You may have come upon this blog because you’re looking for help with your writing. You may need proofreading or editing for your dissertation, papers, reports, or other projects. You may be a grad or doctoral student and have come upon Dave’s vlog or blog site and then realized he also runs an editing proofreading service. Some of you may already be providing editing services on the site and giving back to a community of writers and students by helping them improve their writing and projects.
In short, R3ciprocity.com is a peer review resource that allows you to earn credits by reviewing other writers’ work, then use the credits when you need a paper or project peer reviewed and edited. Dave called it the R3ciprocity Project because it’s about giving your services and receiving services in return, very much in line with the idea of the sharing economy. Whether you stumbled on this post by accident or are already part of the community, read on for more information about the R3ciprocity.com project and its many different facets.
This post was written by Dr. Stephanie A. Bosco-Ruggiero (PhD in Social Work from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service) and Jessica Russell (freelance writer) on behalf of Dr. Dave Maslach for the R3ciprocity project (check out the YouTube Channel or the writing feedback software). R3ciprocity.com helps students, faculty, and researchers by providing an authentic look into PhD and academic life and how to be a successful researcher. For over four years, the project has been offering advice, hope, and encouragement to students and researchers around the world.
Making it easy to learn proofreading skills
We often think we are not actually very good at spotting things in our own writing or have become blind to the words on our screens. When you are working diligently and have spent a lot of time going over and over what you have written things like typos, grammatical errors, and gaps in information can become invisible.
Here is Dave discussing the art of editing, in one of his first vlogs for his R3ciprocity YouTube channel! Dave’s first vlogs were a bit short. Notice how they got lengthier as he gained experience as a vlogger!
You don’t have to be a professional editor to use r3ciprocity.com. That is not what this platform is about. R3ciprocity is for both amateur and professional editors. Professional editors may begin to use the platform more as we make it more of a hub. We already have a lot of professional editors on the platform! Yet, it’s also for individuals that want to learn and develop editing skills and join a community of research and writing peers. It is about students, those new to academia, established professionals, and anyone inside and outside academic across many different fields, who simply need some feedback on their writing.
It’s really easy at the beginning to join and to participate in the R3ciprocity writing/editing platform. As a beginner, you edit for free for a while to build some ability. Then as you start participating for credits, you can either use these credits to receive feedback and editing services yourself or you can cash in the credits that you earn. If you’re a writer in need of editing and peer review of your writing, it’s easy to purchase credits for that purpose as well. You can also get confidential editing. Check out this blog about the ins and outs of using the R3ciprocity.com editing / proofreading platform.
Here are some of the benefits of r3ciprocity.com:
- Get feedback on your writing. Remove errors, and improve the flow of your writing.
- Help others get feedback on their writing. Learn as you help others with their writing.
- Earn credits by providing feedback to others.
- You are helping future scientists and science in general by using the service.
- Find editors who are willing to give you feedback.
- Buy or earn credits to get feedback on your own work.
- Build and participate in a community of scholars.
- Project was designed by a Professor of Innovation.
How does the platform work?
- You upload your document, manuscript, or report. Use r3ciprocity credits to send it for review. We put it in a queue to be reviewed by one of your peers on the website. We have also built in a lot of other tools into the system, so you can take advantage of our plagiarism, tone-checker, and many other features!
- You can also request a job from the queue. Once you receive a document, you download it, make corrections, write a few comments, and then send it back.
- The owner receives the edited document and sees the corrections that were made.
- They rate your reviewing ability and provide feedback on your editing.
- You then earn R3ciprocity credits for free editing of your own work.
- Or, you can purchase R3ciprocity credits immediately.
- Still have questions? Check out these FAQs.
How do you check your own writing for errors?
As a user of the R3ciprocity platform you will become a stronger editor and proofreader, and this will be beneficial when you have to edit and proofread your own work. But proofreading your own work can be even tougher than proofreading someone else’s. There is a sort of behavioral science behind why it’s so difficult to check for errors in your own work. It actually has to do with us being very efficient processors of information. Dave has explained that he knows this reasoning sounds illogical when talking about how our brains being efficient can act as a detriment to proofreading your own work but it’s really interesting to understand.
He described it this way: because we are wired to process information, our brains are also wired to take little shortcuts and skip words and sentences that fit patterns the brain recognizes. (Check out this video on Heuristics and Biases that Dave did.) What is happening is much like searching for food in the brush. If you can imagine thousands of years ago, going out and foraging for food or hunting for animals, you can’t look at every point in the distance all at once to find food immediately. Your eyes tend to focus on the background and look for movement (animals), bright colors (berries for foraging), or patterns and trends that are outside the norm (miles of plains and bushes). This allowed hunters to see the outliers in a more broad view. Much like sensing movement with peripheral vision. Human beings are really good at spotting trends because they economize on their resources. They take a broad view and look for anomalies or things that don’t fit.
