Kelsey C

Berkeley, California, United States

“Clear writing is critical for the dissemination of knowledge.”

Kelsey C

Specialist subjects:

Biochemistry Bioengineering Biological Sciences Biomedical Sciences Electrical & Electronic Engineering Genetics Materials Science Microbiology Physical Sciences Physics


PhD Physics

University of California, Irvine


BA Physics

University of California, Santa Cruz


Favorite referencing style

IEEE because I find it less obtrusive while reading. I can go check the citation if I'm curious (or dubious), but I'm not yanked out of the flow of the writing. Although in fairness this may just be because it’s what I was formally trained in and have read most widely in.

Why I became an editor

As a graduate student and postdoc in scientific labs, I worked with many scientists who were doing amazing research but struggled to clearly present their work in formal written English. I used the skills I had developed as a voracious reader and native English speaker to help them and found it deeply rewarding. I've come to deeply appreciate the importance of proofreading for the global pursuit of science. Clarity in writing is necessary to disseminate information around the world.

Background and experience

My prior experience with proofreading has been informal in academic and research settings. I've generally been the best writer in the labs I've worked in, so I've proofread a lot of papers and theses. I also, in a fit of hubris as a physics graduate student, wrote my dissertation, including the presentation slides, in LaTex.

All of my degrees are in physics. I did a bit of particle physics and materials science research as an undergraduate, then I developed instrumentation for structural biology in graduate school. I spent another four years as a postdoc in structural biology labs in Germany and the US.

Why I love proofreading and editing

I really enjoy making small tweaks to bring out the clarity in someone's writing. I find it soothing to put things in order, so I'm good at formatting. At the philosophical level I strongly believe that lacking perfect skill in writing formal English should not prevent people's work from being seen.

Kelsey C

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Favorite book:

So You Want to Be a Wizard - Diane Duane


When I'm not proofreading, I like to read fantasy novels, knit bright-colored scarves, and take bad cell phone pictures of flowers.

Editing tips:

I prefer to skim the document before I launch into detailed proofreading. In a long document, I'll scan the section headings to get a feel for the structure, then read each section individually before proofreading it. I find it helpful to have the context before parsing individual phrases.

For the detailed passes, I like an iterative process, looking for a specific subset of errors each time. On my last pass I will often read sentences out loud, since that helps me focus on the structure.

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