Editorial roles and the parallels with software development

Every editorial role has a distinct purpose and requires a particular set of skills and focus. This is why an attempt to combine two or more of these roles simultaneously is rarely successful and is a poor use of time — however these roles CAN be performed by the same person, but with appropriate focus.

Although the descriptions below refer to the publishing sphere, there are parallels with software or application development

 Editor [Project Manager]
  • Liaises with the Author (Client) to ensure communication between Author and editorial staff remains open, and the project (publication or development) meets targets and deadlines
  • Controls the look and feel of the publication (project) in collaboration with the Designer and Author (Client)
  • Manages the production process
  • Liaises with Printer and Typesetter
 Sub-Editor [Solution Architect / Testing Designer]
  • Ensures the publication structure is coherent as a whole, and conveys the Author’s message (meets project requirements), and restructures the publication (solution architecture) where necessary
  • Works closely with the Editor and Designer
  • Rewrites ambiguous or badly written text
 Copy-Editor [System Developer / Test Developer]
  • Ensures visual consistency throughout the publication (project)
  • Ensures content is consistent (spelling, style)
  • Ensures headings are marked consistently for style
  • Ensures the text is readable and makes sense — minor rewording if necessary
 Proof Reader [Programmer / Tester]
  • Performs final checks at a very granular scale: spelling, punctuation, reference checking, pagination, figure/table numbering etc
Designer [UI Designer]
Author [Client]

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