Introduction to Indexing
What is “Indexing”? Indexing is the primary way of contributing data to the GCD. For each comic, an indexer records at minimum the issue's number, date, price and page count as well as the types, titles and credits for each story and cover. A wealth of additional information, including character appearances, genres and plot synopses, may optionally be entered.
Indexing is done through our Online Indexing system (OI) of web forms by logging in through the front page or the login link on the search bar on each page. An alternative method, known as Indexing Offline, involves uploading text files (a.k.a. "Flat Files") in place of using the web forms.
Important Note: Contributors cannot copy existing, published indexes without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright laws and good manners prohibit such actions. If you have obtained permission, you must note the source of the material in your index. Cover scans from other sources (web sites or compilation CD's) are not allowed unless you have obtained their permission. Cover scans with watermarks are never allowed. All efforts should be made to scan your own covers. See the Covers_FAQ or check with gcd-main if in doubt.
What information can I add or change?
Indexers are encouraged to contribute whatever information they can, as even incomplete indexes are valuable. Indexers may also fill in missing information on existing indexes or change information they know to be in error. The more information, the better! While we have a definition for "complete" indexes, that really only covers the basics. Indexes are rarely truly complete, as a fully-detailed cover-to-cover account of a comic is a lot of work! A "complete" index has, at minimum: Titles, page counts, credits (even if unknown) and features for each of the stories (either text or comic) and for the cover of the comic. It does not need to have letter pages, promos or ads, though these are definitely desirable. It also doesn't have to have characters, synopses or notes about reprints, though these are definitely desirable too. Note: The exact definition of a minimally "complete" index is currently under discussion on gcd-policy.
How do I learn how to index?
The OI Tutorial will guide you through the basics. For more details (and the official rules on what should and shouldn't be entered in each field) the most up-to-date documentation is the Formatting Documentation on this wiki. There are some older documents outside this wiki that you might find if we haven't hunted down all the old links yet. In the event of a disagreement, the wiki wins. :-)
What happens after I submit my index?
After you submit the index, an editor will check the data for errors and proper formatting, and then approve the index (usually within a week). If there is a problem, the index may be put back in your queue with comments and you may be contacted by e-mail for comment. Your editing queue is accessible by clicking on the "Editing" link on the top and bottom search bars after you are logged in. Do not be discouraged if you get back a list of stuff to be corrected. The editors can be a picky bunch, and they have to be. We need the data in the database to be consistent for future uses and for searching. After the index has been approved, you may use the GCD search form at the top of every page to check your index to see if any errors got missed. If there are any errors, please re-reserve the comic and correct it yourself, or file an error report using the link that's on every page.
How do I contact an Editor with questions about my index?
The easiest way to contact an Editor is to put a Comment in the issue you're working on, if it applies to that specific issue. If you have a more general question, a good method is to post the question on the gcd-main list. Most of the Editors take part in the discussions there and someone is very likely to answer your question.
How do I get started as an indexer?
First you need an Online Indexing account. There is a link on the front page to [register] through the website. It is in the Login box on the left side of the page.
The information you will be asked to provide is:
- Your email address. It will be used as your user name.
- Your password
- Your name that you would like to be credited by. Preferably your real name.
- Your country
- The languages you read (multiple languages can be selected)
- Your comic book interests (not necessary, but we like to know a bit about you so we can pair you up with an editor with similar interests if possible)
- Whether or not you wish to receive e-mails for changes you submit that are approved without a comment. You will always receive an email if the approver comments.
- Whether or not you wish the change comparison page for an issue to show a shortened version of the unchanged values, with the full view accessible via a link.
- Whether or not you wish to see links to this wiki while you are indexing. The "Wiki Links in OI" box near the bottom of your Profile page (not shown in the image below) provides a link to the appropriate topic as a small [?] at the top of each data entry field. You can set this either on or off in your Profile.
Do not use a sensitive password as the system is not designed for high security.
You will receive an email with how to confirm your account, and then you can start entering info into the database!