Terms and conditions

  1. Definitions

In these Terms and Conditions the following terms with the following meanings are used:


“I”, “me” and “my” refer to Beverley Sykes, who owns the website at https://superscriptproofreading.co.uk and who is a sole trader trading as Superscript Proofreading;

“the website” means the website of www.superscriptproofreading.co.uk;

“you” and “your” refer to the person browsing or viewing the website of www.superscriptproofreading.co.uk, ordering a service from it or agreeing to pay for a proofreading, proof-editing or copy-editing service arranged via direct contact with Beverley Sykes;

“we”, “us” and “the parties” mean “you” and Beverley Sykes;

“document”, “work” and “text” mean the work being copy-edited, proof-edited or proofread;

“the service” means the copy-editing, proof-editing or proofreading service that is purchased via www.superscriptproofreading.co.uk or via direct contact with Beverley Sykes.


  1. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions

2.1 Before I do any work for you, I will ask you to confirm that you accept these Terms and Conditions (and any modification of the Terms and Conditions) and my Privacy Policy in full. The Terms and Conditions, together with my Privacy Policy and any PDFs I send to you setting out what the proofreading, proof-editing or copy-editing work includes govern my relationship with you. If you do not accept the Terms and Conditions and/or the Privacy Policy, I will not be able to do any work for you.

2.2 I recommend that you read the Terms and Conditions prior to using the website and accepting a quotation. If you have any questions about the Terms and Conditions please ask me before accepting a quotation or paying a deposit, and I will be happy to clarify anything for you.

2.3 When you agree to use and pay for any current or future service supplied by me, whether or not that is arranged via the website or via direct contact with me, and you have accepted these Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy, you will be subject to them.


  1. Contract

3.1 All contracts made between us are subject to and governed by these Terms and Conditions and any modification of them.

3.2 No binding contract shall be deemed to have come into existence until a quote has been supplied by me, it has been accepted in writing by you and a start date and completion date have been agreed by us in writing.

3.3 The website is intended to be used only by persons over the age of 18.

3.4 I have the right to refuse to provide a service to you or to cancel the service at any time, even once the contract exists, for a specific reason. Specific reasons for refusal could be, for example, that the document you send to me requires substantially more work than was asked for or was agreed or was implied by the sample and so the work cannot be completed by me within the requested time frame; the content of your work is offensive, obscene or illegal; fraud is suspected; I have evidence to suggest that you are guilty of plagiarism; or there is non-payment of a payment due. On notice being given to you of the termination of the contract, you would be required to pay me all sums due.

3.5 If you breach any of the Terms and Conditions I will hold you fully responsible for any legal claim for expenses, liability or financial losses, including legal fees incurred by me caused by your breach.

3.6 I confirm that I am registered at HMRC as a sole trader who is self-employed and that I pay my own National Insurance contributions and income tax. I do not have a VAT registration number and do not charge VAT.


  1. Variation

4.1 I reserve the right to change the Terms and Conditions at any time without notice and without liability arising from such an action.

4.2 I have complete discretion to modify or remove any part of the website without warning and without any liability arising from such an action.


  1. Privacy and personal information

5.1 I take your privacy very seriously and I am aware of my obligations under the General Data Regulation that came into force on 25 May 2018. All information, including the work file(s) that you send to me, will be treated in the strictest confidence. I will not disclose any details of my transactions with you with any third parties or distribute or sell your personal information or your work files or any part of them, but it may be necessary, in very limited circumstances, to disclose such information if any of the conditions listed from (i) to (iv) later in this paragraph apply. Any personal data or work files sent to me are also treated in accordance with my Privacy Policy. However, I reserve the right to disclose personal information if (i) mandated by law, (ii) in connection with any court actions brought by you against me, (iii) in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to protect and defend the rights, property or safety of my website, its users or the public and (iv) in a force majeure situation, i.e. when unforeseeable circumstances prevent me from fulfilling our contract/agreement. If such a situation were to arise I would seek legal advice before disclosing any personal information.

5.2 You are responsible for providing true personal information such as your name, address, email address and all payment details (the last item would only be asked for if I needed to give you a part or full refund for some reason). If you provide incorrect information, I can refuse to work for you or I can cancel any remaining work due to be done for you.

