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“According to the British indexing standard (BS3700:1988), an index is a systematic arrangement of entries designed to enable users to locate information in a document. The process of creating an index is called indexing, and a person who does it is called an indexer. There are many types of indexes, from cumulative indexes for journals to computer database indexes. (American Society for Indexing, retrieved 10:25, 15 October 2008 (UTC))”

See also: Citation index and Tagging. Both are kinds of indexing. Related conceptual issues are ontology and metadata


Indexing is an issue that concerns various information and media types. E.g.

  • Indexing web sites
  • Indexing books
  • Indexing on-line documents, such as help files and manuals
  • Indexing file contents of your computer.


For indexing books

Good indexes are always made by humans, but software can help.

  • ???

For your files

  • Google Desktop Search




Indexing books

  • Society of Indexers. “The Society exists to promote indexing, the quality of indexes and the profession of indexing. Explore this site to find out why indexes are important, what makes a good index and what it takes to become an indexer through the Society's distance learning programme. - retrieved 10:25, 15 October 2008 (UTC)”




  • Lancaster, F.W. (2003): "Indexing and abstracting in theory and practise". Third edition. London, facet ISBN 1-85604-482-3. page 6
  • Voss, Jakob (2007). "Tagging, Folksonomy & Co - Renaissance of Manual Indexing?". Proceedings of the International Symposium of Information Science: 234–254. [PDF

Indexing books

(copied from wikipedia

  • Booth, Pat 2001, Indexing: the manual of good practice (K.G. Saur), ISBN 3-598-11536-9
  • Browne, Glenda and Jon Jermey 2007, The Indexing Companion (Cambridge University Press), ISBN 978-0-52168-988-5
  • Mulvany, Nancy 2005, Indexing Books, Second Edition (University of Chicago Press) ISBN 0-226-55276-4
  • Smith, Sherry and Kari Kells 2005, "Inside Indexing: the Decision-Making Process" (Northwest Indexing Press), ISBN 0-9771035-01
  • Stauber, Do Mi 2004, "Facing the Text: Content and Structure in Book Indexing" (Cedar Row Press) ISBN 0-9748345-0-5
  • Wellisch, Hans 1995, "Indexing from A to Z", Second Edition (HW Wilson) ISBN 0-8242-0807-2