These three parts of the Cumulative Index represent the accumulated work of the 12
editors of the Rock Garden Quarterly and its various precursor publications. Inevitably this
means that different criteria may have been applied as to what warrants indexing. This
presents relatively few problems in the Author Index, relatively few in the Plant Index,
but major problems in the Subject Index where the criteria that might be applied are
almost wholly a matter of subjective judgement.
This is not a completely re-edited index with every reference having been checked
through so, inevitably, there are errors in this index but the value of making it available
online alongside the complete archive of issues seems clear despite any such errors. A
group led by Ben Burr has been working for some time developing a three-part fully linked
searchable index, and work is pretty much completed on the Author Index. This
also involves complete updating of all references so that they can be linked. Obviously
their work will be invaluable but it will be a considerable time before the whole project is
brought to fruition.
Even when the new index is complete and fully implemented I believe there is still value
in a traditional, browsable index. I like to have the opportunity to browse an index
alongside the valuable addition of a fully-linked index and I do not believe I am alone in this.