Editing - Scholarly Books and Journals

Scholarly Books and Journals

Editors of scholarly books and journals are of three types, each with particular responsibilities: the acquisitions editor (or commissioning editor in Britain), who contracts with the author to produce the copy, the project editor or production editor, who sees the copy through its stages from manuscript through bound book and usually assumes most of the budget and schedule responsibilities, and the copy editor or manuscript editor, who performs the tasks of readying the copy for conversion into printed form.

The primary difference between copy editing scholarly books and journals and other sorts of copy editing lies in applying the standards of the publisher to the copy. Most scholarly publishers have a preferred style guide, usually a combination of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and: (a) either the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual, or the APA Publication Manual in the US; or (b) the New Hart's Rules in the UK. The New Hart's Rules are based the "Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers" published by Oxford University Press in 1893. Since scholars often have strong preferences, very often a publisher will adopt different styles for different fields. For instance, psychologists prefer the APA style, while linguists might prefer the MLA style. These guidelines offer sound advice on making cited sources complete and correct and making the presentation scholarly.

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