Eliciting author revision at a distance—author’s editing by correspondence

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Aleksandra Misak
Friday 27, 11:50-13:00, Room 2

Manuscripts accepted for publication in the Croatian Medical Journal (CMJ) undergo substantive revisions before being published. The corresponding author is usually asked to make additional revisions (e.g., perform a post-hoc statistical test and adjust the results accordingly), explain vague sentences or unclear terminology, or confirm the changes already done in the manuscript. It often takes more than one e-mail message from the manuscript editor to elicit all the information needed from the author. This communication should be quick and effective due to quick manuscript turnaround times (from entering the editing process to being sent to desktop publisher) and sometimes short deadlines (ranging from 3 months to as little as 2 days). Sometimes, however, it can take weeks and a lot of correspondence before all the concerns are sorted out.

In this presentation, we will show real-life examples of different types of revisions required by the manuscript editor and how they are indicated (listed in the e-mail message or included in the text of the manuscript and marked by a different font color). We will also show the communication process between the manuscript editor and the author, communication problems encountered by both, and different approaches to increasing the effectiveness of communication.

Aleksandra Misak, MD, is a freelance translator and author’s editor. She worked for 5 years at the Croatian Medical Journal as a language and manuscript editor.