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


The only way a [person] can remain consistent
amid changing circumstances is to change with them
while preserving the same dominating purpose.

Winston Churchill

In this chapter, we present our approaches to the problem of creating predictability in an index.

Both of us used consistency as a guideline while we wrote our indexes and both of us were willing to create inconsistencies in order to make some entries more useful. Each of us discusses how we interpreted consistency and how we handled the inconsistencies that resulted from some of our other indexing decisions.

In the chapter closing, we explore the need to be more precise in our discussions about consistency. We also summarize the benefits of inconsistency and examine the differing patterns of consistency in our two indexes.



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.