MD Writing & Editing

Helping scientists get published

MD Writing & Editing

Helping scientists get published

My clients:

want to improve their writing skills

have little time to edit their own work

value the skills of a publishing professional.


My experience includes:

10 years as a writer and editor, and accreditation with the Australian Institute of Professional Editors

a PhD in neuroscience and 4 years working in medical research

5 years delivering workshops around Australia to help scientists write clearly and concisely.


My services are described briefly here. Please contact me to discuss your project in detail.


I can write report summaries, plain-English guides and meeting proceedings. I am able to quickly learn about a topic and write about it in a way that is easy to understand.


The term ‘editing’ means different things to different people. However, in general there are three distinct stages: substantive editing, copyediting and proofreading. I offer each of these services and would be happy to explain more about what each entails.


Writing is a critical skill for any job. Unfortunately, many people struggle through their career without the confidence or skills to convey their work in the best possible way. I can work with you to improve your writing skills.


My background

Hi, I’m Malini Devadas. Whether you are writing a grant application, a journal article or a technical report, readers form an opinion of you by the way you write. Some people will tell themselves ‘I’m just not a good writer’, thinking there is not much they can do about it. However, I believe, that with some guidance and practice, most people can improve their writing skills. That’s why I created MD Writing and Editing — to help you!


After completing my PhD at ANU in the 1990s, I moved to Japan to work in medical research for 4 years. However, I realised I was in the wrong career when I found that I enjoyed the writing more than the lab work! When I returned to Australia, I discovered that there is a career called editing, and I haven’t looked back since.

From 2004 I worked at Biotext, a leading consultancy in science publishing. In 2013 I launched MD Writing and Editing, to focus on academic publications and to help scientists and medical professionals improve their writing skills.

I became an accredited editor in 2009, passing a written exam administered by the Australian Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd). I have been active in the Canberra Society of Editors, serving as the Professional Development Coordinator for 2 years. I have also run highly acclaimed training courses for my peers through IPEd, the Australasian Medical Writers Association and the Australian Science Communicators.

Case studies

Editing text for an exhibition at Scienceworks, Museum Victoria

As this work was for a general audience, I had to use simple language while retaining scientific accuracy. Also, because of the strict space limitations for the text in the exhibition, I had to choose my words carefully.

Malini’s work was thorough and thoughtful and completed within tight deadlines. (KP, Melbourne)


Copyediting a journal article for a researcher with English as a second language

For this project, it was important not to get distracted by the grammatical errors, so that I could focus on the story that the data was telling.

Malini’s background as a scientist and her careful editing means that we trust her with our work. Thanks to her, our manuscript was accepted. (YK, Japan)


Working with a scientist to halve the length of a grant application

The author is a good writer, but he had a lot of information and a strict word limit. He was also too busy to spend time painstakingly removing words. I identified passages that could be deleted or greatly reduced. I also cut out extraneous words in most sentences.

What you have done is an almost impossible task. Thank you! (JT, Canberra)

Frequently asked questions

How much will it cost for you to edit my work?

That depends; how long is a piece of string? Every document is different and requires a different level of editing. In addition, editors work at different speeds, so an hourly rate alone does not tell you the total cost of a project. I prefer to see a draft of the document and find out the word count. I then talk to the client about what they think is required and what I think is required. Once we agree on this (taking into account time limits and budgetary constraints), I provide a written offer of a fixed price.


How do I know if I need help with my writing?

Contact me and let’s have a chat!

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