Overview of Publishing Process

The following synopsis of the steps of publishing, along with the estimated time frame for each stage, will help you schedule and plan the time required to edit a Conference Series volume. As the publisher, we have provided instructions, templates and macros to compile the volume and will be available to help answer technical questions and provide basic help. However, our standard services do not include editorial functions such as compiling the papers together into a volume, checking for scientific accuracy, editorial revisions, etc. If you should need more extensive editorial or technical help, we will be happy to assist you at a cost of $35.00 per hour.

Because the book goes through various stages and processes, we typically refer to it using various terms, including manuscript, proof and volume. A manuscript is the collection of papers compiled together, before it is sent to the printer. The proof is the book prepared for printing by the printer, then returned for the editor's review. The volume is the finished or published book.

The following outlines what you might expect for each publishing stage. Each stage is described in more detail on a separate web page.

Step 1. Getting Started -- Months Leading Up to Conference

This stage coincides with your preparations for the conference. Several items should be determined during this time, preparations must be made for compiling the volume, and good communication with authors will allow the remainder of the publishing process to go smoothly. There are also several things you can do at the conference and immediately following which will make your job as editor much easier. See Step 1 for more details.

Step 2. Compiling The Volume -- 4 Months Following Conference

We strongly recommend that you assemble and compile the manuscript within 4 months following the meeting. We have found that the burden of producing a volume becomes greater as authors move on to new research and time passes. It is to your advantage to stay on top of this task. Please keep these motivations in mind:

  1. Information obtained at the proceedings is often time sensitive and becomes outdated if you wait too long to publish;
  2. Authors who have completed their papers in the time requested have a right to have their papers published in a timely fashion and not be held up for one or two late papers; and
  3. If participants have paid for a volume, they have a right to receive the proceedings within a year after the conference was held. The ASPCS strives to publish all volumes within six months. This should be your goal too.
  4. The ASPCS reserves the right to cancel publication of any volume that is not submitted wihtin a year of the conference. Late publication damages our reputation and diminishes the value of the books we deliver to our subscribers and customers.

For more information, please go to Step 2.

Step 3. Submitting and Reviewing the Manuscript -- Approximately 1 Month

During the submission phase, editors submit a completed Submission Form. ASPCS staff will prepare to receive the completed manuscript. Authors and editors upload all the manuscript files to the ASPCS server, compile them again, fix any errors in the compilation, and then notify the Publication Manager that the manuscript is ready for further review and processing. Submission is not considered complete until it compiles correctly on the ASPCS server. For more information, see Step 3.

Our Review. When the manuscript has been successfully submitted, we will run a "Preflight Report" to determine if the PDF will have any problems when printed. We will also inspect the manuscript for aesthetic problems such as images or text that are over the margin, missing running heads, etc. We require you, the editor, to correct any problems found at this point and update the files on our server. If you need help, you may pay ASPCS to fix them at the rate of $35.00 per hour.

Your Review. Corrections made at this stage don't cost anything; they only require your time. We strongly recommend you and your co-editors give the volume a thorough review at this point, since past experience has proven that additional readers help catch editorial errors. You may wish to send the PDF to the co-editors as soon as the volume is compiled to save time. They could review the volume and send you any required corrections while we are also reviewing it. Corrections made after the manuscript has been sent to the printer become much more expensive ($50 per correction in proof). Please give your volume a thorough final review before we submit it to the printer.

Once you have made editorial corrections such as backward quote marks, spelling errors, commas, periods, captions, etc., you are happy with the content, and all aesthetic errors are corrected, we will submit your manuscript to the printer.

Step 4. Proof Stage -- Approximately 1 Month

After submitting your manuscript to the printer, the volume is in the proof stage. A proof is considered to be a finished product ready to be printed. The master for it resides as a PDF file at the printer so you can no longer edit it yourselves. All corrections to a proof must be made by us and the printing company.

You will be required to examine the electronic proof (PDF) and provide a list of corrections (if any) before it is printed.

Correction of technical problems will be made by us free of charge. Editorial corrections made at this stage will be billed to you at a rate of $50 per change. So again, it is to your advantage to make all editorial corrections before the proof stage.

See Step 4 for more information.

Step 5. Printed Volume

It takes approximately one month to print and ship the volume after the proof is approved. Once the books are printed, you will receive an advance copy from the printer which you will examine and approve before the volumes are shipped. Major problems found at this stage can be corrected, but the printer charges can be quite high to slice pages out of all the printed copies of the book and glue in new ones. See Step 5 for additional information on reviewing advance copies. If the mistake is ours, we will pay the printer; however, if the mistake is yours, you will need to pay the charge. Once the editor approves the advance copies, the books are shipped to the conference participants and astronomy libraries around the world.