How does fact checking a book work?
September 17, 2012 12:28 PM Subscribe
I'm looking for information on the process of fact checking a book manuscript. What are the norms in this field?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a lot of writing/editing experience and have done a lot of "spot checking" of sources, so I am confident in my research skills. But I've never done a full fact check on a book manuscript, and I am interested in getting into that kind of work. I would be interested in hearing some details about the process from anyone who has worked as or hired a fact checker.
What I'm curious about is the following: When an editor sends out a manuscript for fact checking, what exactly does he or she expect to get back -- an annotated copy of the manuscript (like with comments in MS word), or a separate file of some kind? Are fact checkers expected to use only/primarily the author's sources, or do they use their own sources to verify facts? For example, if the work includes a bibliography, is the fact checker expected to hunt down all of the sources in the bibliography, or is it acceptable to use an alternate source to verify facts cited in the work?
I have not had much luck Googling for this information. I do have Sarah Harrison Smith's "The Fact Checker's Bible," but she seems to assume that the actual source material will be passed on to the fact checker from the publisher, which is not the case in my field.