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Last update: 20/07/2022
Definitions of Editing Terms
spelling, punctuation and grammar; checking for consistency in usage,
terminology and facts within the document; checking cross-references; inserting
heading levels and noting approximate placement of elements such as art, tables
and figures; editing tables, figures, and lists. See also fact checking,
indexing, proofreading, substantive or structural editing.
Desktop publishing: Using
appropriate design software to format or lay out a document into a template
developed by a designer; placing art; preparing the document for various
publication formats. If the Editor is required to create the design and
template, this needs to be specified.
Developmental/project editing: Assisting the author to develop their manuscript, often from an early
draft but can be at any stage, to solve issues such as writing style, voice and
tone, and plot and character development. This can be prior to, incorporated in
or subsequent to a manuscript assessment, or substantive or structural edit.
Fact checking, citation checking, reference checking: Checking if facts,
quotes and references are accurate by finding the original sources. Specify
whether the Author or Editor is responsible for checking the work for any of
these elements to ensure accuracy and currency. If the Author is responsible,
the Editor may provide an additional but nominal level of checking, though not
through finding original sources.
Indexing: Preparing a list
of words, phrases, subjects and concepts and their locators at final design
stage (with pagination finalised) to provide a systematic hierarchical guide
that helps readers navigate the text. Indexing is a specialised skill that not
all editors offer. It requires the manuscript to be read and analysed from the
point of view of how a reader will try to find content, and it should be priced
as an additional cost if required.
Manuscript assessment (or appraisal): Checking a manuscript to see what is required from the editing process,
or providing feedback about the overall content, structure and style of a
manuscript without doing the editing. This usually entails providing in-text
comments and a letter or report.
Mark-up, electronic coding, tagging: Adding codes to a manuscript that provide instructions to the designer.
Picture research: Sourcing
suitable images to include in the work. This can include all stages of the
process: deciding which images are required, determining a suitable budget and
negotiating fees for use, finding images and securing permission to use them,
editing images, writing credits and captions. Specify which of these tasks are
the responsibility of the Author and which of the Editor.
Coordinating and supervising the design, formatting and proofreading stages of
a manuscript. This is an oversight role, where other people will be responsible
for providing quotes and the detail of printer’s specifications, making
changes, formatting and proofing.
Project management: Taking
a project from proposal stage through to final manuscript, coordinating input
from parties such as authors, consultants or reviewers. This can also include
assistance with marketing and distribution.
proofs of edited and laid-out or typeset material for typos and small errors,
ensuring that the manuscript adheres to the design brief and that the editor’s
corrections have been made. This may mean checking running heads and page
numbers, cross-references and page breaks and carrying out copy-fitting.
Specify which of these tasks the Editor is required to perform. See also
copyediting, substantive or structural editing.
Rewriting: Writing material
again using content supplied by the Author. This might be required of text that
is multi-authored to ensure consistency of voice. If text flagged for copyediting
actually requires rewriting, the Editor should make this clear to the Author
before proceeding. This task is not permissible for PhD theses or academic
essays which may contribute to grades (see IPEd’s Guidelines for editing
Style sheet: A document
containing the list of style decisions, which may incorporate spelling,
capitalisation and hyphenation choices; how to treat numbers, currencies and
measurements; type and paragraph styles. Specify if the Author or Editor is to
develop the style sheet. The Author may provide an initial style sheet to which
the Editor contributes during copyediting, with final style decisions agreed
between the parties.
Substantive or structural editing: Making sure that the manuscript’s structure, content, language and style
suit its intended audience and that the text is logical, balanced and complete.
Substantive editing can blur with copyediting; the Editor and Author should
discuss these levels of editing so that each is clear about the requirements of
the task. See also copyediting, developmental editing, manuscript assessment.
This level of edit is not permissible for PhD theses or academic essays which
may contribute to grades (see IPEd’s Guidelines for editing research theses).
Third-party permissions: Finding
the source of content and obtaining permission to use copyrighted material such
as song lyrics, quotes from other texts, photographs, illustrations, cartoons,
diagrams and maps. Specify whether the Author or Editor is responsible for
ascertaining fees for and obtaining copyright permissions. The Author is
responsible for paying any such fees.