Training Case Study

Peer review workshops for early career researchers

Working in partnership with the open access journal eLife, Jane has put together a series of workshops on peer review that target early career researchers who are taking their first steps as reviewers. A key aim of these workshops is to improve the culture and practice of peer review and to equip workshop participants with an understanding of how peer review works and to develop and strengthen their skills as reviewers. Jane works in partnership with members of the academic editorial community in delivering these interactive workshops, to ensure that participants receive training on the many different aspects of peer review, ranging from ethical conduct in peer review to understanding how to review a research article in different peer review systems, and how to gain credit for peer review.


Professor Maddy Parsons, Professor of Cell Biology at King's College London, says about these workshops

"As an extremely experienced Editor, Jane has recognised that early career researchers really need to be guided through the complexities of peer reviewing to ensure they are able to shape the future of their fields in an informed and responsible way. Jane has crafted a fantastic series of workshops to provide practical advice on every aspect of peer reviewing and awareness of the different models, potential caveats and benefits that peer review has to offer. Having partnered with Jane in a number of these workshops, I have first hand experience of her excellent attention to detail, breadth of knowledge, and careful planning, which ultimately deliver interesting, engaging and interactive sessions for researchers from a range of different backgrounds. The feedback received from the attendees is always excellent and this is testament to Janes' dedication, enthusiasm and passion for this subject. I have no doubt that her work is helping to enhance the quality of future scientific peer review. I have personally learned a lot from Jane and really look forward to working with her again in the future!"

Training Case Study

Research integrity workshops at the Sainsbury Laboratory

Jane Alfred has been running a programme of research integrity and publication ethics workshops at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) since 2014. Jane’s work with the TSL kicked off with a discussion with the Lab’s group leaders about research culture and practice and how they are interlinked with research integrity. These discussions helped to shape and influence the content and breadth of the training workshops, which have been tailored to meet the training needs of both academic researchers and research support staff.


Debbie Feather, Head of Administration at TSL, says about these workshops

"Upholding the highest standards of scientific integrity is integral to our research here at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL), and we expect our colleagues to conduct their research according to best scientific practise and the highest professional standards. We have been delighted then to work with Jane in developing an on-going programme of research integrity workshops, which have become an integral part of the culture of the Laboratory. Jane’s background and extensive experience, together with her enthusiasm and insight have facilitated a new approach to research integrity and publishing ethics at TSL. We have benefited greatly from working with her over the last couple of years and look forward to a new series of challenging and rewarding workshops in 2017!"

Editorial Case Study

COMMISSIONING & EDITING: A series of feature articles for eLife

The open access journal eLife approached Jane Alfred with the idea for a series of feature articles on the natural history of model organisms. Jane worked closely with eLife senior editor, Professor Ian Baldwin, and with eLife features editor, Dr Peter Rodgers, in identifying potential authors for this series. Working in close communication with these Editors, Jane commissioned the articles for this series, and was responsible for developmentally editing them, handling them through peer review and for drafting editorial decisions. The article series was published in March 2015, together with an Introductory article co-authored by Ian and Jane.


Ian Baldwin, eLife senior editor, says:

"It was simply a pleasure working with Jane on the Natural History of Model Organisms project. Jane is a biologist’s dream of an editor. She quickly grasps the scientific complexity of an issue and finds ways of guiding authors past the obstacles of their own jargon and down a logical explanatory path that illuminates the complexity in a comprehensible manner. And she does it in a non-obtrusive manner that makes authors feel as if they found this path all on their own. Jane can be completely trusted to mind the editorial store, freeing an Academic or staff editor to deal only with the higher level issues; a dream collaborator!."

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Training Case Study

Research Integrity: A presentation to the University of Glasgow

In 2015, following an invitation by Dr Tanita Casci, Head of Research Policy at the University of Glasgow, Jane gave a presentation on research integrity, and about how research communication is changing to support good research culture and practice, to an audience of integrity officers and senior managers.


Dr Casci said about this presentation:

"As an institution we work hard to embed an awareness of good research practice. Jane's talk brought this topic to life by skillfully tying together the rapidly changing landscape of research publishing, the incentives placed on academics to publish, and the opportunities, responsibilities and risks that come with the (welcome) drive towards open scholarship and open data. I thought I had heard it all before, but I was wrong: I left with several urgent actions, and a much more compelling way to present integrity to the research community."

Editorial Case Study

Manuscript editing

Since 2007, Jeremy Allen has worked closely with Edanz Group Ltd, an editorial services company based in Japan, to provide expert editorial services for non-native English-speaking scientists. Jeremy has edited over 800 research manuscripts and has become a preferred editor for several Edanz clients. Examples of publications on which Jeremy has worked include:
Maelstrom coordinates microtubule organization during Drosophila oogenesis through interaction with components of the MTOC. Sato K, Nishida KM, Shibuya A, Siomi MC, Siomi H. Genes Dev. 2011 Nov 15;25(22):2361-73.
Epigenetic regulation of a brain-specific glycosyltransferase N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-IX (GnT-IX) by specific chromatin modifiers. Kizuka Y, Kitazume S, Okahara K, Villagra A, Sotomayor EM, Taniguchi N J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 18;289(16):11253-61.


Dr Daniel McGowan, Science Director of Edanz Group Ltd, says:

"For several years now Jeremy has been one of our most trusted editors, able to cover a variety of fields and editing regularly for some of our most important (and most prolific) clients. The quality of Jeremy's editing and the added value he provides are both evident in the repeat orders we receive from clients he has edited for and the frequent requests for him specifically. Jeremy's attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, clarity of language, and polite communications (through comments) with authors have made him a valuable member of our freelance team."

Editorial Case Study


Academic publisher, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, commissioned Jane Alfred to developmentally edit a book by renowned molecular geneticist, David Botstein. Jane worked closely with David on the book, entitled Decoding the Language of Genetics, over several months, providing editorial feedback on drafts of the book’s chapters and on the book’s figures, as well as suggestions for additional chapters, text and figures.


In the book's acknowledgements, David Botstein notes:

"'I am in debt to Jane Alfred for her excellent editing. She eliminated many errors and much awkwardness.'"

Editorial Case Study

MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENT: A submission to a selective journal

A researcher contacted Jane Alfred for advice on a research manuscript intended for submission to a highly selective journal. Jane read and assessed the manuscript and provided written editorial feedback on how effectively the authors had communicated the novelty and advance their work offered (relative to the published literature in the field), and on the evidence provided to support their findings. The article was also developmentally edited for clarity, coherence and accessibility and editorial feedback provided on the authors’ cover letter.

Writing Case Study

WRITING: Accessible accounts of research findings

Jane Alfred has written numerous short articles about research findings, to explain and highlight their interest and impact. Examples include Highlights articles published in Nature Reviews Genetics, and blog posts about the impact of research discoveries published in PLOS Biology. Jane also regularly writes Digests for the open access journal eLife – these provide accessible accounts of the key findings published in eLife articles.

A blog post about a research advance – Putting CpG islands on the map

A Highlight in Nature Reviews Genetics – Altering the course of disease

A Digest in eLife