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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Some journals require a level of evidence be assigned to each submission. What does that mean?

A: In medical research, the term “levels of evidence” refers to a ranking system that describes the strength of the results reported from different types of research studies. Examples of study types generally include (but are not limited to) therapeutic, prognostic, diagnostic, and economic. Information from different study types can be delivered via clinical trial outcome manuscripts, literature reviews, expert opinion pieces, and a variety of other related modalities. Levels of evidence provide criteria for systematically evaluating the rigor of the evidence being reviewed.

This, of course, is a very simplified explanation for a rather complex topic. A search of the PubMed database for articles on evidence-based medicine or levels of evidence in orthopedics will yield several articles that delve more deeply into this topic. Additionally, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has an excellent table showing levels of evidence for the primary research question.

Q: What are the most common mistakes you find in the manuscripts you receive?

A: One of the most common issues is lack of a clear thesis statement, or research question. When the question the manuscript is answering is unclear, the entire paper will lack focus. This makes it difficult for the reader to understand why the contents of the paper are important, as the reader cannot tell what question is being answered. Other common issues include poorly developed methods sections, inadequate literature reviews, and writing the manuscript without reading the instructions for authors provided by the target journal.

Q: How do you approach a project?

A: The keys to approaching any project include setting clear objectives and ensuring communication is open and honest. Writing a manuscript is a partnering process, where all involved parties listen carefully and respectfully to each other and feel comfortable providing thoughts, ideas, and recommendations. The result of this process is a clear, concise, quality product every time.

Q: Do you offer writing services other than those shown on the website?

A: Yes, I offer other writing services beyond those listed on this website. If you have a writing project that doesn’t fall neatly into one of the areas shown, please ask me about it!

Q: How much will it cost for you to…

A: Every client will receive a free, customized estimate based on the specific components that comprise each project. Hourly rates are also available.   

Q: Do you ever turn down work? If so, why?

A: On rare occasions, I will turn down work. The main reason for this is that the deadline for submission of the abstract, poster, or manuscript is too close for me to do quality work. I will accept “rush” jobs when there is a reasonable time window available before a submission deadline. However, last minute availability cannot be guaranteed. 

I encourage clients to provide me with their source material as early as possible before a project deadline.

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