By Khusboo Basan
Over the years, devotees have expressed interest in knowing more about The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s book editing policies and practices, especially in making corrections to Srila Prabhupada’s books after his physical departure.
To address the devotees’ concerns and to ensure the fidelity of Srila Prabhupada’s published works, on October 17, 2019, the BBT and the GBC conjointly selected and assembled an independent panel of devotees qualified by their devotional standing and deep study of Srila Prabhupada’s books. A number of the panel members are also experienced in editing and editorial processes. This panel is called the Editorial Review Panel (ERP [previously known as the RRP]).
The ERP’s first order of business was to define the editorial principles they would use to evaluate the editing the BBT has done, especially since 1977. Their paper, “Editorial Principles,” (ratified by the Global BBT on July 13, 2021) follows. Aside from a description of the editorial principles themselves, you will also find the list of ERP members, information on how the editorial principles were formulated, more about the ERP’s mandate, and what will be done with the ERP’s work.
This paper is intended to be a “living document” – that is, it may be amended whenever the review work requires that a principle be added or made clearer or expanded upon to encompass examples the reviewers encounter. Both editing and the reviewing of it are dynamic processes, and inevitably not everything will fit neatly into one category or another; so we’ve left room for this paper to develop, as needed. An amendment will be made when it helps the ERP to more closely align with Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. For this reason, the BBT may approve and publish an occasional revision of the “Editorial Principles” to keep the ERP’s process transparent.
The Editorial Review Panel's (ERP [previously known as the RRP]) “Editorial Principles” (ratified by the Global BBT on July 13, 2021) Can be read in its entirety here.