿先ジャーナルに合わせた原稿を作成します。そして、何が自分の研究の「独特なセールスポイント」なのか、なぜそのジャーナルがその研究成果を発表すべきなのかじっくり考えます。セールスポイントは独特な手法や状況なのかもしれませんし、患者の健康や予後に大きな影響を及ぼす新しい介入なのかもしれません。抄録では、自分の研究の価値を正確に伝えること、そしてその研究を超えた実証可能な価値を示すことが重要です。エディターの中には原稿のタイトルしか読まない人もいるので、タイトルの決定には慎重を期すべきです。タイトルは長すぎず、かつ方法論的要素を含むべきです。例えば、「女性セックスワーカーにおいて暴露前予防がHIV感染に及ぼす影響:縦断的コホート研究」のようなタイトルです。このタイトルからは、介入、状況、この種の研究にふさわしい方法論的厳密性が伝わります。もう少し詳しくいえば、「何を、いつ、なぜ」 ―この種の研究に関連性の高い疫学的三大要素―を考慮するといいでしょう。

2018.05.01 Editor: J.E.

Misconceptions in self plagiarism

Plagiarism, in its most basic terms, is taking someone else’s ideas or text and using them as your own. With this concept in mind, you might think that re-using your own text in your next publication is OK. Wrong. This “recycling” constitutes self-plagiarism and is a serious, yet poorly understood issue.

During the publication process, the academic journal will typically require you to sign a “copyright transfer agreement”. This is a legal document that essentially hands over your work to the publisher so that they become the owners of your publication. This grants the publisher permission to copy, display and distribute your work whilst you remain the “intellectual owner” of the data and are legally protected from issues such as plagiarism and duplicate publication. However, it does mean that if you take text from your previously published article, you are essentially plagiarising from yourself.

Self plagiarism is most common in the materials and methods sections. Many techniques and protocols do not change in their procedure, and so it is tempting to re-use your previous text in your latest work. This type of self plagiarism is easy to fix and is unlikely to cause much concern with your journal editor. Referring to your previous article and including the appropriate citation will usually suffice. Instances of self-plagiarism outside of the materials and methods, however, may cause your editor to question the novelty of your work or whether it is just a minor extension or modification to a previous project.

If you find that you are taking text or ideas from your previous work, you may want to consider whether you have really formed a new argument or if you are trying to publish too quickly. You should always aim to present your study in a novel way and give the appropriate credit to your previous articles.






2018.04.02 Editor: J.E.

Plagiarism: analyzing the details

As discussed in my earlier column “Plagiarism and its perception in publishing”, journal editors refer to a similarity report to identify areas of text that have been copied from other sources. The nature and content of this text will depend on how serious the editor considers the level of plagiarism.

Materials and Methods” sections are commonly picked up by plagiarism software as there are only so many ways you can describe a technical protocol. As such, what may initially look like extensive plagiarism might be excused. Conversely, plagiarism detected in the “Results” or “Figures” will be thoroughly investigated, and any replicated or falsified data from another source would be treated more severely.

Plagiarised text in a “Discussion” could indicate that ideas, concepts and conclusions have been taken from another author. Such a finding would lead to doubts in the novelty and authenticity of the work and the editor would likely discuss this issue with an advisory board member or peer reviewer. Finally, plagiarism in the “Introduction” could simply indicate that an author is not confident in their own writing. However, it can also suggest that the study rationale is not novel and thus the editor may question if the overall study is worthy of publication.

Given these differences in terms of manuscript content, it is not easy to assign a strict percentage threshold for acceptable/unacceptable levels of plagiarism. In my experience, <10-20% plagiarism overall with a breakdown of <1-2% from each individual source is considered a reasonable cut-off, which many authors may find surprisingly low! After this threshold, the editor may send the plagiarism report to the authors and ask them to rewrite the passages of concern, should they not be in the data section. Percentage similarities well above this level (40-50%) would be a major cause for concern: it is possible that some areas could be re-structured and re-written, but the editor would be very worried that half of the manuscript text has been derived from other sources.

