A selection of my various published writings.

(See also my blog for more on comedy book indexes and National Indexing Days.)

The Indexer (the international journal of indexing)

Index, a history of the: conference adventures of author and indexer’ (2022)

The Indexer, September 2022, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 189–204.

Dennis Duncan’s latest book, Index, a history of the, has received much coverage since publication in September 2021, as has its index by Society of Indexers member Paula Clarke Bain. Dennis and Paula have presented at many of the main indexing conferences over the year, together and solo as author and indexer. In this article, I reflect on our recent presentations at the Society of Indexers (UK), the American Society for Indexing (ASI) and the Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) conferences, and look ahead to the international indexing conference in Berlin in October 2022, where we will be back presenting together again.

https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/10.3828/indexer.2022.20 (paywall for non-subscribers)

‘Meandering musings on the comic fiction index’: a peer review on Three Men in a Boat (2021)

The Indexer, September 2021, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 245–262.

Discussion of a Society of Indexers peer review exercise on indexing the comic novel Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. The exercise involved a group of indexers indexing the same section of text, looking at all the indexes, and discussing their thoughts. I report on the insights shared, and consider the role and purpose of indexes in more unusual texts like novels and comic fiction.

www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/article/66216/ (paywall for non-subscribers)

‘Book review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke’ (2021)

The Indexer, March 2021, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 113–117.

Book review of the role of the index in Susanna Clarke’s novel Piranesi (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020) and how it is the key to a Great and Secret Knowledge.

www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/article/61076/ (paywall for non-subscribers)

A green open-access version is now also self-archived on my blog:

‘The role of the index in Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi: book review’

‘Strange indexes indeed: the wit of Francis Wheen as author-indexer’ (2018)

The Indexer, July 2018, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 42–48.

Review and interview with Francis Wheen about his own indexes to his books Strange Days Indeed and How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World.


‘Back of the book, back of the net: the comedy book indexes of Partridge and Toast’ (2017)

The Indexer, March 2017, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 18–24.

Review of the indexes in the spoof memoirs of comedy characters Alan Partridge and Steven Toast.


Editorial and ‘Why indexing?’ (2005)

I was one of the ‘new indexers’ guest-editing team for an issue of The Indexer (along with Rohan Bolton, Hilary Faulkner and Margaret Vaudrey). Also known as the ‘Yellow Spots’ issue from the stickers worn by first-time attendees at the Society of Indexers’conference. The full issue is available below.

The Indexer, October 2005, vol. 24, no. 4.


CIEP (Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading)

‘A week in the life of a book indexer’ (August 2020)

CIEP blog post on a typical working week as a book indexer, in which I make an embedded index from beginning to end.


Indexing Biographies and Other Stories of Human Lives’ (July 2020)

CIEP book review of the fourth edition of Hazel K. Bell’s Indexing Biographies and Other Stories of Human Lives (Liverpool University Press).


‘National Indexing Day’ (March 2017)

CIEP blog overview of the inaugural National Indexing Day and diamond anniversary of the Society of Indexers in 2017.


The Author (journal of Society of Authors)

‘Indexers, all about’ (2020)

The Author journal (Autumn 2020)

Article for authors on how to find, commission and work with a professional book indexer. This was reposted on the Society of Authors blog in March 2021.


An expanded version of this article is also available on my blog as:

‘Why you need and how to work with a book indexer: a guide for authors’

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)

‘Comedic indexes’ (2018)

A special issue of the CILIP Cataloguing & Indexing Group (now Metadata & Discovery Group) periodical Catalogue and Index on indexing, with an article by me on ‘Comedic indexes’, and other articles by indexers Helen Bilton, Rosemary Dear, Clare Playforth and Pilar Wyman. (Whole issue or individual article download below.)

Catalogue and Index, issue 192, September 2018.


SIdelights (newsletter of Society of Indexers)

Access restricted to members of the Society of Indexers and associated indexing societies. (Reference format = year: issue.page.)

‘Notes from a new Fellow’ (2022: 03.05)

‘On leaving the EB (for now)’ (2020: 03.04)

‘National Indexing Day 2019 summary’ (2019: 02.05)

‘On joining the Executive Board’ (2018: 02.03)

‘My Other Hat: When I’m not indexing … I’m studying psychology’ (2013: 02.08)


Byte the Book

‘National Indexing Day’ (2018)

Overview of the second National Indexing Day in 2018.