After I got a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in the USA in 1976, I worked in a hospital medical records department and occasionally substituted for the hospital’s regular Spanish-English interpreter before I moved to Spain in late 1977. I became a science, technical and medical (STM) translator and authors’ editor because I’ve always loved science and because there was a need for good research writing and publishing skills in my new environment.

Before long I learned about the inequities in STM research publication and saw that factors unrelated to science can affect reviewers’ and editors’ evaluations of manuscripts from developing countries and emerging research centers. Since the mid-1980s I have helped non-native users of English in Spain to prepare research articles that will meet readers’ expectations for content and clarity, and since the late 2000s I have done the same for researchers in the Eastern Mediterranean region through AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean (AAEM).

As a translator, technical editor, peer reviewer and trainer I’ve worked closely with journal editors and learned about the challenges they face in publishing high-quality research. My own research in peer review and editorial processes has tried to bridge the “cultural” gap between editors and researchers. One of the main aims of AAEM is to provide both researchers and journal editors with advice on how to overcome obstacles to the publication of research from countries where English is not the main language.