Or you can hope that other members who own the same books as you might want to member index them. I should have also said, a quick way to see which of your own books are most likely to be indexed next is to filter by Unindexed books (top right) and Sort by Popularity (sort box in green bar). That way you see which books are at the top of our indexing chart - though it can be affected by votes through Request Index, it usually doesn't change the position hugely. I have done that search in the Library but to see your own books' chances of getting indexed, do the same on your Bookshelf.
Ah, thanks -- I didn't realise I could do that! Might be another parameter in deciding which book to member index next.
Hi Devalera - quite a few questions to answer here.
There are four main reasons that we list all the cookbooks, whether indexed or not. One is that a lot of members like to have a catalog of their complete cookbooks collection. Two is that when members add all their books to their Bookshelf and request that we index them we then have an idea of which books to index next. We have an indexing chart which reflects those numbers. Thirdly, if you didn't add all your books to your Bookshelf you would have to constantly be checking the latest indexed books to see if any of yours have been done. If you add all your books to your Bookshelf then as soon as a book is indexed those recipes become part of your searches. And finally, we want EYB to have the best catalog of English language cookbooks in the world. And that can only be done by adding all books.
We don't have page numbers at the bottom as the data is not loading in pages, it is a constant stream of data (which is why you don't lose that data at the top as each new set of 25 books loads). You can speed up the process of scanning the 3,000 indexed books by ticking Indexed books in filters and reducing the data showing by using the Collapse/expand slider (and you then see 200 books per load). There is an explanation in Help on how to jump to where you were last on your search results.
As far as incentivising members to index their own books, it is a nice idea but we spend a huge amount on the indexing we do of books, magazines and blogs (plus all development costs, server, etc) and it would not be feasible to pay members to index books that we would not be indexing anyway. We would love it if publishers indexed their own books but most publishing staff are already completely overloaded so it is unlikely to happen. And it would be wonderful if the back-of-the-book indexers did an EYB index at the same time - maybe one day! Though publishers really wouldn't be interested in indexing anything other than new books (which we do a lot of already) so that wouldn't help the majority of members who want their collection going back years to be indexed.
Member indexing is going really well - we have had several hundred done already and we hope as we gain more members it will expand further. People have found they really enjoy it and you do get to know the book you are indexing very well. Give it a go!
How about incentivising members to index their books by offering a free extention to their membership, or using a points scheme where you can build up points towards a period of free membership depending on how much indexing you have carried out that has been accepted by EYB?
Susan_F - we have been asked that question a few times by email. This is the response we send:
We started member indexing so that EYB members could index the books that they love but that weren't owned by enough members for EYB to index it any time soon, if ever. It was one of our most requested features. I understand that you feel you should be reimbursed for your work but to be honest, we wouldn't have indexed the book you requested for a very long time. It costs us about 5 times an annual membership to index just one book so if we gave away free months to everyone who indexed their own books (books we wouldn't have indexed anyway) then we would not have enough money to index more books, magazines and blogs. Every cent we earn from the site goes back into indexing and development costs as it is.
Although we don't reimburse member indexers, there is still a cost for us to the member indexing. We employ a manager to proofread every book that is indexed and give feedback to the member. This can be extremely detailed but we view it as essential. EYB is a data site so it is important that the quality of the data is consistent, whether the book is indexed by a professional indexer or a member volunteer. So we are paying for the indexing of books that may be owned by only a couple of members. And don't forget that some of the members you see listed as owning a book may not even be paying members.There are lots of recipe indexing programs available which vary in price from $10 up to $70. You can see a review of them here. We took the view that we are allowing our members to use our indexing tools for free, which have cost us a lot of money to develop. Members can index their own personal recipes, online recipes as well as their own cookbooks and magazines if they choose. They therefore can create an entire database of all their recipes, wherever they are - they cannot do this anywhere else in the world. And because this data is shared through the EYB Library and because EYB is indexing the most popular books, magazines and blogs, each member benefits by having the majority of their Bookshelf indexed by someone else (the average is 65% indexed).
I've indexed a few books, and I've been delighted to have those books indexed that wouldn't be otherwise. And I'm really grateful to other members who have indexed books that are on my bookshelf. I hadn't thought about any sort of incentive for indexing, but it now occurs to me that EYB set up the member profiles to show the number of notes a member has added to encourage people to make more notes. Maybe another line for number of books indexed? And members could list the books they've indexed in their profiles if they wanted to. I've wondered about which member indexed the member indexed books of mine. I'm particularly grateful to whomever took on the monumental task of indexing The Picayune's Creole CookBook (I suspect it's robm, given robm's extensive notes on the book.)
