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Copy editors correct spelling, grammar and align writings to house style.

Changes to the publishing industry since the 1980s have resulted in nearly all copy editing of book manuscripts being outsourced to freelance copy editors. They may choose the layout of the publication and communicate with the printer.

Paid editing services may be provided by specialized editing firms or by self-employed (freelance) editors.

Editing firms may employ a team of in-house editors, rely on a network of individual contractors or both.

Large companies dedicate experienced writers to the technical editing function.

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Most scholarly publishers have a preferred style that usually specifies a particular dictionary and style manual—for example, the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual or the APA Publication Manual in the US, or the New Hart's Rules in the U. Technical editing involves reviewing text written on a technical topic, identifying usage errors and ensuring adherence to a style guide.

Technical editing may include the correction of grammatical mistakes, misspellings, mistyping, incorrect punctuation, inconsistencies in usage, poorly structured sentences, wrong scientific terms, wrong units and dimensions, inconsistency in significant figures, technical ambivalence, technical disambiguation, statements conflicting with general scientific knowledge, correction of synopsis, content, index, headings and subheadings, correcting data and chart presentation in a research paper or report, and correcting errors in citations.

Obtaining manuscripts or recruiting authors is the role of an acquisitions editor or a commissioning editor in a publishing house.

Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors are the responsibilities of a sponsoring editor.

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