Production responsibilities of Technical Editors
Most multi-chapter, multi-author ANR publications are shepherded by a Technical Editor. This person functions as the primary contact author during the publication’s production and typically is listed as the book’s primary author in literature citations.
The Technical Editor helps the production process in the following ways:
- Knows the material. Technical Editors read all manuscript chapters carefully in their final form and keeps a copy of each for later reference.
- Can submit final materials. Often the Technical Editor submits all the chapter manuscripts to CS instead of the individual chapter authors. These should be sent on CD, through the File Vault or as email attachments. In submitting a chapter for production, its lead author will have electronically signed the MF-21 submittal form in the online peer review system to indicate that he or she has followed the Communication Services' Submission Instructions. Those guidelines are set up to help provide consistency to a manuscript and to speed up its production process. The Technical Editor can spot-check a couple of points from the Guidelines to verify the author’s thoroughness and care.
- Because they are not technical experts in a manuscript’s subject, Communication Services copyeditors cannot resolve contradictions in the text or between authors. If copyeditors discover conflicting information, Communication Services will ask the Technical Editor or the manuscript’s senior author to resolve the conflict.
- All illustrations (or clean sketches that Communication Services will use to create an illustration) must be included at the time of submission. In addition, all photographs must be submitted as well. Production schedules of entire books have been held up by missing photos in just a few chapters. If illustrations or photographs are not submitted with the manuscripts, Communication Services will call upon the Technical Editor to notify the author. In addition, all illustrations (or sketches) and photos should be accompanied by caption information.
- For a multi-author and multi-chapter book, the Technical Editor serves as the main contact between authors and Communication Services staff. It is the TE’s job to distribute copyedited chapters and final page proofs to authors. If a senior author cannot be available to check the proofs, a Technical Editor must either send the material to a co-author or proofread it. Communication Services will provide the Technical Editor with a cover letter that can accompany all proofs.
- Communication Services will ask the Technical Editor to enforce deadlines for authors’ return of copyedited chapters and page proofs. This may be unnecessary if authors return these elements on time, but inevitably there are a few stragglers.
- In general, the Technical Editor should be willing to intervene as needed to keep the production moving on schedule. Communication Services strives for a professional and accommodating attitude, which should make everyone’s job—including the Technical Editor’s—even easier.