Category Archives: General Announcements

20 countries and 17 first languages!

After adding Malaysia and Malay to the lists today, I’ve now edited material by authors from 20 countries with 17 first languages. It’s such a pleasure working with bright people from around the world!

To celebrate this milestone, I’m offering a 15% discount to any authors whose first language is not English who book work with Science Refinery now through next Friday, 7/18. Contact me today to take advantage of these savings.

It’s the anniversary of my full-time copyeditor status!

One year ago today, I declared that I was officially done with my graduate school responsibilities and was a full-time copyeditor with Science Refinery. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long already! It’s been a challenging but rewarding experience. Thank you to all of my clients for making Science Refinery a success and to my family and friends for your support. I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

Website updates and listification

As promised last week, I updated* the Science Refinery website yesterday. You may notice minor changes in wording and formatting throughout, but the important stuff is listed below.

The countries of origin and first languages of the authors I’ve edited for so far are now all listed on the Why Choose Science Refinery page. They range from Belgium to Taiwan and Catalan to Swedish.

The project types and subject areas of the pieces I’ve edited so far are now all listed on the Range of Projects I Work On page. They range from academic journal articles to website copy and biology to statistics.

Finally, I put a new picture of me working at my standing desk (I’ll post about that soon!) on the home page. In it you can see this poster from The Oatmeal about “Why working from home is both awesome and horrible,” my shelf of various diplomas and awards, and the beautiful spring day out my open window.

Lauren at standing desk

By the way, don’t forget that any projects for IMFAR booked now through 5/12 will receive a 20% discount!

*Case in point about why even I need an editor sometimes: I originally wrote “made some updates to” instead of the simpler, more powerful “updated.” Blech.

Science Refinery: Now with more Rhodes Scholar endorsements!

I am so proud to announce that Science Refinery is now officially endorsed by a Rhodes Scholar! Each year only 32 students from across the country get selected for this honor, so it’s kind of a Big Deal. I worked with Drew Birrenkott, currently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison but soon to be headed to the University of Oxford, last fall to help him prepare for the rigorous in-person interview process. (Remember, Science Refinery can help you improve more than just your written articles! Check out the range of projects I work on here.)

Drew sent me his application essay and CV as well as documentation about common questions that previous applicants experienced so I could be the best mock interviewer possible. After reading through all the materials and jointly planning how we could use our sessions most effectively, we met via Skype to practice several times. Together we worked on everything from content to style to body language. I could tell Drew’s confidence improved greatly throughout the process, and when it was time for the real thing, I knew he would shine.

And shine he did! A few weeks later I got an excited call from Drew that he had been selected as the Rhodes Scholar from his region. Though of course all of the credit goes to Drew for his impressive work over the years, I am thrilled that I got to play some small part in his victory by working with him on interview practice through Science Refinery.

Without further ado, you can watch Drew discuss his experience with Science Refinery in this video. The transcript follows in case you’re unable to watch the video.

Hi, my name is Drew Birrenkott, I am a 2014 Rhodes Scholar, and I had the opportunity to work with Science Refinery on my Rhodes interview prep. What I appreciated most about Science Refinery was their flexibility. I have a very busy weekday schedule, and Science Refinery was able to work around that and we were able to find time on nights and weekends to meet and prepare.

Additionally, I had a lot of flexibility in the interview sessions themselves. At first, we were taking it question by question and discussing the answers afterwards. But as the interview day got closer, we sort of shifted gears and were doing full interview prep and discussing it all at the end, which was really helpful.

And the last thing I really appreciated about Science Refinery was their preparation. Before we even met, it was clear they had done a lot of work reading through my application materials and preparing hard, thought-provoking questions, which is a big thing for the Rhodes interview, as that’s what they try to do with all of their questions. So I really appreciated that level of preparation and it really made my Rhodes interview itself much better.

I would strongly recommend Science Refinery for all of your interview needs.

Happy National Grammar Day!

Happy National Grammar Day, dear readers! For an interesting discussion of the difference between what laypeople mean when they say grammar and what specialists mean by grammar, see this post on the Copyediting blog.

If you’re in the mood to celebrate language–or if you’re just in the mood to save some money!–don’t forget that you can buy a $100 Science Refinery gift certificate for only $85 through tomorrow.

A perfect holiday gift for that special academic in your life

Still wondering what to get that special academic in your life for the holidays? How about the gift of time: save them the hassle of designing that poster, putting together that PowerPoint, or reading through that thesis again by giving them a gift certificate for Science Refinery!

Contact me through the General Inquiry form, email me at, or call me at 406.880.0224 to discuss the options today. I can send a certificate of any denomination digitally or by mail.

As a random holiday bonus, here’s a picture of my cat Mateo in his ill-fitting elf costume from last Christmas. I promise that anyone who receives a Science Refinery gift certificate will be significantly less grumpy than this: