Writing Good Proofer's Notes

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DP Official Documentation - Proofreading

Examples of Good Proofer's Notes

  • All notes should be placed right next to the word in question[**note], with any space or punctuation afterwards, not on a separate line, not with additional space before the note, using square brackets and TWO asterisks.
  • If the note is highlighting a possible typo, it is most conveniantly[**conveniently?] kept very brief like this, but can be more explicet[**typo for explicit?].
  • If the note is highlighting missing punctuation[**semi colon here?] this can also be done very simply as shown here[**,] or like this[**. missing] Sometimes there is superfluous,[**extra ,?] punctuation to be noted.
  • If the scan is unclear, please note tho[**unclear, the?] problem, with alternative suggestion if you have one; "unclear" indicates to the PPer that the problem is the scan quality, so it is not confused with a typo.
  • If a previous proofer left a note that is incorrectly formatted, correct the formatting. Don't change the meaning of the note, but shorten if you like e.g. treee{*possibly a typo for tree?} can be updated to treee[**tree?].
  • If you are not sure whether a compound-*word at a line end should be hyphenated or not, insert * after the hyphen. If there's a -* there already, don't remove it even if you have seen another example of the word without the hyphen. A note like this: compound-word[**not sure about hyphen?] left by a previous proofer should be updated to compound-*word.
  • If the previous proofer left a note that you disagree with, don't delete it[**IT? P2:no, clearly it] but clarify if you like. If the previous proofer left a note on something and did not correctly match the scan, change the proofread text to match e.g. IT[**IT? P2:changed to match scan] and say what you have done.
  • If the previous proofer left an entirely[**italics??] unnecessary note, e.g. providing formatting information, do not delete it, unless you are mentoring in P2 and providing feedback to the previous proofer. Later on, formatters will remove the note, replacing it with the appropriate formatting markup.
  • If the previous proofer left a note requesting action, e.g. [**feedback please] update the note appropriately, e.g. [**feedback please P2: sent by PM].
  • If there is anything else unusual or that you are unsure how to handle, feel free to leave a longer[**this is where a missing footnote marker should be? see discussion in forum] note as necessary. Referring to any discussion of a question in the project forum is always a good idea, as it alerts the PPer that more information on the issue is available.
  • Finally, most PPers don't mind getting an occasional amusing aside[**they are human, after all!].

What to avoid

  • As a general rule, do not delete a previous proofer's Notes. However you should correct formatting of Notes and may clarify them as shown in the examples above. In addition, it is allowed for Mentors working in P2 to remove Notes where they have sent appropriate feedback to the P1 proofer.
  • Please don't put Notes in the middd[**extra d?]le of words, as it makes it more difficult for the next Proofer to read and check against the scan.
  • There is no need for Proofers to Note formatting issues. The one that is most commonly seen is Noting a footnote that is continued from the previous page. In the proofing rounds, don't worry about formatting! Two rounds of Formatters will be specifically looking out for these issues. If you do notice something that will need special handling by the Formatters while proofing, you may want to post a message about it in the Project Forum, then the Project Manager can alert all Formatters via the Project comments if needed.
  • Notes like[** corrected from "ilke"] this, though strictly in accordance with the Guidelines, are NOT generally liked by PPers.
  • Notes that leave the next proofer or the PPer guessing should be avoided. For example a note lkie[**sic], or evn[**] is better lkie[**like?] this.
  • A common mistake made by newer proofers is to copy the Guideline example litteraly[**typo for text] instead of putting in the actual correction needed. (That last note should be: litteraly[**typo for literally?].)
To comment or request edits to this page, please contact jjz or John_NZ.

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