Revision of scientific manuscripts by non-native English-speaking scientists in response to journal editors’ language critiques


  • Karent Englander Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, in Ensenada, Mexico



scientific publishing, revision, nonnative-English-speaker writing, systemic functional linguistics, scientific writing, discourse analysis


Scientists’ manuscripts must fulfill the expectations of journal reviewers and editors in order to be published, whether the author’s first language is English or not. However, manuscripts submitted by nonnative-English-speaking scientists are sometimes criticized for their language usage and they require revision. In some cases, these authors do revise their manuscripts, resubmit them, and have them accepted for publication. To date, little had been known about the linguistic changes scientists make to their manuscripts, nor had there been a close descriptive study of the textual revisions that served to satisfy the demands of journal editors. This study uses the systemic functional linguistics approach of discourse analysis to examine the changes made in a small corpus of manuscripts from nonnative-English-speaking scientists that were initially criticized, in part for their language usage, but were later accepted. The results demonstrate that the changes that were made at the lexicogrammatical level were not mere syntactic corrections, but altered the position of the scientist and his text in relation to the scientific community.

Author Biography

Karent Englander, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, in Ensenada, Mexico

Karen Englander received her Ph.D. in TESOL and Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a professor in the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, in Ensenada, Mexico. Her research interest focuses on nonnative-English-speaking scientists and their writing. She is currently combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies to better understand their lives and work.


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How to Cite

Englander, K. (2015). Revision of scientific manuscripts by non-native English-speaking scientists in response to journal editors’ language critiques. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 3(2), 129–161.