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I have been asked to review a paper that has been accepted for publication in english because I am a native english speaker. This request is coming from the director of a center. I am still a student. I don't technically work under this person or this center but I do have an affiliation. The review is going to take a couple hours of work. Is there any appropriate recognition or compensation for doing this review?

  • What exactly does "review" mean in this context? "Read and give feedback", or "edit", or something else? – JeffE Jun 29 at 22:37
  • How does the director of the center even know you exist? Perhaps your advisor offered your help as a favor? – A Simple Algorithm Jun 30 at 3:31
  • @JeffE probably the question should be edited to say "edit for language errors" instead of "review." – Anonymous Physicist Jun 30 at 7:06
  • Be warned, the last one of these I did, needed a re-write of every sentence... this is not a small task especially when what they wrote the first time was nowhere near what they meant to say. So when they got the corrected version, they wanted it all changed again. – Solar Mike Jun 30 at 18:03
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I would expect no direct compensation. However:

  • This is a good networking opportunity which will improve your reputation if you do a good job.
  • Tell your supervisor about it. They may later mention it in a letter of recommendation.
  • When applying for jobs, you will be asked to give evidence you have great communication skills. "I edit papers for senior professors who are English language learners" is one way to do that. It also works as evidence you can collaborate with diverse people, which is another common hiring criterion. Do not name the person you helped in a job application, as that could be viewed as criticism.
  • In short, reviewing papers is a professional courtesy you are expected to extend to others — and what goes around, comes around. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Jun 30 at 4:20
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If I was the author, I would offer you an acknowledgement in the paper in the form of either a footnote on the first page or a sentence in the acknowledgement section.

In my opinion not offering you this acknowledgement would be rude and ungrateful, but this kind of contribution is definitely not enough for co-authorship. About compensation, I doubt you can get much more than a free coffee: academia is not exactly the ideal environment in terms of fair compensation in my experience. However the "team person" image you give to the people involved might bring you some good karma later, for instance if the director remembers you positively they might be more likely to think about you if a funding opportunity arises.

  • I would consider acknowledgment to be good credit but not compensation. – Anonymous Physicist Jun 30 at 1:52

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