Name Indexes

Name Indexes list the names of people mentioned in a text, rather than subjects, which are then put into a Subject index. It is usually best to have a single, combined name/subject index for a text, as it is easier to cross-reference between names and subjects, and there is a danger that the reader may not notice the presence of the other index. In some cases, however, perhaps when the number of names could obscure the subjects, it may be judged best to separate them. Continue reading “Name Indexes”


DIY Indexing Book Indexing

If you are going to produce an index for a book for publication then it is essential that you get hold of a copy of the style guide appropriate to the location in which the book is to be published. Individual publishers will have their own ‘house styles’ but these only really explain the differences from the standard style. Some may be as small as a single sheet of paper. If the book is to be published in the US then you need the Chicago Manual of Style. If you are on a budget then you can get away with having just the chapter on indexing which is published separately. If the book is to be published in the UK then you will need the Oxford Guide to Style. This is also know as Hart’s Rules. Continue reading “DIY Indexing Book Indexing”

CUP-XML Unique numbers and MS Word

What is CUP-XML

Cambridge University Press (CUP) store indexes for their books in files separate from the books but with the locators, to which the indexes refer, embedded in the XML text of the book itself (unlike conventional embedding, where the headings are embedded). This is sometimes referred to as the CUP-XML Unique locator system.

For example, the index might contain a heading: Continue reading “CUP-XML Unique numbers and MS Word”

What is wrong with full text searches

What is wrong with full text searches and why do I need an index where full text searches are available?

Where electronic text is available, whether in websites, eBooks or PDFs, providing full text searching is often thought all that is necessary to make the information accessible, but they have distinct shortcomings. Exactly the same problems occur with a poor-quality back-of-book index which has been constructed by identifying every occurrence of specific words throughout the text.

Problems with full text searches are: Continue reading “What is wrong with full text searches”