American Journal Experts Reviews | Glassdoor

American Journal Experts Reviews

Updated May 23, 2017
40 reviews

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2.5
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American Journal Experts CEO Shashi Mudunuri
Shashi Mudunuri
6 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work from home, ability to set your own work schedule, select as many assignments as you feel comfortable completing (in 21 reviews)

  • You can literally work from anywhere and meet goals and perform primary job functions (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The same was true of the managing editors, who were supposed to check the senior editor's work for mistakes (in 16 reviews)

  • Pay is low for the amount of time spent on papers; it takes a long time to get to the Senior Editor/bonus stage; you rarely get feedback on your edits (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Quality Control Editor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Control Editor in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Quality Control Editor in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Journal Experts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good flexibility in work environment, and they have gotten a lot better about work-life balance. They have great benefits and a profit sharing program that helps a little. Salary is just under being comparable to a full-time faculty at a state university. You can literally work from anywhere and meet goals and perform primary job functions. Some other meetings and things are more of a challenge, as they do not pay for home internet. They will get you your own computer, though, if this is an issue.

    Cons

    Work-life balance has been an issue in the past. Working from home is both a good and bad thing. They will pay for your travel to meetings, but traveling is not my favorite thign.


  2. "Editor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It feels like I'm on a permanent vacation because I hardly ever work (?)

    Cons

    The problem is that, apparently, I'm not fast enough when it comes to "accepting" work assignments. If you do not accept an assignment five seconds from the time it appears (via email or dashboard), you've lost out on the assignment because some other editor snagged it first. I feel like a hungry little bird sitting in a nest of hungry birds, waiting for Momma to come along and drop a worm in my mouth. It's demeaning. Given the horrible pay rate versus the amount of time it takes to edit the piece (all the other reviews are spot on), it's just not worth it. Tip: Work at Cactus Communications where editors are individually assigned several pieces per day, and are kept very busy.

    Advice to Management

    Change the way contractors receive/accept their work.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Great experience, but can be frustrating"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    There is always a lot of work, and you decide when/what to take on. Great way to get some experience.

    Cons

    Quality control scores are extremely inconsistent- a document you spent hours working on turning into readable English could get a poor score because you missed a period at the end of a sentence. Some quality control editors expect you to make major changes to the text, others penalize you if you do- no consistency.

    Advice to Management

    Standardize the QC process
    Allow freelancers to question/contest poor quality control scores


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Good Idea, Bad execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Independent Contract Editor
    Former Employee - Independent Contract Editor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Get to read research papers in progress and journal correspondence
    - Earn extra cash from home

    Cons

    - Poor pay for the amount of effort: $21 for up to 1500 words, $31 for up to 3500 words, $46 for up to 6000 words
    - Quite a few of the papers were dumped into Google translate, so editing takes far longer than you'd expect
    - No training for editors
    - Lack of QC consistency. Many different QC editors review your work, and edits that consistently garnered a score of 4 or 5 (out of 5) will out of nowhere be given a 3 by a different QC editor. Some of the QC edits are unnecessary or introduce errors (big no-no) into the text.


  5. Helpful (19)

    "Iffy company has gone further downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Editor (Contract) in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Editor (Contract) in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work from home, choose your own hours, efficient system of accepting assignments and getting paid

    Cons

    Low pay has recently become even lower. Too many contract editors, too few papers available. Management treats army of contractors with disdain.

    I edited for AJE for many years. The convenience and flexibility of working from home combined with my ability to quickly turn out high-quality work made this gig reasonably satisfying. However, AJE has gone so far downhill that I've finally given up on them.

    In its recent reorganization, AJE quit offering extra pay for short-turnaround assignments. They also reduced the pay for short-to-medium-length assignments (the vast majority of papers) while increasing the pay for the rarer very long papers.

    AJE has gone hog-wild recruiting editors (previously, you had to be associated with one of the top 15 universities; now they'll accept editors from hundreds of schools, which they pretend is a positive in the "coverage" map of the US on their website). Apparently, AJE's goal is to amass such a glut of contract editors that they can reduce their already measly pay to the lowest level that someone will be desperate enough to work for.

