Effect and confirmation item of proofreading and double-check
１：Effect of double-check
Although proofreading works has been gradually shifting to digital, many parts still needs analog methods.
Even if you use proofreading software, you still need to check it by yourself at some point. It cannot be an alternative tool of human work entirely.
At the same time, human work cannot be separated from man-made errors. Small mistakes can cause critical issues as well.
In that situation, double-check plays an important role.
Most people have a typical image that the role of double-checking in proofreading is to prevent overlooking. However, there are also more useful effects as below.
・Effect of preventing miswriting.
As some of you might have seen in the book, there is often miswriting like below.
Japan Editors School. Kosei Renshucho(in Japanese).
Even if you recognize what to do, it happens to everyone that miswriting carelessly. Since you think that you wrote correctly, you can not realize that you had a mistake even though you check many times.
Even one mistake sometimes can be a critical issue in the end.
・Effect of preventing misunderstanding.
It often happens that proofreaders have misunderstandings because the instruction of the manuscript was vague, or mistook letters.
If you see red letters below in the original document, you may think it is 22 (numbers), or “ZZ” (alphabet).
Or if you proofread other works such as a price list that includes a lot of numbers before you look at these red letters, your brain understands that it is 22 (number) without consciousness.
On the other hand, if you worked on something that contains many alphabets, for example, product number, you may think it says “ZZ” (alphabet)
In general, double-check is done by a different proofreader, they confirm the document from a different perspective. At the same time, it also avoids misunderstanding.
■ Effect of double-check are below;
２：Doesn’t double-check make sense?
It is often said double-check does not make sense.
Presumably, this case means there are no issues even if they double-checked many times and that situation continues. In that case, some people might think “does it make sense to do this work…?”. Therefore, some wonder if it is worth doing Contents of the manuscript this work.
In double-check, you rarely find critical mistakes (except for small ones).
Fundamentally, if you find mistakes frequently, it means the first proofreader had a problem. Thus, they have to solve the radical matter before doing double-check.
You might seldom find mistakes even if you did double-check. In that case, it is also an option not to do it when you consider cost-effectiveness.
Since budget is also an essential element for your work, it is also necessary to judge with 1. time (cost) regarding double-check, and 2. effectiveness, namely finding mistakes ratio.
Also, you might have a case that you do not have enough time to do double-check or forgot to do it unintentionally. This case happens because you did not regard that double-check as one of the important processes. In short, you did not pay enough attention to double-check.
Professional proofreaders recognize double-check as a part of proofreading. That is why double-check is already in the working process when they receive that work from their client, and add estimated time to the schedule.
３：Confirmation items of double-check 1 (most prioritized one)
Ideally, everything should be the target of double-checking. However, limited time and budget do not allow to do that in most cases. Thus, we need to focus on essential items that should be double-checked.
Items depend on the types of media.
Basically, it causes critical issues in case of mistakes.
It contains not only financial problems but also credit.
In general, price and names should be important but the most prioritized item is some parts that the client accused in the past.
Major mistakes that the client blamed previously should be checked carefully, but some other parts that the client mentioned before but did not become big issues luckily should be also double-checked.
• Client accused that there are small letters left in some parts even though they told you “This brochure is for elders, so that small letters are not suitable.”
• Client said “Images and letters are too apart from each other. Please be careful from next time.”
• Client told you “Some parts are hard to read because there is not enough space between letters.”
If you had small same mistake twice, it can be a big issue in the end. In addition, you might lose your trust.
Therefore, it is always important that reviewing past incidents, or some parts that the client mentioned previously before proofreading.
４：Confirmation items of double-check 2 (basic items)
Following most prioritized items, basic components address some mistakes that are directly connected to actual loss.
Price is also important, but some other information such as the release date, opening day of the store directly affect income. Thus, proofreaders should add these items to double-check.
▼ Following are items of double-check;
□ Number of product
□ Name（product, works etc.）
□ Name of company/ role
□ Name (employee, customer, and other individuals)
□ Post code and address
□ email address/ website
□ Date（lecture / event etc.）
□ Release date
□ Opening hour/close day
▼ Besides, these below can be confirmation items of double-check;
□ Cover/back cover/spine
Cover, back cover, and spine are the "face" of the book. At the same time, even small mistakes are critical because these parts are well-seen by readers. Thus, mistakes in these parts and in-text are totally different in terms of severity.
□ New product information / special page
□ Greetings from CEO
In general, messages from CEO are important in the business scene.
□ Contents of the manuscript
・Manuscripts that contain a lot of corrections.
・Documents with many appendices/ additional attachments.
・Some parts that were typed manually.
These items can be overlooked because it takes a lot of effort for proofreaders.
Needless to say, double-check is important. However, proofreaders must try to find all mistakes by themselves at first. It helps double-checkers to proceed with their work smoothly.
You might feel relieved because double-checkers will review your work but it sometimes causes meaningless mistakes. Accordingly, proofreaders should always try to do their best as professionals.