Commissioning your index
An index is a navigation tool to the content of a publication, website,
intranet, database, CD Rom or any format which contains information. Indexes
consist of links between subjects and concepts. They inform you about
the content, how that content is organised and the format of the content,
for example, text, photographs, illustrations, maps and graphics, etc.
Indexes 'value add' all information formats. Printed materials: They are search tools which free the reader/user from the strictures of beginning-to-end reading of printed material and enable those materials to function as reference works. Intranets and web sites: they assist users navigate through online pages and function as tools for browsing and searching.
TIP: It is important to remember that librarians will not purchase
a book without an index unless it is the only one of its subject on the
How do you commission an index?
This section primarily relates to printed publications, however, many of the points are related in principle to all other information formats.
The decision to use a professional indexer is a good one because the craft of index construction is highly specialised. It requires intuition, solid language skills, good general knowledge, a methodical intellect and many years' experience.
A good indexer will always assist the editor/publisher/producer, as their process involves the minute detailing of content and structure.
Inconsistencies in spelling, terminology and typos in
general will be picked up as the indexer 'sieves' through the work.
Timetable for commissioning
Integrating the indexing process into to the publication project plan, will save you time, money and headaches.
What you need to tell the indexer?
Designer: Alinta Thornton