Last week a team from ProseWorks visited our client Eurofound, the European Agency which promotes understanding of working and living conditions across Europe.
It was great to get out of the office and travel to Dublin to meet Eurofound’s editorial team. Talking points ranged from detailed discussions on technical editing issues, such as how to edit graphs and tables in Excel, and likely changes in the client’s CMS system, through to more generic and reflective issues such as how to maintain consistency within texts that have been written by authors from any of the EU’s 28 countries (yes 28, now that Croatia has joined the EU last week).
Obviously, detailed style sheets help. What struck me though was the fact that – even if the style sheet is 300 pages long or contains a GB of data – learning a style sheet off by heart is rarely enough for an editor to really understand what’s needed.
Technology has liberated and transformed editing in the last fifteen years or so. But there’s still no substitute for sitting around a table to discuss and agree the finer points with clients.
It was a pleasure to do so. Having spent a day with the client, we headed back to Dublin airport to catch our flight to Birmingham with a far deeper understanding of what they need from us, their team of research report editors and proofreaders.
Editing academic and research texts is a complex and detailed business. Email is great for transferring data, knowledge and information. Face to face interaction, though, is still the best way to really get to grips with what the client really wants….