Author Queries

This e-Learning Module aims to define the purpose of queries and comments put by the copy-editor to the author. It will explain how to present queries and comments, and how to link them to the author’s text in Word, enabling editors to express their queries and comments clearly, courteously and briefly. The Module will also show how to integrate author queries with the copy-editing process.

Course Content

  1. The purpose of queries and comments
  2. Author queries within the publishing process
  3. Presenting queries and comments
  4. Wording queries and comments

e-Learning modules are optimised for desktop and laptop devices and not tablets and smartphones.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will be able to:

  • define the level of his/her responsibility for the content and form of the text
  • decide when to raise a query or proposal for the author and when to make changes without comment
  • identify general and specific points for the author’s attention, key them to the text, and set them out clearly in a Word document
  • articulate queries and comments in such a way as to elicit useful answers
  • deal with author queries as part of the copy-editorial process

How does the course work?

Author Queries has four units. Across the four units there are 8 exercises each having a model answer and commentary for self-assessment. 


How to enrol

To enrol, you need to click on the Add to Cart button on this page. You will be asked to register (if you have not already done so). You will, at that point, be asked to pay by credit/debit card.

Important note: You will have access to the course for eight months from the date of your enrolment.

Refunds: Fees for e-Learning Modules are non-refundable, as immediate access is available to all the relevant course material.

What is included?

Course Materials

Full access to the PTC's online learning platform where you will find all the materials you need to complete the course. Where relevant, downloadable materials are provided so you can practise your new skills as many times as you need to feel confident that you have mastered them.


Upon successfully completing the course you will receive a completion certificate from PTC.

Who is it for?

The course is intended for editors working on screen who:

  • have taken one or more copy-editing courses and understand how text is prepared for publication
  • have some ‘real-life’ experience of copy-editing
  • want to improve their skills in deciding what to query and how
  • need guidance in communicating effectively with the author

About the author


rosemary robertsRosemary Roberts has worked in publishing since 1975, first as an editor on Grove’s Dictionaries of Music, and thereafter in academic and reference publishing. After four years as a lecturer on the Publishing course at Oxford Brookes University, she was appointed chief copy-editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; in 2005 she was awarded the MBE for services to scholarship for her work on the dictionary. She became managing editor at Thames & Hudson in 2007, where she gained experience of trade publishing – a late and very interesting diversion from the academic field.

Alongside her in-house appointments, Rosemary has taught editorial skills for PTC, SfEP, and corporate clients. She has now returned to her editorial roots and works as a freelancer for Oxford University Press and other scholarly publishers, while continuing to teach.


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This e-Learning Module was developed with the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust.



Study Time

Five to seven hours with eight months access to the module.

Related Courses

PTC e-Learning Modules are concentrated, online courses that focus on specialist topics relevant to an editor's working life. They are designed to build on a foundation of existing skills and experience.

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