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My paper got accepted in AEÜ. I want to make some changes in my article. Can I rewrite some sentences when reviewing the proofs from the journal?

  • It's not clear at what stage of publication you are. Have you sent a "galley proof"? Has the issue come out already? If not, how much time do you have left? The answer might depend on that somewhat. – einpoklum Dec 1 '15 at 23:25
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The key word in your question is "some."

If "some" refers to a small number (less than about 10), and the "rewrites" are relatively minor, this should not be a problem. On the other hand, if you have an extensive list of changes spanning multiple pages, and the changes affect the interpretation and argumentation of the article, then the publisher will likely balk at making all of the changes without obtaining editorial approval

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In my experience, most journals send the proofs with instructions saying that you should only make changes where errors have been introduced during copy-editing or typesetting. That is, you should correct the journal's errors, not your own. Nevertheless, I've occasionally spotted a few (fewer than 5, even in a long paper) small errors of my own, proposed corrections, and never had any trouble. If I found errors of my own on every second page, I'd be very embarrassed and I'm not sure how publishers would react.

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Previously, I also did the same. For a minor change, it is valid (specially for text) to do some corrections in the paper. However, change in any form of result must be made only after getting approval from the Editor-in-chief of the journal. Hope, my comments will help you!

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If the article has been accepted my understanding that it is very poor form to change anything that is not grammar/spelling etc.

If you change the meaning of a sentence in any way, even without meaning to, you may change the interpretation of the work in a small way - therefore this is no longer the work that has been accepted, but a different document.

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    This is maybe more fastidious than necessary. I've made changes in galley proofs like fixing typos in equations (which technically change the meaning), rewriting one or two awkward sentences, etc, and nobody has ever objected. – Nate Eldredge Dec 1 '15 at 17:27
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    @poppyseeds: The relevant criterion is that there should be no significant changes to the content of the article. Minor changes in sentence structure, etc., would not cause a problem. – aeismail Dec 1 '15 at 17:29
  • In the old, dark days of strict page limits, it was not uncommon to have to go and prune a bit to get the length down by a few lines (word counts only so accurate with respect to the typeset version). I usually accomplished this by finding the paragraphs with the shortest hanging lines, and snipped a word or two out to make the paragraph one line shorter. No editor ever complained, but no meaning was ever lost either. – Jon Custer Dec 1 '15 at 17:38

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