Overview of the Student Journal Production Process
1. Selection and Licensing
Each journal has its own criteria for selecting articles and notes. During the consideration process, be sure to take advantage of LexisNexis SafeAssign if there is any concern about plagarism in a submission. Once an offer has been extended and accepted, a licensing agreement must be sent to the author. No work can be done until the signed agreement is returned.
2. Edit Format Conversion
Once the licensing agreement has been received the author’s final draft can be sent to the Publications Center for processing. No editing whatsoever should occur before the article has been converted to Edit Format. Rarely, an incomplete draft will be accepted (such as a pre-accepted symposium piece). In that case the draft the author sends in is only for source-gathering in advance. If an editor is sending any kind of comments or notes on the article back to the author, editing has begun and edit format conversion should already have taken place.
The conversion to Edit Format involves a number of technical checks, including problems with conversion from less common file formats, special characters, graphics, and file structure. This is one of the main reasons it is imperative that the editing process not begin prematurely. In addition to verifying that the file has no technical problems, the Publications Center performs an array of pre-editing corrections, sets the document to use our standard styles and heading numbering; additionally, any existing supras and infras are replaced with auto-updating hyperlinks by JournalPro.
It’s crucial to establish clear communication with an author about the production process early on. The process of creating an edit form document is extremely time intensive and some authors do not understand that they must not work in parallel on a second copy of their article. If there is any question about whether an article is ready to be put into Edit Format, please contact the Publications Center.
After the document has been converted into our manuscript format, editing begins in earnest. It is crucial that during the initial round of editing all the supra and infra numbers be verified as they are inserted automatically by JournalPro. During the general editing process, the author should be given their article back at least twice. Though other programs can read the text and formatting of Word documents, the conversion between Word and a rival word processor will destroy the codes for supras and infras and can also damage the styles. Therefore, the author must agree to use Word for their editing. If for some reason they are unable to do so, then a PDF is sent instead of the actual file, and the author’s changes are given back to their editor to input into the Word document.
During the editing process an additional tool that is available is Workshare Compare. Compare can create a blackline between any versions of an article (track changes must be accepted first for best results).
Once each journal’s editing process has been completed, the EIC or Production Manager should look at the article at this point. If there are any major edits still to be made it should stay in the edit format stage and continue to be worked on. The only changes after this point should be final author requests and last-minute corrections. If there are problems such as a lack of supporting footnotes; errors with grammar such as verb tense inconsistencies; cites not ordered correctly or in the wrong format; or the EIC has problems with the writing style; then the article should not be passed on to the next step.
4. Initial Typeset for Proofing (ITP)
In the ITP stage, the Publications Center uses macros to convert the manuscript into an approximation of the printed book. All the draft styles are replaced with the final versions, bold-faced and underlined text is replaced with true small capitals and italic text, and the margins are set to show our actual book layout. The author is sent a PDF to review at this stage.
The main point of the ITP stage is to make sure that all the signals and significant formatting convert correctly; it is not a stage where editing continues, other than the inevitable final requests from the author. Formatting and style errors in the edit form stage tend to be invisible, but become glaring when the document is actually typeset. This stage is for fixing those problems and filling in those last few cites that were missing. The ideal is that no more edits be made at this point but seeing the article in the “book” layout sometimes points out problems that weren’t noticed before, so some edits may occur. We expect that no more than about 20 edits and cite fill-ins should happen at this point, and possibly one or two new footnotes. If major edits still need to be made at this point we will give the typeset file to the EIC to work on directly. Even small edits can cause significant shifts in pagination, so only minimal layout adjustments are performed at this point.
5. Final Typeset for Pagination (FTP)
When any final author changes have been incorporated, the article is ready to proceed to finalization. At this point, the editorial staff in the Publications Center will adjust the page layout, hyphenation, line spacing (kerning and breaking) and various aesthetic corrections. Normally, adding page numbers occurs at this point though sometimes they may go on early especially when internal references are made to other pieces in the issue. The EIC performs a final proofread and barring any problems, the article is ready for print.