DRAFT

Zen and the Art of Queries

How you ask your question has a great impact on your response from the author; this is true whether you are using the author query function of the Toolkit or writing or talking to the author directly. In phrasing your query, be as specific as possible, for example, quote an exact phrase or indicate the exact sentence, cite the specific reference or figure/table, or repeat the abbreviation that you want defined. If something is required by APS, like approval by an outside authority or permission from another source, then tell the author that. If you've changed something in the text so that the paper follows a common abbreviation style or will greatly add to a paper's readability, then point this out to the author as well.

Be polite (use please and thank you) and keep the author involved in the editing process. It's a very human response to react aggressively or to become frustrated when people feel like their thoughts or concerns are being discounted, and authors are human just like the rest of us. If you include the author by keeping them aware of what is happening to their paper and get them excited about making it even better, then they are more likely to be excited about it or open to more changes. They become valuable allies in the editing process.