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BITC Publication Class 12: Correcting Proof

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OK, we're to the point now that our paper has been considered by the journal, you get that letter from the editor saying, "ACCEPTED." One of the very final things that you do is you read proofs. This is essentially your last opportunity to catch problems. So we need to deal with this effectively. Essentially, as soon as you sign off on the proofs, the journal is free to go ahead and publish it. And so any errors that are not detected at the proof stage are your fault, and they are not the journal's problem. So you need to check the entire proof in very, very, very careful detail. Out of experience, I would suggest that you put special attention to equations, tables, literature cited ... essentially anywhere where you have to concentrate, and we already talked about all of these things. Essentially, when you have, for example, a big literature cited section, that's a place where errors will accumulate. Some people even take the proofs, and read the whole manuscript from end to beginning. Backwards. Because otherwise, if you are reading forwards, your eye can jump from word to word. So, it's time-consuming, but a very good way to do it can literally be to read your paper backwards. So we already talked about this markup coding ... and again you need to make sure you're using the right codes for that particular journal. But also you need to be very consistent and be very very clear about the markups you do. I am going to show you some examples ... here are proofs of a book chapter that I recently participated in ... Basically, we've got some problems here ... we're all biologists, and so the last thing we want to see is scientific names that are not italicized. Or, for example, a title that's wrong. "Biodiversity Informatics, A Critical to Understand and Conserve Biodiversity" Something's missing. So these are big problems: we really don't want to see this kind of problem at the proof stage. Here are some more detail-level corrections, in this case diacritical marks on Mexican authors' names, accents and umlauts. Or here we have a verb-agreement problem: "A total ... were collected." No. "A total ... WAS collected." And notice that I'm very careful; I try my best to write clearly, and I oftentimes will put a checkmark out in the margin, so that the person who is making the corrections on the final version can appreciate that there are, for example here, three changes to be made. Sometimes, the changes that you are wishing to see on the proofs are harder to express. And so, I will do things like put in a note: [for example,] "Split as 'endo-parasite' rather than 'endop-arasite." But be very careful, because this can get interpreted as an insertion. Increasingly, proof markup is being done electronically. And again, you need to be very clear about what it is you want to be corrected. So just be painfully clear at this stage. So [in] this stage of correcting proof, again, be very very clear. And things like this may be difficult to spot the problem. For example, here is a name that looks perfectly reasonable, but -- guess what -- it actually has two "n"s. And only by concentrating and reading very very clearly can you catch all of these last details.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: A. Townsend Peterson
Director: A. Townsend Peterson
Views: 23
Posted by: townpeterson on Dec 29, 2012

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