I've set up a new ingredient "baking spray with flour". We try to shorten ingredient names wherever possibly so I removed "non-stick" since a baking spray is that by its nature.
Sure you can add the fat content for the ingredients to the comments field if it's important. Just be aware that the more wordy the comments field is, the less likely it is to be read.
I think that it would be helpful to indexers to have a complete, searchable, ingredients list. This could be separately accessible from the actual indexing data entry page. (If there were such a thing, I would open it when indexing and keep it open as I do with the Recipe Types list.) It would be fine if it just came up on a web page because that is searchable.This would be an enormous help when it came to figuring out the EYB name for certain ingredients. (For example, chile vs. chili powder -- I had the same problem, and I was indexing an entire cookbook of chili recipes!)
With regard to the specificity of ingredients, there ARE inconsistencies in the existing data, and I was frustrated at the beginning that I couldn't put the exact ingredient in all the time. As some other readers have commented, I felt that I wasn't properly representing the recipe. However, I have come to feel strongly that it is better to err on the side of simplicity in the ingredients list and put specifics that you feel are needed into the recipe notes.
These factors have brought me around to this way of thinking:
1) the most important thing about ingredients is searchabililty; the second most important thing about ingredients is making sure you've got the right ingredients on hand. I used to rank those in the opposite order until I began to make more extensive use of the search capabilities. You can (and probably should) check the actual recipe before starting to making something ... especially something that is demanding as to specific ingredients, like low-fat baking; it doesn't matter so much with something like soup! And for those who looking toward the Shopping List functionality, I'd suggest optionally or automatically including EYB notes on the list in order to pick up specific comments.
2) I've seen some ingredients that strike me as ridicuously specific. Take a look at dark chocolate bars - there are variants with cocoa nibs, toffee and almonds, and hazelnuts, and plain bars. Why stop with those kinds of nuts? Surely there are bars with just almonds, and bars with fruit chunks, etc., etc., etc. Why not include them all? Or look at cherry tomatoes - there are separate ingredients for 6 different colors. Tomatoes have 8 different varieties of canned tomatoes ... really, those aren't all that different from each other! I have observed that recipe-writers are often very specific (to distinguish THEIR recipe from others? due to editorial decisions?) but that from the point of view of usability and consistency within the search engine, EYB needs to draw a line in the sand, somewhere.
That said, the EYB lline has moved over the years - very naturally, as the site has matured - and will probably continue to move. My vote is to try to keep it as simple as possible.
I've returned the book to you as requested. Something else to be corrected as you are going through the book is that recipe titles should only be capitalized on the first word and on proper nouns e.g. Eggplant & roasted red bell pepper soup OR Classic Italian meatballs OR Dorie Greenspan's cream scones OR Coca-Cola cake.
Jane, where can I find this in the indexing instructions? It's quite difficult to follow all the indexing rules as they all seem to be linked into different areas rather than just on one page that you can print off and follow as you're entering.
Trackpup - next to every field on the indexing form is a ?. Click that and it takes you to the relevant section in the indexing instrustions. To see the instructions about capitalizing the recipe title you would click the ? next to Recipe title.
The indexing instructions are all in one document which you can print out if you wish though it will be very long. There are more detailed instructions in each section which are really aimed at our professional indexers but are there to be read by anyone who is interested. You just need to click Expand All at the bottom of each section.
So it is quite easy to find specific instructions for each field you are entering - just click the ?
If you are doing a dressing recipe that only contains store-cupboard ingredients then just list them as they are the main ingredients in this case. Exclusion of store-cupboard ingredients is meant to cover situations where they are the minor part of the recipe.
It must be a very busy time for EYB indexers -- getting out all the new cookbooks published in the "cooking season" / holiday buying period, plus reviewing the first crop of member-indexed books.
If I'm guesstimating correctly, there are about a hundred member-indexed books ahead of mine in the queue, and close to that many behind it. I'm assuming there won't be more than a dozen member-indexed books released each week for the next while. That portends a pretty long wait, unless my estimates are way off (which they certainly could be).
Any prospect of an announcement on the site, or an email to member indexers who've submitted finished books, about a (necessarily rough) ballpark estimate of how long the submission-to-release period will be?
I'd like to tackle another book before too long, but I'm reluctant to do that without knowing how well my first effort met the standards.
Also want to second Vanessa's call for a searchable ingredient list accessible separate from the active indexing form (as Recipe Types and the Manual are). It's tempting to take on a second round of indexing now just to have access to the ingredient list for study, and also to keep fresh whatever I learned in the first effort.
Similarly, it would be helpful to be able to review the full lists of choices for all the categories, e.g. Ethnicities, Nutrition, and especially Occasions, which I realized only after submitting my first index includes things like Cooking ahead rather than just Christmas or Spring or Wedding. Should I ask for the book to be returned so I can review for that category?
Is there a way to get the status of member indexed books that are going through proof-reading? I have submitted an index almost a month ago and it's still sitting in the "submitted" state.
Some things I'd like to suggest to facilitate proofreading of one's member indexing:
1) A way to search in the book that is being indexed. (Yes, I'm spoiled by EYB's search engine!) Sometimes I want to be able to find all the recipes in that book that contain a specific ingredient, but can only find them by looking through the list of recipes.Or I want to find all the recipes that have mayonnaise in the title, because I have just realized that mayonnaise is considered as "Sauces, General" and I'm pretty sure that I'd been thinking of it as a dip or spread.
