Academic publishing involves multiple types of editing, all of which refine the writing into a clear and error-free version of the record. These include:
Copyediting and proofreading take place after the manuscript has been created. They have a similar overall goal to ensure that the published work is as good as it can be.
Both processes involve detailed reading of a manuscript to improve the writing and remove similar types of grammatical and spelling errors. Whilst the overall objectives of copyediting and proofreading are similar, their focus and timing are not the same.
Many people think that proofreading and editing are the same service. There is however a big difference between those two procedures.
Copyediting takes place at the beginning of the production process and is usually performed together with language correction. It verifies the overall structure of the paper, including the order of ideas, the transition between paragraphs, and the development of the argument. A copyeditor will:
In contrast, proofreading will:
Proofreading is applied on an already typeset document, whereas copyediting takes place when the paper is still in its source format.
When publishing, it is possible to copyedit and proofread your own work. However, this will be very time-consuming and difficult for you to do effectively. The end product may not be high impact and may not meet the standards required for academic publication.
Professional copyeditors and proofreaders are highly skilled and trained and are able to identify opportunities to significantly improve your manuscript. They usually discuss the required level of support before taking on the job to provide an accurate quote.
Making the right decision when considering copyediting and proofreading can make all the difference.
In simple words:
Both tasks are essential in academic publishing. They are typically completed by different editors, even though there are some overlapping objectives and elements. When working with these professionals, it is important to recognize this to get the best publishing result for your academic research.
You can read more about the differences between copyediting and proofreading, and the standards of professionalism with which copyeditors and proofreaders work to at the website of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.
In a previous article entitled Publishing your first academic book, we advised early-career researchers to start publishing articles in reputable journals as a way to get experience and build up a career as academic authors. Open-access journals are particularly helpful because they are not behind a paywall and can reach a wider audience.read more
The research process expects ethical behaviour and good practice. As plagiarism and self-plagiarism are on the increase, scientific publishers are using software to detect these instances of scientific misconduct.read more