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Dr Spouse

It's too long!

This is often the case with my articles. It is partly not my fault - I work in a slightly unusual area and my background and methods end up incredibly long as I need to explain everything so that it is comprehensible to people who work in a more mainstream area. And then I always get reviewers' comments back saying I haven't explained X or Y.

I'm sending an article to a different journal after it was rejected and the word limit is 5000 words. I have over 7000.... There is scope for longer articles "with good reason" and I think I have some good reasons but I really want to get it down under 7000....
Xiongmao

Oh, I know. It's a pain, isn't it?

I'm in a science area, and we're usually subject to page limits. These are rigorously enforced. So I end up having to edit sentences line by line to cram in the maximum amount of fully-justified text on each line in order to save an extra line or two per page...

I know where you're coming from with the technical explanation, though. My work tends to be quite technical too, so the elegant problem is how to fit a large amount of technical explanation (probably less than the minimum necessary in my mind) into as succinct a form as possible. It is like writing prose.

Another side to this problem could be that I am quite early career and I have yet to master the art of writing using the minimum number of words, even though I am much better at that than I used to be.

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