    The website's old discussion forum for contractors was abruptly removed a couple of years ago, and the once-frequent questionnaires asking contractors for suggestions for improvement have disappeared. Emails inquiring about changes to the company are ignored for weeks before a glib reply is received.

    As a senior editor, I worked on hundreds of papers previously edited by AJE's junior editors. Most did a slipshod job, and I don't blame them, given the pay. The same was true of the managing editors, who were supposed to check the senior editor's work for mistakes. Most seemed to quickly skim the paper, making a few random changes that were usually unnecessary and sometimes introduced blatant errors.

    Recently, very few papers have been available for contract editors to claim - hopefully, this indicates that AJE's customer base has grown tired of the low-quality work churned out by this exploitative editing factory.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more and attract better editors. Drop the BS about being a "for benefit" company - you pursue the bottom line more aggressively than most typical "evil" corporations.


  6. Helpful (18)

    "Borderline Fraudulent and Exploitative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Ann Arbor, MI
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working from home. Exposure to the world of editing. Some stuffing for your CV/resume.

    Cons

    Here are the cons: Very, very low pay. Managing editors seemed to skim the edited papers to randomly find for mistakes where there were none. No respect for your expertise (I have over 20 publications in top journals). An unstated expectation that you are to effectively rewrite papers that were previously dumped into Google Translate. No praise for finding plagiarized passages. You have to mostly edit very bad science. Most of the papers read like a tautology and have no hope of ever being published in a good English language journal.

    Advice to Management

    You are basically offering a service to people that have no hope of getting published in good journals. This is borderline fraudulent because you claim to help them do so. You abuse your editors and get away with this because there is an oversupply of PhDs. This is exploitative. I have saved all of the papers I have edited and can back up all of these statements.


  7. Helpful (17)

    "PSA for other AJE freelancers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Journal Experts part-time

    Pros

    The flexibility is nice, if limited. Manuscripts can be interesting. Academics can polish up their writing skills for use in their own publications.

    Cons

    Self-employment taxes. AJE incorrectly classifies their freelance editors as independent contractors when they qualify as employees under IRS guidelines for federal employment tax purposes. Multiple former editors have filed Form SS-8 with the IRS for determination of worker employment status and been found to be employees.

    Advice to Management

    Start classifying your editors as employees before you get a class action lawsuit.

  8. Helpful (11)

    "Contract editor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Journal Experts (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work from home at your own pace (more or less). I can't think of anything else to fill the 20 word minimum.

    Cons

    Minimum wage for intense, skilled work.
    Expect burnout, lack of respect from an exploitative employer.
    If you like working at a fast-food joint, you will love working at AJE.

    Advice to Management

    Start treating the people who do the work with respect of they will leave to places like Upwork, where they can deal with the clients directly and keep 80% of the value they create rather than 10-20%


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Convenient, sometimes decent pay, can be time time-consuming"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Enfield, CT
    Current Employee - Contract Editor in Enfield, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - exposure to lots of different fields
    - chance to considerably improve your editing skills
    - work from anywhere
    - pay is okay if you have a knack for editing

    Cons

    - pay can be low. Pay is based on length with no consideration of difficulty. That said, I do not make "less than minimum wage as described by some people. I record my time and make anywhere from $15-45/hour, probably coming out to the 25/hr that they claim.
    - the editing they expect is often beyond the scope of what is described by the standard editing job. I often work. On papers that require substantial revision and rewarding to pass as English-speaking, and if do not make those changes, my spotcheck score is low.
    - extremely inconsistent quality control editing standards.

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate your services, editor expectations, and scoring standards. The quality that the QC editors expect is far beyond the the level of editing described by the service. Otherwise, pay your editors more.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Below Market Rate, Unpredictable Workload, Lack of Transparency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Contract Translator
    Current Employee - Contract Translator

    Pros

    Ability to work remotely. Sometimes the topics are interesting. Opportunity to contribute to scientific advancement and to broaden own horizon.

    Cons

    Below market rate for the type of material for translation. Workload is very uneven and unpredictable. There's no feedback on translation quality and a lack of clarity on how work is assigned.

    Advice to Management

    Raise the per word rate paid to contract translators. Provide feedback to contract translators so they can improve the quality of their work as well.


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