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Cactus Communications Freelance Medical Editor Reviews

Updated Mar 15, 2021

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Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
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  1. 1.0
    Former Freelancer, less than 1 year

    If you are a doctor or HCP, don't join!

    Mar 15, 2021 - Freelance Medical Editor in Mumbai
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    No specific day/night timing. You work at any time you can. But that does not mean you will have less work, it will take hours to complete each assignment.

    Cons

    NOT FOR DOCTORS OR OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS! What Cactus wants are ENGLISH GRAMMAR reviewers. They will not use your opinions in editing, they don't want any input, they do not want your years of training and experience. All they want are grammar checkers! They have English language guidelines, 100s of them, and wants you to follow them to the point. That is your only job. Nothing else. If you are a doctor(mbbs/bds/bhma/bams)/nurse/Pharm - you will be wasting your years of valuable education working for them as english language tutors to Japanese and Chinese medical doctors, correcting their poor english. This is not a side gig. It's full time, will take all your time. They might entice you with high salary for word counts. But these word counts depend on how well you make changes and corrections. You might think you can earn a lot, when you won't! The negligible pay, without any benefits (because you will only be an independent contractor with CACTUS), IS NOT WORTH IT! If you are a health care professional, do what you are trained to do. Don't be an English language reviewer at Cactus!

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    3 people found this review helpful

    Cactus Communications Response

    Associate Freelancer Management

    Hi! Thank you for sharing your feedback about your experience of working with us. We’re glad that you felt positively about the flexibility in time-schedule. However, we’re very disheartened to learn that you felt that your subject matter expertise in the field of Medicine was underutilized. We want you to know that we have a sizeable proportion of doctors from diverse specialities associated with us who offer Premium Editing Service (PES) to authors and provide valuable inputs from their areas of expertise. Moreover, we also engage medical practitioners with advanced degrees to offer their services in medical writing. If you like, you can explore these opportunities with us. The pay a freelancer takes home when associated with us depends on a lot of factors such as their editing speed, the working hours they are able to devote to assignments and their productivity in terms of the volume of assignments that they turn in every month. Often, there is a learning curve involved with beginners in the field of editing, but from what we have seen so far, the average freelancer adapts quickly and begins a submitting a fair number of client-ready assignments within a few months of association. We provide necessary support through swift resolution of queries along with providing access to a rich library of online editing resources. We also have an incentive system in place to reward freelancers who are consistent in terms of quality, productivity and client satisfaction. This helps them earn an attractive bonus on top of their fee. Thus, the earnings are different for every freelancer. If you would like me to answer any other queries or as mentioned before, explore opportunities in medical writing, do reach out to me at: amrita.anand@cactusglobal.com. Regards, Amrita Anand Associate, Freelancer Management

  2. 2.0
    Current Contractor, less than 1 year

    Unrealistic Expectations for Contract Work

    Aug 14, 2015 - Freelance Medical Editor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The work is flexible, intellectually engaging at times, and can be done from home remotely. One learns quite a bit in the process. Managing editors are fairly responsive.

    Cons

    They seem to treat contractors as if they are employees, but without any of the attendant benefits - chiding you if you turn down an assignment, requiring reasons for unavailability or rejecting an assignment, and attempting to dock your pay after an agreed-upon fee if the work fails to conform to persnickety client standards. Also, some assignments are in such bad shape that no amount of editing can rescue them, and one spends hours in the attempt, only to be given a low assessment, which affects future pay. This does not provide a great incentive for contractors, particularly since high performance (other than sheer volume) does not positively influence pay. While some assignments are relatively straightforward, no distinction is made between those and the ones that are virtually indecipherable, and work on the latter brings pay scale to below minimum wage in most cases. They are quick to scold in the event of error, but slow to praise or reward for success, and in a freelance situation, where there is no career advancement possible, this is not a sustainable model, IMO. The freelance editors generally must be quite talented to perform to expected levels, but they are managed like they work in a sweatshop. If the labor pool is unskilled, this can work out, but educated, high-performing workers have many other options, particularly now in an improving economy.

