The Society of Indexers

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SIdeline mailing list etiquette

The SIdeline mailing list is the forum for discussing indexing and the business side of indexing. It was established in November 1999 by Christine Headley, hosted on the Sheffield University mail servers. November 2005 the list moved to the Society’s own host.

List etiquette

This list etiquette contains rules of behaviour for Sideline subscribers. For guidelines on posting messages and managing your subscription options please consult the list guidelines.

Content of messages

  • Messages should be pertinent to the basic premise of SIdeline. Only send a message to the list if it is both intended for and appropriate to the entire list.
  • Contributors are asked to truncate the quoted material when posting replies to other posts. Please delete any extraneous matter from your reply before posting it to the list.
  • Virus or scam warnings, round-robin messages, chain messages and acknowledgements for receipts of messages are not suitable for SIdeline. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Anyone who is concerned about any such messages should consult an appropriate Website and contact the List manager off-list. The List manager may issue an alert to the list if appropriate. False or outdated warning emails do nothing more than add to the clutter and stress of working online.

    Virus information: refer to

    Other hoaxes: refer to

  • No advertising: SIdeline is not the medium for advertising goods and services. Any advertising should be included in SIdelights, the Society’s newsletter.
  • Job postings: SIdeline subscribers should bear in mind that Indexers Available is the Society’s preferred way of matching indexer and client. It is recognised, though, that SIdeline can be a very fast and efficient way of finding an indexer. We recommend that SIdeline job postings are used for emergency situations only, e.g. an indexer falling ill or an author giving up halfway through an index. When posting a job on SIdeline, this should be done without publishing a fee, thus  leaving it to the indexer and the client to negotiate an appropriate fee.
  • Do not discuss the contents of the test papers of the SI course.
  • If you are going away and have an “Out of Office”-type autoresponder set up for your e-mail, please consider unsubscribing temporarily from the list. Out of office messages are not suitable for SIdeline.
  • Please do not send messages to SIdeline that request read receipts or delivery confirmations.
  • Please do not send unsubscribe requests to SIdeline. Such administrative requests are not suitable for the list. You can manage your own SIdeline subscription directly.
  • Queries directly related to the function of one of the three indexing programs — CINDEX, MACREX and SKY Index — should not be sent to the list but to the producers of these programs or their agents.
  • Be careful if using humour, sarcasm or inflections in your message, as these can be misinterpreted far more easily than they normally are in face-to-face conversations.
  • Do not use profanity, personal abuse or overt political attacks in your messages.
  • Post separate messages if you have more than one question to ask. Experience shows that having multiple queries in a single message can lead to one or more questions being overlooked.
  • Ensure you sign messages posted to the list. Confine your “signature details” to fewer than six lines, and follow the signature convention of prefacing your signature with “-- ” (dash dash space).
  • Access to SIdeline is restricted to SI members only and postings should not be reposted to other lists nor published in blogs nor other online or paper publications.

Format of messages/Email account settings

  • Send only plain text messages to the list rather than HTML messages. Messages in HTML and other formats are not always readable by email programs. The list server will automatically convert all messages sent to it into plain text.
  • When replying to a message, quote as much as you need from previous messages to make the context of your reply clear, but no more; a phrase or two is almost always enough to put your message in context. It is also helpful to state whom you are quoting; for example, “Iain Brown wrote:”. 
  • Messages should not be typed in upper case; it is the electronic equivalent of SHOUTING!
  • Use asterisks and underscores for emphasis and italics, respectively: e.g., "That *is* what I meant" and "_The Times_ is my favourite newspaper".
  • Attachments should not be sent to the list. Attachments are one of the ways viruses and worms propagate. They can also take a long time to download (especially when you are using a dial-up connection and modem), and some recipients may not be able, or want, to open the file.
    Instead of sending an attachment to the list, it is suggested that the text of the document is copied and pasted into the body of a message (provided the formatting is not critical), which can then be sent to the list.
    If the document requires formatting to be useful or is longer than a page, send a message to the list with a brief summary of the document and details of how subscribers can obtain a copy. This should be one of the following:

     - You will email the file off-list to anyone requesting it.

     - You will place the file on a Website or FTP site and provide information in a message on how to access it (such information would include the URL and, if necessary, an FTP username and password).

     - It is already available publicly and you need only to tell others how to get it, by giving the URL in the body of the message (where relevant).

  • Use descriptive, specific, correct and relevant Subject lines. They should identify clearly what the message is about; many people use Subject lines to determine which messages to read immediately and which to ignore when they have fewer time constraints.
  • If your reply to a posting will take the discussion in a new direction by introducing a new or associated topic, please create a new message and use a new Subject line followed by “[Was: Old Subject]” for example: Couriers [Was: Postal services]
  • Please do not use your e-mail client’s Reply function to start a new thread: create a new message and give it an appropriate Subject line. If your message is off-topic, please insert [OT] at the beginning of your Subject line. This identifier will allow people who filter incoming messages to identify quickly which messages are important and which can be read at leisure.

List manager

SIdeline is currently unmoderated.All administrative and subscription messages should be directed to the following email address:

This email adress is protected against spam. To view the adress you have to enable JavaScript.

Please DO NOT use the mailing list address for your administrative requests!

Version 2.7.4
Last revised: 30 June 2013
List manager, SIdeline:
List archives:
List guidelines:
List information:
Managing one's subscription:


Last updated: 30 June 2013 | Maintained by Webmaster | Page ID: 301
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