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I just received an email from the editor of a monograph series letting me know the issue where my article is included is now live. I went through normal things recently to get it published, like a copyright statement, but I never saw proofs. Upon looking at the pdf as it is online, I noticed formatting concerns that I would have liked corrected. They are:

  1. Some of the headings are inconsistently formatted (i.e., some bold, some indented, some nothing - all for what should be the same heading level)
  2. I have some full page tables, which produce lots of empty space on the page just beforehand. Rather than continue the body of the document, it is paused until after the table (in one case mid-sentence).

Is it possible to have changes made, and in what conditions is it worth it? There are not format methods to submit corrigendum to my knowledge. I'm also part of a relatively small academic community and a young scholar. I don't want to be seen as being too picky, but I also want my work to be represented well.

A similar questions is here although I didn't get proofs and I'm specifically asking with regard to the size of the community I'm in.

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I would only raise the issue with the editor if one of two cases applies:

  • The formatting has markably been altered from the version you submitted for publication, or
  • The version online is markably different from other articles in the monograph series.

If it’s a “just accepted” manuscript that has not been through production, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, but if you’re still concerned about it, you might send a friendly note asking when you’ll have a chance to review the proofs.

  • Thanks for the answers everyone. Because the formatting was quite different than what I submitted and I hadn't seen any proofs, I sent a friendly email asking if it was possible to have revisions made. The editor seemed surprised, but once he returns from a trip he'll revisit it with me. – Andrew Jackson Jun 22 '18 at 0:19
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It sounds like these issues are purely cosmetic and don't significantly affect the paper's content nor its readability. I would just leave it alone. I think you do risk being seen as picky or annoying if you make an issue of something this minor. Yes, it's not ideal, but life's not perfect.

If you're able to post a version of the paper to your website or a preprint server, you could certainly fix the formatting in that version. Depending on the culture in your field, it may be that most people will be reading that version instead of the "official" version anyway.

(It's also possible that you'll still receive proofs and be able to correct them at some point in the future. I have experienced cases where the publisher will post a preliminary version of the article before the author has corrected the proofs, and update it later after corrections are made.)

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Is the online article a preprint or a finished product? That is, did the publisher do anything to it (e.g. format the article, insert a DOI, copyright statement and so on)?

If no: then you'll probably be receiving proofs soon, so nothing to worry about yet.

If yes: normally, this means it's too late to make changes. The typesetters would have to effectively start from scratch. However, the defects you describe sound very basic, to the point it seems the typesetters did a (very) bad job. In this case I would write to the series editor and point out the obvious flaws. It's up to the series editor, but she might raise a formal complaint to the publisher or even switch publishers.

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