Student Resources

CSE’s mission is to serve editorial professionals in the sciences by providing a network for career development, education, and resources for best practices. With this in mind, we have compiled resources for students and early career professionals interested in learning more about the communication of science in the publishing and information science communities.

What opportunities does CSE offer specifically to enrich the experience for student members and early career professionals?


1. Scholarships

The CSE Scholarship Program has been developed to support early career publishing professionals by sponsoring their attendance to the CSE Annual Meeting. Each funded scholar will receive free full registration for the Annual Meeting (excluding Short Courses and additional offerings) and reimbursement for travel expenses (including hotel stay at the conference hotel and meals), up to $2,000. This scholarship has been running for seven years.
The call for scholarship applications generally opens in September.

2. Mentorship Program

Being a part of CSE allows members to network informally and build professional relationships at the CSE Annual Meeting. However, the CSE Mentorship Program offers a structured approach to career development. This includes monthly phone calls, in-person meetings (if possible), and career advice (which can range from learning critical skills to mastering ‘soft’ skills necessary in the workplace).
To participate, CSE members simply have to fill out an application indicating their interest.

3. Short Courses

CSE offers short courses at the Annual Meeting. These courses cover a variety of topics, including publication management, journal metrics, and publication ethics, as well as courses aimed at individuals in specific roles (manuscript editors and journal editors).

4. Membership Program

Individuals must be CSE members to take advantage of the above programs. A Worldwide Student Member category is open to full-time students for $25 per year. These members enjoy the benefits of a worldwide membership, such as participating in the above programs, and two free webinars per year.
Please note: Student members are not eligible to hold CSE office and will receive digital-only access to Science Editor. The Membership application requires a copy of an enrollment certificate or a student ID.

As a student or early career professional, you might run into new terminology as you explore the communities that communicate science. With that in mind, we have assembled a glossary of key terminology. This list is not extensive; it is meant as an initial point for those new to the field.


Key Terminology

Scientific Journal: “Scientific journals represent the most vital means for disseminating research findings and are usually specialized for different academic disciplines or subdisciplines. Often, the research challenges common assumptions and/or the research data presented in the published scientific literature in order to gain a clearer understanding of the facts and findings. Depending upon the policies of a given journal, articles may include reports of original research, re-analyses of others’ research, reviews of the literature in a specific area, proposals of new but untested theories, or opinion pieces.”
Source: American Psychological Association. This particular statement is endorsed by both the Council of Editors and the Publications and Communications Board of the American Psychological Association.

Journal Article: “A scholarly or scientific research paper published in a journal within a specific field of study.”

Source: Editage Glossary.

Literature Review: “An evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research. Works which are irrelevant should be discarded and those which are peripheral should be looked at critically. A literature review is more than the search for information, and goes beyond being a descriptive annotated bibliography. All works included in the review must be read, evaluated and analysed. Relationships between the literature must also be identified and articulated, in relation to your field of research.”

Source: CQ University, Australia.

Abstract: “An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding, or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose.”

Source: Wikipedia.

Citation: “A reference to a published or unpublished source, typically denoted through an alphanumeric expression (e.g., Jones 84) embedded in the body of an academic text, for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others concerning the topic being discussed.”

Source: Editage Glossary.

Peer Review: “Peer review is the critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are not part of the editorial staff.”

Source: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

For more on peer-review, check out this The Conversation piece on the topic.

Impact Factor: “Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is calculated by Clarivate Analytics as the average of the sum of the citations received in a given year to a journal’s previous two years of publications.”

Source: Elsevier.

Retraction: “Retraction is a mechanism for correcting the literature and alerting readers to publications that contain such seriously flawed or erroneous data that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon. Unreliable data may result from honest error or from research misconduct. The main purpose of retractions is to correct the literature and ensure its integrity rather than to punish authors who misbehave.”

Source: COPE Retraction Guidelines.

Research Misconduct: “As a general guide, the term “research misconduct” applies to any action that involves mistreatment of research subjects or purposeful manipulation of the scientific record such that it no longer reflects observed truth. Research misconduct generally falls into one of the following areas: mistreatment of research subjects, falsification and fabrication of data, and piracy and plagiarism.”

Source: Council Of Science Editors’ Editorial Policies.

The Editorial Board

Although the composition of every scientific journal’s editorial board will vary according to the field and the journal’s scope, there are certain common positions.

The editor-in-chief is the lead individual and is ultimately responsible for the journal. Generally, they work with Managing Editors to manage the day-to-day operations of the journal. This will involve overseeing the editorial workflow (from pre-submission, to publication and post-publication details), upholding research integrity and ensuring that journal growth is sustainable.

The remainder of the editorial board consists of general editors (who may be further divided into associate or section editors), layout editors and copy-editors.

For more:

The Life of a Manuscript

Journal Publication Workflow infographic

Gaining Experience in Scientific Publishing


Below is a list of organizations that offer students a chance to explore publishing:

  • The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among the scholarly publication community. SSP offers a Fellowship Program for students and early career fellows, as well as a Mentorship Program.
  • Multiple student-run journals exist, where students (high-school, undergraduate, and graduate) can join the editorial board and participate in manuscript editing, editorial duties, and publishing. These journals may be affiliated with an academic institution or may be standalone publications.
  • A substantial list of undergraduate journals can be found here, courtesy of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Additionally, CSE’s Science Editor published a research article on student-run academic journals.
  • Multiple associations are dedicated to editors. These can be locally based, at a national level (e.g. Editors Canada), or expand to entire continents and more (the European Association of Science Editors, and of course, CSE!). These associations may host training courses or offer discounts for students and early career professionals.
  • Universities and colleges may offer publishing courses. A list of publication programs around the world can be found here, courtesy of the Simon Fraser University. Be sure to look up available courses in the post-secondary institution closest to you!

Recommended Books

Multiple books offer a perspective on scientific editing and publishing, including:

Resources to Help You Edit

  • Here is a list of free Word macros that can be used to complement your writing and editing. This is courtesy of Paul Beverley.
  • PerfectIt is a (paid) proofreading software.

Certification Opportunities

  • CSE offers a Publication Certificate Program. This involves attending two CSE Annual Meetings, completing three CSE webinars, two CSE short courses, and presenting a research project as a poster presentation at the CSE Annual Meeting or a publication in CSE’s Science Editor.
  • The Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) offers a certification examination for manuscript editors in the life sciences. To sit for the exam, applicants must submit materials, including a CV, three reference letters, and transcripts/diplomas. The BELS exam is offered each year in conjunction with CSE’s Annual Meeting.

Publication & Editorial Ethics

For students interested in learning more about publishing and editorial ethics: