Alan Pritchard wrote: I am considering some changes to the subject index to the topics in my bibliography, and would welcome the opinion of the experts in this group, who might be potential users of a bibliography.
I have attached a *short* note on my ideas, and would very much welcome your views on the 2 questions at the end. By private message, if you prefer.
Thanks in advance for your help.
My understanding is that you are considering introducing umbrella-style 'supercategories' which would not contain any specific information in themselves but which would act as 'labelled boxes' to hold references that do contain specific information.
I suppose it all depends who your majority target audience is. Browsers and 'big picture' users will find it useful to have such entries (which I agree should be italicised or otherwise differentiated) but people writing dissertations on 'Green Lion symbolism in 16th century North German alchemy' will fly well below that particular radar. Do you have any statistics/feedback on what sort of people in general use your bibliography?
The innovation also sounds pretty labour-intensive from your point of view - will the marginal improvement in utility for the former category of user (the browsers) really justify all the extra work for you, and also will it not substantially increase the size (and therefore the cost) of the book?