Typesetting Error Missed

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My editorial, “What every author should know about duplicate publication,” (Fourth Quarter 2005) contained a serious error. The first sentence should have been in quotation marks because it was a verbatim quote. Quotation marks were on the copy sent to the publisher and typesetter. The typesetter deleted the quotation marks and I failed to notice the change on the page proofs. In January, I received a letter from a perceptive reader (Joel Stocker, PhD, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC), who noted that the lack of quotation marks around that verbatim quote constitutes plagiarism. Associate Editor Rachel Safer, Blackwell Publishing, identified the source of the error and apologized for it. The Editorial Board unanimously agreed that the unfortunate error was not a case of plagiarism.

I thank Dr. Stocker for bringing this error to my attention. I was not aware that such changes occur in typesetting. However, in checking with other editors, I learned that typesetting changes are not uncommon. Even with the use of electronic manuscripts, typesetting changes do occur, and extremely close proofreading is necessary.

The editorial printed in the Fourth Quarter issue should not be used. It has been replaced by the correct copy, available online at:

Please refer to the online copy and cite it, not the printed copy, for any and all uses of that editorial.

Despite the difficulties this error has caused, perhaps it is best that this first occurrence in JNS happened to me as editor. I am humbled that missing such an error is so easy to do. I will check both my proofs and those of other authors more carefully in the future. I apologize for the inconvenience to readers because of changes in that editorial.