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Open Access From print to web: indexing for accessibility

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In this article, Christopher Stephen argues that if a reader cannot find, or can find but cannot read, a piece of information, then the information has little value. So making information accessible – easy to find and easy to read – adds value to it. Publishing information in multiple formats, such as large print, very large print, DAISY (audio with navigation popular with people with visual impairment), audio, Braille, in new print formats for people with learning-based reading difficulties like dyslexia, and in new formats for people with vision impairments like macular degeneration, allows more readers to access the information and adds value to it. Publishers are competing to get their information in front of readers. Making information easier to find also increases the value of the information. Adding relevant keywords that are not already in a document will help readers find that document more easily and will get it better rankings in search engines, part of the process called search engine optimization. Indexers are uniquely qualified to do this, and the author predicts that the indexing profession will become part of the marketing team that can add value to a document by making it more accessible.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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  • The Indexer is published by the Society of Indexers on behalf of all the indexing societies, seeks to cover the full range of subjects, from articles at the cutting edge of new techniques to contributions discussing in a practical way the new tools available to indexers at all points in the technical spectrum or exploring the history of indexing. Its extensive reviews section covers both printed and electronic material, including websites and hardware and software of interest to the indexer, while 'Indexes Reviewed' highlights some of the best (and worst) examples of indexing in action. And, in 'Around the World', it keeps readers up to date with what is going on across the international indexing community. First published in 1958 on a twice-yearly basis, it moved in 2008 to a quarterly publication.
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