Providing a full range of editorial services

Such as quality assurance, composition, copyediting, proofreading, indexing & more

What is copyediting?

Copyediting is the process of fixing grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, accuracy and consistency errors in order to help the author to deliver his or her message clearly to readers. The job requires creative and critical thinking, focus, organization, and language skills.

During copyediting, a specific style manual is used to ensure the manuscript conforms to US publishing standards. Copyeditors may be familiar with multiple style manuals. Popular style manuals include The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Associated Press Stylebook (AP style), etc. Publishing companies sometimes have their own house style, which usually follows one of the previously mentioned style guides but with noted exceptions. In addition to the style manual, a specific dictionary, such as Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition), is also used.

When does copyediting take place?

In book publishing, copyediting takes place after a developmental or content edit (or after an acquisitions editor has vetted the manuscript and determined it can go straight to copyediting) and before proofreading.

It’s important for copyediting to take place only after the writing is complete, the manuscript is as final as possible, and no substantial revisions remain to be made. This is because no matter how big or small the changes, anything added, rewritten, or revised after copyediting needs to be reviewed again by the copyeditor to ensure that  no new errors have been introduced and to avoid last minute mistake in the final publication.

Can you tell me about your copyediting process?

Absolutely! The first thing we do is to skim through the manuscript and take notes about inconsistencies, how certain elements in the manuscript are treated (e.g., are there letters, text messages, or other correspondence that will need to be set off from the main text?), and the general state of the manuscript. We also do a sample edit on approximately 1,500 words of the manuscript. The preliminary review and sample edit help us to determine how long the project will take time, the level of copyediting required, and whether that level matches the one stated by the client.

When we are ready to begin the copyedit, we set up our style sheet, which is a separate document that we keep open while we are editing. A style sheet lists specific style decisions (checklist), spellings, and other conventions used throughout the manuscript to ensure consistency. We also have a web browser open with several tabs: one for the dictionary and style manual we will be using, and one for a Google search page so that we can fact-check when necessary.

As we work through the manuscript, we keep track of all character and place names and descriptions on our style sheet. We also write a brief summary of the events in each chapter so that we can track the storyline and plot. If we noticed an inconsistency or think something should be changed, we alert the author (by using Word’s comment feature) and provide a suggestion for revision. The author can take our suggestion or might come up with another way to resolve the problem. If any rewriting is necessary, we work to maintain the author’s voice, and if the rewriting was substantial, we will alert the author to the change via a query so that he or she can review the rewritten material and either approve it or change it differently. All of our edits are tracked using Word’s track changes feature so that the author can see what we have changed.

We go through each manuscript at least twice, and before we send the manuscript back to the author, we review all of my queries and eliminate any unnecessary ones. We ensure our style sheet is complete. We run spell-check again on the manuscript and additional Find/Replace searches. We finish our editorial letter, and then we send the documents to the author.

In-house process for copyediting

CHECKLIST — We have a proper checklist for each individual project. We have created the checklist as per the client requirements. Every copyeditors has to go through with the checklist before copyediting of any books/journals. Once the editor done his/her part, then the same is QC’ed by the QC department in accordance with the checklist in order to deliver the quality output to the client.

MACRO — We generally avoid manual work and try to automate the process as much possible in order to generate the quality output. We have created the macros as per the client requirement that saves time as well as improves the quality. Our software team continuously works on the automation tools in co-ordination with the copyediting team. Automated conversion tools can improve the quality as one format is transformed to another format, whether the project is typical or more unique, such as incredibly high page counts and from very unusual materials. But automation alone rarely provides an error-free conversion. DPS’s Editorial Services will ensure the delivery of excellence in the final conversion, every time.

We provide a professional editing service of the highest quality, tailored to customers’ exact requirements. All jobs and consultations are treated with absolute confidentiality.

How are our services different?

There are many editing services out there. Although the basic editing services are likely to be similar across various editing organizations, our developmental editing is performed by leading scholars and goes beyond simple writing issues to emphasize issues surrounding the overall readability of your manuscript. In developmental editing, we provide suggestions to improve the structure and flow of your manuscript. In our peer review service, we will provide journal style reviews from leading scholars in the social and behavioral sciences.