Friday, July 21, 2006

Analyzing and implying, you know

I got the author proofs back for a journal article, along with a demand that I reply within 48 hours (but I didn't notice that demand right away). Then I got strident emails asking me to send any corrections in 24 hours, and so forth. So I had to devote an evening to correcting all the stuff the journal had mangled for no good reason.

A partial list:
  • carefully typeset table replaced by the laziest, worst-looking table imaginable, with no lines separating rows or columns, just ragged text bunched together, one subheading made into the main heading of the table and another subheading made into a regular line of the table
  • one perfectly good sentence rewritten so that it made no sense
  • the word "ladars" replaced with "LADARs" throughout
  • the word "misapprehend" replaced with "miscomprehend"
  • figure 1 and figure 2 were not explicitly referred to in the body of the text, so they inserted a reference to those figures, in completely the wrong place.
They also had a mania for insisting that every abbreviation or acronym (like LADAR) be expanded and not shortened at all if only used once. In general I suppose this is good practice, but abbreviations like USB? VGA? I feel there are more people who will recognize the acronym than will recognize the expanded form.

In general, I have a low tolerance for being edited.

Anyway, what's with the "reply in 48 hours or suffer the consequences"? This is July. I could reasonably be on vacation in Tahiti, as far as they know. I hate to think of them printing their nastified version just because I didn't get back to them in time.


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