Quality and Ethical Standards

Introduction and Purpose

AJE believes that its staff shares the values these guidelines are intended to promote. As a mission-driven company, our purpose is to help researchers get published and succeed in sharing their work with the global community. We seek to apply our approach to quality and ethics in every aspect of service delivery.

The AJE Mission

AJE is, and has always been, a mission-driven company. We exist to make research communication faster, fairer, and more useful by providing expert services and technology that support the journal publication process. At AJE we are committed to helping researchers around the world succeed in sharing their work. We are unique in our approach because:

  • 100% of AJE papers are edited by trained, full-time professional editors. We do not use contractors for manuscript editing. This ensures the highest level of quality more consistently delivered.
  • We are headquartered in the US with over 250 US-trained researchers as employees, ensuring that your research will be reviewed by knowledgeable and trusted native English- speaking field experts committed to providing great quality, timeliness and an exceptional customer experience.
  • We are trusted by the world’s leading research institutions, societies and publishers to offer the highest quality and ethical services.

Our Team and Explanation of Roles

The team at AJE includes Academic Editors, Quality Control Editors, Academic Translation Advisors, Formatting Specialists, Illustrators, Customer Support Specialists, Research Communication Partners, and more. This group will henceforth be referred to as “staff “ or “staff members.”

  • Academic Editor: An AE provides editing on academic manuscripts in his/her field of study in order to optimize the quality of English language of customer manuscripts for publication.

    • What AEs do

      • Exercise judgment and leverage knowledge of industry standards in primary editing step on academic manuscripts to ensure that the English language quality achieves AJE standards
      • Apply knowledge of academic area of expertise to deliver high quality editing products that meet customer expectations
      • Partner with Customer Service teams in addressing customer questions/complaints and supporting tailored manuscript service solutions
      • Utilize the latest technology supplied by AJE to support high-efficiency, high-quality edits
    • What AEs deliver

      • Submission-ready edited manuscripts on time
      • Solutions to customer problems in a collegial and timely manner
      • Above-and-beyond service to meet our customers’ needs
  • Quality Control Editor (QCE): QCEs contribute to researchers' success by ensuring consistent, high-quality language editing for every manuscript that we return to our customers. They have expert knowledge of our internal quality standards for AJE services, and they demonstrate versatility in diverse subject areas.

    • What QCEs do

      • Monitor and review contractor quality and exercise judgment on adherence to AJE quality standards.
      • Partner with Customer Service teams in addressing customer questions/complaints and supporting tailored manuscript service solutions
      • Utilize the latest technology supplied by AJE to support high-efficiency, high-quality edits
    • What QCEs deliver

      • Submission-ready edited manuscripts on time
      • Solutions to customer problems in a collegial and timely manner
      • Above-and-beyond service to meet our customers’ needs
  • Academic Translation Advisor (ATA): An ATA is a AJE employee involved in providing Translation services to customers who purchase that service.

  • Research Communication Partner (RCP): The goal of the RCP is to serve as a resource for the customer and to help guide the customer through the editing process. Customers are encouraged to contact their RCPs with any questions or concerns regarding past, current, and future edits. RCPs serve as the primary point person for all questions from customers; this responsibility often requires contacting other employees to answer questions and then reporting the most appropriate and helpful response back to the customer, which helps limit the number of people with whom customers need to communicate.

  • Customer Support Representative (CSR): The members of the Customer Support Team, which acts as the first line of contact with customers provide excellent verbal and written support in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Each CSR interacts closely with AJE customers and staff and is an expert on the AJE and partner websites, service offerings, and policies.

Quality Guarantee

  • Guarantee Details

    • We believe in our customers and the work that you do. We know how demanding it can be, and we are resolved to help by providing quality and dependable author services that you can trust. That is why we offer you the following commitments.

    • EDITING: The completed manuscript you receive from AJE's editing services is covered by our editing guarantee. If your edited paper is rejected by your journal for English language errors, we promise to re-edit your document for free. It should be noted that material added to your paper after our editors work on your manuscript is not included in this guarantee. For this reason, we recommend that you send us your final draft when you make a new submission.

    • FORMATTING: We guarantee that your paper will be formatted according to your target journal’s guidelines, and we will provide comments describing any missing elements that are required for submission. If the editor of your target journal mentions any problems with the formatting of your paper, we will reformat your paper for free.

    • TRANSLATION: Every paper submitted for our Translation service is eligible to receive an AJE Editing Certificate, and we guarantee that if you are not satisfied with your manuscript, or if the journal says that the English needs improvement, we will re-edit it for free, no questions asked, until your manuscript is published.

