University of Rochester Press Indexing Guidelines

A successful index provides its reader with an efficient and logical path to all substantive information found in the text. As such, there are two key points when considering an index—first, the index must be loyal to the books’ content and scope, and second, it must present the reader with a systematic and easily navigable structure. Naturally, the design of such an index requires a great deal of discrimination and foresight on the part of its author. It is important to think of an index as a conceptual road map and a retrievability aid. It should not be created as a concordance or a more elaborate table of contents. When creating an index it is important to discriminate between subject information and passing references.

Our author guidelines are available as a separate guide on our website.

Following is a set of useful tips and guidelines. For further and more detailed information, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (pp. 811–60) or 15th edition (pp. 755–801).

Content

1.     In general, include only substantives as main index entries: nouns and names.

2.     Choose entries with a depth appropriate to the work: entries too broad or too narrow will not be helpful to the reader’s search.

3.     Certain parts of a book, such as the preface, foreword, acknowledgments, and bibliography, are not usually indexed. The introduction, however, is often included. Notes should be indexed only if they continue or amplify discussion in the text (substantive notes).

4.     As topics are interrelated in the text itself, so too should be the index. When compiling entries, it is important to keep an eye out for the possibility of cross-listings and subheadings.

5.     The index should include not only names and titles but also important concepts, such as literary movements, schools, and historical events. In other words, the index should not be just a list of proper names.

6.     Entries on scholars and scholarly writings should be indexed only if the scholar and his or her work are discussed extensively in the text.

7.    In general, if there are many page references for a single entry, consider splitting it into subentries. Please note: sub-sub entries are strongly discouraged.

8.    UR Press house style does not allow the use of “passim” or “ff.” to indicate a range of pages.

9.     Natural logic and instinct are probably as reliable as any in determining what topics are worthy of indexing.

Structure and Format

1.     Capitalize only the entries that would be capitalized in the text of the book.

2.     Put commas after an entry before listing page references.

3.     Do not put a period or any other punctuation at the end of an entry.

4.     Page ranges should be truncated as follows: 1–5, 43–44, 100–102 [repeating the hundreds number only after a number ending in 00], 106–7 [don’t repeat the 0 here], 131–38, 188–213.

5.     When indexing a note, type the page number, the abbreviation “n” followed by the number (with no spaces): 175n5; for several notes on the same page, type each note separately: 178n3, 178n6. (This is new, as given in the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., p. 788.); if the notes are consecutive, list them as such: 178nn3–8.

6.     In listing primary works, multiple works by a single author are best listed alphabetically under the author’s name, as opposed to individual entries.

7.     Alphabetize your index word by word (not letter by letter). (For more information, see the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., pp. 773–77) Each main entry should be alphabetized under the most important word. For example, “irrigation, ancient use of” is correct (not “ancient use of irrigation”). Introductory articles, prepositions, and conjunctions are disregarded in alphabetizing subentries. For example, under the main entry “United States,” the following subentries should appear in this order: “foreign policy of,” “and Russia,” “unemployment in” (f, R, u).

8.     When submitting your index to the Press, do not use any extra spaces, tabs, or other special formatting. That is, use a standard page format with standard margins. Italicize any words that will be italicized in the book. Use only the spaces normally necessary to separate words and for normal punctuation. The Press will take care of the layout of the index.

  1. The only exception to this “no special formatting” rule is that one extra blank line should be left after the last entry for each letter of the alphabet.
  2. If you need to indicate figures and tables, please do so in italics. This information should then be referenced at the top of the page with the following text, “An italicized page number indicates a figure or table.”

9.  Please submit your index as a Word file.

Method

1.     As a start, computerized keyword searches can be helpful, as can automatic tagging of the text for indexing. However, these methods lack the ability to discover important entries that are not explicitly mentioned in the text, such as related words or phrases or the concepts that lie behind the words.

2.     Common techniques for gathering entries including writing headings on index cards, marking entries on the proof pages, and using a computer to organize the entries.

3.     The phrases See and See also (italicized in the index) guide readers through your organizational decisions. Use them to avoid placing the same information under many different headings, and to allow the reader easy access to interrelated topics. Be sure that you have no “blind" references—references that do not lead to an entry.

4.     Make certain that page references are accurate! An index entry that does not match the text will probably be useless to the reader.

5.     Above all, remember to consider the reader when you are organizing your index. Think: How does one look for a subject? A successful index can take many forms, but logic, coherence, and organization are fundamentally important.

Checklist

  • Check spelling of main entries
  • Check alphabetizing of main entries
  • Check alphabetizing of sub-entries
  • Check page ranges to be sure they follow URP house style (listed above under Structure and Format)
  • Check all cross references to make sure they lead to a main entry

Finally, the following is a sample of how a submitted index might look. (It is single spaced to save paper.)

