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I recently received the Galley proof from the journal. I sent my correction, but there are more than 50. All of them are minor. Part of them are caused in the copy-editing process, and the editor changed some words incorrectly. Part of them are caused by my own mistake on factual information, like missing a word in a citation, or giving wrong page number for a reference.

The publisher mentioned they would not expect to receive more than 30 corrections. I was wondering whether they would correct everything I mentioned (given these corrections do not change the content)? Is it possible to ask to review the corrected proof before they send it for publication? (Just to check they correct everything right, rather than suggesting new correction).

I am very nervous now, so any comment and suggestion would be great!

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It's impossible to tell from the outside since this is going to be specific to the journal's production staff.

It's possible that the 30-changes limit is just to dissuade authors from submitting hundreds of changes and/or requesting a fresh typeset from the original source files. It is also possible that this is a hard limit and the the typesetters will go "this author wants 50 corrections?? I refuse to do it!". It's possible that if the typesetters say this, the desk editor will persuade them to do it anyway. There really is no way to tell, even for the same publisher, since the typesetters/desk editors for each journal will vary, and this is a decision at the individual level.

The same goes for requesting a 2nd reading. You can certainly ask, but the desk editor might not oblige. It's a juggling act here because if they don't send you a corrected galley proofs and publish anyway, and the published paper turns out to be poor, they'd have to deal with an angry author (which nobody wants to). On the other hand if they do show you the proofs, then you might make even more corrections, and ask for a 3rd reading followed by 4th reading etc, and that is also not ideal for them.

That said, since it's only the 2nd reading, I would likely oblige if I were handling your paper. If you want to see the 2nd reading, you should let them know quickly, for their convenience.

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  • Thank you so much Allure. Your answer makes sense and I wish I could have you as my copy editor. I was just wondering whether this could be possible in the production practice. I heard about some bad story about the production editor just ignored the revision, or even refuses to revise and then publish the article directly...
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 26 '20 at 7:37
  • Hi Allure, any suggestions if the production editor does not response? Already waited 3 days...
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 26 '20 at 12:11
  • @MikeChen again, it's impossible to tell what's happening from the outside because this is an individual decision. If the production editor has a lot of work right now, they could have made a note of your request but didn't send a read receipt. Or they might have said no, be on holiday, etc. I would say send a second email, asking for acknowledgment of receipt.
    – Allure
    Feb 27 '20 at 2:57
  • Thank you for your response. I am nervous because I am afraid they are not going to correct everything I pointed out appropriately. I do believe their competence, but since many errors are there, and some could be tricky, it is easier to make a mistake. And once they publish a paper without changing the errors I pointed to, then the shameness is on mine side.
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 27 '20 at 3:52
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Yes, of course you can ask: "Due to the number of corrections, if possible I would like to review the proofs again after corrections are made, to make sure nothing gets missed. Would this be possible?"

But keep in mind that journal production runs on a tight schedule, and only a limited amount of time is available for reviewing and correcting the proofs. They may tell you that there won't be time to run the updated version by you, or they may give you a very short amount of time to check it (e.g. 24 hours).

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  • Hi Nate, thank you very much for your response. I did email the production editor but I have not yet received any response. In the email I stated that I would only check these corrections and would return back within 24 hours. The thing I worried is that they will not make the corrections due to the number. Is it possible that they simply refuse to do any correction and publish the article directly?
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 26 '20 at 4:04
  • It seems unlikely - if it's published with substantive errors, they might have to print an erratum later on, and they would surely prefer to avoid that. One can never be sure what other people will do, but it sounds like you're doing everything you can from your end. If they really can't make all the corrections in time, I would guess a more likely outcome is that they postpone your article to a later issue. Feb 26 '20 at 4:15
  • Thank you Nate. I will wait and hear what the editor said. Postponing a later issue actually is not a big deal. But publishing a work with still several minor uncorrected errors are really annoying....
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 26 '20 at 4:18
  • Hi Nate, any suggestions if the editor does not response? Wait already 3 days...
    – Mike Chen
    Feb 26 '20 at 12:12
  • Which editor are you talking to? Usually, after the article is accepted and goes to the publisher, it's out of the hands of the editor who originally handled the peer review. I think you should be talking to the copy editor or someone else on the production side. Was there any contact information accompanying the galley proofs? Feb 26 '20 at 12:47

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