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Guidelines for Volume Editors

The editor of a multicontributor volume of original essays must assume a great deal of editorial responsibility—usually more, or of different kinds, than he or she ever anticipated when the book was in the planning stages. By the same token, such volumes seem always to require vastly more attention and labor on the part of our editorial staff than do volumes of similar length or complexity by single authors. In the end, the Press and the volume editor share a common goal: to publish the best and most consistent book possible, with the least duplication of effort. To help ensure that result, we ask that you read the following instructions carefully and follow them closely when putting your manuscript into final form.

  1. Be sure everything is typed clearly and legibly and is double-spaced. Unsatisfactory copy may be returned to you for retyping or clearer printing.
  2. If you rewrite, cut, or make major modifications in any of the essays, resubmit the revised texts to the contributors for approval before sending the manuscript to us for editing.
  3. Have contributors published or submitted their articles elsewhere? If so, we need full details now.
  4. Check each contributor’s essay for use of published material still in copyright and of quotations from unpublished materials, such as private letters, that may also be protected. Permission to reprint material in excess of “fair use” should be secured—by you or the contributors—before the manuscript is turned over to us. Formal permission is generally needed to reprint extensive blocks of text; poetry (a complete poem or ten or more lines), charts and graphs (if used in the same format as the source; the information itself needs only proper attribution, not permission); photographs and illustrations. Contributors must typically pay all fees associated with permissions for their essays.
  5. Examine all maps, charts, diagrams, photographs, tables, for sense, clarity, accuracy, consistency, and importance to justify their inclusion. You are responsible for seeing that all illustrations are prepared in camera-ready or appropriate electronic form (consult the Press’s artwork guidelines for detailed instructions).
  6. Contributors sometimes contradict one another on points of fact. It is your responsibility to eliminate, or justify, obvious inconsistencies.
  7. Do contributors quote the same speeches or documents at length? Do they reproduce the same charts and tables? If so, try to eliminate repetitions. If the same works are referenced in multiple essays, the contributors should quote from the same editions.
  8. Each essay should be referenced in the same fashion—with the same style and the same abbreviations, if any. Please consult The Chicago Manual of Style for models. If uniformity in these matters is not feasible for some reason, let us know immediately.
  9. If a list of abbreviations, glossary, or bibliography for the volume as a whole is desirable, distribute a copy to contributors in time to make sure that they follow it. If you supply a volume bibliography or glossary, check that the items in it agree with those cited by the contributors.
  10. The manuscript, when it is in final form, will need a table of contents (make sure chapter titles and forms of contributors’ names are settled) and a list of contributors (with affiliations and current academic ranks), and you will have to prepare them.

As a volume editor you have certain other responsibilities, among them the responsibility to ensure that the completed manuscript adheres to contractual stipulations regarding length and the size of the illustration program. You will also have to ask each of the contributors to sign our consent-to-publish agreement, copies of which will be provided by the Press.

After the manuscript has been edited, it will be returned to you so that you can check it and respond to copyediting queries. Whether or not you choose to show proof to the contributors, they must see the edited manuscript, so you should send a duplicate copy of each chapter to its author, with instructions. It is critical that you retain original chapters so that you will be able to return the entire manuscript to the Press at the appointed time. If time is scarce, ask authors to email or telephone their responses to you. When the authors return their chapters, make certain that they have responded appropriately and answered all queries. Please enter all their changes legibly on the original copy. Finally, you are responsible for preparing the index or for arranging its preparation.

If questions arise, or if you need more specific information, please consult your editor at the Press.