In a modern day setting related to editing and proofreading what that means is that ideally we would be processing or thinking about our own writing and work like machines by looking at every single word. We would be checking our work in incremental steps, writing sequentially and thinking through each word to perfect our work as we create it. But, that is not the way that humans actually are. Check out Dave’s vlog on proofreading hacks for more tips:
Blinded by our own words
When we edit and look for patterns in a series of words in a row, our brains assume what the next word will be based on patterns and language. We skip over words to make a “whole” out of a pattern of words and even the shapes that form the letters that make the words. We automatically skim through and skip those particular words and sentences without noticing or intending to do so. It is especially true when we become blind to our work from spending so much time trying to perfect it.
Case in point:
“Y1u cjn roed thfs. Maschxnes f;hd tius v3ry dyffscupt.”
We each have a set pattern of how we speak, our common language and tempo to our words and when we read over what is written we tend to not pay attention to missing commas because in our minds we’ve already paused where a comma should go. And then we move on. That is completely natural. It’s actually unnatural for us to force ourselves to think in a way that we have to do things step by step by step by step. And that means that we are going to make mistakes, a lot of mistakes.
To help avoid this, there are a few things you can do yourself.
- Walk away – take time away from your writing to clear your head. Some people will take up to a week or two and come back with a fresh perspective. And often, it’s like it was written by a different person and you can see more places where edits are needed.
- Read out loud – by forcing yourself to read it out loud you can catch words that are out of place, misspelled or where punctuation is needed. It also can help you to see if there are any gaps where you need to add information, or conversely, remove redundancies.
- Ask for help – use your peers to review your work, and if you are not comfortable sharing your work within your local network, R3ciprocity is a wonderful tool and community to join. When you don’t want to burden those around you, who often are struggling with their own workload, having another community and many sets of eyes to review your work tends to shine a light on errors and mistakes, along with typos, missing and redundant information, as well as just plain grammatical errors.
Become part of a great community of writers and researchers
The vision for R3ciprocity.com was not only to create a proofreading and editing platform, but also to build a great community where people could share their research ideas and projects, experiences as grad or doctoral students and researchers, discuss the nuances of research, and share writing challenges. Over the years, the R3ciprocity.com community has grown. Dave’s vlogs have been viewed by a million people and the blog site has generated a high readership. On occasion, Dave also asks readers to respond to short surveys that gauge how the community is feeling about different topics, most related to being a student or academia.
The feedback provided on the vlog and blog sites have stimulated interesting discussion and people have connected with Dave and other users to talk about challenges they are facing and how the community can help them. Read more about the R3ciprocity community here in a blog post we wrote a few months ago. So the benefits of becoming part of the community go far beyond the proofreading service; R3ciprocity is also a blog site and YouTube vlog site, and a community.
Earn some extra cash
R3ciprocity.com was created from Dave’s experiences with his own work and the work of students who were exhibiting a need for a writing peer review platform that offers reliable editing services. He also envisioned it as a place where writers and researchers could hone their own skills as editors and proofreaders. After all, when you develop strong proofreading, editing, and reviewing skills, your writing also becomes stronger.
For students, the sharing economy of R3ciprocity.com is a no-brainer. It’s a give and take. You edit, earn credits, and then use them to get your own work reviewed. But some people tend to go beyond serving students’ editing needs and truly enjoy editing and online proofreading. R3ciprocity.com is also a great resource for those who put the effort in and become that reliable source for others.
But don’t forget, earning credits can also turn into earning money. You won’t become a millionaire, but working as an editor through the platform can earn you some extra cash. At any research educational facility and at large state institutions there are a lot of people graduating in the humanities and the social sciences who are often looking for part-time work while looking for a full-time job. Students with loans and expenses also need to supplement their income.
Here is Dave talking more about the potential to earn some extra cash by being a proofreader/editor on R3ciprocity.com.
The bottom line
For students there is always a huge need for skilled editors and it’s often hard to identify people that are talented and reliable without the benefit of a platform like r3ciprocity.com. The benefits are great, and the community and networks you can build are important while earning your PhD, or writing your dissertation. And for those who are looking for extra income, many of which have been in those same shoes, it’s a great way to make extra money while doing work that you love.