Archive for January, 2011

Double Posting of Index Entries

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

In an index, the indexer may choose to provide multiple access points for the same information.  Given the importance of the main heading, it may be reasonable to assume that readers may look up a topic in more than one way.  One reader may look up automobiles, while another reader may be just as likely to look up cars.  The indexer may decide to double-post the information using both terms, that is list it in two places:

  • automobiles, 35-40
  • cars, 35-40

Double-posting of index entries may take the form of direct inversions:

  • book contracts
  •      of trade publishers, 54-59
  • trade publishers
  •      book contracts of, 54-59

The advantage of double-posting information is that it gives readers multiple access points for information.  Disadvantages are that it may take up too much space in an index.  Also, when an entire entry is double-posted, both entries must contain the same information; the reference locators and subheadings must be the same.  While it may be easy to maintain this consistency when double-posted terms appear only once, it can be difficult for the indexer to remember to double-post all the cited information scattered throughout the text.

During the editing stage, the indexer must be sure that all double-posted entries are mirror images of each other.

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