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NIH Library Writing Center: Editing Service

Editing Service

We can provide editing services and suggest resources to help you get your draft ready for peer-review. We provide light and medium editing for NIH-related work. As the writer, you have the option to accept or reject our editing suggestions. In order to serve all NIH staff who request editing assistance, we leave it to you to perform in-depth editing and make all revisions. This free service is available to NIH and HHS affiliate staff only.

Light Editing includes:

  • Identifying needed corrections in spelling, word usage, grammar, and punctuation
  • Cross-checking text with elements such as tables and figures for correct association
  • Reviewing text to suggest changes that could improve consistency

Medium Editing includes:

  • Suggesting text and heading changes that create parallel structure
  • Ensuring consistency of a journal style according to the publisher's instructions to authors
  • Noting where passive voice might be changed to active voice
  • Flagging writing that could be made clearer for the reader

Editing services are available to NIH badge holders. We provide assistance when preparing documents for reporting or presentations, such as:

  • Manuscripts
  • Book chapters
  • Protocols
  • Case studies
  • Posters
  • PowerPoint slides

We are unable to edit the following types of documents:

  • Alien of Extraordinary Ability, "green card" application letters
  • Congressional reports
  • Grant applications
  • Job applications
  • Manuscripts written for non-NIH related work (other agencies or academia)
  • Medical/graduate school personal statements
  • Resumes or CVs
  • Theses or dissertations
  • Whole books


Writing-related reference books are available to answer many of your questions about grammar or formatting of resumes/CVs, etc. The books are on the shelves in the physical Writing Center, located on the lower level of the NIH Library. NIH staff may photocopy relevant pages for personal use at the copier located on the main level of the Library, across from the Information Desk. Online resources are available from the Online Resources tab.

For more information about the Editing Service or to request editing assistance, call the Information Desk at 301-496-1080 or email the Writing Center Team. (NOTE: This service is available to NIH and HHS affiliate staff only. Please wait to send your document until instructed.).

Plagiarism Checking Service

Plagiarism—whether intentional or not—is damaging to any researcher’s career. Avoid the embarrassment of having your supervisor or a journal editor call you out for not citing a source for information in your journal article.

To help NIH authors check their work, the NIH Library offers Plagiarism Checking Service. Upon request, an editor will analyze your NIH work-related journal article manuscript using the Library’s licensed iThenticate software and send you the report. The service is free and confidential. Requestors must be identified as the first, last, or corresponding author of the unpublished manuscript.

Read the Office of Research Integrity’s (ORI) guidance on plagiarism at:

Read Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on dealing with plagiarism, retractions, and other ethical challenges at:

To request an iThenticate report, email the NIH Library Writing Center. (Please do not send your manuscript until instructed to do so.)

Additional Editing Support

Fellows and students have access to other formal writing and editing programs.

Fellows Editorial Board
Fellows have the option to submit ready-for-publication manuscripts to the Fellows Editorial Board. Submissions are accepted electronically and require a ten-day turn-around. This is a comprehensive editing service provided by volunteer scientific editors.

NIDA Editing Service
Researchers, fellows, and other NIDA staff can contact Mary Pfeiffer, editor/writer, for assistance editing manuscripts and work-related documents. Contact Mary Pfeiffer via email or call 443-740-2447.

Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE)
Postdoctoral fellows, postbacs, and summer interns have writing classes and career counseling support available through the OITE.

Contact Us

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NIHL Writing Center
NIH Library, Building 10

(physical Writing Center located on the B1 Level in the Library)

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