There are standard formats for the creation of indexes, however, some publishers have specific specifications. Here are some considerations for indexing style.
Should the index follow the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)? House style? A previous edition of the same book?
Types of Indexes
Is a subject-only index needed? Or a citation (author) index? Combined subject/citation?
Does the index need to constrain to available space?
Front Matter / Back Matter
Should the front and/or back matter be indexed?
Should the notes be indexed?
Should the index be formatted in indented or run-in style?
chickens; breeds, 4-6, care of 7-12, molting, 18
care of, 7-12
How many levels of subheadings should the index have? Most indexes will have just one level, but some use two or more levels.
first level, 2
use of, 3
detail provided by, 4
Should the index include alphabetical separators?
alphabetic separator example, 6
Should the index be alphabetized word-by-word or letter-by-letter?
Should locators be conflated according to CMS or Hart’s Rules?
eggplant, 8-14, 24-29, 30-36, 39-43, 45-49
eggplant, 8-14, 24-9, 30-6, 39-43, 45-9