Cactus Communications Editor Reviews

Updated 5 Jul 2020

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2.8
57%
Recommend to a Friend
79%
Approve of CEO
Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
36 Ratings
  1. Helpful (8)

    "Reliable, generally interesting, but low paid"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Contractor - Editor 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for more than a year

    Pros

    * The company is reliable and honest, and co-workers are friendly and approachable. Working remotely means you are rather cut off from the corporate culture, but it seems good. As a contractor, you can get in touch easily with staff in HQ, this is harder as a freelancer. * They pay the correct amount on time without argument -- the only time I've had a problem with pay it was resolved quickly. * Being able to work from home is great. In theory you could work from anywhere with internet acess, but in practice the pay isn't enough to allow for travel. * Work is generally interesting, though variable. Some papers are a pleasure to read and to work on, others have really poor English and are hard to interpret (and virtually need to be rewritten), and others are dodgy and will likely not be accepted by a reputable journal. Nonetheless, they all need the same attention to detail... * They provide training, and will hire people with minimal experience, which is great if you're having trouble finding work due to lakc of experience.

    Cons

    * Pay is low by the standards of most western countries. Unless you are able to edit 4,000-6,000 words per day (remembering that some papers can require extensive editing or rewriting, and you need to factor in time to understand the intended meaning of particularly malformed English in some cases), you will not earn enough to live on if this is your only source of income. It is ok if you're living with family and not dependent on this to pay your rent. * The amount of work is variable, especially as a freelancer * Some papers can be difficult (very poor English) or dodgy (poor methodology, flawed hypothesis) and working on such papers is a bit depressing. Working on good papers that show interesting results but just need editing for language issues makes up for this. * Your work is expected to be perfect (free from errors, typos, in correct scientific English) regardless of how good or bad the original paper is, or the deadlines. No allowances are made for the fact that you've taken a paper that was barely readable and made it into one with a few small typos or grammatical errors in a very brief amount of time! * Deadlines are tight and must be met. This is unavoidable, of course, but can lead to some stress and a few late nights.

    Cactus Communications Response

    November 5, 2018Associate Vice President

    Thanks for sharing an honest and balanced view of your experience of working with CACTUS. I'm glad that you find our teams friendly and payment systems efficient. We worked hard to get here and have got miles to go to provide our freelancer community the best working experience anyone can offer. To help editors improve their earnings with CACTUS, I'd recommend signing up for our premium and higher value (non-editing) services. We're actively promoting such services to our customers, and the demand for these services has increased in the recent past too. Your CoE point of contact will be happy to share more details. The anonymity of this forum may work as a barrier sometimes, so I'm not sure if you've had a discussion regarding our premium services with your point of contact already. If you have more ideas about the services or related matters, feel free to email me at yasminc@cactusglobal.com. Finally, I understand that the content you edit may often be challenging to work on, but therein lies our purpose as an organization: helping all ESL researcher authors communicate their scientific contribution better to answer the world's many unresolved questions. For research that is path-breaking, our services work as a conduit for global outreach. For research that is developmental, our services work as an educative experience, so that a scientist's future research may improve and contribute to existing literature and findings. I hope that this ideology resonates with you too :)

  2. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "Not great"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Editor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    The job is flexible, so you can choose the projects you want to fit to your schedule. You can work from home which is great considering the current situation with COVID-19.

    Cons

    It is poorly compensated for the quality of work you're expected to turn out. It is linked to rating system where the Cactus editors will assign ratings to your work but you can lose points for minor issues which affects how much you'll be paid for subsequent work. Also, not all of the work you produce will be rated so it's not an accurate average. Some of the manuscripts require considerable reworking and it is difficult to read between the lines sometimes. What bothers me the most is that you're almost expected to write some of the work for the author. Without giving away too much, there are things that are required for the submission of a manuscript to a journal, apart from the main manuscript i.e. supporting documents. There are details that I believe should be written by the authors of the manuscript, otherwise it's borderline ghost-writing. As someone who has actually published work in medical journals, I would've never considered asking an editing service to write any part of my submission for me.

