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Knowledge transfer editor: Plain language handbook
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PrioNet Canada (former university-based research network investigating bovine spongiform encephalitis (mad cow disease), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) encouraged its researchers to think like entrepreneurs and to leave a legacy of results that may become commercially useful. To achieve this, they must be aware of the issues surrounding the protection and commercialization of ideas.


Produce an appealing, easy-to-follow booklet (From Discovery to Dollar$)—the first known item of its kind in this field for Canadian researchers—based on articles on intellectual property by Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG).

  • Addressed barriers to use: redundancy, wordiness, unhelpful format, dense language and sentence structure.
  • Grouped topics into a Q&A format (the questions also formed the Table of Contents) to help readers scan for information.
  • Ordered the content chronologically from idea through to patent/licence.
  • Performed a deep stylistic edit that raised 44 content queries for the corresponding author.
  • Researched and introduced pleasing elements, such as sidebars, quotes, stats and facts.
  • Praise from the collaborating partner at BLG: “I have never seen boring legal text undergo such a transformation.”
  • Demand for accessible information addressed: 1,000 copies distributed to PrioNet scientists, students and Board of Directors.
  • Further copies requested by the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Vancouver Island Health Authority.