During editing, each manuscript is handled by the editorial director twelve times as it passes through the editorial phases. This handling time is about the same regardless of the document size. If the manuscript is edited incrementally (i.e., in portions), the manuscript must be handled twelve times for each portion. For example, editing a manuscript in four portions requires four times as much work.
Incremental editing also requires the primary editor to interrupt ongoing editing to deal with incoming author corrections and responses to modifications. It’s estimated that the editor spends 10-15% more time on each additional portion than editing a whole manuscript.
Editing a PDF document requires much more time than editing an MS Word document. It’s estimated that editing from a pdf requires at least 50% more time on the first edit. For example, in PDF documents, editors cannot simply add a comma; instead, they must highlight the area that needs a comma and type a comment (e.g., “Add a comma between “white” and “and.”). The author must then spend the time to incorporate all word changes into the document. Often we find that the author overlooks some of the needed corrections, further slowing the editing process. When the editor has to go through the document again to check that the comments were incorporated correctly, that requires additional time besides.