Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer! We prefer that Primary Editors have a scientific background, since they will be expected to read the published paper. However, if you do not have a scientific background, you can still volunteer as a Secondary Editor.

How does it work?

What do I do?

There are two positions that you can sign up for, each one has a slightly different role. The Primary Editor will read the original manuscript and will edit the submission. The Secondary Editor will not read the manuscript and edit to make sure that the article, alone, tells the full story.


Week 1: Primary Editor reads the original manuscript

  • Time commitment: 1-2 hours, depending on experience level

Week 2: Primary Editor edits the submission

  • Time commitment: 1 hour
  • The edited submission should be emailed to the Secondary Editor

Week 3: Secondary Editor edits the submission (this is the second pass over the document)

  • Time commitment: 1 hour
  • Secondary editor does not read the manuscript, your role is to determine whether or not the article can stand alone. Does the article tell a complete story?

Week 4: Primary Editor and Secondary Editor meet remotely, or correspond via email, to finalize their collective edits and send the edited article to the author for approval. When the author approves the article, it should be emailed to the PubNavigator team for finalization.

What should I expect?

You can consider your role as an editor to be a co-author. As you edit, consider the flow of the article. You can move sections around, edit or add images and figures, and suggest new language in the body of the article. You can also suggest adding new sections or more context to help with clarity. The author can then accept or reject the changes that you make. The final article will likely look very different than the original submission!

Science communication can be hard! If you are a new volunteer, it may take a little longer to learn how to write below a 12th grade reading level. An experienced volunteer may read over and edit an article in 30 minutes. It may take a newer volunteer two hours to accomplish the same task.

We have busy lives! While PubNavigator does provide small volunteer stipends when funding is available, none of us edit full-time. Expect delays. There is a lot of back and forth between editors and the author. Sometimes life gets in the way and it takes a while to publish a PubNavigator article. On average, it takes 7 weeks to finalize an article.

The secret to success is strong communication. Communicate frequently with your co-editor and send out updates to your author and PubNavigator on a regular basis. It’s okay if you get busy, just let us know!

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

Complete the Volunteer Training and sign up!

%d bloggers like this: