Matthew Stevens, ScienceScape® Editing

Matthew Stevens

Author of

Cover of Matthew's book Subtleties of Scientific Style

Click on the cover to download this book (1 MB download).

Subtleties of Scientific Style fills the gaps left by other style guides and books on editing. This book distils over two decades of experience, explaining subtle but significant errors that authors can make and many subtle tricks that can make a work more readable. Topics include:

  • Achieving an editorial Gestalt
  • Common errors—danglers, fillers, misapplied modifiers, shortcuts
  • Errors of reasoning—begging the question, teleology, size comparisons
  • Expression—first-person science, order of events, parallel narratives
  • Tricky terms—applied, based on, due to, respectively

And two handy character charts for Macintosh- and Windows-based editors who are tired of hunting around for special characters.

If you like it, please send me US$7 or A$7 by PayPal. To send money, all you need is a PayPal account (set up in a few minutes) and my e-mail address: Please type in your name as the identifier so I know who sent the money.

In addition, you can order the hard copy from me (B5, 112 pages + cover, 275 g) for US$15 or A$15, plus US$10 postage for outside Australia or A$10 for within Australia and NZ. (If you want to order multiple copies, ask me to calculate the postage.)

To order a printed copy, please e-mail me your postal details. When PayPal notifies me that the money has arrived, I shall mail off the book to you. It is important that you type in your name as the PayPal identifier or I might not be able to work out who has sent the money.

If you have already paid for the PDF and wish to order a hard copy, please deduct that amount from your payment. So if you paid A$7 for the PDF and order a hard copy, please send A$8 plus postage.

Cover of Matthew's book Writing Science in English

Click on the cover to download this book (2.7 MB download).

Writing Science in English is intended as a "how-to" guide for Japanese scientists who are required to write in English for publication. It is based on over 25 years of my experience working as a scientific editor with Japanese authors. It covers all of the common errors I see, and provides a basic structure for writing scientific papers in English, along with examples. It starts with a background to the English language and why it is so annoying. Then it presents the basic structure of a scientific paper. Then it shows examples of how to write and how not to write, and why.

If you find this book helpful, please send ¥1000 or $10 via PayPal.

No printed copies are available, only the PDF, but you can print out the PDF if you want.

表紙をクリックして本書をダウンロードしてください(2.7 MBダウンロード)。

拙著Writing Science in Englishは、英語で出版物の執筆をしなければならない日本人科学者のためのハウツーガイドとなることを意図して書かれています。本書は、日本人著者と25年にわたって科学編集者として仕事をしてきた私の経験に基づいており、私がよく目にする誤りをすべて網羅し、英語で科学論文を執筆するための基本構造を例とともに提供しています。まず、英語という言語の背景と、英語の面倒な点から始め、科学論文の基本構造を提示し、次いで、論文の書き方の例と、適切でない書き方の例、そしてその理由を述べています。


ScienceScape Editing banner

Top-quality, fast
freelance scientific editing
by Matthew Stevens

Matthew Stevens           Tel:     +61 2 9484 5725
42 Dartford Road          Fax:     +61 2 9481 8395 (AEST BH)
Thornleigh NSW            E-mail:
Australia 2120            WWW:


Substantive scientific editing, technical editing, publication design, DTP. Plain English. Naturalising English written by authors from non-English-speaking backgrounds.

Type of material

Scientific papers, conference proceedings, technical reports, annual reports, books.

Subject specialities

Agriculture, horticulture, genetics, ecology, environment, medicine, biological sciences.


Over 35 years as a scientific editor; 2 years at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney; 10 years with NSW Agriculture; freelance since 1995.

Recent clients include:


Subtleties of Scientific Style, 2007.

Writing Science in English, 2021.

What Cut Flower Is That?, by Bettina Gollnow and Delwyn Thomas, 2022

Volume editor of Spray Oils Beyond 2000 book, published by the University of Western Sydney, 2002.


B.Sc.Agr. (Sydney), M.App.Sci. (UWSH), ELS(D)*.

*ELS(D), or Diplomate Editor in the Life Sciences, is the highest accreditation available for scientific editing. Awarded by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, USA, it is an independent, objective guarantee that the holder meets the highest standards of proficiency in editing. Only a few dozen people worldwide have been awarded this accreditation.

Computer services

Any word processor format (files are returned in MS Word with tracked changes); Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher. All work is done electronically.


Uncomplicated language is essential for clear communication. Properly used, plain English can increase comprehension without reducing meaning.


Available on request.


A$120 an hour + 10% GST (assume 1800 words/hour, slower for poorly written text, faster for well written).

You can e-mail me at or write to me at:

42 Dartford Road
Thornleigh NSW
Australia 2120
Telephone: +61 (0)2 9484 5725
Mobile: +61 (0)407 014 104

Last updated 1 June 2023