Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Proof Reading

When proof-reading please follow the standard symbols for correcting proof copy (a complete list of symbols will have been sent to you with the contract letter), making sure that all printer errors are marked in red and that all other changes to the script are made in blue or black. Changes to proofs are very costly, and the Press reserves the right to charge any excess costs for proof alteration to the author. In order to meet the approved publication date, please do not make unnecessary changes to the proofs. Changes to proofs inevitably delay publication, so please try to keep corrections to an absolute minimum. Where such alterations are unavoidable, try to retain the same number of words or characters in the corrected text. If it is necessary to delete a word, try to add another word or words of the same length. Similarly, if you wish to delete an entire line of text, please try to add an extra line of text elsewhere on the page.

Things to watch out for when proof-reading: Keep a close eye on tabular or illustrated matter; notes, text references to notes, references and bibliographies; running heads, chapter heads, subheadings, spacing and layout; note numbering. Also try to look out for instances of incorrect font usage, particularly in table and illustration captions, and for “widows” and “orphans” – paragraphs that begin or end at the absolute top or bottom of a page. It is also important to carefully check the index for broken cross-references – e.g. a “see also” reference that has no entry.

At this stage you should also fill in any page numbers which are outstanding – this applies to cross-references within the text or notes as well as to the list of contents in the prelims, along with lists of tables, illustrations, figures, and the notes to pages running headline (if there is one), etc.

Alteration marks must be legible and instructions for the correction must be clear to the printer. If you are unsure as to whether you have made yourself clear it is quite acceptable to explain the correction or write out the whole sentence or phrase in the margin as long as this is encircled, which indicates to the printer that the encircled matter is an instruction, and not to be entered as a correction.

Please return proofs with your index. If the Press has engaged a freelance indexer on your behalf, please wait until you receive the index from us before returning your proof set. Thank you.

Symbols for correcting proofs

All corrections should be made in ink in the margins; marks made in the text should be those indicating the place to which the correction refers.

Where several corrections occur in one line they should be divided between the left and right margins, and the individual marks should be separated by a concluding stroke (/).

When an alteration is desired in a character, word or words the existing character, word or words should be struck through like this:

these are |deleted words| in a sentence

And the character, word or words to be substituted written in the margin, followed by a concluding stroke (/).

A complete list of proofreading symbols will have been sent to you with the contract letter