Session 8. Editing

Good morning @feb21-cohort. Starting today, I’ll be joined at our sessions with my new colleague @me.monicabrown! I’m excited for you all to meet her and to learn from her. :smiley:

In terms of content, our session today will be pretty straightforward, as we talk about different kinds of editing, why they are important, when you should plan them into your timeline, and what else to keep in mind.

  1. Handout: Editing
  2. Slides: Editing

@feb21-cohort. It looks like we might have to switch to a new meeting link I’m afraid. Sorry for the disruption everyone. Here’s the new link: Launch Meeting - Zoom

Thanks for your patience and cooperation at this week’s session, everyone! As a result of our switching various Zoom links, I unfortunately don’t have a complete transcript and list of resources to share with you. Here’s a link the partial chat transcript during the second half of our call and resources mentioned:

If any of you have a record of things shared earlier in our chat, please hit reply and drop them in below!

I also wanted to point to a few exciting blog posts since the session which I encourage you all to share widely:

Both are featured in this month’s Rebus newsletter. Thanks @jsheffield and @misbell for your work on these! :smiley:

I’m still doing a bit of research on common grants for copyeditors, but will keep you posted when I have more news on this front.

Session Recap

Editing is an umbrella term for a whole lot of different processes but is mainly about connecting different portions of the book, refining and polishing the drafts at hand, applying consistency to each section, and helping to ensure the formation of a cohesive resource that meets learning objectives. It provides structure, appeal, nuance, and brings sections together as a whole, cohesive textbook. Overall, it makes content easier to read. Editing can also be a useful source of critique feedback, suggestions — in this way, it can function as a form of review.

There are different types of editing ranging from the extremely granular to having a bird’s eye view of the entire resource. Your project might not need every single type of editing, so look at the different editorial roles below to see which ones will provide most value to your project.

  • A project manager is an editor who works with the leadership & editorial team, and thinks about the resource as a whole. They help develop style guides, templates, guides and make revisions to these documents over time.
  • Content or subject-matter editors make decisions about what should be included or excluded in the book. They are responsible for moulding and shaping the book and focus on ‘what should be said.’ They are, unsurprisingly, subject-matter experts.
  • Developmental or structural editors focus on the structure of the textbook and ‘how things should be said.’ They make sure the textbook is set up to meet learning objectives and can actually be more helpful if slightly distanced from the subject-matter.
  • Substantive editors’ work mainly involves resolving questions, problems, improvements identified during the developmental edit. Ideally, they are subject-matter experts.
  • Copy editors conduct a very close reading of the text, making corrections along the way. They are less focused on the bigger picture and need not be subject-matter experts.
  • Proofreaders make fine adjustments at the scale of spelling, punctuation, formatting issues, non-content specific aspects. They person the final inspection of the book and need not be subject-matter experts.

Each of these roles and processes take place at different points throughout the publishing workflow. Take a look at our suggestions in the slides for when to edit. As you’re editing, keep in mind other editing considerations that let you complete work effectively, meaningfully, and in a way that makes future tasks simpler. Remind editors that communications with authors can also be positive: that they can recognize and credit when something has been well-executed or well-explained instead of only focusing on areas needing improvement.

In a similar vein, keep in mind that editors are humans, so spend time sharing these principles with them, and revisiting your workflows to make sure that their workload is reasonable and manageable. Editing is one of many steps to refine the content in your OER, and improvements always be made to the book as you continue on the journey to release (and even after!).