Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award

The Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award for excellence in indexing, open to members and non-members alike, is judged by a panel of experienced indexers according to specific guidelines and criteria.

Recent recipients


An individual may make more than one nomination, but an index may be submitted only once in its lifetime. Nominees:

  • must be Canadian citizens OR resident in Canada
  • are not required to be members of ISC/SCI
  • may nominate themselves

The award is open to indexes:

  • created for single and multi-volume non-serial works published anywhere in the world
  • in print format, either paper or online (i.e., as PDF) (e-books are excluded because the methodologies and standards for these are in flux)
  • in English, French or both
  • published during the preceding 2 years (i.e., 2015 or 2016).

The submission consists of:

  1. ISC Award nomination form
  2. Separate paragraph indicating why this particular index merits the award
  3. One copy of the book (2 volumes if it is a multi-volume work)
  4. PDF of final index as published
  5. PDF of final book (please contact the award administrator if this is impossible)
  6. Fee of $30 (plus cost of return postage and inclusion of re-usable packaging if the book is to be returned)

Adjudicating panel

  • The panel consists of 3 experienced indexers who are members of ISC/SCI, one of whom acts as coordinator. Non-member specialists may be consulted as required.
  • Note that discussions of the judges are confidential and feedback will not be provided concerning submitted indexes.


Submitted indexes will be considered in light of style, content analysis, structure, vocabulary, cross-referencing and accuracy. The award will be given only if there is a nomination of sufficient calibre.

The criteria include the following but are not limited to them.


  • Consistent and coherent throughout index.
  • Appropriate to the content and challenges of the material.
  • Anticipates user needs and enhances user experience of the text.

Content analysis

  • User needs are anticipated.
  • All significant concepts are indexed.
  • All major themes are traced.
  • Minor concepts and themes are integrated, as appropriate.
  • Content is indexed at a consistent level of detail throughout the book, as much as variation in text and content allows.
  • Scattered discussions are traced.
  • Passing mentions are avoided.
  • Indexer maintains neutrality; no indexer bias is apparent.
  • Illustrations, tables, appendices, etc. are included in a consistent manner.


  • Multiple access points for concepts are provided as much as possible, including double-posted entries.
  • Sub-entries are introduced appropriately to:
    1. clarify main headings when essential
    2. divide locators into manageable and understandable groupings
    3. clarify relationships among concepts.
  • Strings of undifferentiated locators occur only if there is no way of differentiating them effectively.
  • Levels of sub-entries are appropriate to the complexity and nature of the content.
  • Cross-reference structure is well developed and suits the content (see the cross-referencing section, below).
  • An introductory note or headnote clearly explains any special features such as index-specific abbreviations or departures from indexing conventions.
  • Prepositions are used to clarify text only when essential.
  • Font changes and symbols are appropriate to the complexity of the material and the needs of the user.
  • The layout and style enhance scanning and understanding of the index; care has been given to layout (e.g., white space, running heads, cont’d lines, etc.).


  • Main entries and sub-entries are clearly expressed.
  • Terms (main entries, sub-entries) are appropriate to the discipline and expected audience.
  • Author’s vocabulary is integrated.
  • User vocabulary is anticipated and integrated.
  • Current vocabulary is integrated where appropriate.
  • Indexer vocabulary is neutral and respectful of the content.


  • Cross-references are adequate and useful.
  • See also references send readers to appropriate related material.
  • There are sufficient see also references to map the content clearly.
  • Cross-references are not used to send users to entries that take up only 1–2 lines, where double-postings would clearly be preferable.
  • Rejected terms (see references) are clear, effective and sufficient.


  • Spelling is correct throughout.
  • Page ranges and references are in order.
  • Alphabetization of main entries, sub-entries and cross-references is correct and consistent within the index, no matter the system chosen.
  • Punctuation is correct and consistent.
  • Forms of names are correct and consistent.
  • Terms are correctly and consistently formulated.
  • There are no circular or blind references.
  • Double-posted entries have the same page references at both locations.