Avocet - we will consider how we could do that. And you are right that robm did index The Picayune's Creole Cook Book - I don't think he will mind me revealing that since I think he has mentioned it in notes. He is currently indexing a monumental Brazilian cookbook, Dona Benta, (over 1,000 recipes in Portuguese).
Guilty as charged! I took on the Creole Cookbook because I have lived in New Orleans and love the food, and this book is really the foundation for all modern cookbooks on New Orleans cooking. It turned out to be a somewhat longer and slower task than I anticpated, so I hope these remarks help (or warn) anyone interested in indexing an old, historic book like this one.
First, I admit I underestimated the number of recipes -- even though the paperbound edition I used isn't very big, it contains many recipes on a single page! So there was a lot more to index than I anticipated at first.
Second, I found that it was necessary to actually read every recipe as I was indexing. Proofreading in those days wasn't brilliant, it seems, and many of the recipes turned out to contain ingredients that were mentioned in the instructions but not in the list of ingredients. Sometimes the reference was to a sauce or other preparation from another copletely separate recipe in the book.
Third, I found myself having to refer to the modern, annotated version of the book (out-of-print but mentioned in my notes on the book) to find modern names for some old, unfamiliar ingredients. The annotated version also was helpful in translating old-fashioned measurements into modern ones. For example, a tablespoon in New Orleans at the turn of the last century turns out to mean what we would call a large kitchen spoon -- the kind you use to stir a pot with. In a few cases the annotated version continued to be mysterious on the subject of ingredients so I had to look around in some other books or online to find out what it was and what it's called today.
Otherwise, though, it was great fun to do and I am really glad to know that it has been useful for someone other than me! If you are a bit OCD indexing can be very enjoyable and rewarding!
As Jane said, right now I'm about halfway through "Dona Benta," which is the Brazilian equivalent of Joy of Cooking. It's been going fairly fast, even though I suspect it's going to top out at nearly 2000 recipes. This is a modern edition so the ingredients lists are much more accurate than in the Creole Cookbook, but even here I find occasional references to ingredients not in the list (or vice-versa, which makes you try to figure out if it's a complete mistake or how the ingredient should be used in the recipe if it seems to belong). I've also had to rely on a couple of other books (including an older bilingual book written for expats in Rio) to remember or learn the American names or equivalents of Brazilian cuts of meat, or to figure out what the occasional unfamiliar ingredient is. So this is actually pretty educational, as well!
In any case, I recommend indexing to anyone who is very detail-oriented and who wants to be sure that somewhat less popular but important books become available. I hope it will bring more attention to the books, because they're very worthwhile!
Yes, I was definitely disappointed to discover that only 40% of my cookbook collection is indexed. When I played with the site before paying for membership, four of the first five books I tried were indexed, so I wasn't expecting that. I did most of my cookbook buying in the mid-to-late 90s, which means that only one of my unindexed books is sitting on over forty user shelves, so I'm unlikely to become less disappointed unless I do the work myself. I've done one, but I have three young kids, so my sustained-focus time is pretty well limited.
Good news for me is that my primary interest is in having an index of my cocktail books, so that limits the scope of work I'd have to do to be happy. I'm grateful for the folks who have member-indexed some of those books already. I'd also love to see the site index some of the higher-profile cocktail blogs someday.
One other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes a book will have several editions (paperback, hardcover, etc.) that when combined are owned by more than 40 members and we do take that into account. For example, taking a quick look at your bookshelf, I saw your edition of Recipes for a Small Planet is only owned by 16 members, but it is currently getting indexed because there are several other editions, bringing it into professional indexing range.
Gotcha. Thanks. That being the case, maybe the linked ISBNs could also display that they are currently indexing?
Apologies Greg for the delay in my reply on this. We link all editions of the book as soon as a book is assigned for indexing, so all editions display the same status of Indexing Now. If you check your edition of Recipes for a Small Planet you should see that it has that status.
My apologies, Jane, but that doesn't appear the case, at least not for this title on my bookshelf. If I click on the title, then it tells me that "The book has not been indexed yet...Indexing Now." But like Cati, my copy still falls within the Unindexed Books on my bookshelf and gives me the option to Request Index. I'd love it to work how we both seem to think it should though.
Greg - sounds like a bug on linked books - it should display on your Bookshelf exactly the same as it does in the Library. It is appearing as Indexing Now on the book details page (under the Recipes tab) but it should also be appearing as that on your Books tab listing.
Cati - is your edition of River Cottage Every Day still appearing as Request index? I just tried adding the edition you own to my Bookshelf and it appears correctly. Not every process on the site happens instantly as that would place a huge load on the server - some changes such as when I linked the edition you own yesterday, would not be fully done until the site data was next indexed which happens every 24 hours.
And it is. Thanks for fixing.