Preliminary Article List

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Preliminary Article List


(in Russian, slovnik), a complete listing of the article titles to be included in an encyclopedia, usually with a brief explanatory note and an indication in printer’s characters of the articles’ projected sizes. The preliminary article list of a generalized or specialized encyclopedia serves as a prospectus and table of contents. It reflects the encyclopedia’s organization, content, ideology, and scholarly and scientific orientation. The list uses modern classification methods and reflects new scholarly and scientific trends.

In compiling the preliminary article list, article titles are selected and the extent of coverage of individual branches of knowledge, disciplines, and articles is determined. The list organizes the material that will be included in the encyclopedia, groups articles according to subject matter, and serves as the basis of the cross-reference system. It is also correlated with the bibliography, illustrations, and maps. The preliminary article list determines the encyclopedia’s scope and establishes which articles will be long, medium, or short.

The preliminary work on an encyclopedia usually begins with the compilation of thematic lists of proposed articles for every branch of knowledge. These lists are divided into sections listing relevant items, from general concepts to specific article titles. Specialists in the field usually help prepare the thematic lists. With the aid of these lists, alphabetical lists are compiled for each major field. A general alphabetical list for the entire work is then compiled.

Since new items are sometimes added to an encyclopedia during the publication process, it is advisable to hold some articles and space in reserve.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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