5.3 I will keep copies of your text for approximately 7 years. If you would prefer me to delete the files before that, please request this in writing and the files containing your work will be permanently deleted. I keep the files in password-protected cloud-based storage and use an external hard drive for back up too.

5.4 You agree that I can provide a reference or a link to your published work, then deemed to be in the public domain, that I have copy-edited, proof-edited or proofread on my website.


  1. Fees and “title” (legal ownership)

6.1 My fees are based on the minimum hourly rates suggested by the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (https://www.ciep.uk/resources/suggested-minimum-rates/). I have a minimum fee of £150 and charge double time for work that has to be done after 5pm, at weekends or on bank holidays.

6.2 I reserve the right to alter fees without notice, although any quotation confirmed in writing will remain valid for 28 days from the date of the quotation.

6.2 I am entitled to increase fees due to any increased costs resulting from altered instructions, additional instructions, lack of instructions or any delays caused by or additional work required by you.

6.4 Title (i.e. legal ownership) of any services provided by me, e.g. all tracked changes and comments in a Word document or all comments and mark-up on a PDF, does not pass to you until your payment is processed and a payment has been received as cleared funds. This means that you are unable to use or publish my suggested changes until I have been paid. I retain copyright over my work until I have been paid, but once I have been paid, I will pass copyright to you.


  1. Payment

7.1 Unless otherwise agreed, payment will be made by you in full within 30 days from the date of the invoice by electronic bank transfer.

7.2 If the total fee is for £500 or more, I may ask you to pay 50% of the fee in advance (to arrive around the time that I start the work).

7.3 For regular clients I may agree to monthly invoicing. Any such arrangements must be agreed before work begins.

7.4 Refunds will only be given in extreme circumstances, such as if we agree that there has been a complete failure to do the work.

7.5 I reserve the right to charge interest on overdue payments in accordance with the terms set out in the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 as amended and supplemented by the Late Payment of Commercial Debt Regulations 2002.


  1. Supply and delivery

8.1 When you accept a quotation, the timescale for completion of the work is discussed. If I cannot complete the work within the timescale you request, I will tell you immediately so that we can agree an alternative timescale or you can make arrangements to have your work done by someone else. I recommend that you instruct me in plenty of time to avoid this situation occurring. If you need work completing urgently then this must be clearly specified when you request a quote.

8.2 I will return the work by sending it as an email attachment to you using the email address you specify.

8.3 If you have asked me to proofread on paper, I will return the document by whichever Royal Mail/other delivery we agree is appropriate.

8.4 If, when providing a quotation, I advise that a certain level of work is required but you wish me to carry out less work and reduce the quotation, I can refuse to provide a lower quotation and can refuse to carry out a reduced level of work.


9a. Academic responsibility, academic liability, the extent of my liability and plagiarism – students

9a.1 You are responsible for checking that your university/other academic institution allows the employment by a student of a professional proofreader or copy-editor. Some universities specifically prohibit the use of a professional proofreading service or have very strict rules relating to the work a proofreader can do, and a breach of any such prohibition could result in very serious consequences for you, including failing your course.

9a.2 If professional proofreading or copy-editing is allowed by your academic institution, it is your responsibility to check that the level of proofreading referred to on the Student service page is permitted by showing your supervisor the details. You will then need to confirm this to me in writing. If there are any specific guidelines or rules laid down by your academic institution that proofreaders and copy-editors must abide by, you will need to send me a link to those guidelines so that I can comply with them.

9a.3 You are responsible for ensuring that you comply with all requirements relating to the employment by a student of a professional proofreader or copy-editor (e.g. completing a declaration form).

9a.4 The text must be sent to me on the agreed date (and the agreed time, if any). If you send me the text late, then I may have to change the agreed date and/or time for returning the work. I reserve the right to refuse to do the work if I cannot meet your original deadline because of your delay.

9a.5 If you have initially sent me a sample of your work on which my quotation is based but the text that you send me to proofread is of a noticeably poorer standard generally than the sample text and therefore requires more work than originally envisaged, I may either adjust the quote upwards and extend the deadline or refuse to carry out the work. If, once the work has been started, a request is made by you for additional work to be done, I can extend the deadline for completion or advise that I do not have time to carry out the additional work.

