Indexes Working Group

Matt Garrish edited this page Aug 5, 2015 · 3 revisions


Indexes are specialized navigational and supplemental information tools that offer readers an interaction with content that is enhanced, more powerful, and more specific than simple search. Users will expect to have indexes available in the EPUB3 ecosystem and accessible as easily as search. Publishers of EPUB3 content wish to make this data available to users, to allow them to explore book contents beyond what search results reveal.

The project seeks to define a declarative mechanism for the representation of indexes in EPUB Publications.


The Indexes working group is operating under a charter granted by the IDPF membership.

The charter was developed from an initial proposal from the American Society for Indexing (ASI), 12 Oct 2011.



The EPUB Indexes specification is currently a Proposed Specifications. Membership review is ongoing.

Future Milestones

The next, and final, projected milestone is publication of a Recommended Specification in the Fall of 2015.

Adoption Readiness Roadmap

An adoption readiness roadmap is available for review.


This section contains links to in-progress or interim documents.


Comment period


Use Case Parking Lot

This section will contain brief descriptions of additional use cases arising during the Working Group's efforts. These should be kept to a minimum since the Charter has been accepted and is an official IDPF document.

Generic cross-references

The following use case grew out of our discussions about the different types of cross-reference:

The end user encounters what we're calling a generic cross-reference target in the index, for example:

shade gardens, 25-26, 78; see also names of specific (shade plants)

Because the "see also" reference is to a category of terms rather than to a single particular term, clicking the actionable phrase (shade plants) would bring up a list of all the terms that have "shade plants" as their semantic.content.type (e.g. hosta, Jacob's ladder, etc.) and the person could then choose which term they wanted to go to in the index.

It's optional, of course; if the publisher doesn't want to enable actionable generic cross-references then the phrase "shade plants" would simply appear as plain text, and the end user would manually look up the names of individual shade plants elsewhere in the index. That's how it works in text indexes currently; we were envisioning this as a chance to capitalize on e-reader / interactive features to make generic cross-references easier (less manual) to follow.



Teleconference calls are no longer being held.

Archived meeting minutes are available.



  • David Ream, American Society for Indexing
  • Michele Combs, American Society for Indexing

Working Group

  • David Ream (Leverage Technologies, ASI)
  • Michele Combs (Carpe Indexum, ASI)
  • Glenda Browne (Australia & New Zealand Society of Indexers)
  • Mary Russell (Australia & New Zealand Society of Indexers)
  • Karen Broome (Sony Electronics)
  • Romain Deltour (DAISY)
  • Bill Kasdorf (Apex CoVantage)
  • Luc Audrain (Hachette Livre)
  • MURATA Makoto (JEPA)
  • Jean Kaplansky (Aptara)
  • Scott Prentice (Leximation)
  • Robert Bolick
  • Nicolas Echallier (Nordcompo Multimedia)
  • Tzviya Siegman (John Wiley & Sons)
  • Peter Sorotkin
  • Yasuo Kita (Apple)
  • King-Wai Chow (ASTRI)
  • Matt Haas (Pearson)


Anyone who belongs to a member organization of the IDPF may join the Working Group. For information on joining the IDPF, please refer to

Now that work on the specification has completed, new members are not being accepted.



Please direct general inquiries about the working group, such as how to join, to Markus Gylling (

For general questions about the specification, such as how to create content that conforms to it, please use the IDPF forums.

Reporting Issues

The working group's preferred method for reporting bugs in the specification is the github issue tracker.

IDPF members may also raise issues on the EPUB working group's mailing list. Please use the prefix "[IDX]" at the start of your email subject line.

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