Re: Checking facts during editing

Subject: Re: Checking facts during editing
From: "Elise" <elisewriter -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 19:11:39 -0700

> Rowena wrote:
> I'm wondering: How many of you actually work with
> editors who check facts as well as writing? At what
> point in the development cycle does the editor start
> checking facts? How long does it take them, compared
> to checking writing? And how well does it work? For
> example, how much additional fact checking is required
> before the documents go out the door?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by fact-checking, I assume it's the
technical accuracy (what the publication describes matches what the spec.
says and what the product actual does). And, I think you might avoid the
"additional fact checking" if you monitor those development cycle milestones
that effect your publications.

Although each company treats the development cycle in different ways (from
very detailed to nonexistent), you'll want to key in on certain milestones
and delivery dates: requirements; function/feature freeze (by
module/functional area, particularly for short dev. cycles) & UI freeze
dates -- so you can plan when you'll be ready for the 'fact-checking'

> Requirements exist, but will probably be left untouched in a dusty
> network folder once the project really gets underway.

Just to clarify, by "Requirements" are you referring to the Marketing or
Products Requirement document? (In my experience, both are created prior to
and supplanted by the Product Specification. -- "your mileage may differ"

>Since I started technical writing, fact checking has
>always been taken care of by quality assurance testers....<snip>
>I'm wondering: How many of you actually work with
> editors who check facts as well as writing?

During 15 years of writing, I've never worked with a full-time editor
(writers also have done the editing). Frankly, in my opinion, whoever edits
the documents, whether for technical accuracy (by QA/SME), adherence to the
style guide, basic/comprehesive editing, I, as the author, bear the
responsibility for the accuracy (or lack of it) in the pub.

Hope this helps you,

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Checking facts during editing: From: Rowena Hart

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