Causes of Proofreading Errors 7 – Not ensuring source data and documents are correct

Causes of Proofreading Errors 7 – Not ensuring source data and documents are correct

The act of proofreading inevitably means verifying information from source documents or systems with the information contained in the finished document. Many artwork errors have occurred because individuals have used the wrong source data or documents.

The first example of this would be the use of personal stores of information or documents. This circumstance frequently occurs when corporate information sources are difficult to access or use and individuals resort to holding their own store of information to make their jobs more efficient. The obvious risk here for proof reading is that the source information that is referenced from the local store is, in itself, incorrect. This may be because it has been incorrectly transposed by the individual collecting it, a situation often occurring when individuals collate their own spreadsheets of information useful to them in their day to day work.

Alternatively, the information may be drawn from a document which has subsequently changed in a later revision. Because the source document was held in a local uncontrolled store, the individual is not aware of the change to the information being checked.

Therefore, we would recommend that work instructions state clearly where source information is to be taken from in order to perform the proofreading activity effectively. It is important that anyone providing source information to the artwork process is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and currency of that information.

This is the seventh of a series of 15 blogs giving a view of the causes of proof reading errors. Please help me improve the thinking by adding your comments and share this with others who may have a view. To obtain an e-copy of our Top 15 Causes of Proof Reading Errors booklet, go to

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