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Editing is the process of selecting and preparing
written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficien ...
,
photographic Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable image An SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cruz de Teneri ...
,
visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ A sense is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically relevant entities. Biological organization spans several scales and are determined ba ...
,
audible Audible may refer to: * Audible (service), an online audiobook store * Audible (American football), a tactic used by quarterbacks * Hearing, the perception of sound * Audible frequency * Audible range See also * The Audible Doctor (born 1 ...
, or cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organisation, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete piece of work. The editing process often begins with the author's idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the editor as the work is created. Editing can involve creative skills, human relations and a precise set of methods. There are various editorial positions in publishing. Typically, one finds editorial assistants reporting to the senior-level editorial staff and directors who report to senior executive editors. Senior executive editors are responsible for developing a product for its final release. The smaller the publication, the more these roles overlap. The top editor at many publications may be known as the
chief editor An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest-ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing editor ...
,
executive editor Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government) The executive is the branch of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. ...
, or simply the editor. A frequent and highly regarded contributor to a
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media ...

magazine
may acquire the title of editor-at-large or
contributing editor A contributing editor is a newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can co ...
. Mid-level newspaper editors often manage or help to manage sections, such as business, sports and features. In U.S. newspapers, the level below the top editor is usually the
managing editor A managing editor (ME) is a senior member of a publication To publish is to make content available to the general public.The Seattle Times">The Seattle Daily Times—Editorial Department". Editing is the process of selecting and preparing w .. ...
. In the book
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as s, s, and s. ...
industry, editors may organize
anthologies In book publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works, such as books, ...
and other compilations, produce definitive editions of a classic author's works (scholarly editor), and organize and manage contributions to a multi-author book (symposium editor or volume editor). Obtaining manuscripts or recruiting authors is the role of an ''acquisitions editor'' or a ''
commissioning editorIn book publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works, such as books, n ...
'' in a publishing house.Poland, Louise, The business, Craft and Profession of the Book Editor, in Carter, David, Galligan, Anne, (eds.), ''Making books: contemporary Australian publishing'', Queensland University Press, 2007, p. 100. Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors are the responsibilities of a sponsoring editor.
Copy editor Copy editing (also known as copyediting and manuscript editing) is the process of revising written material to improve readability and fitness, as well as ensuring that text is free of grammatical and factual errors. ''The Chicago Manual of Style ...
s correct
spelling Spelling is a set of conventions that regulate the way of using s (writing system) to represent a language in its . In other words, spelling is the rendering of speech sound (phoneme) into writing (grapheme). Spelling is one of the elements of , ...

spelling
,
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
and align writings to house style. Changes to the
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as s, s, and s. ...
industry since the 1980s have resulted in nearly all copy editing of book manuscripts being outsourced to
freelance ''Freelance'' (sometimes spelled ''free-lance'' or ''free lance''), ''freelancer'', or ''freelance worker'', are terms commonly used for a person who is self-employedSelf-employment is the state of working for oneself rather than an employer. Ge ...
copy editors. At
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most ...

newspaper
s and
wire services A news agency is an organization that gathers news News is information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature ...
, press or copy editors write headlines and work on more substantive issues, such as ensuring accuracy, fairness, and taste. In some positions, they design pages and select news stories for inclusion. At U.K. and Australian newspapers, the term is ''sub-editor''. They may choose the layout of the publication and communicate with the printer. These editors may have the title of '' layout or design editor'' or (more so in the past) ''makeup editor''.


Scholarly books and journals

Within the publishing environment, editors of scholarly books are of three main types, each with particular responsibilities: * ''Acquisitions editor'' (or ''commissioning editor'' in Britain), who contracts with the author to produce the copy * ''Project editor'' or ''production editor'', who sees the copy through its stages from manuscript to bound book and usually assumes most of the budget and schedule responsibilities * ''Copy editor'' or ''manuscript editor'', who prepares the copy for conversion into printed form. In the case of multi-author
edited volumeAn edited volume or edited collection is a collection of scholarly The scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and Practice (social theory), practices used by wikt:scholar, scholars and Academy, academics to make their claims abou ...
s, before the manuscript is delivered to the publisher it has undergone substantive and linguistic editing by the volume's editor, who works independently of the publisher. As for
scholarly journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transparent forums for the presentation, scrutiny, and discussi ...
s, where spontaneous submissions are more common than commissioned works, the position of ''journal editor'' or
editor-in-chief An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest-ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing edito ...
replaces the acquisitions editor of the book publishing environment, while the roles of production editor and copy editor remain. However, another editor is sometimes involved in the creation of scholarly research articles. Called the authors' editor, this editor works with authors to get a manuscript fit for purpose before it is submitted to a scholarly journal for publication. The primary difference between copy editing scholarly books and journals and other sorts of copy editing lies in applying the standards of the publisher to the copy. Most scholarly publishers have a preferred style that usually specifies a particular dictionary and style manual—for example, ''
the Chicago Manual of Style ''The Chicago Manual of Style'' (abbreviated in writing as ''CMOS'' or ''CMS'', or sometimes as ''Chicago'') is a style guide A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting, and design of documents ...
'', the ''
MLA Style Manual The ''MLA Handbook'' (8th ed., 2016), formerly the ''MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers'' (1977–2009), establishes a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. It is published by the Modern Language Association The Modern L ...
'' or the ''APA Publication Manual'' in the U.S., or the
New Hart's Rules ''Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford''—today published under the short title ''New Hart's Rules''—is an authoritative reference book and style guide A style guide or manual of style is a set of stan ...
in the U.K.


