There is a book being published in late 2017 by De Gruyter called “Nano-Safety, Wheat We Need to Know to Protect Workers” [Ref. 1]. (Full disclosure, I am one of the editors for the tome and co-author of two of the chapters.) I am covering this topic because we, the editors, are at the completion of a process that has taken well over two years. When you see a technical book, you may think “I could have done that. It would be easy.” So, I want to tell a story. The concept for the book came after more than six years in trying to establish the importance on nanotechnology safety and the need for training people in the proper handling of nanomaterials. This builds on my blog of December 13, 2014 that talks about the efforts to get contracts to develop the needed procedures.
The material in the book is partially based on the evaluation of various feedback received from both students and professional reviewers of the two courses that were created. Once we had the feedback and the emphasis a that there was a need to develop a book that addresses nanotechnology safety (Nano-Safety), there was a need to find a publisher. This was not an easy process. One needs a technical publisher that is interested in the topic. Everyone wants nanotechnology this or nanotechnology that, but nanotechnology safety? That was another story.
Of course, the publisher needs to see the outline of the chapters and the potential authors of chapters. The outline will go through a number of revisions, partially because the publisher is looking for some specific ideas, There is also a need to have the authors still be working in the specific topic identified. This normally requires some modifications to content as authors change.
Once there is a contract in place, the real work starts. Authors are informed to move forward and given a deadline of a year or so. Not hearing anything from the authors greater 9 months or more is usually a sign of some issues developing. Sometimes, a new author must be found. People get sick or change jobs or something else. So there is a need for the new author to meet a much tighter time schedule. Once the draft chapters are in hand, each must be reviewed by three or more people competent in the field. This is always a problem in emerging fields.
Having the reviews of the chapters in hand, each author must be contacted a provided the comments from the reviewers, who are anonymous. Then the authors revise their manuscripts and submit them to the editors. Depending on the severity of the comments, the documents may need to go through another review process. If the comments are minor, the editors may check to ensure all the concerns were addressed properly. Then the manuscripts are sent to the publisher, who also reviews them. There may be interaction with editors on minor points.
Next, the galley proofs arrive and each author needs to address the minor issues that are identified. Finally, the book is ready to move to the publisher’s printing schedule. Considering everything that takes place, two years is not a long time.
Reference 1: Nano-Safety, Dominick Fazarro, Walt Trybula, Jitendra Tate, Craig Hanks, De Gruyter Publisher 2017, ISBN 978-3-11-037375-2