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Freelancing for SAGE Journals

Dear Freelancer,

Thank you for your interest in doing freelance work for SAGE. We accept resumes and tests on an ongoing basis for copy editors and proofreaders for our journals division.

A working knowledge of one or more of the following editorial styles is required.

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
  • American Medical Association Manual of Style (10th edition)
  • The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (8th edition)

Copy editors need to be comfortable editing and formatting documents in Microsoft Word 2003, specifically, Track Changes and style tags in the Styles & Formatting menu. Proofreaders must be proficient in the full version of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 or higher. We do not have the resources to train applicants who are not already experienced in these areas.

Copy Editors

We ask prospective freelance copy editors to complete a test in which a document is edited electronically. For this exercise, please use the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word to show your edits. Insert author queries directly in the text in [bold type] between square brackets; please do not use the Word Comment feature here. For style guidelines, refer to one of the four style manuals listed above and be sure to make a note of whichever style you use. As you copyedit, follow this same style throughout for citations, references, statistics, tables, and textual elements such as grammar, punctuation, capitalization, numbers, and quotations. When necessary, refer to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.

Click here to download the copyediting test.

This test is designed to test your eye for detail, as well as your problem-solving and decision-making abilities. We are looking for detail-oriented, thorough freelance copy editors. You will be scored on the accuracy with which you complete the first three tasks listed below. The fourth will count as extra credit; however, you will be penalized if your rephrasing of awkward language changes the authors' meaning. All typos and misspellings should be corrected.

  1. All inappropriate and incorrect word usage, incorrect punctuation, and poor grammar should be corrected.
  2. Inconsistencies and other questions should be noted as author queries and phrased clearly, concisely, and tactfully.
  3. Cites and references should be edited to conform to style.
  4. Awkward phrasing can be edited lightly; however, the authors' voice should be respected.

In the space provided at the top of page 1, please be sure to include your name, editorial style used, and all timing information. When you are finished editing, check to be sure the Tracking feature is left on, rename the file with your full name (e.g., First Last CE Test), and send this as an attachment to Please include a cover letter (noting your style knowledge) and a copy of your resume for reference.


We ask prospective freelance proofreaders to proofread a sample article from one of our journals. For this exercise, you will need the full version of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 or higher. We require freelance journals proofreaders to mark corrections electronically in PDF files using Adobe Acrobat's mark-up feature.

The proofreading test consists of three PDF's.

Click here to download Part 1 (copyedited manuscript)
Click here to download Part 2 (typeset page proofs)
Click here to download Part 3 (proofreader’s marks)

Check the typeset proofs (Part 2) against the copyedited manuscript (Part 1). Using standard proofreaders's marks (Part 3) and Adobe's pencil and text box tools, please note your corrections electronically in Part 2. Please do not use Adobe's Sticky Note and Callout tools.

For this exercise, you can assume the copy editor caught all the errors in Part 1; please do not spend anytime correcting the copy editor's work. Part 1 is meant to serve as a guide. Please make all your marks as clearly as possible on Part 2; this is the only section that should be returned to SAGE.

In the space provided at the top of Part 2, please include your name, mark your starting and finishing times, and note the amount of real time it took to complete the test Please rename your marked-up PDF (Part 2) to include your full name (e.g., First Last PR Test) and send this as a file attachment to

Thank you,
Journals Production Department