9a.6 If I am proofreading sections of your work separately rather than the entire text at once, it is much harder for me to deal with issues relating to consistency of style, and although I will point out or deal with inconsistencies in each section, it will remain your responsibility to ensure that the final text is consistent in style.

9a.7 You agree that you consent to the disclosure of your marked-up, proofread text to your academic institution and/or supervisor if requested. I therefore need to know the name of your academic institution and your supervisor’s name, email address and telephone number so that I can be sure that any such requests are legitimate. In case there is such a request, I will need to keep a copy of your work on file. The work that I would send in response to such a request would be the marked-up copy of the file, showing all of my suggestions and notes, that I would have returned to you. Other than this, I will not pass your work to a third party or discuss your studies with anyone else.

9a.8 The quotation does not include the fee for any time spent checking rewording. If you wish me to check rewording, I will charge an additional fee for this.

9a.9 Plagiarism (including collusion) and breach of copyright are very serious offences and there can be severe penalties, including permanent disqualification from your studies, if plagiarism or breaches of copyright are proved to exist in your work. Avoiding plagiarism remains your responsibility at all times. I do not check your document for any possible plagiarism.

9a.10 I will not proofread your document in any way that breaches your academic institution’s rules concerning plagiarism and cheating. This means that, for example, I will not rewrite your document or substantial parts of it, add text from anyone else’s work and insert it into your document, paraphrase anyone else’s work and insert it into your document or make any other change that would constitute plagiarism.

9a.11 You accept that I will give you no guidance about plagiarism, collusion and cheating other than that outlined above in sections 9.9 and 9.10.

9a.12 You accept that I carry out a service that assists you with your writing but that my service does not constitute professional academic advice.

9a.13 If I have evidence to suggest that you are guilty of plagiarism, then I can immediately cancel my service and refuse to do further work for you. You will then need to make payment in full within 30 days for the work carried out to the date of cancellation.

9a.14 The mark that you are awarded by your academic institution is not within my control and I cannot be held legally responsible for a lower than expected mark or grade in relation to any material returned by me.

9a.15 It is important that you check each insertion and deletion made by me before rejecting or accepting the change via Track Changes and that each note written by me is read. I am not an expert in your field and, although I am always careful, there is a small risk that I might inadvertently alter your intended meaning. You have the final responsibility for checking all aspects of your text.


9b. Authors’ responsibilities and the extent of my liability – academics, businesses and other organisations, all other authors, and publishers

9b.1 It is important that you check each insertion and deletion made by me before rejecting or accepting the change via Track Changes and that each note written by me is read. I am not an expert in your field and, although I am always careful, there is a small risk that I might inadvertently alter your intended meaning.

9b.2 If I am proofreading and/or copy-editing sections of your work separately rather than the entire text at once, it is much harder to deal with issues relating to consistency of style, and although I will point out or deal with inconsistencies in each section, it will remain your responsibility to ensure that the final text is consistent.

9b.3 If you are unable to send the work to me at the agreed time and on the agreed date, then I might need to change the date and time for completion of the work. If I am unable to complete the work before your deadline because of this change of schedule, I reserve the right to refuse to do the work.

9b.4 If you have sent me a sample of your work on which my quotation is based but the text that you send me to work on is of a noticeably poorer standard generally than the sample text and therefore requires more work than originally envisaged, I may either adjust the quote upwards and extend the deadline or refuse to carry out the work. If, once the work has been started, a request is made by you for additional work to be done, I can extend the deadline for completion or advise that I do not have time to carry out the additional work.

9b.5 In relation to academics and other authors looking to be published: I don’t provide a guarantee that having your text copy-edited, proof-edited or proofread by me will automatically lead to its publication.

9b.6 If your text contains foreign words (apart from those commonly used within the English language), then I will not be able to proofread them properly, apart from pointing out inconsistency in spelling or capitalisation, for example. It will remain your responsibility to check that the spelling and capitalisation, etc., are correct.

9b.7 I do my best to ensure that I eliminate all errors from the text, but I cannot guarantee this.

9b.8 Different journals may have different expectations in relation to the language style. Many aspects of language are a question of stylistic preference, and I cannot guarantee that my suggested amendments will be exactly what the reviewers or the journal editors prefer.

