Cactus Communications Employee Reviews about "editing"

Updated 6 Jul 2020

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3.2
63%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
117 Ratings
Pros
  • "Extremely flexible in terms of work hours and work from home(in 55 reviews)

  • "They also have a very good job assignment interface(in 39 reviews)

Cons
  • "18 for premium editing per 1000 words(in 147 reviews)

  • "Editors on contract are not actively involved in the company(in 92 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "editing"

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  1. "Generally a good company to work for"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    There are usually editing assignments available, and the variety of assignments has enabled me to learn a lot about subjects I hadn't previously been exposed to. If a problem arises with an assignment, it's quite easy to alert someone within the company and obtain advice. The pay is adequate for my needs, and I have found that the company is consistently honest in its handling of any payment errors. If I am unable to complete follow-up editing on a previously submitted assignment, then the follow-up assignment gets reassigned to someone else without much fuss.

    Cons

    The compensation for editing work is somewhat low, although it is enough to survive on. For me, the major problems relate to doing follow-up rounds of editing on previously submitted assignments. Such follow-up rounds arrive without warning and at times have made me feel like I have lost control of my life.

  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. 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 :)

  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good opportunity as a starter"

    2.0
     

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    - great tools/manuals/documents for reference for new freelancers - good choice of work

    Cons

    - they do not like it if you over edit work (even though it may need it) so that it does not offend the author - freelancer rates were low - could never get proper access to a project manager if you needed help with any assignments - never got feedback (good or bad) during employment until the last minute when you were told that your editing was not on par with standards (how does that happen when you are judged by someone who is not a native English speaker?). You were also reprimanded if you did not take all the assignments given to you and judged and seen as inferior

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  5. 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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  6. Helpful (4)

    "Smooth system but flawed"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    Easy to sign up. Smooth submission process. Good communication with managing editors. Pay system easily manageable via Payoneer.

    Cons

    Disagree with editing techniques employed. Language too verbose for use in scientific publications. I had my suspicions when I disagreed with many of the screening employment questions.

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  7. "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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    Cactus Communications Response

    July 9, 2020Associate, Freelancer Engagement

    Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the work has been interesting for you. I am sorry to hear that it has been taxing for you. if you like you can reach out to me at tanvi.devpura@cactusglobal.com and you and I can have a call with your PoC, and see how we can offer you support. Best, Tanvi Devpura Associate, Freelancer Engagement

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good experience ruined by QI system"

    3.0
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Editor in London, England

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    Interview and hiring process was quick and easy. They are flexible with getting you into work as soon as possible which is ideal for people who need something immediately Online resources are excellent. I can recommend CACTUS highly for people (like myself) who are just starting out editing and want to get some experience. Assignments are interesting and diverse. I enjoyed the editing work and the science was engaging. The elements of instruction you can provide clients with is also rewarding, and they seem genuinely grateful for assistance.

    Cons

    The QI system – This is a real shame as, for me, it soured what was overall a very good experience. Some reviewer comments (grammar, typos, use of certain words) are helpful in eliminating small errors and maintaining consistency. Unfortunately, they also judge a category dealing with how a sentence ‘sounds’ in English. This is highly subjective and leads to perfectly reasonable sentence constructions being criticised as ‘awkward’ and ‘non-native’. The concept of ‘I wouldn’t write it like this, therefore it is wrong’ seems to be the default attitude of some reviewers. The scale is brutally harsh – you only need a few of these arbitrary errors throughout a 20-30 page document to drop your score from 4 (the maximum) to the low 2’s. Consistency is a major issue – instead of the gradual improvement I was expecting, my scores ended up being all over the place. In some cases, I received a very low score (around 2) and then was informed the client rated the work as ‘outstanding’. Conversely, some edits where I was a bit rushed/didn’t feel it was my best work received top marks! Also hard not to take some of it personally when you have published many scientific papers yourself.

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Setting you up for failure?"

    2.0
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Editor 

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

    Pros

    Very prompt and thorough response to questions and concerns. Very detailed feedback from edits.

    Cons

    Although the reviewers gives very detailed feedback, I feel like it's too little too late. This is because you are rated using a QI system which determines the jobs that you receive in the future etc. However, by the time you get feedback from your work, you have already gotten a poor rating. They seem to be placing the cart before the horse. The editors are left to figure out on their own what is required for each editing service that CACTUS provide. Initially, you are not given not even the basic information. For example, you are not told that your name on comments should be "Author". I did a few edits before this was pointed out to me. Or that you should adjust the clock and time zone on CRM to ensure that you do not breach your deadlines. These are basic information, that everyone should be told upfront. Not after a deadline has been breached and your score affected. Also, you are not told or given an example upfront on how the different forms should be completed. They only direct you to their 'resources' page, which isn't really helpful because there's Soo much on there, you are not sure what you should be looking for. However, after completing a job and receiving feedback from that job, only then are you given specific resources. This should have been done at the 'orientation period'. Which there really isn't one. I guess management is expected you to know their requirements that are specific to their company via osmosis.

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    Cactus Communications Response

    July 9, 2020Associate, Freelancer Engagement

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you found the in-house teams to be prompt. With regards to your concern, most of the requirements that we have from our editors are explained in resources section, however I understand that going through a vast pool of resources can be difficult and confusing. Your suggestions are very valuable to us and we are working on structuring the information available to editors during their onboarding period so that they have easy access to all of it. Best, Tanvi Devpura Associate, Freelancer Engagement

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic work environment. Avoid."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Medical Reviewer in Mumbai

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

    Pros

    Can't think of anything really.

    Cons

    Unrealistic expectations for terribly edited do uments, skewed evaluation system, poor training and pay. Overall environment is toxic. Avoid if you have other job opportunities.

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Found 146 reviews