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5.5. Preliminary pages and end-matter

5.5.1. Dedication

The dedication is generally very short and is printed in characters smaller than those used for the rest of the work. It is placed just above the optical centre of the page. The verso remains blank.

5.5.2. Foreword, preface and introduction

There is often confusion among these three preliminary texts, including in the terminology between languages. The distinction in English is as follows.

Because it is not part of the text, the foreword is usually placed before the contents page. It is written by someone other than the author, often a prominent public figure, and comprises background information on the work and/or the author. The foreword may be printed in a different typeface from that used for the main text.

As with the foreword, the preface may be placed before the contents page. Written by the author personally, it concerns the work as a whole. It too may be printed in a different typeface.

The introduction, also written by the author, is placed after the contents page and is considered part of the text. It is primarily a preparation for, or explanation of, the text itself. It is usually printed in the same typeface as the main text.

5.5.3. Contents

The contents (headed ‘Contents’) is a table made up of the exact titles that form the sections of the work. In Court judgments, this is called ‘Table of Contents’. Opposite each title, the page number on which each section begins is indicated, sometimes linked to it by leaders (a series of dots).

In addition to a general contents, each section may also have a subsidiary contents. It is standard practice for the general contents to be placed at the beginning of a work.

The contents may be followed by a list of illustrations and a list of tables and graphs.

5.5.4. Bibliographies

Bibliographies are usually placed at the end of a work.

For the presentation of bibliographical references, see Section 5.9.4.

5.5.5. Index

An index is a detailed list of subjects, persons, places, events, etc. mentioned in a publication, indicating their exact position in the text.

An index can be classified according to different criteria: alphabetical, by subject, chronological, numerical, etc.

Often a number of classification subsystems are used in the same index.

Special indexes (of authors, place-names, etc.) can be compiled or all the entries can be contained in a general index.

Presentation of an index

In the print production process, once the work has been made up, the author service must complete and check the index (e.g. the author is responsible for entering the relevant page number(s) against each entry).

If the index to a book is published in a separate volume, its title should give the author, title, place and date of the publication concerned, as they appear on the title page.

The title of the index to a periodical or serial publication must give the complete title, volume number and period covered.

In the case of periodicals, it is recommended that cumulative indexes be produced in addition to the volume indexes. References should then give the year and volume number.

If each section of a volume is paginated separately, the number or date of the section should be included in the reference.

Running titles must appear on the recto and verso of each sheet and should include the title of the work and the type of index. In the case of a large index, it is advisable to print the initial letters of the first and last word, or the words in full, at the top and at the outer edge of each page.

If the index comes at the beginning of the publication, its pagination must be distinct from that of the text.

Indexes to periodicals or other serial publications must be published for each volume, and yearly if possible. In the same way, cumulative indexes must be published at regular intervals.

Last updated: 17.2.2020
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