After completing a paper my supervisor at the time wanted to use a paper review service to review my paper for grammar, English etc..

I am a native English speaker and the service is based in a non-English-speaking country, but I don't know the nationality of the person who reviewed the paper. After receiving back the corrected paper, it seems like they have reduced its size by more than 50% by taking out words phrases that they thought to be redundant and rewording sentences to be easier to understand by anyone.

I feel like these services aren't worth the money but that might just be due to the sour feeling of having someone change the majority of a paper you've spent a fair amount of time on by someone that might know little about the subject.

What kind of experiences have people had with these services? Do you think think they are worth using?

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    A related answer of mine. Shortly: you should work together with a local review service. – Massimo Ortolano Feb 5 '18 at 8:08
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    I have tried some of those "English testing sites" and weirdly all of them say I will benefit from their course! As a native english speaker yeah right... Having checked with some of my colleagues who teach english, they also get results that tell them they need to do the course, which leads us to believe that (possibly) many of those sites are marketing tools and don't have any real analysis behind them... – Solar Mike Feb 5 '18 at 8:33
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    I have found that engineers who speak two languages can do a much better job of translating a technical document as they understand the theory and concepts behind the paper... I had this argument with a person who claimed "I can translate anything - I am bi-lingual" well, a paper dealing with stress, strain and Mohr's circle soon dealt with that... Didn't know the technical jargon, etc etc – Solar Mike Feb 5 '18 at 8:36
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    @origimbo isn't there evidence that those who have further education doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers have access to a larger vocabulary, so no not three languages but more words in both... – Solar Mike Feb 5 '18 at 8:45
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    I fail to see how a non-technical person can cut more than 50% of a paper in such a way that it still makes sense. Someone with no intimate knowledge of the content simply does not have the tools to judge whether something is redundant or not – Ant Feb 5 '18 at 14:55

[paper review service] reduced [paper] size by more than 50% by taking out words phrases that they thought to be redundant and rewording sentences to be easier to understand by anyone.

A fifty percent reduction in paper length is an excellent improvement of your paper, because your readers have less to read. (Assuming what "they thought to be redundant" really was.) There's no need for any "sour feeling," appreciate the improvement and learn how to make similar reductions. (Note that reductions are far easier for someone else to make than the original author.)

  • I agree with you, I used the same service, they even told me to significantly cut introduction, but advisor wouldnt allow bcs refrees didnt ask for it – SSimon Feb 5 '18 at 12:21
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    A large reduction in paper length can have an additional benefit for journals or proceedings with strict page limits - the authors can include more results or discussions they could not fit in the first version. – Sourav Feb 5 '18 at 16:10

Was the removed text actually redundant or was it important to understanding the paper? did the rewording actually get the correct point across in an easier to understand way or did it change the meaning unacceptablly?

Without a good answer to those questions it's impossible to say if the service was useful or not.

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