Cactus Communications Freelance Scientific Editor Reviews

Updated 12 Jul 2019

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3.0
67%
Recommend to a Friend
0%
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Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
1 Rating
  1. Helpful (5)

    "Good, could be better."

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

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

    Pros

    Work from home or wherever you are. Able to take on as much or as little as you want. Consistent availability of work for freelancers with high ratings. Some high quality research pass by this company. Very good for beginning a career in science communications. If you don't have a job, this is better than nothing, but make sure you save time to apply for a job with benefits/insurance. If you have a job, it's a good source of side income. They also have a very good job assignment interface. Sometimes, when you can't make deadlines, the supervisors can be graciously flexible as long as you request an extension before the deadline.

    Cons

    Quality Rating system sometimes flawed/biased. Too low paying for US based editors. You can not pay your bills with this. No benefits. Employing job-seeking PhDs for peanuts. Sneaky contract - you not only edit, but are also compelled do journal formatting for free, which might take as much time as editing. You complain and then, you are referred to your contract. They don't care about you, just their assignments. I find that callous. Extremely slow response to emails unassociated with a pending job deadline.

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  2. Helpful (4)

    "Scientific Sweatshop"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Scientific Editor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Home office and flexible hours

    Cons

    Extremely low pay for difficult Asian editing jobs from Asia. Extremely arbitrary internal review system that lowers the pay from low to ridiculous.

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  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good company to collaborate with"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Scientific Editor-Freelance Basis 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I had the opportunity to work in two different teams, different excellence centers, and got to know the ups and downs. I believe matching your expertise with that of the team you work in (Medicine, Biochemistry, Life Sciences) makes the difference as the job you receive and the feedback you get are related to how well you know the area. Furthermore, the communication with the manager is another major aspect that I got to experience. The communication with the first manager was very poor. As I just started my collaboration with them, I did not know too much about the policies and the culture of the company. I was not given too much information, namely about the expectations, monthly minimum word number to complete, etc. The second experience was positive. The manager made the difference in terms of her offering advice, constant feedback, paying attention to the details I highlighted in the internal e-mail and so on. Overall, it is a good company to collaborate with, constant flow of assignments if the personal rates are constant and above 3 of 4. I got to learn a lot of the area I am editing ( Medicine) and I reccomend Cactus Communications.

    Cons

    it really depends on your expectations, the manager, and the match with the Center of Excellence.

  4. Helpful (3)

    "Good company, but low wages"

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

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very flexible workload. Fully remote working. Detailed feedback on most jobs. Thorough initial training. Courteous and professional management.

    Cons

    The difficulty of jobs and the time commitment required to complete them is highly variable. Since payment is made on a per-word basis, this translates into an inconsistent hourly wage. The average wage is barely above survival level for someone living in the developed world, although it is possible to live well in developing countries with this work. Due to the freelance nature of the work, any problems such as a local IT failure can result in a loss of wages. There seems to be limited scope for progression as a freelancer.

  5. Helpful (11)

    "Well below the poverty line"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Scientific Editor 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    - High work flow - Invoices get paid on time

    Cons

    - It is practically impossible to make a living as a Cactus freelancer. The fees are a fraction of the current market rates for this type of work. The rates depend on random and sometimes unjustifiably harsh grading that freelancers can't contest. - Freelance editors are expected to format and re-edit articles several times for free. - The management is mostly unresponsive. Freelancers receive no support but get complaints when they don't show enough "loyalty". - Absolutely no training is provided. - Despite the claims for flexible work, freelancers get constantly pestered with assignment requests, even during declared holidays. Very few reasons are deemed "acceptable" for rejecting an assignment. - There are zero opportunities for career progression. Typically, you get fed up with being exploited and quit.

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