    • FIGURE PREPARATION: We guarantee that the formatted figures and tables that you receive will meet the stated specifications of the journal that you selected. If the journal does have any issues with the preparation of your figures or tables, we will resolve those issues for free.

  • Customer service

    • Customer experience is paramount in our interactions with customers. We don't sacrifice customer experience for timeliness, resolution, or simplicity. Customers should know that we are their partners and are here to help. The objectives of the Customer Service Division are to help our customers navigate our website and choose the right product for their needs, answer their questions about our work, restore trust when we make mistakes, lend our expertise on the rest of the publication process and communicate their concerns or special requests to the AJE team.

Ethics

AJE is deeply committed to ethical practices in our business and throughout research. Our team steadfastly upholds an ethical approach in the delivery of all of our services. We refuse to engage in unethical practices at all costs because nothing is worth compromising our personal and professional integrity. Ethical practices in research are super important for advancing knowledge, promoting truth, and reducing errors. As a company, we maintain policies and procedures related to unethical behavior, and we are dedicated to promoting ethics in research through education and information-sharing.

We strongly believe that services that offer to write or rewrite papers without full transparency about their role are acting unethically. Employing this type of unethical service could lead to paper retraction and other risks to your reputation. AJE will not in any way rewrite the content of your paper.

You do not need to include your AJE editors as authors on your paper. Because our editors focus on English language editing, and not content editing and other tasks that merit authorship, they do not qualify for authorship status according to the guidelines outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). However, you are welcome to acknowledge AJE’s assistance in your paper.

Please refer to the section on Language Editing and Service Provision for more on our ethical approach in service delivery.

COPE Partnership/Membership

AJE and our parent company, Research Square Group, are Associate Corporate members of COPE, joining thousands of other participants in academic publishing. Although we’re not a publisher, much of COPE’s work resonates with us and informs how we serve both authors and publishers. For almost 20 years, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has provided important resources on publication ethics, from best practices for journal editors and authors to flowcharts to guide decision making on specific cases.

Language Editing and Service Provision

Our Approach to Service Delivery

People

We value our people. We trust our people. We invest in our people. We rigorously select our people. We rely on their academic expertise and commit to developing their expertise in other areas. We create systems that support their performance and development, and we create tools to free them to exercise their expertise effectively.

We rely on a lifetime of expertise that cannot be developed at AJE and then supplement it with expertise that can in order to meet a variety of customer needs.

Policies

Our policies are derived from empirical evidence (specifically customer feedback) and thoughtfully curated source material. They are designed to satisfy authors and journals, who have generally aligned but not identical expectations. Our policies are designed to support work at high volume and high quality. They are designed to avoid waste and to add value. But they are also designed to encourage individual judgment by our people. They are designed to be achievable by our people operating in the systems in which they operate and with the tools with which they perform their work. To add value for our customers we build in quality when and where we can and compensate with systems, customer service, and individual effort when and where we can’t.

We have carefully examined and designed policies that add value for our customers at every step of the way. They facilitate and align performance, and they allow for consistency as well as reasonable flexibility to allow us to fulfill customer needs.

Procedures

Our procedures are designed to satisfy customers and to support our people. They are designed to produce consistently high-quality work. Our procedures fight waste and variation, but not at the expense of the customer. They are as simple as possible but not simpler or simplistic. Our procedures account for the fact that every is its own and that an inflexible process or a stubborn adherence to process dissatisfies customers and employees.

Our focus on quality coupled with flexibility in procedure imparts consistency to our services and to our customers’ experience with them while allowing our people to use their talents.

Technology

We rely on technology to free the attention of our people to do their best and most important work. We rely on technology to impart efficiency and consistency to our processes and our work on the page. We rely on technology to identify waste and value. We rely on technology to distribute work in a fair and predictable way to facilitate job satisfaction and performance. We rely on technology to satisfy customers, to track papers and deadlines accurately and to match customer needs with the right personnel. Further, we use technology to improve our consistency and the customer experience by automatically detecting word counts and better-paper to-editor match capabilities. These advances have allowed us to improve our return rate with a 99% timely return rate while adhering to ethical norms.

Our technology creates consistency and facilitates high quality by creating predictable outputs and more predictable inputs. It facilitates the success and growth of our people.

Ethics

In accordance with our ethical approach the policy detailed **here** outlines the boundaries within which our staff is expected to operate.

Partnerships

AJE is a trusted name in the scholarly publishing community. We work with leading universities, institutes, journals, and publishers. We carefully select our partners based on the positive impact they make on both the global community and research publication industry. As part of our commitment to ethics we actively seek to avoid any semblance of relationships with publishers, journals, and societies identified as predatory or those who engage in unethical practices. Our partners must demonstrate the same commitment to our operational values which allows us to stay true to our mission.