2022.05.02 Editor: M. R.

Bias against authors who are non-native English speakers -Part.2

To understand this cognitive bias, we must recognize it as a natural human tendency. The human brain is hardwired to make flawed decisions. Therefore, it is difficult to eliminate or regulate such bias without using process-related checks and balances.

Traditionally, peer reviewing has been a voluntary process. Peer reviewers, who are invited to assess pre-published research papers, and are not held accountable by any organization.

Moreover, measures for eliminating bias in the peer review process are typically one-sided. The single-blind model of peer review is adopted by most journals, where the peer reviewers' names are not shared with the author (to ensure that the authors cannot influence the reviewers). However, the authors' names are made available to the reviewers.

The double-blind model of peer review overcomes this problem by hiding the names of the authors from the reviewers. Nevertheless, it does not eliminate the probability of rejection due to reviewer bias.

From my experience, one way for authors to avoid such bias is to include a cover letter to the journal, stating that their paper has been checked by a professional editing service.

As long as humans are active participants in the decision-making process with regard to the acceptance of research papers, unconscious bias will persist. Therefore, it is important to educate the publishing community and continue to work toward eliminating this problem. In addition, smart tech has considerable potential for eliminating this problem. Services based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected to avoid reliance on humans and thus eliminate cognitive bias. Consequently, research papers can be selected solely on the basis of submission readiness instead of irrelevant factors such as the authors' nationality or academic background.

英語を母語としない著者に対するバイアスについて -Part.2

認知上 の問題であるこのバイアスを理解するには、これを人間に元々備わっている傾向であると認識する必要があります。人間の脳は頑固にできており、間違った判断を下すようになっています。そのため、仕組み化されたチェックやバランス機能を活用せずに、このようなバイアスを防いだりコントロールしたりするのは困難です。






2022.04.14 Editor: M. R.

Bias against authors who are non-native English speakers -Part.1

Authors often receive negative comments at the peer review stage.

Examples of such comments are as follows:

“Consult a native English-speaking colleague to carefully check the grammar of this manuscript.”

“Language needs improvement. Consider getting your paper checked by a native English speaker.”

“This paper is written in poor English and cannot be published in its current form.”

It is perfectly reasonable for authors to be baffled or upset upon receiving such comments even after getting their manuscripts checked by a professional language editing service.

Although some issues may be addressed by the journal’s copyeditors, reasons for rejecting a manuscript are rarely provided. What are the factors underlying negative journal comments?

A certain trend has been observed over time. The authors of most papers that receive negative journal comments have distinctly East Asian or South Asian names. Interestingly, these comments rarely broach the scientific relevance of the study.

Researchers face several obstacles such as insufficient funding, lack of proficiency in English, and a shortage of time. However, the aforementioned bias against non-native English-speaking researchers can be particularly frustrating.

英語を母語としない著者に対するバイアスについて -Part.1










2022.03.14 Editor: S. S.

Tips to avoid similarity with own papers published in the past-Part 2.

Changing the topic itself, i.e., the subject of the paper, can help you as a writer avoid similarity with your own previous work. It will also assist you in researching the topic from a different perspective and reframe your ideas to fit a different purpose, avoiding the need to essentially cut and paste from an earlier work.

When reusing previous papers, it should be done on purpose to support new ideas. Keep in mind that the text you are writing must be unique. Successful past papers can be referred to for motivation. You should be able to recall the strategies you used to write the first paper, and you should be able to apply those strategies to the new work. Rather than simply reusing old papers and risking being flagged for similarity, you can effectively avoid this trap by using them as models.

Finally, writing is a skill distinct from paraphrasing. If you are not good at paraphrasing or do not have the time to go through everything and paraphrase it with your own vocabulary, using paraphrasing tools available on the Internet is a good option.

自分が過去に出版した論文との類似性を防ぐためのヒント-Part 2.




2022.02.10 Editor: S. S.

Tips to avoid similarity with own papers published in the past-Part 1.

Similarity with one’s own published papers is a problem for authors, especially nowadays when most journals use computer programs like iThenticate to calculate the similarity and reject papers peremptorily with a high similarity factor without even subjecting them to peer review. Similarity is obviously uncomfortably close to self-plagiarism, and thus must be absolutely avoided. Similarity is difficult to avoid not only in situations when using previous papers based on similar types of experiments and theory, but also when authors separate aspects of the same study in several different publications.

Content which has already been published can be used again in another work whose focus is on another result or conclusion. However, to reuse content in the new paper one has to paraphrase it and cite the content. Certainly, paraphrasing, which can be defined as using your own words to write a paper or work that is nearly the same length as the original, is the most effective way to avoid similarity. Plagiarism checkers can easily detect direct copying and pasting of content. To avoid plagiarism and similarity, writers should paraphrase the copied work in their own words. To paraphrase your own work and make it new again you can:

  • ・Modify the structure of your sentences while maintaining their original meaning.
  • ・Change from passive to active voice, and vice versa.
  • ・Substitute synonyms for different words.
  • ・Convert clauses and parts of speech to phrases.

自分が過去に出版した論文との類似性を防ぐためのヒント-Part 1.



  • ・引用元の意味を変えることなく、文の構造を変える。
  • ・受動態を能動態に書き換える(逆の場合もあります)。
  • ・類似語を使って違う言葉で表現する。
  • ・節や表現の一部を、句に置き換える。












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