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Wallace: 90% journals rejected due to English errors

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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(Your title is misleading. It is 90% of research papers that get rejected due to poor English, not 90% of journals. Journals publish research papers and they don't get rejected for poor English. Scholars, scientists, professionals write research papers and submit them to academic journals. If accepted, the papers would get published. You have mixed up the two throughout your report.)


by But Wing Yi | Tuesday, 29th October, 2013


Dr. Steve Wallace, founder of Wallace Academic Editing claimed approximately 90% of journals and research papers from Hong Kong are rejected, due to too many English errors.


Wallace mentioned that there are only 11% of typical papers of average quality would have favorable recommendations from referees, while the other 89% are most likely to be rejected.


He explained this might due to impression of too many errors and mistakes in the journals, and supersedes the positive feelings about idea itself, and thus, discourages reviewers to keep reading.


Wallace listed nine common errors in research papers that annoy referees, including word redundancy, inaccurate use of tense, overuse of passive voice, and ambiguous pronouns appeared in sentences.


Wallace regarded the way Chinese students learn is dull. “When people ask ‘Hello, how are you?’ students will answer ‘I’m fine, thank you.’” He challenged, “Is this the way we use English?”


He commented ordinary grammar is sufficient for daily use, but it has to be close to perfect in research papers. “Good grammars is a must for journals,” he said, “since the authorities stress much on their own reputations, and the English standard of journals accepted must have to reach their threshold.”


Being asked if Chinese would become a dominating international language in the future, Wallace pointed, “it is hard to learn!”


“I don’t think Chinese would override English in my life time,” said Wallace.


He explained the pronunciations for different words are tricky, and each monosyllabic have lots of variations in terms of the tone. He also mentioned Chinese characters seem countless.


“There are millions characters in Chinese. Journal reviewers may feel challenging to interpret and comprehend the passage, as most of them do not truly understand the use of each word,” he said.


“Most of the papers are written in English, and turning the readers from English to Chinese is difficult.”

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