Q: How can we handle errors we discovered in our accepted (but not yet published) paper?
Our paper has been accepted, but not yet published. However, we have discovered some errors in it. How can we handle these errors, knowing that the editors are waiting for the final MS Word file of the paper to proceed to the publication stage?
Firstly, congrats on the acceptance! From what you have described, you have probably received the proofs of the manuscript for checking. You are usually provided a couple of weeks for this; the journal would have mentioned a timeline when they sent this across. And you seem to have come across some errors in the proof. These are probably from the journal side. If so, you are okay to call these out. If they are from your side (perhaps because you failed to spot them earlier), that’s okay too – the proofing stage is meant for just this. :-) Hopefully, these are minor errors; at this stage, they should indeed be minor errors. So, you can go ahead and make the changes, but just call them out for the benefit of the editorial team, as they will be making the document ‘clean’ before it goes into publishing.
Now, in case you are concerned that these errors will take you some time and the deadline for submitting the proofed version is close, you may write to the editor requesting for a slight extension. However, as they should hopefully be minor errors at this stage, you could stretch yourself to complete it within the stipulated time. After all, you would want your accepted manuscript to be published as early as possible, wouldn’t you? :-)
Hope that helps. For more information on proofing and for help with journal communication, you may find the following resources useful:
- What is the minimum number of comments to be included while proofing my paper?
- Is it possible to correct a paper in that is in "Early View" after proofing?
- A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal [Handbook]
Good luck with the final stage! And again, congrats!