Top 10 Pet Peeves of Editors

Top 10 Pet Peeves of Editors

If you hope to get published in highly-regarded, competitive imaging journal, you must avoid common errors that absolutely irk editors. In order to present a polished and professional paper–devoid of all too pervasive mistakes that could potentially obscure the true value of your findings–adhere to the following advice, which we collected from experienced editors at top Radiology journals.

What the Editors Told Us

Pet Peeve #1: This Tired Opening Line

Do not begin, “In 1896, Roentgen discovered the X-ray.”  Everybody knows this fact. This isn’t interesting or intriguing…or a high school essay.

Pet Peeve #2: Claims of Originality

Pronouncements such as, “We were the first to…” sound obnoxious rather than impressive. Short of landing on Mars, simply report what you did and what you found.

Pet Peeve #3: Disregard for Word Limits

Always follow word limits for the Abstract and Text.  No one wants to read more than is necessary. Prioritize clarity of thought over superfluous flourishes.

Pet Peeve #4: Unnecessary Digits

“25.4589483049824%”  Limit significant digits to whole numbers for percentages greater than 10 (for example, 25%.)

Pet Peeve #5: Comparatives without a Comparison:

Avoid claiming, “This technique was better.”  Readers are left to wonder, “Better than what?”

Pet Peeve #6: Incorrect Use of Jargon

Never state, “This technique is ‘feasible,’” as “feasible” is not a scientific term. Likewise, do not assert, “This technique provides excellent ‘accuracy.’”  “Accuracy” is not a precise term; editors prefer clear terminology such as “sensitivity” and “specificity.”

Pet Peeve #7: Incomplete Figure and Table Legends

Envision the following scenario: your reader discovers an interesting figure or table, but, as she tries to understand its source and significance, she must flip through pages, searching for the information needed to interpret it! In order to avert this, assume that all Figure and Table legends stand alone.

Pet Peeve #8: Citing Figures and Tables in the Discussion

Likewise, refrain from mentioning specific Figures or Tables in the Discussion, as your Discussion should not require referencing other sections of the paper.

Pet Peeve #9: Abbreviations without Definitions

Your readers might not know the meaning of abbreviations or acronyms. Therefore, you must define them the first time you mention them in the paper as a whole and then separately in the Abstract, Introduction, and Figures/Tables.

Pet Peeve #10: EUA (Excessive Use of Acronyms)

Acronyms only save a few characters, and people dislike internalizing a slew of acronyms to decode your writing. Employ acronyms judiciously.

Want More Information?

At Superior Medical Editing, our physician consultants bring invaluable editorial experience and real insight into the preferences of editors. If you want details on how we help prepare your manuscript for submission, take a look at our services. And, as always, check back to our blog, where we will continue to post more wisdom from editors.


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