INASP deal means manuscript checking won't cost a Penny for Global South researchers

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INASP’s AuthorAID project has formed a partnership with, an automated manuscript checking service.

Penelope automatically analyses scientific papers and makes suggestions on correct structure, reporting ethics and guidelines, referencing, and authorship.

The AuthorAID project supports early-career researchers in the Global South in publishing and communicating their work by providing free online training, resources, and an online mentoring and collaboration system.

Through this new partnership, Penelope will offer its tool free of charge to the AuthorAID network, under the name 'AuthorAID manuscript checker, powered by Penelope'. Created specifically for AuthorAID, this version also provides additional support by recommending free resources on the AuthorAID website and elsewhere on the web.

The tool will be useful to authors who are preparing to submit a manuscript to a journal by reducing the likelihood of rejection due to structural or reporting errors. The service has been trialled with 60 AuthorAID users who rated the tool very highly – the average score was 8/10. Although designed primarily for life sciences, most of the advice offered by the tool is applicable to other research areas. It will now be available to the whole AuthorAID community and beyond for free.

Andy Nobes, programme officer at INASP, said: 'Through our experience with running large-scale online courses in research writing for thousands of early-career and mid-career researchers in developing countries, we know that many struggle with structuring their papers, and how to include the correct ethical and data guidelines. This can be can be a significant barrier to successfully publishing and sharing their research, which has a knock-on effect on scientific progress and therefore development.'

James Harwood, of Penelope, said: 'We are very pleased to support AuthorAID and to get feedback from a wider range of users. We want Penelope to be valuable and accessible to authors from all backgrounds. Integrating AuthorAID’s resources enriches the feedback Penelope gives and makes those resources more discoverable to the authors that need them.'

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