Editorial terms – R

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ragged right: left-aligned text that isn’t justified so its line endings are uneven on the right-hand side.

range: the technical term for aligning characters around or against a common point. For example, if the first characters of a column of data align with the left-hand column margin, they are said to be ranged left. Figures in a table may be ranged decimally (so that the decimal point in each number is aligned with all others) or with units under units, tens under tens, and so on.

ranged left / ranged right: terms used to describe text where the first character in a line is aligned with the left-hand margin or the final character in a line is aligned with the right-hand margin.

recast: to restructure or rework a sentence or passage to present the same thing in a different way, largely in order to correct grammar or punctuation issues, or to improve clarity or effectiveness.

recto: publishing term for the right-hand page when looking at a two-page spread in an open book. See also verso.

readability: how easy a text is to read and understand when encountered for the first time.

reference list: a list of those bibliographical items that are referred to in the text; see also bibliography.

references: other publications cited to support the argument in the text being edited. These citations may be in the form of direct quotes taken from those other publications, or to the works as a whole. The full details of each publication cited must be given in either a footnote or a list of references/bibliography elsewhere in the text.

rekey: the act of typing text into typesetting software rather than importing digital files of word-processed text. This was something typesetters had to do regularly when authors were still using typewriters (or fountain pens!) rather than word-processing programs. Typesetters still have to rekey changes made by the copyeditor or proofreader using some forms of markup.

reprint: the printing again of a publication without substantial changes. If there are substantial changes, such as revised or additional content, a new edition is necessary.

restrictive (defining) relative clause: a clause that cannot be omitted from the sentence without changing its meaning, for example:

The English playwright Shakespeare also wrote sonnets.

No commas are used in restrictive clauses. The following sentence is incorrect because it implies that there has only ever been one English playwright – Shakespeare.

[wrong] The English playwright, Shakespeare, also wrote sonnets.

See also non-restrictive (non-defining) relative clause.

revision marking: a means of showing on screen original text and proposed changes to that text; the best known of these tools is Track Changes in Microsoft Word. See also markup.

roman type: the most common typography style, where the vertical lines of all characters are straight up, and not at an angle as with italic type. Note that ‘roman’ does not have a capital letter when referring to typography.

rough: a draft version of a figure such as a map, graph or diagram (often hand drawn), supplied by the author as a guide for the illustrator, who will produce a finished version for publication.

royalty: an amount paid by a publisher to an author, representing a percentage of sales, in return for the right to publish the work.

rule: in typographic contexts, a line – as in en rule.

run in: when an element of the text that might usually be presented as displayed matter or otherwise separate from the body text is placed within the text. Quotations in quote marks that appear as part of the main text are known as run-in quotations.

run-in headings: headings that are distinguished (eg by being in bold or italic type) and often separated from the main text by a colon or a dash, with the text directly after the heading on the same line. See also shoulder head.

running heads: headings that appear at the very top of a page – also known as page heads or page headlines. A common convention is to have the name of the work on the left-hand or verso page and the chapter or section on the recto or right-hand page. In journals and magazines these headings commonly appear at the foot of the page and are known as running footers or feet.

run on: text that flows continuously without a new line or paragraph.