The work carried out by the people employed to draft the text includes a variety of activities, the final effect of which is to prepare the material entrusted to the editor for publication. Adjustment and correction are an important part of the editorial work, but do not completely exhaust the scope of activities carried out on the text by the editor. Differences between the tasks of the editor, adjustator and proofreader are sometimes blurred, this applies in particular to the competence of the editor and adjuster (so it is worth clarifying the responsibilities of the person developing the material before starting work).
The scope of activities undertaken within the editorial, adjustment and correction, although similar in some points, can not be equated with each other. The English language dictionary gives the following definitions of the concepts that interest us:
- Editors are “to develop a text (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) in terms of content and style, to prepare a text for printing; way of expressing, writing something: wording “.
- Adjustment is “preparing the text for printing in terms of style, spelling and graphics”.
- Correction is “correcting errors, applying corrections to test prints using appropriate proofreading marks”.
The list of definitions indicates that the editor’s duties, in addition to adjustment and correction, also include substantive control of the material entrusted. This requirement is very difficult to implement on a daily basis – it is impossible to require that an editor who develops materials from various fields knows everything; the most often verified are only obvious errors (eg lapsus calami) or mistakes, which are revealed by the publication itself (eg conflicting information cited by the author in the elaborated text, data or facts excluded, logical inconsistencies, etc.). Today, the situation is rare when the editor checks the correspondence quoted by the author with the source, controls the location of the quotation, checks the information appearing in the bibliographic address, etc.
In existing economic and social conditions, when the editor is placed on the one hand before the need to execute the order as quickly as possible, on the other hand, he often works on materials from many fields addressed to different recipients, pursuing different goals, preparing the material for publication means really giving up with substantive verification. The editor is limited to adjustment and correction.
The adjustment covers a number of activities preparing the text for printing in terms of correctness:
- stylistic (removing errors resulting from breaking the decorum principle, contamination of phraseological compounds, repetitions, alliterations, etc.);
- spelling (applies to both the main text and quotes);
- grammatical (removal of errors, as well as unification of collateral forms, eg Im M figure: figures or characters, checking conjugational and declination correctness);
- punctuation (checking the conformity of punctuation with the applicable language standards, differentiation of punctuation marks);
- syntax (sentences in which the number of words exceeds 25, usually are complicated in terms of syntax, which may lead to errors, attention should be given to intermittent sentences and appropriate wording in a sentence);
- graphic (division of text into paragraphs, parts, subchapters, chapters, introduction of charts, diagrams, schemes, tables, calculations;
- graphic layout of individual elements of the publication; unification of footnotes, etc.).
It should be remembered that the aim of the adjustator is to remove communication barriers, make the text correct and legible (also graphically), but this does not mean writing anew, improving the original text (if possible, if it is consistent with the profile of publication, do not interfere in the specificity of the author’s style). The editor should be able not only to recognize and correct errors, but also to indicate the mechanism of error, provide the scientific basis for the change, justify the proposed changes.
The correction is the final stage of work on entrusted material and consists in applying corrections (mainly spelling, punctuation, grammar, less stylistic) on sample prints using appropriate correction marks. The application of final amendments in order to avoid errors and distortions should be accompanied by checking the correction with the basis (author’s text). At this stage of the work, we pay special attention to typos, changes in letters, omissions of characters or words, differences in the notation of untypical proper and common names, errors in the transfer of words, unnecessary intervals (especially after punctuation marks), inconsistencies in abbreviations used, etc.
The correction applies to all elements of the text – both the main text and the footnotes should be checked; A frequent mistake of beginning correctors is skipping exposed elements (eg writing in “four”, lists of contents, titles, pagin content, signatures and numbering of illustrations, charts, diagrams, annexes, bibliographic lists).
The correction should be done twice (preferably, it should be made by two people); if it is performed by one person, two “readings” should take place in a period of time. The correction is time-consuming because:
- we divide the material into parts, and after checking each one, we take breaks;
- we read not sentences, but words by letter after letter;
- we confront the text being developed with the basis.
- You should reserve enough time for its execution (hurry is inadvisable!). If only one person works on the text, it is worth to make the last correction “from the end”
- the material we already know quite well is no longer predictable, which will eliminate the mistakes overlooked in previous readings. Reversing the reading direction also means that a concentrated and rested concealer starts working from a batch of texts read a little less carefully beforehand (eg under the influence of fatigue or rush resulting from the desire to finish a certain stage of work, keeping the deadline).
When planning work on entrusted material, remember to reserve the time for the author’s correction. Author’s correction is one of the stages of the publishing process. It is carried out after editing the text and breaking the computer. The purpose of the author’s correction performed after the editing of the material is to check whether the changes made by the editor / editor have not affected the content and form of the work and whether the creator accepts the proposed changes.