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Indexing Terminology


alphabetization systems   
      letter-by-letter - Proceeds letter by letter across spaces to first comma.
        word-by-word - Proceeds letter by letter and stops at end of first word.
                                New,  Zoe                  New Deal
                                New Deal                   New, Zoe
                                newlywed                  new math
                                new math                   newlywed
alpha headers
      Capital letters placed in the index to orient the user to their alphabetic location.
back-of-the book indexing
       The index created is based on a single book or set of documents. The index is created only once and not updated. This is also known as closed indexing.
      A list of words that appear in a document, each word is given a locator for every time it appears in the document.
cross-references  Use of: See and  See also
density of index   
      The number of indexable terms per page. The average length of an index, for a general reference book, is 7-8% of the total number of indexable pages.
      The same locators are listed at two or more main headings or subheadings. Double-posting should replace cross-references, when space permits.
      One main heading, its undifferentiated locators and subheadings, their locators, with cross-references.          
indented style   
      Each subheading begins on a new line. Indented indexes take approx. one third more space than run-in indexes.
      A set of terms that provide access points to specific information in the text. The entries are in alphabetical order. A list in page number order is a table of contents.
indexable material
      Any page that contains information to be accessed in the index, is an indexable page. Generally this does not include: captions to pictures, footnotes, the front material, and most of the back material in a manuscript.
locators     Usually  these are page numbers.
                                     103           special font explained in introductory note
                                     103n.2        footnote
                                     103-106     continuous discussion
main heading     That part of the entry that is the keyword the reader will use.
open indexing
          The index created is based on a controlled vocabulary that refers to content that changes and grows over time.  This process can be like tagging but the outcome is an accessible index.
run-in style   The subheading run continuously, without line breaks, separated by semi-colons.
subheadings   Divisions of the main heading.
table of contents  
       A set of headings in page number order. The information in a chapter of the book is only listed once. In the index, the information in a chapter is accessible through a number of different terms, including the term used in the table of contents.
       The keyword descriptions (called tags), identify images or text. The user must conduct a word search of overlapping terms. Even where there is a controlled vocabulary, there is no means to find the set of words in use. Indexing can be misidentified as tagging.
Carol Hamill
180 Homer Road
Victoria BC  CANADA V8Z 1V6
ph. 250 658 2856
email hamill@island.net















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