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Editorial Involvement

Our goal is to make the editorial process as transparent, consistent, and clear as possible. A modest team of editors are involved in facilitating the rapid publication of submissions.

We routinely share our responses to your submission through the "Editorial Comments" section at the bottom of your submission, once it has been edited for publication. (Note that this gray text is only visible to you and the editors, not the general public.) This section documents editorial alterations or concerns, many of which relate to style and formatting conventions. We ask that contributors scan this area on a regular basis to try to stay in touch with our needs as a publication.

In general, submissions may trigger one of three possible types of editorial intervention:

The editorial staff may perform minor alterations to the piece at hand, in order to correct errors in grammar, punctuation or style. In this case, you will not receive notification that your writing has been revised, because the revisions will be relatively small. You can, of course, observe your material in its final form when it appears on the site. Please feel free to offer any commentary you wish to the appropriate editor.

The editorial staff may contact you directly with a request to revise your submission. At the time of contact, your piece will be withdrawn from publication. In this case, we'll provide you with the very specific considerations which merit your attention. Often these suggestions derive from material made explicit in the guidelines pages. If you choose to revise your piece, simply resubmit the revised version in a timely fashion, and it will be published. You should feel free to discuss the editorial request if any part of it is unclear. We welcome your feedback and always strive to improve how we handle submissions.

The editorial staff may contact you directly to let you know that your submission is not acceptable for publication without substantial revision; essentially it would require a total rewrite. We will offer very specific justifications for this decision. Pieces in this category will not be published, unless you wish to perform radical revision and resubmit your work in a dramatically altered form.

We have formalized four general operating principles to guide the editorial process:

Changes should only be made for a good reason

Personal idiosyncrasies are generally something to respect, since every writer needs to speak with their own voice.

Changes should not alter meaning

Sometimes wording or phrasing may need to be adjusted, but the edited story should communicate the same message as the original text.

All changes should improve a submission

Edited text should read better, look better, and/or be more true to our mission and the submission guidelines.

Enforce the Submission Guidelines

Above all, the Submission Guidelines, available to all contributors, must be enforced to maintain editorial consistency. If you are dealing with a contributor who has not conformed to one or more of the guidelines, communicate that fact to him/her, either via email or in the Editor Comments box on the Article Submission/Edit form.

We want to earnestly encourage you to continue to compose using your own voice and your own approach. Creativity, idiosyncrasy, and personality are all valuable commodities. The body of contributing writers includes a large number of individuals with diverse interests, from various backgrounds, and with very personal reasons for contributing. It is essential for us to continue to cultivate this diversity.

Any editorial involvement exists to serve a common goal: we're trying to make the material we publish as clear, effective, and efficient as possible. By doing so, we will attract and retain readers, and help ensure a reasonable level of consistency.

Our article pending page functionality supports multiple editors and prevents two editors from proofing the same article simultaneously.

If you wish to edit an article, click the "make me the editor" link in the "editor" colum. Once clicked, the page will refresh and your name will be listed in the "editor" box--locking the article in your name. No one can edit the article until you check the "edited?" box on article_edit.php. Checking "edited?" indicates you have approved the article for publication.

To hold a CD Review for editorial reasons, click the "editorial hold" box on article_edit.php. This will place "EDITORIAL HOLD" in the title column and indicate status to the other editors.

If a review is submitted well before its street date, you can enter the "Do Not Publish Before" date on article_edit.php. This will place "HOLD UNTIL [Date Specified]" in the title column. Once the hold date = the calendar date, the "hold" designation is removed.