2) A way to review things like recipe type, ethnicity, course, nutrition, accompaniments, etc. without having to call each recipe up individually. Imagine a spreadsheet (or even provide a mechanism to dump the indexed book to a spreadsheet) that had columns for these items -- so that one could quickly and visually check for recipes that have no type, course, etc., or that clearly have the wrong Yes, I realize that some recipes have multiple entries for these values - multiple rows would be fine in the spreadsheet or visual display.
3) A master list of ingredients available as a webpage (like the list of recipe types). The drop-down ingredients search is pretty smart, but it doesn't always provide everything you might wish. With a master list of ingredients, you could more easily search for an appropriate ingredient.
Jane, I've got an issue that I'd like help clarifying. I've finally made my first pass-through on indexing a book and because I know I had a lot to learn when I started out I'm going to go through it again and tweak things where needed before submitting it. Among a few other fields I treated inconsistently at the beginning was Nutrition, and I'm realizing that much like "Occasions" it's dependant on how the author classifies each recipe. I've noted that recipes which classify as being vegetarian or vegan are supposed to be categorized as such even if the author hasn't. My question is whether I can do the same for gluten free recipes? I know many people who would appreciate this tag on those "normal" cookbooks as well as the specific dietary-type cookbooks, and I'd like to indicate it in the Nutrition tag. The problem is this book was published before most authors even knew what it was, so while this book has many gluten-free recipes they're not labeled as such by the author. Would it be a problem if I went ahead and tagged these under Nutrition? Thanks!
jzanger - no it's not a problem as long as you know what you are doing on that category, i.e. you know which products contain gluten. In the past we haven't encouraged indexers to make their own subjective judgments about low-fat, low-sugar, etc unless the author specifies the recipe as such but for categories such as gluten-free and egg-free I think you are quite safe to categorize them. Obviously we don't want all recipes ending up with these tags, just where they will be helpful such as in baking.
glaysche - sorry, we have been getting very behind on proofreading member indexed books. This has proved to be far more popular than we thought it would. We have taken on an extra part-time proofreader who will just be focusing on member-indexed books so you should see them coming through faster in the next week or so.
Vanessa - we do plan to improve the admin reports in indexing but all our development resources at present are going into the outward facing parts of the site. We have lots of things we would like to do on indexing - the professional indexers have been using this system for many months and in fact it is 100 times better than the old Access database system we used to use.
To everyone who is asking about an ingredients list I will get back to you on that one. The ingredients list is different to any other category both because of its size and because it is constantly changing.
Jane - thanks for the responses re the indexing interface. There are lots of items on your development list with a greater impact for a greater variety of users, of course. (I should have said that up front!) Just thought I'd mention those items because they come to mind each time I finish an indexing pass through a book -- and recede when I'm not proofreading ...
My thoughts after indexing my first book: I picked a shortish one, 155 recipes, and it took me a total of about 7 hours spread over about a week. That was quite a lot of my free time in the evenings. So I'm not sure I'll rush to do another one right away! I will obviously get some benefit in that this book is only on 2 shelves, so it's probably never going to get indexed otherwise. Currently less than 50% of my 100 books are indexed, with many of them on only a handful of shelves. But I feel I need a bit more incentive to spend that much of my free time on it.
Secondly, with 95,000 books in the database and less than 3,000 indexed so far, it seems you are going to need a lot of member help to make a dent in the pile! So I think member indexing is a great idea. But have you considered offering greater incentives to index? For example I'd be a lot keener to index books if my membership was extended by x weeks for every book I indexed. Just a thought.
I submitted a book that I had indexed (Star Palate) about a month ago, and I see it is still in the "being indexed" stack. When will it be reviewed and put on-line?
veronicafrance - do remember that indexing gets much faster the more you do it. The first book is always the slowest while you learn the system. You raised quite a few points.
The decision on whether to index books or not is obviously going to be a personal one and we don't expect it is something that all members will be inclined to do. Thoiugh we have been quite overwhelmed with how popular it has been. We made a decision when we introduced this feature that we wanted the quality of the data to be as good as from professional indexers. This has meant proofreading the index and giving feedback to the member so that the errors aren't repeated. As any of you who have received emails from myself, Deborah or Sydney know, this is very time-consuming. So yes, we have been getting behind in approving member indexed books. But a lot more will be done in the next week or so.
Thank you Jane, I appreciate your detailed reply, and what you say makes a lot of sense. I certainly take your point that many of the books are on 0 shelves so there is no value in indexing them. It's also encouraging to hear that 60% of books that members actually have are indexed. Let's hope EYB membership increases rapidly, since obviously the more members, the more books on shelves, the more resources to index them!
And even with only 50% of my books indexed I am still enjoying EYB and have bought a gift subscription for a friend who shares my taste in cookbooks :)
Hi, just wondering what the current wait time is to start indexing books? I submitted a request to index a book a few weeks ago, and I haven't heard anything back, which is unusual for EYB. Thanks! Trisha
We try to approve or reject index requests on the same day so this seems odd that you haven't heard back on a request. The latest request we have from you was on Nov 1st for The Food of Morocco which we rejected as it was being indexed by a professional indexer (and is now up on EYB). Can you email us at email@example.com to let us know what book you think you requested? You could check the Index status for the book - if it still says Request index then it has not been assigned to anyone and you can make a request.
If anyone thinks they have made a request and hasn't heard from us within a couple of days, please do email us as it is likely the request did not come through.
Will do- thanks Jane!