The 4 C’s

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what a copy editor brings to the table, you simply need to remember the 4Cs:

  • Correctness
  • Consistency
  • Completeness
  • Communication

There are a few things that we as editors consider when we edit an OER. It’s important to discuss the following with the editor before you start:

  1. Is this an adaptation of an existing work, or is this your original work? Are there multiple authors or contributors to this book?
    This may determine how closely we are copy editing the content – holistically or in parts – although we may make suggestions of changes to text that has already been edited if it makes your book more consistent in style or tone. This tends to affect the consistency and tone of a book; it helps to have one editor review the entire book, and a BCcampus-adapted Style-Sheet is essential!
  2. Who is the intended reader?
    Age? Education level? How familiar are the readers with the topic and its terminology? What do they need to know?
  3. What academic style are you using in your work?
    Will you be using footnotes? E.g., HIST courses tend to use Chicago or Turabian formatting. How are captions. citations, and attributions being handled?
  4. What is the scope of editing required?
    Are there internal links throughout that need to be checked? Are you using links to internal and external resources?
    Are there extensive materials that need to be checked, cited and or referenced (Reference lists?)
    Will you be doubling back after the Editor has already done a first ‘pass’?
  5. What kind of markup system do you prefer?
    Using tracked changes in Word ensures that you see all of the edits that an editor is making and it allows for easier commenting/ queries from the editor; however, keep in mind that someone (either you or the editor will have to make the final edits within Pressbooks. The revisions history link in the right navigation box allow you to see all revisions, but the interface is not user friendly.
    How will editors review and comment on H5P content? Editors may use screen shots and comments in Adobe pdf/ word or Google docs.
  6. What accessibility options have been considered? Colours considered?/ accessibility options? Printing format?
  7. Many style elements are tracked in a style sheet so that you can refer to style decisions that you have already considered and decided on. This will make it easier to ensure that the format/ structure and style of your OER is consistent.

You may want to start filling out the Working with Your Editor form to maximize your first meeting with your editor. If you are unsure, the editor will help you. 


BCcampus. Create a style sheet. In Open education self-publishing guide.