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Copy Editors

Guideline for Copy Editors

While the basic rules of copy editing apply whether working on a traditional or open textbook, there are some differences in process.

  • For books that are web-based, writing and editing will likely occur in an online platform such as Pressbooks. It’s important that editors, authors, and other participating parties agree to and understand how changes in the textbook and platform will be made.
  • Like print books, starting with a standard style guide is important. As the project progresses, be sure to record styling exceptions for the textbook on a style sheet. You might find that an openly licensed textbook has special requirements such as ensuring that all images are properly licensed and correctly attributed.
  • Be sure that you are familiar with or receive training about editing web-based textbooks in the online platform.
  • A web-based textbook will likely make use of live links (in the body and possibly reference lists), and multimedia. Determine at the outset how, as an editor, what you’re responsible for.
  • A web-based textbook, online platform, and other technical elements introduce additional challenges. Clarify at the beginning of an editing project
    • If you should report technical problems in the textbook
    • Who is responsible for fixing technical problems (the author?, the project manager?, or the managing editor?)
    • To whom you should report technical problems about accessing or using the online platform or textbook.
  • Clarify, at the beginning of an editing project, who will receive your editing notes and how issues will be addressed. Will you contact the author directly or through an intermediary such as a project manager?


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Guideline for Copy Editors by BCcampus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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