Journals Library

Production process

Production process

At the production stage, reports are copy-edited and proofed by professional writers and proof-readers. Typically this takes 4 to 6 months and involves general editing, detailed copy-editing, preparation of proofs, checking proofs by the author/editors, proof-reading, proof collation, resolving any remaining queries and then producing the signed-off journal issue. Reports receive final sign-off by the editors before they are published in print and online.

The production house is responsible for managing the copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading and printing of your report. The NIHR Journals Library uses an external production house called Prepress Projects, with a dedicated project management team looking after NIHR Journals Library work. They will be your main contact during the production process.

The copy-editing process

Copy-editing reports is a very important part of the publication process. In the first instance it ensures that reports are written in correct English, are readable and that scientific terms and concepts are accurate. It applies a consistent house style to reports, which provides a familiar presentation to readers and aids understanding of reports in unfamiliar disciplines. Copy-editing also plays a significant role in enhancing the readers’ experience and perceptions of the journal.

Once all pre-production checks have been completed copy-editing begins. First, the files are prepared for copy-editing by putting them into one file and making initial corrections to spelling and grammar as well as ensuring that the report follows a consistent house style. The copy-editor is briefed on any specific instructions relating to the report and then carries out a detailed copy-edit of the report. This includes checking that abstracts and scientific summaries conform to appropriate guidelines, ensuring that all studies and reports cited are included in the reference list and checking that URLs cited in the text are valid. The copy-editor will then raise any queries that arise with the author. During this stage the copy-editor will also carry out additional tasks, such as checking that the title is appropriate and carrying out final checks on referencing numbering and so on.

Author responsibilities

A large number of reports are published each year; therefore it is important that each report follows a production schedule. As an author you have significant input into the process and therefore your cooperation is vital in ensuring that reports publish to schedule. Your main responsibility during the production process is to respond to the copy-editor’s queries and check proofs of your report after it has been typeset (and after any subsequent revisions).

A PDF file of the proofs will be emailed to you for checking. You will also be sent author queries and a draft headline and keywords.

Please read everything carefully, and pay particular attention to the following:

  • Headline and keywords – The headline will be used when publishing your report online and is intended to state the main findings of the report accurately and concisely, in a single sentence and no more than 30 words, and in a way that reflects the language in the Abstract and Scientific Summary as much as possible. Please check that the headline and keywords are appropriate and approve or amend as necessary.
  • The layout of the tables
  • Line figures (diagrams) – these are redrawn by an illustrator so please check they are accurate.
  • Special symbols or fonts that may have been used (for example Greek letters, symbols, subscripts, superscripts, italics, bold, chemical formulae, mathematical equations).

Queries that arose during copy-editing or proofreading are listed in a PDF file. In the first proofs a box indicates the numbered queries with the corresponding number in the margin of the proofs, which appears in red on the PDF file. Queries relating to references, figures, and tables are listed by reference, figure, or table number.

All queries must be answered.

Mark all text corrections clearly.

If you have very few and very minor changes, they may be listed in a Word file attachment and returned, by email, along with your answers to queries. Corrections must be described clearly by specifying page and line numbers.

Alternatively, and again only for very few and very minor changes, you may add corrections and comments to the PDF file and return the edited file by email. All PDF files supplied as first and/or revised proofs should be editable with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

We recommend that you make a copy of the corrected proof, particularly if posting, for reference in any further correspondence concerning your report.

Please return corrected page proofs by post or courier to the following address:

[Name of Journal]
NIHR Journals Library
Prepress Projects Ltd
Algo Business Centre
Glenearn Road
Perth PH2 0NJ, UK