Initial research and drafting of the entries for the Dictionary is done by individual assistant editors systematically covering assigned alphabetic stretches, to ensure that no words are overlooked. After this stage the batches of drafted material are comprehensively reviewed several times to make certain that the content is accurate and presented as helpfully as possible.

Internal review

The review process begins with the draft being read and commented on by our consultant editor, Peter Glare. The draft then goes to the Editor who reviews and revises the text, also taking acount of Peter's expert lexicographical comments. Once the text is revised it is read critically by another member of the team who has not previously been involved in the drafting of that part of the text: a fresh pair of eyes can more readily notice any potential problems and this also starts to ensure that the final text makes sense and is useful in the form in which it will appear to the final user (rather than relying implicitly on knowledge gained by the drafter in the course of researching the entry).

At each review stage an entry is looked at in detail but also as a coherent whole in the context of the evidence for the word and any related words. Although assistant editors work closely together when drafting, it is inevitable that connections between items are sometimes first noticed in the review stages, when longer stretches of the alphabet are being looked at overall: as a result the drafted text may undergo considerable revision, e.g. by moving quotations, or combining or separating senses or even whole entries.

External review

When ready, formatted printouts of the draft are circulated for comment to external readers, including Prof. David Trotter (Anglo-Norman Dictionary), Dr. David Howlett (retired Editor), and several members of the Academy committee (Prof. Brand, Dr. Holford-Strevens, Prof. Reeve). Although specialists are often consulted on entries or parts of entries during the primary drafting stage, this review stage is invaluable to us in confirming (or helping us to refine) our presentation of entries in these scholars' specialist areas and more generally in ensuring that our finished text meets the needs of the scholarly community.

Data validation

Alongside these reviews of the content of the Dictionary, there is a whole array of important checks carried out electronically to ensure the final text adheres as consistently as possible to our conventions. We check, for instance, all the various types of cross-references found in the Dictionary, all the abbreviations in bibliographic citations, and so on.

Before final publication the Editor reviews the results of all these checks one last time to ensure that the data sent for typesetting is in line with the Dictionary's past practice and stated policies.