Responsibilities of Technical Editors
Most large ANR publication projects (multi-author, multi-chapter, or both) require the involvement of a Technical Editor, who in all likelihood volunteered for the role or was asked by the publication’s authors, work group, or an Associate Editor. Although a Technical Editor has responsibilities in five stages of a publication’s creation, in general, the TE should be willing to intervene as needed throughout the entire process.
(1) Before writing
- Decide what information should be covered in each chapter and who should write them.
- Decide on the depth of detail needed and any structural or stylistic consistencies that should appear in all chapters (such as section and subsection headings, units of measure, etc.). A useful resource for these questions is the publications Style Guide.
- Decide in what order/sections the chapters should go.
(2) Before peer review
- Read the chapter authors’ completed manuscripts for duplication, contradiction, and stylistic consistency. Work with the authors to correct problems. Do not review for technical accuracy.
- Discuss photography, illustration, and figure needs with authors and coordinate these graphics among chapters to eliminate duplication and to ensure consistency in scope.
- Compile a table of contents that includes all chapters, accurate titles, and a complete list of authors.
- Send the table of contents to each author so it can be submitted to the online peer review system with the author’s chapter manuscript.
(3) During peer review
- Consult with the Associate Editor managing the peer review process on the status of reviews.
- If needed, assist Associate Editor on technical review issues without compromising the confidentiality of peer reviewers.
- If needed, assist in securing the return of author revisions.
(4) Submitting the manuscript for production
- Know the publication. Read it carefully in its final form and keep a copy of all chapters for later reference.
- Ensure that all illustrations (or clean sketches that Publishing will use to draw illustrations) will be included at the time of submission.
- All photographs must be included with the submission, along with captions and photo credits. Chapter authors should use the sample figure list form (available on the Publishing website) to submit photographs.
- Unlike for peer review, the digital file for each photograph must not be embedded in a Word or PowerPoint file but be its own separate TIFF, RAW, or JPEG file.
- Verify that chapter authors have received permission to reprint material as needed.
- In submitting a manuscript for publication, the author has signed the MF-21 to indicate that he or she has followed the submission guidelines. The Technical Editor should spot-check a couple of the points from the guidelines to verify the author’s thoroughness and care.
- Make sure that the pesticide review has been completed if needed.
- Submit the names and shipping addresses of all contributing authors to Publishing so that we may ship them copies of the printed book.
(5) During production
- Resolve conflicts if the copy editor discovers contradictory information in different chapters within the manuscript.
- Facilitate communication between the copy editor and the chapter authors.
- Distribute copy-edited manuscripts and final page proofs to authors. Publishing will provide the Technical Editor with cover letters that can accompany the manuscripts and proofs.
- If a senior author cannot be available to review the manuscripts or proofs, Technical Editors must send the material to a coauthor, ask another expert in that field, or review it themselves.
- Enforce deadlines for authors’ return of manuscripts and final page proofs if needed.