Inside Indexing:
The Decision-Making Process

by Sherry Smith and Kari Kells


Table of contents
for Inside Indexing

for Inside Indexing


Order Process

Kari's index
for Fodor's book

Sherry's index
for Fodor's book

Used in the Text

About the authors

Site Map

Contact us

Copyright 2006
Smith and Kells
Northwest Indexing Press


Every word has three explanations
and three interpretations.

Irish Proverb

In this chapter, we present our approaches to the task of understanding and managing the content of Fodor's book. Each of us viewed this analysis process from a different perspective and these perspectives produced different indexes.

Sherry started with the information in the text and then proceeded toward the readers. She examined the text, determined the aboutness of the discussion, and then decided how to lead readers to it.

Kari began with the readers and then proceeded to the text. She defined her potential audience and their information needs, and then used this perspective to analyze the text. When she examined a passage, she considered readers' questions that might be answered by it.

In the chapter closing, we examine how these differing analytical perspectives influenced our gathering processes. We also confirm that both indexes are useful, even with these differences.



How do these indexers' perceptions of the audience influence the development of their indexes?

How do these indexers' understandings of the text influence their approaches to creating entries?

How do these indexers' ideas about Fodor's primary topic impact their index structure?

How do these indexers collect information and what influenced their decision-making?

Access Routes
How do these indexers develop pathways into the text?

How do these indexers use words and phrases to support the structure of the index?

How do these indexers consider and evaluate consistency when implementing the other indexing principles?

Final Chapter
What have we learned from reading about the two indexes and the decision-making behind the entries?

Download a copy of Martha Osgood's index for Inside Indexing.