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Electronic Editing in Technical Communication: A Survey of Practices and Attitudes

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This article presents the results of a sample survey that gathered information on why, how, and to what extent technical communicators use computers to edit. Analysis of the survey data suggests that editing has become a de-specialized, distributed function in technical communication. Three-fourths of the 580 STC members who completed the survey in 1999 indicated that editing others’ work was part of their job. They were about evenly divided between those who used hard-copy markup and those who used some form of electronic editing as a primary edit mode. Most reported using both hard-copy and electronic procedures, alternately or together. About two-thirds edited electronically at least occasionally, and most of these used hard copy for error detection in their electronic-editing process. The factors most associated with electronic editing were physical distance between author and editor, the way that documents for editing were transmitted, attitude of the editor toward e-editing, and editing’s role as a primary or secondary job function.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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