Recently my paper was accepted in one of the best computer science journals in Elsevier. In less than 12 hours, I received the galley proof of the paper. Initially, I was surprised at the speed of conversion of the paper into the final format, but when I saw the paper, it turned out to be in a terrible condition. I wrote my paper with LaTeX; it appears to have been converted to Word, and the typesetting of all of my equations is ruined. The arrangement of figures, algorithms, and tables was OK in pre-print, in a one-column format; now, it has become a terrible mess.

What can I do now?

  • Email to the publishing editor to reconsider the final preparation of the article?
  • Prepare the paper in a two-column format myself and resend it to the journal's office?
  • Ask the publisher to publish the paper typeset in LaTeX?
  • @NateEldredge All accepted papers are cute and fluffy (to their parents... er.. authors at the very least), but unfortunately I have still to find out how to make them reproduce rapidly.
    – skymningen
    Feb 14, 2017 at 16:32
  • @NateEldredge In my view just transformed to word in two-column format without any other modification:)
    – Hadi
    Feb 14, 2017 at 16:33
  • 7
    I'd be inclined to send an email to the editor who accepted the paper, explaining the problem and asking what I should do. If (as often happens) the production staff gave me a tight deadline for correcting the proofs, then I'd also ask for more time if whatever the editor suggests would take too long. Feb 14, 2017 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


In such extreme case (which, by the way, are disturbingly frequent at larger, very expensive commercial publishers) I recommend sending an e-mail to the editor, including the proofs to show that you are not talking about a misplaced comma, and simultaneously answering the production that you do not allow them to proceed. Beware not to sign or click anything that might make them able to pretend you allowed them to send the paper into production (as it would be much more difficult to get things right then). Ideally (i.e. if you are not forced through a web platform) you would e-mail the production team with copy to the Editor in Chief or handling editor for the record, or the other way round.

I don't recommend trying to fix manually an absurd amount of problems in Galley proofs: 1. Many libraries put a lot of money to pay for this work, you and your institution should not pay with your time; 2. you are bound to miss some of the bad stuff, half your corrections might be ignored, and new problems could be added after galley proofs (I would not believe that if I had not seen it myself -- my first paper actually).

I don't recommend sending a new version and suggesting they start back from that. It is pretty unpredictable what they could imagine doing, and if they use the same process again it will not be pretty.

Any diligent Editor in chief, when receiving your e-mail, should reach out to the publisher's management to have things sorted out. Without management involvement, the production team will probably do what they are probably asked to by default: treat things quick and dirty.

Last, I hope you put your preprint on the arXiv. If you did, you can at least have this as a version of record (and Elsevier allows you to update it to a postprint, including referees' remarks). If you did not already put the preprint on the arXiv, then Elsevier's policies are too complicated for me to understand and remember.


They sent you a proof, so review it and respond with the things you would like to change. Don't send a "camera ready" version with how you wished it would look like. The paper was most likely re-typed in whichever typesetting software they use so that would be useless.

Your question seem to indicate you are mostly dissatisfied with the cosmetics of the paper, that's the journal's responsibility. Simply focus on issues where the content is altered in a way that might change the meaning of what you wrote.

  • 2
    The issue is that there are huge amounts of changes. Marking up huge amounts of changes takes a huge amount of time, which is not time well spent. Feb 14, 2017 at 21:56
  • @DavidRichery And in particular, if the time has already been invested. Feb 15, 2017 at 1:32

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