9b.9 You may wish to have some sentences of your text checked after I have sent the completed work back to you. If this rewording is only minor, i.e. it takes me no more than 30 minutes to check, then checking it once will be included for the fee that you pay, so I would advise you to complete all of this rewording before returning the text. I will check this rewording if you send the entire text back with the relevant parts amended using Track Changes and also highlighted so that I can find the rewording easily. If I need to spend more than 30 minutes checking your changes, I reserve the right to charge an extra fee at my usual hourly rate for the additional time taken.

9b.10 Issues relating to copyright and any potential legal issues arising from the publication of the text (e.g. defamation) are your responsibility. I will raise a query about any obvious such issues, but I do not make any checks for plagiarism.


  1. Limitation of liability

10.1 You always remain responsible for the content of your work. I cannot be held responsible for the legality or validity of the information that is included in your work.

10.2 I cannot be legally liable for any loss or damage, indirect, special or consequential, including financial, losses or any loss or damage whatsoever that you claim results directly or indirectly from your use of the website, my services or anything in the work done by me, late delivery of your work or from the use of my services being in breach of your academic institution’s regulations or provisions governing academic work (where relevant) unless you can prove that I worked negligently and that the losses were reasonably foreseeable at the time that the contract was entered into. Such losses would also include any loss of business, profits or data.

10.3 I shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or incidental damages resulting from the use of or the inability to use the website, or for the cost of procurement of substitute services, including, but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, data or other losses, even if I have been advised of the possibility of such damages.

10.4 I in no way endorse the contents of any of your communications or documents. I have no responsibility for any threatening, libellous, obscene, harassing or offensive material contained in your work, any infringement of third party intellectual property rights arising from it, any crime facilitated by it or any subsequent use of it upon completion of work by me.


  1. Disclaimer and the use of the website

11.1 The information on the website is for general information purposes only, and I do my best to keep it up to date. It is subject to change without notice.

11.2 Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, I cannot guarantee continued and uninterrupted availability of the website and am not liable if the website is temporarily unavailable because of technical issues beyond my control.

11.3 Though I do my best to ensure that the website is free from inaccuracies and errors, I cannot guarantee that there are no inaccuracies or errors. I expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.

11.4 I reserve the right to discontinue operation of the website with or without notice to you and with or without cause at any time and effective immediately. I will not be liable to you or any third party for any losses arising out of discontinuation of the site.

11.5 You agree that you will not use the website for illegal purposes and will respect all applicable laws and regulations. You agree not to use the website in a way that may impair the performance, corrupt the content or otherwise reduce the overall functionality of the website. You also agree not to compromise the security of the website.


  1. Warranty

You and Beverley Sykes warrant your/her power to enter into this agreement and have obtained the necessary approval to do so.


  1. Third parties

13.1 These Terms and Conditions apply only to the parties and do not confer any rights of any kind upon anyone other than the parties.

13.2 Through the website you may be able to link to other websites which are not under my control. Any such links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. I have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within these other websites. You should also note that, once you have left the website and browse or use another website, that other website(s) is not governed by my Privacy Policy so you should exercise caution regarding providing information to another website(s) and check the privacy statement relevant to that other website(s).

13.3 You may not create a link to this website from another website.

13.4 Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or constitute a criminal offence.


  1. Cancellation

14.1 You can cancel the work during the 7-day period following the date on which we enter into a contract. If I have done any work during that time, payment will be due immediately and before the release of the work to you.

14.2 After the 7-day period mentioned in 14.1 and once I have begun work, you do not have a right to cancel unless you and I agree this in writing. If we do make such an agreement, you will be billed for the work that has been completed up to that point at the initially quoted fee and this sum is payable immediately. The partially completed work will be sent to you upon receipt of your payment.

14.3 I can cancel the work for specific reasons – see 3.4 above.


  1. Security – viruses

15.1 I will try to ensure that any files originating from my computer are free from viruses, but I can make no warranty about this or guarantee it. You should check all emails, attachments and other files to ensure that they are virus free before accessing them or sending them to me.

15.2 If I suspect that a virus has contaminated your work I can refuse to work for you or I can cancel any remaining work I am due to do for to you.


