Copyediting and Proofreading Web-Only Articles

Prior to an article being submitted for copyediting, the managing editor or the Big Ideas editor will have created a task for the article in Asana, having assigned the proper task template to the piece, added due dates, and a publish date.

At MIT SMR, we have a relatively fast turnaround time during the copyediting and proofing phases, but we do allow for a two-step process.

Editors will email an article to the managing editor or Big Ideas editor (or wishful thinking, at some point, drop an article into the appropriate Dropbox folder) when it has been edited and all the packaging elements are added.

The article is reviewed by the managing editor, ensuring all elements are in place and the format is set up as expected. The managing editor saves the article in the Copy Edit Dropbox folder, naming the article the same as the task name.

The managing editor moves the task to the Copy Edit stage in the Weekly Content Production project in Asana and notifies the copy editor through Asana that the piece is ready for copy edit.

The assigned copy editor copy edits and fact checks the piece, using track changes and comments, saving the file with her initials in the Copy Edit dropbox folder. Upon completion, the copy editor comments in Asana to either the managing editor or the Big Ideas editor that the copy edit is complete.

Important tasks during this stage include:

  • Copyedit for style points (please consult the MIT SMR Style Guide and the AP Stylebook
  • Factcheck company names, titles, facts, etc.
  • Add links as necessary
  • The managing editor reviews copy edits for style and overall approval and reviews all edits and comments. If changes are substantial, the ME asks the editor of the piece to review and/or coordinate with the author. Allison reviews all Big Ideas-generated content for approval as well.

    Cheryl clears the article of track changes and comments and saves to the To Digital Dropbox folder, adding a link to the file location and noting the article is ready in the corresponding Asana task.

    The digital team will then create the article in WordPress, noting the corresponding link and comments to the assigned proofreader that the post is ready to be proofread in WordPress. The proofer proofreads the article in WordPress and makes changes as necessary in the post, noting changes in the Asana task. Upon completion, she comments to the managing editor on the Asana task.

    Important things to check for during the proofing stage include the following:

  • Ensure links work
  • Ensure links to author’s email, twitter, other social media handles work
  • Look for straight quotes when they should be smart (or curly) quotes/apostrophes
  • Ensure featured images appear
  • Ensure columnist headshots appear
  • Ensure reprint numbers exist when applicable
  • The ME reviews the proofreader’s changes and comments as necessary.