Earlier this month, I completed a project for a good friend who is writing a book with one of her other friends. No, I did not edit their whole book (although I would love to someday). I did, however, format the book’s references. The co-author (my friend) asked that the references be in APA format, and we agreed that the 7th edition of APA would be the one used.
I formatted and formatted and formatted. The co-author was very satisfied with the work I did. Happy ending, right?
Yes, but it could have had a happier ending for the co-author.
Before she even handed me the project, I told her about Edifix (www.edifix.com), a web-based paid service that will format an author’s references for them.
I have used Edifix once so far, to format 146 references in a scientific review; the journal to which the review was to be submitted required that they be formatted in a specific style. Can you imagine how long it would take an editor to format 146 references by hand?
With Edifix, however, I copied the list of references, pasted them into the indicated space on the web page, selected which format I wanted them in (and there are many choices), clicked a button, and waited for maybe four minutes. Edifix then gave me a document with the references all in the desired format.
Edifix charges for its services monthly and is not cheap. However, for an editor like me who works regularly on scientific research manuscripts, it is worth it.
Back to the story involving the co-author. As I said before, I told her about Edifix before she handed me the project. I wanted her to know that there was a much easier way to format her references than to have me do them by hand. Not that I didn’t want to work on her project, but I felt that it would not be honest to let her know there was an easier (and less expensive) way.
She said to me, “I would feel better having you do them than an automatic service.”
Awww. How sweet.
But she knows for next time.
As for me…of course I enjoy editing, working hard, and making money, but any tool that makes everyone’s life easier should not be kept under wraps.