The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

Looking for needles in a haystack: how do ebook reader applications handle active indexes? Part 4 - smartphones

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2021), 39, (1), 15–34.

Abstract

Indexes in ebooks can be ‘active’, with hyperlinks into the text. Should these links go to the page, paragraph, line or word level? This is a complex question, but the main concern may be the user interface in ebook reader applications. In this last article of a four-part series, Mary Coe and Jan Wright report on their investigation of how active ebook indexes are handled by applications on smartphones. They conclude that smartphone applications perform reasonably well but do not handle all levels of locator specificity with precision and that small smartphone screens can lead to problems with index display and use. They also conclude the series with a summary of their findings across all ereading applications and devices. (See also the other articles in this series - the first part on Web-based browser ereader applications in The Indexer 37(2), pp. 125-40; the second part on dedicated ereader devices in The Indexer 38(1), pp. 29-44; and the third part on tablet devices in The Indexer 38(3), pp. 271-89.)

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References

Coe, M. (2019) ‘Canaries in a coalmine: the index and the page in ebooks’, Script & Print 43(2), 69-78. Google Scholar

Coe, M. and Wright, J. (2019) ‘Looking for needles in a haystack: how do ebook reader applications handle active indexes? Part 1 - ereader and Web browser software’, The Indexer 37(2), 23-38. Google Scholar

Coe, M. and Wright, J. (2020a) ‘Looking for needles in a haystack: how do ebook reader applications handle active indexes? Part 2 - dedicated ereader devices’, The Indexer 38(1), 29-44. Google Scholar

Coe, M. and Wright, J. (2020b) ‘Looking for needles in a haystack: how do ebook reader applications handle active indexes? Part 3 - tablet devices’, The Indexer 38(3), 271-89. Google Scholar

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