FAS Postdoctoral Editors Association (FASPEA)

Mission

The FASPEA is a group of postdoctoral fellows organized to help postdoctoral authors improve the quality of their manuscripts before submitting them to their faculty mentors. This initiative, mirroring the one at UPenn on which it is modeled, aims to minimize the time that mentors have to spend fixing basic writing issues during the process of preparing a manuscript for publication. Doing so will help to optimize the meaningful interaction between postdoctoral researchers and their mentors.

The service offered by FASPEA editors will entail reviewing manuscripts (papers, posters) for language usage, punctuation, clarity, and organization in an effort to clarify prose and meaning. However, they will not be able to provide substantive review of the content. This critical, subject-specific dialogue should occur between postdoctoral researchers and their mentors during the process of preparing a manuscript.

Services and Guidelines

FASPEA provides confidential review of a variety of different documents including manuscripts, abstracts, and slides/posters for meetings. Please note that while FASPEA editors will help to improve manuscripts, they will be unable to provide formal line-by-line editing or help editing any classwork.

      • Materials will be reviewed only once.
      • In order for the service to be most helpful, postdoctoral authors should endeavor to submit their most polished, final draft.
      • Postdoctoral authors will have the option of requesting an editor in their field or on the contrary specifically excluding one. Matches take these into account, but will be subject to the availability of editors.
      • FASPEA will aim for a two-week turnaround.
      • Materials should be submitted in pdf format.

Confidentiality

FASPEA editors treat every submitted manuscript as a privileged communication. The Editors-in-Chief and editors must exclude themselves from the review of any manuscript that might involve a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof. To this end, FASPEA editors will disclose to the Editors-in-Chief any conflicts of interest that make their knowledge of the information included in the manuscript inappropriate. The editors pledge not to use knowledge of the work to further their own interests.

Process

Step 1: Should a postdoctoral author deem it necessary, they and their PI should sign the confidentiality agreement. This may be particularly necessary in sensitive scientific fields, where results must remain confidential until the time of publication.

Step 2: Email faspea@fas.harvard.edu to request FASPEA assistance. Please attach the confidentiality agreement, if applicable, and your manuscript (pdf format).

Please also include the following information: 

          • Your core subject area.
          • Whether you are a native English speaker.
          • Areas (Things, Particulars, etc.) you would like the editor to focus on, if any (language, structure/organization, figures).
          • Do you have any editor preference or exclusion?
          • Is the paper for a general or specialized audience?
          • Would you like feedback in person or electronically.
          • Any special requests or concerns.

Contacts

Editors-in-chief:

        • Daniel Park (OEB): danielpark@fas.harvard.edu 
          Evolution, Ecology, Plant Biology, Invasive Species, Niche Modeling, and Phylogenetics.

 Editors:

Get Involved!

FASPEA is always looking for new editors. If you’re interested, or if you would like more information, please contact the editors-in-chief at faspea@fas.harvard.edu.