Textbook Indexing

Leoni McVey led a session, “To Textbooks, with Love,” on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the American Society for Indexing/Indexing Society of Canada Annual Conference in Chicago.  She discussed the process of elementary to high school and college textbook indexing, and some ways in which textbooks differ from other types of book indexing.  These books are well-organized, she said, with key terms in bold face.

She gave a handout listing “callouts”:  illustration (i), box (b), map (m), document (d), visual (v), chart/graph (c), table (t), and figure (f).  Callouts may be abbreviated or spelled out partially, and may or may not be italics.

Indexable and nonindexable book sections include the following: book preface and introduction: indexable.  Chapter introduction: indexable.  Timelines and chronologies: indexable.  Activities: nonindexable.  Case studies: depends, not if fictional.  Key term lists: indexable.  Review questions: indexable.  Bibliographies: nonindexable.  Glossaries: can be.  Glindex (combined glossary and index): questionable.

She said she compiles two indexes for a teacher edition and a student edition.   She indexes them separately, and then they are merged together, with ‘T’ noting Teacher Edition and ‘SN’ noting Student Notebook.

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