    Cactus Communications Response

    May 22, 2020Head, Editorial Services

    Hello, Thank you for sharing feedback. CACTUS is indeed glad to be able to continue to provide a source of income to our editors and freelancers around the world. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. I'm sorry you don't feel adequately compensated for your efforts. With regard to the quality rating affecting your fee on future assignments, please reach out to your point of contact; as an editor on contractor, that should not be the case. Our feedback is meant to be in line with the expectations of our customers - customers do expect there to be no seemingly minor errors, in addition to the major ones, and our feedback system is designed to reflect these expectations. We do of course consider the gravity and frequency of issues when rating an assignment. The frequency of feedback reduces with an increase in editor experience and quality scores, yes, in the hope that the feedback already provided has been helpful and the average score, representative of the overall quality of work. The requirements for different services vary, with additional components being included in higher-value services, commensurate with the rate offered for the higher-value services. Considering that most of our customers are ESL authors, we aim to support their specific needs within the boundaries of ethics guidelines in the publication industry. Best, Christine

  3. "Editor"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Editor 

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    Learnt a lot and worked with some great people.

    Cons

    There were some structural changes that negatively affected department morale.

  4. Helpful (3)

    "Freelancer"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Science Editor in Brisbane
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    Good flexibility to choose when you work, good frequency of assignments

    Cons

    Arbitrary feedback determines your payment rate, and the effort required for each edit is not accurately reflected by the remuneration

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  5. "Choose your own schedule, work from home"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Editor in Melbourne
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    I've never had to worry about a lack of assignments. The senior editors provide feedback on every job I do, which has helped me improve a lot. The online portal for receiving and submitting assignments is straightforward and easy to use.

    Cons

    As a freelancer, there isn't much room for advancement within the company. This is not really an issue, because this job is probably something you do in your spare time for a little bit of extra money anyway.

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  6. Helpful (5)

    "Glad I attempted, but not worth it."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Science Editor in Melbourne
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    Appreciated the flexibility to pick and choose your assignments.

    Cons

    The work is very involved and for low pay and then you receive unfair and often contradictory reviews.

    Continue reading
  7. "Short and Sweet"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Freelance Editor in Johannesburg

    I have been working at Cactus Communications part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I've been working for CACTUS as a freelance editor for just over a month. So far, the experience has been very positive. They have been relatively quick to respond to my emails and sort out issues, and the CRM dashboard is very user friendly.

    Cons

    It seems like there is a large discrepancy in the rates they offer to first world and third world country employees, based on the information from Glassdoor. I was offered $11 for standard and $18 for premium editing per 1000 words The allocation of the first assignments have been very slow - but I have anticipated it.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "I am enjoying every part of the job. It opens doors to many aspects regarding Medical Editing/ Medical Communication."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Medical Editor in Mumbai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, you get paid for the effort you do, excellent guidance, and very respectful staff.

    Cons

    You must make an effort to get to know the company's system. This not a bad thing per se but enable to proceed in this job a certain level of professionalism needs to be acquired.

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  9. "Facts matter and knowledge talks"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Editor in Johannesburg
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    CACTUS today has around 2,000 freelance and contractual editors, translators, copy-editors, alt-text writers, scientific reviewers, and other experts across 70 different countries. The organisation ranks #1 in a FlexJobs list of the top 25 companies to work for in the world, and for any professional engaging in remote work, or the gig economy, there can be few better organisations to partner with. CACTUS has emerged as one of the top 10 safe places to work for women and among the Best Companies for Millennials. But in truth, it is the quality of the people and the empathy with which they communicate that has stood out for me. An outstanding company, living true to the new era of remote working in a technically complex world. It can be interesting and exciting work. Editing the writing of engineering and scientific research all day, every day keeps you abreast of where this world is heading. It's like a brief peek into a crystal ball of future innovation.

    Cons

    It can be hard, mentally draining work. Editing the writing of engineering and scientific research all day, every day is mentally draining in spite of the exposure to world-class research. Pacing yourself, and resting mentally is an important part of succeeding at Cactus.

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