The percentage similarity considered acceptable will vary widely between journals, individual editors and article type (a review, research article, case study or systematic review). But regardless of the overall percentage, good or bad, any journal editor must interrogate the plagiarism report to ensure that the scientific claims are novel and authentic. This is not to catch out the author, but to protect the scientific and medical community from spurious data.







2018.03.06 Editor: J.E.

Plagiarism and its perception in publishing

Plagiarism is a topic that raises dread in a journal editor and often shock and embarrassment in an author. Plagiarism is one of the very first things a journal editor and publisher will assess. Sophisticated software quickly scans submitted manuscripts and identifies any overlap with other published texts and online sources. Ultimately, a percentage of similarity is produced, and from this percentage alone the journal editor can decide whether to reject a paper.

Plagiarism comes in many forms, from directly copying or paraphrasing short pieces of text to copying ideas and data and taking them as your own. Authors are often shocked to learn they have issues with plagiarism, as on the most part, plagiarism is unintentional. This is because many non-native speakers feel more confident copying or paraphrasing text from others to ensure that they have got the grammar and wording correct. However, copying or adjusting phrases from different sources will raise the plagiarism alarm bells and doubts over the originality and authenticity of your data with that journal for years to come.

The results of the plagiarism check determine the first impression of your article with the journal. Enlist the help of a colleague, friend or language editor (such as those at NAI) who can help you write your own points and views in your own words and avoid immediate rejection based on plagiarism.






テーマ:非英語圏の研究者が英語論文を書く時のポイント by Editor C.J

- 日本人が書く英語とネイティブが書く英語の違いについて
  • English written by Japanese tends to try and include many points or ideas into one sentence, when sometimes it is easier for readers if these ideas are spread out over 2 or 3 shorter sentences.
- 非英語圏の研究者が学術文書を英語で書く際のポイント
  • One of the most common mistakes is the use of “the” and “a”. I think this is probably the equivalent of an English person trying to understand when to use “wa” or “ga” in Japanese.
  • Also, it is important to check the target journal guidelines as to whether UK or US English is required. The main differences between British and American writing are the spelling of certain words. For example, “flavor” in US English is spelt as “flavour” in UK English. Other examples are
    - US English: color vs. UK English: colour
    - US English: anemia vs. UK English: anaemia
    *You can refer to a dictionary to find the most suitable spelling for your document: Merriam Webster’s for US English and the Oxford Dictionary for UK English for example.
  • When writing an academic manuscript, I think the most important thing to remember is that the reader must be able to understand the message you wish to convey. Often, scientists of all backgrounds like to use long, important sounding words. However, this can make sentences confusing, especially for non-English readers. Therefore, always try to use simple concise language in short sentences where possible.
    -For example, the phrase “all over the world” can be replaced with the word “globally” or “worldwide.”
  • Concise alternatives can also lend a more formal tone to the sentence. For example, “gradually” is considered a more formal alternative to “little by little” and is preferred in academic writing.
  • The phrase “On the other hand” is often used to start sentences. This can be replaced with “However”, which is more concise. In addition, it can help reduce word count.
    Slang or contractions such as “don’t” should be replaced with formal alternatives such as “do not”.
  • Starting a sentence, title, or heading with a numeral is considered slightly informal in academic writing and should be avoided. You could either reconstruct the sentence such that you do not have to start the sentence with a number or you could spell out the numeral.
  • Replace “20 college students participated in this study.” with “Twenty college students participated in this study” OR “The participants were 20 college students.”
  • Finally, where possible, a direct verb (action) should be used instead of using a noun and verb. For example, “segmentation of images was done” can be replaced with “images were segmented,” which is clearer and preferred in academic writing.

















代表取締役 伊藤秀司

校閲者・コーディネーターの月替わりのコラム(2018) トップ




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