08 April 2008

Ouch!

So yesterday I got this invoice from the publisher of one of our papers, and they're charging us $3.00 for every correction we made to the page proof (a grand total of $117.00).

Normally, I would have no problem with this -- I understand that it's a pain to change things once they've gone to the publisher.

However.

In this case, the publisher is charging us for correcting things that the journal changed when they copy-edited the paper and didn't check with us about first. THAT ticks me off.

I mean, if you want to copy-edit the articles you publish, fine. GOOD, in fact, because another set of eyes looking through something is never a bad idea and if you want everything you publish to reflect your house style, that's fine, too. But if you're going to do that, fer Pete's sake, check with the people who wrote the damn thing to make sure you're not changing the intended meaning before you send it to your publisher.

I know, I know - I'm ranting. But I put a lot of time and effort into making sure things are clear. It's important -- the science is hard enough to understand without the language used to describe it being vague or impossible to decipher.

For example, this sounds very nit-picky, but there IS a difference in clarity between 'personal interview' (their version) and 'in-person interview' (our version). We always say 'in-person interview' to differentiate the interviews we conduct with our study participants from telephone interviews. According to some experts, it can make a difference in the accuracy of the data collected, so we want the people reading our papers to know exactly how our interviews were conducted. (In fact, this is something peer reviewers will call you on if you aren't clear about it.)

So now I'm going through the paper - again - correction by correction and checking to see which ones we should and shouldn't be charged for.

And then I'm going to call the publisher and explain my point of view.

Very, very politely, of course.

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