"Quarters of the news or", one of a group of four photos in the 1900 brochure Seattle and the Orient, which was collectively captioned "The Seattle Daily Times—Editorial Department".

Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, photographic, visual, audible, or cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. The ing process can involve correction, condensation, organisation, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete piece of work.[1]

The ing process often begins with the author's idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the or as the work is created. Editing can involve creative skills, human relations and a precise set of methods.[2][3]

Editors work on producing an issue of Bild, West Berlin, 1977. Previous front pages are affixed to the wall behind them.

There are various orial positions in publishing. Typically, one finds orial assistants reporting to the senior-level orial staff and directors who report to senior executive ors. Senior executive ors are responsible for developing a product for its final release. The smaller the publication, the more these roles overlap.

The top or at many publications may be known as the chief or, executive or, or simply the or. A frequent and highly regarded contributor to a magazine may acquire the title of or-at-large or contributing or. Mid-level newspaper ors often manage or help to manage sections, such as business, sports and features. In U.S. newspapers, the level below the top or is usually the managing or.

In the book publishing industry, ors may organize anthologies and other compilations, produce definitive ions of a classic author's works (scholarly or), and organize and manage contributions to a multi-author book (symposium or or volume or). Obtaining manuscripts or recruiting authors is the role of an acquisitions or or a commissioning or in a publishing house.[4] Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors are the responsibilities of a sponsoring or.

Copy ors correct spelling, grammar and align writings to house style. Changes to the publishing industry since the 1980s have resulted in nearly all copy ing of book manuscripts being outsourced to freelance copy ors.[4]

At newspapers and wire services, press or copy ors write headlines and work on more substantive issues, such as ensuring accuracy, fairness, and taste. In some positions, they design pages and select news stories for inclusion. At U.K. and Australian newspapers, the term is sub-or. They may choose the layout of the publication and communicate with the printer. These ors may have the title of layout or design or or (more so in the past) makeup or.

Page 1 Editor Jack Breibart in the San Francisco Chronicle newsroom, 1994.

Scholarly books and journals[]

Within the publishing environment, ors of scholarly books are of three main types, each with particular responsibilities:

In the case of multi-author ed volumes, before the manuscript is delivered to the publisher it has undergone substantive and linguistic ing by the volume's or, who works independently of the publisher.

As for scholarly journals, where spontaneous submissions are more common than commissioned works, the position of journal or or or-in-chief replaces the acquisitions or of the book publishing environment, while the roles of production or and copy or remain. However, another or is sometimes involved in the creation of scholarly research articles. Called the authors' or, this or works with authors to get a manuscript fit for purpose before it is submitted to a scholarly journal for publication.

The primary difference between copy ing scholarly books and journals and other sorts of copy ing lies in applying the standards of the publisher to the copy. Most scholarly publishers have a preferred style that usually specifies a particular dictionary and style manual—for example, the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual or the APA Publication Manual in the U.S., or the New Hart's Rules in the U.K.

Technical ing[]

Technical ing involves reviewing text written on a technical topic, identifying usage errors and ensuring adherence to a style guide.

Technical ing may include the correction of grammatical mistakes, misspellings, mistyping, incorrect punctuation, inconsistencies in usage, poorly structured sentences, wrong scientific terms, wrong units and dimensions, inconsistency in significant figures, technical ambivalence, technical disambiguation, statements conflicting with general scientific knowledge, correction of synopsis, content, index, headings and subheadings, correcting data and chart presentation in a research paper or report, and correcting errors in citations.

Large companies dedicate experienced writers to the technical ing function. Organizations that cannot afford dedicated ors typically have experienced writers peer- text produced by less experienced colleagues.

It helps if the technical or is familiar with the subject being ed. The "technical" knowledge that an or gains over time while working on a particular product or technology does give the or an edge over another who has just started ing content related to that product or technology. But essential general skills are attention to detail, the ability to sustain focus while working through lengthy pieces of text on complex topics, tact in dealing with writers, and excellent communication skills.

Editing services[]

Editing is a growing field of work in the service industry. Paid ing services may be provided by specialized ing firms or by self-employed (freelance) ors.

Editing firms may employ a team of in-house ors, rely on a network of individual contractors or both.[5] Such firms are able to handle ing in a wide range of topics and genres, depending on the skills of individual ors. The services provided by these ors may be varied and can include proofreading, copy ing, online ing, developmental ing, ing for search engine optimization (SEO), etc.

Self-employed ors work directly for clients (e.g., authors, publishers) or offer their services through ing firms, or both. They may specialize in a type of ing (e.g., copy ing) and in a particular subject area. Those who work directly for authors and develop professional relationships with them are called authors' ors.

See also[]

Further reading[]


  1. ^ Mamishev, Alexander, Williams, Sean, Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, John Wiley & Sons. Inc., Hoboken, 2009, p. 128.
  2. ^ "Encarta Dictionary definition of "ing"". Archived from the original on 22 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Encarta Dictionary definition of "or"". Archived from the original on 6 February 2009.
  4. ^ a b Poland, Louise, The business, Craft and Profession of the Book Editor, in Carter, David, Galligan, Anne, (eds.), Making books: contemporary Australian publishing, Queensland University Press, 2007, p. 100.
  5. ^ Appiah, Bernard (2009). "Science ing at an Indian firm: perspectives of two US visitors" (PDF). Science Editing. 32 (4): 118–119. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013.
  6. ^ Morrison, Blake (6 August 2005). "Black day for the blue pencil". The Observer.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[]