Monday, January 29, 2007

research responsibilities

Part of the copyediting tasks listed in Ch. 4 discuss researching missing information (#20, p.59). How much research is usually expected of a copyeditor when an issue arises, and at what point do you query and leave it to the author to fix?

(from Rebecca)

1 comment:

Pat said...

Generally speaking, the copyeditor is not responsible for content, and she may query anything in the manuscript.

Oftentimes, however, she may find the answer to a question by looking in the dictionary, in an atlas, or on the internet. In those cases, she can correct the text, and if her instincts tell her that the author may want to be notified of the change, she can add a query. For example, she may write in the margin: "Au: according to such-and-such source, Mrs. X was still alive in 1865, so I've changed the tense here; OK?"

Queries are entered on the author's proofs; if there are comments or questions that cover large parts of the material, these can be stated in a cover memo or noted at the beginning of the proofs. For example, I remember our adding to the first page of one author's proofs a request to check the diacritical marks of all the Japanese words in her piece.

Of course, some questions don't come up until after the author has seen the proofs; in these cases, he or she can be queried by e-mail, telephone, etc.