18 August 2005

Almost like a real scientist

It's so cool to have two papers in the works that are coming out. As I mentioned earlier, I received news this week that I've had a paper accepted (though I don't think I mentioned where: Journal of Crustacean Biology). This morning I received the proofs from the Texas Journal of Science for an article I have coming out with them, which looks like it might be out in the September issue. Just to give you an idea of how long this process is, it was just over a year ago that we did the work that this paper was based on. The manuscript was written and submitted over Christmastime in 2004. Reviews came back at the end of February, 2005. Revisions completed in March, 2005. And the proofs this week.

I feel like an actual productive scientist on weeks like this. I wish I had more weeks like this.

Proofreading always ranks high of writer's least favourite things to do, with good reason. It is tedious, particularly for technical writing. I can only imagine what it must have been like when typesetting was done by people with scientific training. Simply transposing the technical text and references always introduced errors not present in the original manuscript. Yet Fortunately, since most publishers can simply download Word processor files, there are usually fairly few errors that get added to papers in the typesetting process. Yet even now, it still happens. In this most recent paper, I found one error that wasn't in the original manuscript: somehow, a degree sign got inserted where a space should be. Hm.

Of course, that wasn't the only error I found, but all of the others were ones I'd made before they went off into the production process! No one to blame but myself.

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