Copy-editing is a technical work that requires scrupulosity, precision and regular consulting of the previously made decisions. It is not a science, but rather a scientifically-based art. Inside a policy framework and certain rules of expression, there are many possible solutions and variants – all of them correct from a grammatical point of view – depending on the circumstances, the possibilities and the creativity of the persons involved in the process. Somebody who wants to become a copy editor must learn their craft, demarcate their field of action and communicate their work rules to maintain a healthy relation with the people to whom he offers his professional services.
One of the flaws in the environment of copy-editing – at least in my country – is the lack of consistence in respect to what should be covered by corrections, what are its limits and how far the copy editor can go. In the absence of documentation and bibliography, some of us have started writing our own guidelines, and sharing them among our clients and partners.
Hoping that in the future we will have an organized and united community of copy editors, I share with you a document born from my journalistic experience. I thought it might be useful for some people and could be improved thanks to the comments and contributions of the readers of this blog.
This document was originally written to trigger specifically the field of production of printed books with educational purposes. I have made some adjustments and extended its scope in comparison to the original, so that now it can be adapted for the copy-editing of books in various other fields or areas.