Index

Abulia clan, 32, 51, 57, 95

“Accras,” 134

Achoum clan, 36

Adam, Monseigneur, 137

Ademba clan, 41, 77, 79

administration, 2, 4, 14, 135, 179, 180, 181, 225; colonial, 41, 121, 133–34, 138, 139, 141–61, 174–83, 185, 195–97, 199, 200–213, 217. See also canton; chiefs; circonscription; French; regroupement

Adorno, Theodor, 21

Afro-Portuguese, 99

Agondjo-Okawe, Pierre-Louis, 14, 75

Agouma, 145, 151

agriculture, 15, 16, 50, 77, 86, 138, 149, 152. See also famine; food

Agulamba clan, 54

Ajumba clan, 33, 54, 100, 108, 118

alcoholism, 76, 152, 162n9

Altogovéen, 228

Ambouroue-Avaro, Joseph, 14

Ambrizette, 95

American(s), 33, 85, 97, 135

Angola, 95

anthropologists, 13, 17

anthropology, 14, 19

Anti-Slavery Society, 122, 137

Antonetti, Raphael, 179, 212

Apindji-speaking clans (Bapindji), 37–38, 39, 47, 51, 57, 58, 64n53, 102, 103, 105, 108, 111–12, 117, 118, 120, 152, 155, 159, 161n4, 172, 177, 199, 204, 205, 212, 215

archaeology, 6

Ashira, 42, 43, 48, 79

Asiaga clan, 54

Asono clan, 32

Atlantic, 3, 4, 7, 11; slave-trade, 27, 36, 41, 49n11, 74, 84, 85, 99, 109

Avandji, 32, 70–71

Avelot, René, 85

Avemba, 32

Avogo clan, 32

Aymes, Lieutenant A., 96

Azyondo clan, 45

 

Babongo, 1, 5n1

Bacougnis, 158

Badumbi clan, 73, 82

Bagamba clan, 82

Bakara mission, 136

Bakele, 4, 49, 51, 151, 189, 208. See also Kele

Balandier, Georges, 190

Banda clan, 31, 42, 48, 151; district, 57, 156

Bantu: languages, 6; peoples, 6, 80, 116; settlement, 6, 18; tradition, 11–13. See also equatorial traditions; chiefs

Bayart, Jean-François, 5, 133, 134, 195–96; The State in Africa, 195

Bayenji clan, 73

benyi, 76

Bernault, Florence, 195

Berton, Jules, 112, 119

Bichet, Père, 99, 109, 110, 122, 136

bisa, 42, 43

bisi, 47

Bohannan, Paul, 83

bokudu traditions, 107, 111

Bongo, 135, 151, 153, 155, 177, 204, 205n9

Bongo, Omar, 228

Bowdich, T. Edward, 53, 118

Brazilians, 31, 33

Brazza, Savorgnan de, 46, 96, 98, 100, 103–6, 121, 141–42, 200

Brazza Commission, 145

Brazzaville, 158, 171, 212

Bruel, Georges, 103, 113, 114, 117, 122

Buali, 43, 48, 87

Bujala clan, 31, 33, 82, 199

Buléon, Joachim, 40, 56, 101, 102, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 138–39

Burton, Richard, 103

Bumwedi clan, 74

Bumwele clan, 12, 29, 30, 31, 33, 74–75. 82, 116, 199,  214

Buyombu clan, 80

bwiti (bwété), 36, 58, 140, 179, 189, 203, 212, 215, 216, 217

 

Cameroon, 153, 154, 196, 197

canton, 5, 178, 204–13, 221 n, 60. See also chiefs

Cape Lopez, 28, 31, 32, 33, 45, 145, 151, 152, 153, 209

capitalism, 18–22, 27, 81–82, 88, 94–103, 134–35, 142n3, 176, 183, 190, 225

Catholics, 85, 87, 99, 100, 120, 124, 136–41, 147, 209, 212, 226

census, 3, 113–18, 149, 161, 176, 204, 225–26

Chad, 141, 176

Chamarande, 115–17, 161, 174

Charbonnier, Hippolyte, 199, 201

charms, 45, 51, 58, 83, 87, 198, 201, 203

chiefs: colonial, 5, 175, 197–213, 225–28; precolonial, 11–13. See also canton; circonscription; clan

chiggers, 126n28

children, 11, 12, 14, 45, 52, 58, 77, 83–84, 87, 136, 158, 182, 209

Chilongo, 28, 73

Christianity, 4, 103, 135, 136, 145, 212, 214. See also Catholics; Protestants; missions

circonscription, 116, 122, 150–55, 158, 161, 165n41, 172, 177, 188, 197, 200–201, 202, 204

clan, 2, 3, 12–19, 28, 29–35, 37–60, 70–83, 116, 171, 177, 183, 203–6

climate, 9–10

cloth: European, 33, 71, 143; raphia, 33, 48

coffee, 179, 180, 181

cognitive maps, 2, 3, 18–22, 25n48, 197, 225; French colonial, 18–19, 73, 104, 141–50, 195–96; postcolonial, 19, 196, 225; precolonial, 2, 3, 18–19, 73–88, 195–96, 217. See also maps

Coignard, Joseph, 87

Compagnie Coloniale du Fernan Vaz, 143

Compagnie Française du Congo Occidentale (CFCO), 143, 151, 156

Compiègne, Marquis de, 98, 99

concession companies, 4, 35, 113–14, 134, 141–51, 160–61, 171, 181, 197

Congo, Republic of (Congo-Brazzaville), 158, 186, 196n1

Congo Free State, 142

Congo-Océan railroad, 191n22

Conseil des notables, 211

copper, 36

Crowder, Michael, 154