By A-R's house editors

Did you know that you can help your copyeditor by submitting judiciously named electronic manuscript files? A-R’s production staff works directly with electronic files—Word files for textual matter and (usually) familiar music software files (like Finale or Sibelius) for the music—as they prepare editions for publication. This means that our copyeditors must supply them with vetted files and a clear means for assembling the files into the edition, and that starts with naming the files accordingly. You can save your copyeditor time by assisting in this process.


When it comes to textual matter, most Recent Researches editions share the same common sections: front matter, table of contents, acknowledgments, an introduction, “Text(s) and Translation(s)” (if appropriate), plates, and a critical report. Less common sections, such as sigla/abbreviations, a dedication, or appendices, may also be needed. In all cases, it’s best to submit a separate file for each section, labeled in a way that clarifies the order in which it should appear in the edition; clarifying file order is especially helpful if an edition contains something beyond the standard Recent Researches sections.

Table 1 shows the worst and best methods for naming text files. If you submit your text in a single file, as in the “Poor” column of the table, your copyeditor will have to spend time moving each section into a separate file and naming it aptly. Submitting separate files and naming them based on the content, as in the “Better” column, is certainly an improvement, but still, the copyeditor will need to clarify the proper order, since the default alphabetical display has no relation to the order in the edition. Adding a reference item to the beginning of the files—such as a letter or a number (as in the “Best” column)—solves the problem, forcing the files to display in the proper order. (Note: if you choose to use numbers to order your files, be sure to add a leading zero [e.g., “01”] for single-digit files if you have more than nine files; otherwise file 1 may be mixed in with double-digit files that begin with the numeral 1.)

Table 1: Methods for Naming Text Files

Poor Better Best

Submitting a single file called something like:

Submitting separate files named for content:

Submitting separate files that are named for content and labeled to fall in order:

Textual Matter for My A-R Edition

Critical Report
Front Matter
Texts and Translations

B_Front Matter
G_Texts and Translations
J_Critical Report


It’s particularly helpful to name music files separately and in order, since our production team works with author-submitted software files that are unedited by the copyeditor. Table 2 shows the worst and best methods for naming music files. Unless, of course, your edition consists of a single work in a single movement, putting the complete musical contents in a single file—as in the “(Very) Poor” column—adds extra work for our staff, as the copyeditor will need to provide instructions to guide the engraver in breaking the file apart into requisite sections. As with text files, while it’s better to create a separate file for each musical item in the edition (as in the “Better” column), naming the files solely for the content means that the files will likely display out of order, which can be confusing for our production team. The best practice is to add an initial reference to force the files into the order of the edition, as in the “Best” column. This is especially true for editions containing many musical works, as it can be time consuming for the copyeditor to evaluate and rename the items in a lengthy collection.

Table 2: Methods for Naming Music Files

(Very) Poor Better Best

Submitting a single file called something like:

Submitting separate files named for content:

Submitting separate files that are named for content and labeled to fall in order:

Motets for My A-R Edition

Armorum fortissime
Ascendo ad patrem meum
Exaudi Deus
Gaudete filiae Sion
In principio Deus
Misereris omnium
O beate Sebastiane
O quam gloriosum
Stella celi extirpavit
Victimae paschali laudes
Virgo prudentissima
Vocem Mariae

01 Ascendo ad patrem meum
02 Vocem Mariae
03 Gaudete filiae Sion
04 Exaudi Deus
05 Virgo prudentissima
06 Armorum fortissime
07 O quam gloriosum
08 In principio Deus
09 Victimae paschali laudes
10 Misereris omnium
11 O beate Sebastiane
12 Stella celi extirpavit


For the complete Recent Researches in Music Style Guide, click here (PDF).

Have a question about making critical editions of music? Click here to ask A-R!