Why did you become an independent editor?
To continue supporting scientists in communicating their work to broad audiences as effectively as possible.
What do you like most about editing a paper?
I like reading new areas of science, as the breadth and depth of scientific investigation into the world around us is endlessly fascinating. I particularly enjoy helping authors to deliver a pithy statement about the impact of their work in the abstract of their paper, which will be read by many more people than the paper itself.
What do you like least?
I really dislike cutting references from a paper to fit with journal-imposed limits. This is such an unnecessary task. I do think better oversight of reference lists is important though, and I think it’s an area ripe for re-design in such a data-rich environment.
What is your top tip for writing the best paper?
Think about the narrative that will be most compelling to a reader — and try to forget the chronological order in which you did the experiments. Sometimes a good “start” for a story is from an experiment that was performed later in the discovery process.
What is the most common mistake people make when writing their paper?
Introductions can often be somewhat confusing to read — it’s a very important part of the paper to ground your new findings in the context of the field. The people most reliant on the introduction are junior scientists — imagine that you are speaking directly to someone wondering whether to join your lab when outlining the scenario within which you began your investigation.
When Rosy is not editing, she’s experimenting by baking cakes from English cookbooks with American ingredients, biking through the Arnold Arboretum, and running around after her two small children.