  1. Copyright

16.1 You retain sole copyright, ownership and control over the work, including the work as subsequently amended by me.

16.2 Breach of copyright is a serious offence and you are responsible for any breach of copyright contained within your work.

16.3 The content, design, layout, data and graphics on the website are protected by UK and other international intellectual property laws and are owned by me unless expressly stated otherwise.

16.4 By using the website you agree to respect these intellectual property rights laws and will not copy, download, reproduce, print, republish, store, edit or modify, sell or exploit for commercial purposes any material contained within the website. You will indemnify all liability for any infringement or other breach of copyright.


  1. Errors and omissions

17.1 I aim to provide an accurate, thorough and reliable proofreading, proof-editing and copy-editing service. Though I aim to provide the best service possible, I cannot guarantee 100% accuracy (simply because of human error) and occasionally I may not correct an error.

17.2 I cannot be held responsible for direct, indirect, special or consequential losses or costs incurred by any errors remaining in your work, be they factual, grammatical, spelling or other errors. The final responsibility for errors remains with you.


  1. Loss

While I am carrying out work on your text I will save a copy of it in its original form. However, you must always retain an original copy of your work, too, as I cannot be held responsible for losing it.


  1. Complaints and refunds

19.1 I want you to be happy with my work, so I will take any complaint very seriously. If you have a complaint, please contact me by email at bev.sykes@superscriptproofreading.co.uk and I will do my best to remedy the situation satisfactorily if I agree that there is a problem. I will make every effort to contact you by return during office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, excluding bank holidays).

19.2 All complaints or requests for amendments must be made within 7 days of receipt of the completed work. However, if any requested amendments breach any clauses relating to plagiarism, copyright or other legal issues referred to within these Terms and Conditions, I will refuse to make the requested amendments.

19.3 Best efforts shall be made by both parties to resolve the dispute arising from a complaint.

19.4 On the basis of full consideration of your comments, I will:

(a) redo all or part of the work at no extra cost to you

(b) conclude that the work is already done.

19.5 If there is total dissatisfaction with my work which cannot be remedied by discussion or amendment of the work and it is agreed by us that the service has been completely unsatisfactory, then a refund will be made, the maximum payment being the amount paid by you until the date of the refund. All refunds will be made to your bank account. No refunds will be made in cash. If no payment has been made by you, then none will be charged for the work carried out.

19.6 If there is partial dissatisfaction with my work which cannot be remedied, then a partial refund will be made, on the same terms described in 19.5 above.

19.7 I will not be held liable for errors or omissions caused by your failure to communicate your requirements clearly.


  1. Severability

The previously mentioned paragraphs, subparagraphs and clauses of these Terms and Conditions shall be read and construed independently of each other. If any part of these Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid, unlawful or unenforceable by the court or an institution with jurisdiction, then any such term shall be struck out (that is, cancelled) but the remaining Terms and Conditions shall remain in force.


  1. Events beyond my control/force majeure

21.1 I shall not be liable for any delay or failure to perform any obligation under these Terms and Conditions and both parties shall be released from their respective obligations if the delay or failure is caused by any circumstances beyond both parties’ reasonable control, including, but not limited to fire, explosion, flood, war (or similar events such as national emergency or civil unrest), acts of God, industrial disputes, technical failure or any other similar event which renders the performance of obligations impossible.

21.2 If one of the “force majeure” events noted in 21.1 occurs, any money due to me under the Terms and Conditions is immediately payable and each party shall be liable to pay to the other damages for any breach of agreement and any reasonable expenses or costs incurred directly as a result of such events occurring.

21.3 This clause does not affect your statutory rights.


  1. Waiver

22.1 Failure by me to enforce any rights under these Terms and Conditions is not to be deemed a waiver of those rights, unless I confirm a waiver in writing.

22.2 If there is a waiver or variation of any of these Terms and Conditions by me at any time, then that will constitute a waiver or variation for the purpose of that particular part of the Terms and Conditions only and the remaining Terms and Conditions will continue to apply to you fully.


  1. Jurisdiction

These Terms and Conditions are governed, interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and therefore shall be subject to exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts without reference to rules governing choice of laws.

These Terms and Conditions were last updated on 9th March 2022.