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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 form?

Does the OSW provide editing services for other documents?

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, organization, language/terminology, sentence structure, etc. But remember – this is your work, and all suggested revisions are just that, only suggestions.

How do I use the services of the OSW?

Submit the OSW service request form and a complete draft of your document to initiate editing services. 

The OSW refers to your proposal or manuscript as a "submission". The product that we deliver back to you is called a "markup" - we will "mark up" your original text with suggestions for revision in "track changes" mode. We will be happy to review multiple revisions.

Where can I find the service request form?

The service request form is available here.

Does the OSW provide editing services for other documents?

Yes, we will review your book chapter, conference presentation abstract or slide deck, and other documents such as protocols, NIH or NSF biosketch sections, equipment and resources sections, and recommendation or support letters.

For help with a budget or budget justification, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Is there a fee for the OSW editing service?

No, OSW editing services are free to UTHSC investigators.

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 (usually 5 days before the due date). For manuscript editing, we also require one week, depending upon the complexity of the editing request and the length of the manuscript. Please inform us of your requested delivery date (and any relevant circumstances) for your markup in your initial request.

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. This may not be possible if the pipeline is already full, or we are already processing multiple “emergency” submissions.

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

We offer writing assistance services to UTHSC faculty, post-doctoral, and graduate student investigators. 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 assist faculty, post-doctoral staff, and students working on our Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville campuses.

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

OSW priorities for assistance are for grant proposal narratives for extramural funding and manuscripts 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 e-books, printed resources, and suggested files and websites that can assist you in your quest to become a better scientific writer. See our Resources tab for many helpful forms of guidance. 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, visit the link to the "UTHSC Library Research Guide" or our online Resources webpage. You will find printed and e-books 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: May 22, 2020