Terms of Service

Introduction

These terms explain what I will do for you (and what I need you to do for me) when you hire me, so we both know what to expect.

I believe documents like this should be easy to understand, so I have made sure that this one uses clear language. If anything in these terms is unclear, however, please ask me about it. I’ll be happy to clarify.

When you hire me, we will both sign a Project Agreement document. This agreement will contain the details of the specific project you are hiring me for. By signing the Project Agreement, we both agree to the terms set out here as well as the contents of the agreement.

Services I provide

Copyediting

I will provide sentence-by-sentence editing of the text, checking that it is consistent and technically accurate. I will ensure that:

  • spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate and consistent;
  • the text is written clearly, and there are no sentences that may be confusing or misleading for the reader;
  • any additional elements (such as tables, figures, appendices, etc.) are provided;
  • all elements of the text (including headings, names, terminology, cross-references, etc.) are accurate and consistent; and
  • all elements of the text (including headings, lists, tables, figure and table captions, etc.) are formatted consistently.

I will also carry out basic fact-checking of the text.

In addition, I will make sure that the language style and spelling of the text follow a journal or publisher’s house style and/or a general style guide. I will discuss with you which style guide(s) and spelling conventions I will use, and I will specify this in the Project Agreement.

Line editing

I will provide extensive sentence-by-sentence editing of the language of the text. I will ensure that:

  • the text is written in clear, fluent and idiomatic English;
  • the tone of the writing is appropriate and consistent; and
  • spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate and consistent.

For most line-editing projects, I will also carry out copyediting. This will be specified in the Project Agreement.

Structural editing

I will provide feedback on the overall structure of the text. I will check whether the argument of the text is clear and is conveyed effectively, whether the general tone of the writing is appropriate and consistent, and whether the text is organized effectively. I will make suggestions for how these areas might be improved.

I will not comment on the content or subject matter of the text, however (unless we agree that I will do so and this is specified in the Project Agreement).

Reference editing

I will ensure that all references in the text (both citations and bibliography/reference list entries) are formatted correctly and consistently, according to a particular referencing style. I will discuss with you which style I will use, and I will specify this in the Project Agreement. If you wish, I will also check that the information in all references is accurate.

Typescript preparation

I will ensure that the text is styled and formatted correctly for submission to a particular journal or publisher. I will make sure that the language style, spelling and formatting of the text follow the journal or publisher’s house style and/or a general style guide. I will discuss with you which style guide(s) and spelling conventions I will use, and I will specify this in the Project Agreement.

Proofreading

I will review the typeset proofs of the text to ensure that they are in good condition before publication. I will check for:

  • spelling errors;
  • other unambiguous errors in the text (grammar, punctuation, missing text, repeated text, etc.);
  • consistency problems (with names, terminology, headings, formatting, references and cross-references, etc.); and
  • layout errors or problems (bad breaks, widowed or orphaned lines, figure or table placement, accuracy of page numbers, etc.).

I will provide markup and comments to draw any of these problems to your attention.

What do we both agree to do?

As my client, you agree that:

  • you have the power to enter into an agreement with me;
  • you will provide me with everything I need to complete the project, when I need it;
  • you will review my work, provide feedback and sign off within agreed timescales; and
  • you will follow the payment schedule and method described in the ‘Payment’ section of this document.

As the editor, I agree that:

  • I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me;
  • I will carry these services out in a professional manner; and
  • I will respect the confidentiality of any information you give me.

Deadlines

I will make every effort to deliver the edited text to you by the date(s) set out in the Project Agreement.

I cannot, however, be responsible for a missed deadline if you have been late with the advance payment, if you have been slow to supply materials or information, or if you have not provided feedback within agreed timescales.

I also cannot be responsible for deadlines missed due to circumstances completely beyond my control, such as family emergencies, floods, wars, acts of god and so on.

I will contact you to inform you about unexpected delays as soon as possible.

Changes and revisions

I am happy to make limited changes to the text after I have delivered it to you at no additional charge. For more extensive re-editing, however, I will charge an hourly rate (in addition to the agreed fee).

I will not carry out work beyond the scope of what is described in the Project Agreement, however. Any change in scope will require us to sign a new agreement.

Payment

I will charge you either a fixed project rate or an hourly rate. I will make it clear (in our communications before the project begins and in the Project Agreement) which rate I am using.

If I charge you an hourly rate, I will provide you with an estimate of how many hours the work will take me, and therefore what the total cost of the work will be. These totals may change, however, once the work has begun.

In some cases, I may require an advance payment of part of the total fee (or the estimated total, if I am charging you an hourly rate) before I start work. In such cases, I will invoice for the remaining balance once the work has been completed.

If I have not received any feedback or comments within 7 calendar days of submitting work to you (at any stage – the initial delivery or subsequent edits), I will assume you are happy with the work and consider it completed, and I will invoice for the project.

Payment will be due 14 calendar days after I send you my invoice (unless we agree a different timescale and this is specified on my invoice). The payment due date will be specified on the invoice. Any payment after the due date is subject to a late fee of 2% of the outstanding amount per day (up to a maximum late fee of 100% of the original total).

I will always charge you in pounds sterling (GBP). It is your responsibility to ensure that you pay me the correct amount in GBP.

You can pay me via bank transfer (preferred), Wise or PayPal. We will agree on a payment method before I begin the project.

If you pay me via bank transfer, you will be responsible for paying any fees you incur.

If you pay me via PayPal, I reserve the right to charge an additional fee if necessary to compensate for the fees that PayPal charges for receiving international payments.

Under UK law, I am not required to be registered for VAT.

Legal notes

Although the language in these terms of service is simple, the intentions are serious, and this is a legal document. These terms shall be interpreted according to the laws of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

Liabilities

Editing is intrinsically a process of offering advice and suggestions to the client. I will do my best to ensure all facts and statements in my work are true and that it does not infringe upon any copyright or other right of a third party. I will also make every effort to bring questionable material in the text to your attention.

However, I cannot be liable to you, or any third party, for damages that arise regarding this assignment, including lost profits, lost savings, complaints, claims, litigation or other incidental, consequential or special damages.

My editing your text is not a guarantee that it will be error-free, or that it will be accepted for publication.

If any part of this document is found to be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from these terms and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining parts.

Copyright

When I receive full and final payment (as described in the ‘Payment’ section above), copyright of the work I produce (i.e., my edits and suggestions) will automatically be assigned to you. You will then be able to use the work however you wish.

However, until final payment is received, copyright of the work I produce will remain with me.

My status as a freelancer

As a freelancer, I am an independent contractor. Nothing in these terms or the Project Agreement will create a partnership, joint venture or co-venture, agency, or employment relationship between you and me.

End of the project

The project will end either

when I have delivered the edited text to you and received full and final payment (as described in the ‘Payment’ section above),

or

when you or I cancel it (as described in the ‘Cancelling the project’ section below).

I will securely delete all files relating to the project that contain your work (from my computer and my online backup solutions) within 3 calendar weeks of the end of the project. This does not include any files or data I am obliged to keep for administrative, legal or security purposes. To find out more about how I will treat your data, see my privacy policy (https://www.simondcoll.com/privacy-policy/#me).

The parts of these terms that are designed to continue indefinitely (i.e., those in the ‘Legal notes’ section above) will remain in effect after the project has ended.

Cancelling the project

The project may be terminated by either you or me, at any time and for any reason.

Notice of cancellation must be given by email.

If the project is cancelled, I will return the text to you as soon as possible, with all the work I have completed up to the date of cancellation. You agree to pay me for the work done up to the date of cancellation.