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index, in publishing
See M. D. Anderson, Book Indexing (1971); R. L. Collison, Indexes and Indexing (4th ed. 1972); J. Rowley, Abstracting and Indexing (2d ed. 1988); D. B. and A. D. Cleveland, Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting (2d ed. 1990).
Index, in the Roman Catholic Church
a list of common names, proper names, printed and written works, formulas and symbols, or other items; these items are arranged alphabetically according to subject, chronologically, or numerically. An index provides rapid access to information in a book, journal, or audiovisual source. In terms of content and intended use, there are two principal types of index: bibliographic and auxiliary.
The bibliographic index is a type of bibliographic aid whose entries are generally arranged in systematic order. An important reference source, the bibliographic index generally consists of two parts: a main index—the information file—and a supplementary index, which aids in the retrieval of information not revealed by the grouping of material in the main index. Abroad, main (subject) and supplementary (name) indexes are sometimes combined in an alphabetic, or dictionary, index.
The supplementary index is used as a guide to a given text. It contains a list of systematically arranged entries that name or designate items in the text, see and see also cross-references that link semantically similar but lexically different concepts, and references to page numbers, chapters, paragraphs, and bibliographic entries. An important element of the reference apparatus, the supplementary index is an efficient means of retrieving information and of reading selectively. The supplementary index also provides a concrete idea of the semantic structure of a given work. Supplementary indexes are used in scientific and scholarly publications, bibliographic aids, library catalogs, archive inventories, and collections of audiovisual materials.
There are several types of supplementary indexes. They differ according to content, that is, by using headings representing proper names (personal, geographic, and organizational); subjects; the names of published works or the first lines of poems; citations, abbreviations, symbols, and formulas. Thus, there are indexes of names, subject indexes, indexes of geographic names, and citation indexes. Supplementary indexes also differ according to the manner of grouping the material: there are alphabetic, thematic, classified, and chronological indexes.
The headings of an index may be simple, consisting of a word or phrase, or they may be complex, that is, they may consist of headings and subheadings. Indexes consisting only of simple headings are called blind indexes, and those consisting of complex and simple headings are called expanded, or analytic, indexes. When indexes provide additional information in the form of annotations, direct citations from the text, or definitions, they are called annotated indexes.
An index may be printed as part of a larger work, it may be published separately, or it may be printed on punched or un-punched cards. The type of index or system of indexes used depends on the type of publication, its subject matter, and the intended readership. The reference apparatus of the fifth edition of V. I. Lenin’s Complete Collected Works has an elaborate system of indexes.
With the development of computer technology in the mid-20th century, new types of indexes were used for the retrieval of information. These indexes were generally prepared with the aid of digital computers and were based on the principle of coordinate indexing; they included indexes of cited works, permutation indexes, and coordinate indexes.
Indexes of cited works (bibliographic references) are alphabetized lists of the surnames of authors with the names of their works that have been referred to in a given text. The references also provide brief information on publications in which the works of these authors are cited. A full description of these publications is given in a separate source index. Indexes of cited works are helpful in solving problems of science analysis and forecasting.
The permutation index is a type of auxiliary alphabetic subject index in which significant words in the titles of the indexed documents or in their abstracts function as subject headings. Each such word is entered sequentially in a retrieval column and separated by a space from the other words of the title or abstract that form the context of the subject heading. This type of index is also called an index of key words cited in context. Each entry in the permutation index has an identification number, a full description of which is found in the bibliographic section of the index. Other types of permutation indexes are the double permutation index, in which the key words are used as traditional subject headings; the index of key words cited out of context; and the quasipermutation index, which contains instead of titles sequences of descriptors from the retrieval patterns of documents.
The coordinate, or correlative, index facilitates the correlation of two or more terms that are not necessarily in alphabetical order (as in the subject index) or in a meaningful hierarchical order (as in the thematic index).
REFERENCESMikhailov, A. I., and R. S. Giliarevskii. Istochniki, poisk i ispol’zovanie nauchnoi informatsii. Moscow, 1970.
Chernyi, A. I. Vvedenie v teoriiu informatsionnogo poiska. Moscow, 1975.
Prizment, E. L., and E. A. Dinershtein. Vspomogatel’nye ukazateli k nauchnoi knige. Moscow, 1975.
Collison, R. L. Indexes and Indexing, 3rd ed. London-New York, 1969.
R. S. GILIAREVSKII and E. L. PRIZMENT
1. <programming> A number used to select an element of a list, vector, array or other sequence. Such indices are nearly always non-negative integers but see associative array.
2. <database> See inverted index. 3. <World-Wide Web> A search engine.
4. <World-Wide Web> A subject index.
index(1) See indexed color.
(2) A common method for keeping track of data so that it can be accessed quickly. Like an index in a book, it is a list in which each entry contains the name of the item and its location. However, computer-based indexes may point to a physical location on a disk or to a logical location that points elsewhere to the actual location.
Indexes are used by all types of software, including the operating system, database management system (DBMS) and applications. For example, the file system index in an operating system contains an entry for each file name and the starting location of the file on disk. A database index has an entry for each key field (account number, name, etc.) and the location of the record. Search engines use a very sophisticated indexing system to keep track of billions of pages on the Web.
(3) In programming, a method for accessing data in a table. See subscript and inverted file.
|Types of Indexes|
|Indexes are widely used to keep track of the physical location of files on the disk as well as the logical location of data within a database. On the other hand, a programming index is a counter that is incremented to point to a relative location in a table.|