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    15 people found this review helpful
  3. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Freelance Medical Editor

    Sep 5, 2016 - Freelance Medical Editor in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    +Can pick work to fit own schedule +Normally sufficient assignments +Staff generally quick to get back to queries +Simple online system to monitor all assignments +Payments given regularly +Reasonable earning potential (I've earned about $2,500 per month on average)

    Cons

    -Quality of the assignments can vary massively with no difference in the renumeration -Assignments are score on a four-point scale and are used to assess the quality of a freelancer's work. This is applied inconsistently, sometimes refers to assignments that you have not worked on, and rarely takes into account the level of the effort required for the original assignment. -Customer feedback-based productivity bonus. If you have any negative feedback then you're no longer eligible for a bonus. The negative feedback does not have to be justified and is often not related to the quality of the editing but the success of the author in having their article accepted for publication.

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    8 people found this review helpful
  4. 1.0
    Former Freelancer, more than 1 year

    High expectations, low salary

    Nov 24, 2015 - Freelance Medical Editor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Cactus demands the very best from their freelancers. Most of the feedback from their reviewers is constructive, and you will become a better editor in the long run. If you are looking to start a freelance career, this can be a good place to get your feet wet and hone your skills before moving on to an organization with a better pay rate.

    Cons

    Most of the manuscripts are written by authors who are not native English speakers and therefore require an incredible amount of editing. Given the lower rate that Cactus pays, I sometimes made less than minimum wage on a manuscript. If an author has questions about your edits, you are required to provide comprehensive answers and you receive nothing additional for providing this service.

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    11 people found this review helpful
  5. 1.0
    Former Contractor, less than 1 year

    Not ideal for experienced medical editors.

    Sep 3, 2014 - Freelance Medical Editor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I was impressed at the company's hiring process. I had to submit my resume like a standard job application. I had to take a copy editing test and provide samples of publications I had worked on. The screening process required me to prove that I was qualified to copy edit medical documents. The screening process was very organized and they appeared to have high standards on who they hired. I was sent consistent work.

    Cons

    I worked for Cactus as a freelance medical editor. I did not freelance for them long. For one, pay is determined according to the word count in a document, not by how many hours it takes to edit the document. This is a significant issue when manuscripts are generally poor quality and require an extensive amount of time to edit them thoroughly. The pay is incredibly low (less than minimum wage) when you do the math. Cactus expects you to be available to freelance constantly. If you tell them you can edit 10 hours a week, they will send you invitations to edit constantly. If you decline an invitation on Tuesday, the next day, you will be invited to edit gain. When you decline a couple times, or select dates of unavailability, you will be sent emails asking "Do you want to continue working for us?" and “We are concerned at your lack of availability” as though being a freelancer for them obligates you to be at their service constantly. I only freelanced for the company for a couple months. The shockingly low pay in addition to the relentless requests to freelance made me quickly realize that Cactus is desperate for good freelancers but cannot keep them because the pay and quality of work is so poor. If you are an experienced medical editor, I recommend going elsewhere for work.

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    25 people found this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Former Contractor, less than 1 year

    Poor pay; Demands for "High Quality" with little to no Guidance

    Jan 18, 2015 - Freelance Medical Editor in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Freelance work, able to set own hours, relatively steady flow of assignments

    Cons

    When I started at Cactus, I was told that every beginning editor with the company was given an "orientation" to the house editing style and expectations for the freelance worker. I was never given such an orientation. Assignments were thrown my way and despite putting in hours of time and returning quality work, I was repeatedly given lower and lower grades for the assignments, which of course affects the pay scale. I was given little guidance as to what I was doing "wrong", other than being told, "sorry, we wouldn't word our sentences that way." Having been born, raised and educated in the English language and being a professional in the medical field, I find it hard to believe that my command of the English language is as sub-par as I was being told. However, if an editor repeatedly is given a poor grade, he is paid less accordingly, and I suppose that makes sense from the standpoint of a company's economics. It's a shame, I did enjoy editing the scientific articles I was given. Despite putting in hours of work for little pay and trying to satisfy company requirements I was never given, I received an email out of the blue that my account was being deactivated. Very unprofessional, and after reading several other reviews on this site that ring similarly to mine, I can't imagine this company to persist very long into the future.

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    13 people found this review helpful
  7. 3.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Good

    Feb 22, 2016 - Freelance Medical Editor in London, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good way of getting some editing experience. I have had feedback on every piece of work so far.

    Cons

    I haven't had very much work at all. Not feasible as a full time job.

    1 person found this review helpful
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