Technical editing

Technical editing involves reviewing text written on a technical topic, identifying usage errors and ensuring adherence to a style guide. Technical editing may include the correction of grammatical mistakes, misspellings, mistyping, incorrect punctuation, inconsistencies in usage, poorly structured sentences, wrong scientific terms, wrong units and dimensions, inconsistency in significant figures, technical ambivalence, technical disambiguation, statements conflicting with general scientific knowledge, correction of synopsis, content, index, headings and subheadings, correcting data and chart presentation in a research paper or report, and correcting errors in citations. Large companies dedicate experienced writers to the technical editing function. Organizations that cannot afford dedicated editors typically have experienced writers peer-edit text produced by less experienced colleagues. It helps if the technical editor is familiar with the subject being edited. The "technical" knowledge that an editor gains over time while working on a particular product or technology does give the editor an edge over another who has just started editing content related to that product or technology. But essential general skills are attention to detail, the ability to sustain focus while working through lengthy pieces of text on complex topics, tact in dealing with writers, and excellent communication skills.


Editing services

Editing is a growing field of work in the
service industry The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors of the three-sector theory. The others are the secondary sector (approximately the same as manufacturing Manufacturing is t ...
. Paid editing services may be provided by specialized editing firms or by self-employed (
freelance ''Freelance'' (sometimes spelled ''free-lance'' or ''free lance''), ''freelancer'', or ''freelance worker'', are terms commonly used for a person who is self-employedSelf-employment is the state of working for oneself rather than an employer. Ge ...

freelance
) editors. Editing firms may employ a team of in-house editors, rely on a network of individual contractors or both. Such firms are able to handle editing in a wide range of topics and genres, depending on the skills of individual editors. The services provided by these editors may be varied and can include
proofreading Proofreading is the reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, etc., especially by sight or touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process involving such areas as word rec ...
,
copy editing Copy editing (also known as copyediting and manuscript editing) is the process of revising written material to improve readability and fitness, as well as ensuring that text is free of grammatical and factual errors. ''The Chicago Manual of Style ...
, online editing,
developmental editingDevelopmental editing is a form of writing support that comes into play before or during the production of a publishable manuscript, especially in the area of non-fiction writing. As explained by Scott Norton in his book ''Developmental editing: a h ...
, editing for
search engine optimization Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common doma ...
(SEO), etc. Self-employed editors work directly for clients (e.g., authors, publishers) or offer their services through editing firms, or both. They may specialize in a type of editing (e.g., copy editing) and in a particular subject area. Those who work directly for authors and develop professional relationships with them are called authors' editors.


See also

*
Audio editing Audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its ...
*
Author editingAn authors' editor is a language professional A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system com ...
*
Film editing Film editing is both a creative and a technical part of the post-production process of filmmaking. The term is derived from the traditional process of working with film stock, film which increasingly involves the use Digital cinema, of digital t ...
*
Redaction Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple sources of texts are combined and altered slightly to make a single document. Often this is a method of collecting a series of writings on a similar theme and creating a definitive and coherent wor ...

Redaction
* Stealth edit * Textual scholarship * Video editing * Writer


Further reading

* * * Blake Morrison, Morrison, Blake (6 August 2005) "Black day for the blue pencil" * * Greenberg, Susan L. (2015) ''Editors talk about editing:'' ''insights for readers, writers and publishers'', New York: Peter Lang *Munro, Craig (2021) ''Literary Lion Tamers: book editors who made publishing history,'' Brunswick, Victoria: Scribe Publications ISBN 9781925713220


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Editing, Journalism occupations Mass media occupations Editors,