Production cycle

The following is an outline of the production cycle; the assistant editor will notify you of approximate dates corresponding to each stage. If it's impossible to properly check copyedits or proofs at either of these stages, contact the assistant editor as early as possible. Sometimes an alternate deadline can be arranged with Duke. To avoid these scenarios, we ask contributors in advance for expected travel dates. We appreciate your cooperation in anticipating possible schedule conflicts.

The production schedule for a single issue, from manuscript to bound journal, is five months at best and longer if the turnaround at any point is slower than expected. Factors that slow down production include extensive copyediting, delayed copyright permissions for images, and, alas, unavailability of authors to approve copyedits and proofs. If the issue gets to the printer late, it either loses its place in the queue or incurs the press extra costs for expedited service.


When the entire issue has been copyedited (approximately two months after Duke receives the manuscript), Chris Mazzara—our long-time and highly admired copyeditor—sends each author two electronic files of on-screen editing results, one clean and one with changes and queries tracked. Edits in the tracked file may appear severe at first glance; editing software is extremely thorough and, to that end, a bit repetitive, causing a simple transposition of words to appear as a major edit. Chris sends a letter of introduction along with further explanations and instructions to progress the author/editor dialogue. Authors have about two weeks to respond to these edits.


After the editing cycle is complete (in another four to eight weeks) authors receive type-set proofs for final approval. Edits at this point are generally minimal—and expensive—but proofs allow authors to take a fresh and final look at how their article will appear in print. Authors have about two weeks to respond.


Finally, the big payoff: articles and reviews, beautifully bound in glossy red covers, are distributed to subscribers. Article authors receive five complimentary copies of the journal, and review authors, two. Authors also have the option of buying reprints directly from Duke at any time.

Modern Language Quarterly | Department of English, Box 354330 | University of Washington | Seattle, WA 98195-4430