I have received the proofs of my article a week after acceptance. There were some mistakes made during the typesetting which I have outlined while correcting the proofs. It's been a week since the corrections were submitted. My question is:

What happens once the corrections are submitted? Does the process of generating the proofs start all over again, and hence one should expect the same amount of time as between acceptance and receiving the initial proofs to pass before the manuscript is published online?

3 Answers 3


With modern equipment, no, the actual typesetting won't be started over and the actual time allocated for the job is likely quite short for a few corrections. Things are automated these days. Manual checking is still required though - end of page and line, ect.

But the job has to be scheduled and the business process may put the paper at the end of a queue so that the overall time that you experience might be longer than you'd expect.

  • Things are automated these days Is it possible to automate corrections? I'm under the impression that the corrections are provided in a form that's not machine-readable, so implementing them is still a manual process.
    – Allure
    Jan 29 at 14:33
  • @Allure, true enough, but the "typeset" is now likely (very likely) an electronic document, not cast lead as was once the case. Only the changes need to be incorporated and the overall effect judged and fixed when needed (widows and orphans, for example). Margins and flow are almost certainly automated. Even hyphenation when needed.
    – Buffy
    Jan 29 at 14:37
  • @Buffy Though a recent question was about the use of LaTeX for books on reddit/LaTeX, one may speculate scientific journals do not differ this much in technology here. One of the answers noted XML as one tools among others for tailored typesetting by letex, one company more frank about how data by their clients are processed (SpringerNature, Wiley VCH, de Gruyter, Thieme are mentioned explicitly).
    – Buttonwood
    Jan 29 at 17:23

The bulk of the work - when references are fixed, figures are positioned, imprints are added, margins are modified, etc. - is done during the first proofs. That's why the first proofs are often very different from the accepted manuscript.

After the first proofs stage, any changes will usually be minor typographical fixes, which are easily incorporated (unless they cause text to overrun, but it's rare for these overruns to be severe enough to make text run between pages).

Second proofs are usually faster than first proofs, but there is some scatter in the time needed since, e.g., the journal staff may be accelerating another paper which has been marked "urgent". Order of magnitude estimate is "a few days".

  • The journal staff might have many papers, actually. It is hard to predict or even to know their process.
    – Buffy
    Jan 28 at 14:29

one should expect the same amount of time, as between acceptance and receiving the initial proofs, to pass before the manuscript is published online?

No, in my experience it is much more random than that.

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