The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

A tale of indexing (in)consistency

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2020), 38, (2), 171–183.

Abstract

When multiple indexers are working on the same material, it is not always possible to achieve the aim of consistency. This research project reports on an analysis of journal indexing by students in a graduate-level indexing course. The students’ use of derived and assigned subject terms was analyzed in order to determine patterns of inter-indexer consistency and link them to indexing theory. While this study was limited to the indexing of one article by non-professional indexers, the findings confirm that consistency is possible and suggest underlying reasons for inconsistency.

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References

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Chan, L. M. (1989) ‘Inter-indexer consistency in subject cataloging’, Information Technology and Libraries 8(4), 349–58. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. B. and Cleveland, A. D. (2013) Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 4th edn. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

David, C., Giroux, L., Bertrand-Gastaldy, S., Lanteigne, D. and Bertrand, A. (1995) ‘Indexing as problem solving: a cognitive approach to consistency’, in T. Kinney (ed.), ASIS’95: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 49–55. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

ERIC (2019) ERIC thesaurus. Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Fumani, M. R. F. Q. (2010) ‘Inter-indexer consistency (IIC) in a Persian context’, The Indexer 28(1), 12–17. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2009) ‘Concept theory’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60(8), 1519–36. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Hjørland, B. (2019) ‘Indexing: concepts and theory’, in B. Hjørland (ed.), Encyclopedia of knowledge organization. Available at https://www.isko.org/cyclo/indexing, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

IFLA (2017) Statement of international cataloguing principles (ICP). Available at https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

ISO (2015) ISO 5963:1985(R2015) Documentation: methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms, International Organization for Standardization. Available at https://www.iso.org/standard/12158.html, accessed 10 April 2020. Google Scholar

Lancaster, F. W. (2003) Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar

Leinnger, K. (2000) ‘Interindexer consistency in PsycINFO’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 32(1), 4–8. Google Scholar

Mai, J.-E. (2000) ‘Deconstructing the indexing process’, Advances in Librarianship 23, 269–98. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Boll, J. J. (2001) Subject analysis in online catalogs, 2nd edn. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Google Scholar

Olson, H. A. and Wolfram, D. (2008) ‘Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale’, Journal of Documentation 64(4), 602–15. Google Scholar

Redmond-Neal, A. and Hlava, M. M. K. (eds) (2005) ASIS&T thesaurus of information science, technology, and librarianship, 3rd edn. Medford, NJ: Information Today. Google Scholar

Rolling, L. (1981) ‘Indexing consistency, quality and efficiency’, Information Processing and Management 17(2), 69–76. Google Scholar

Saracevic, T. (1998) ‘Indexing, searching, and relevance’, in B. H. Weinberg (ed.), Indexing: the state of our knowledge and the state of our ignorance. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 101–9. Google Scholar

Weinberg, B. H. (2017) ‘Indexing: history and theory’, in J. D. McDonald and M. Levine-Clark (eds), Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 4th edn. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 1978–91. Google Scholar

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Zhang, Lei