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The Subject Index: Helping journalists find you

By Ulli Diemer

Your subject index headings are the most important feature of your Sources listing. Your choice of headings:

Tells journalists, editors and researchers you have expertise in the subject they are looking up, and;

Leads them directly to your company or organization.

The number of calls you'll receive from the media directly relates to the number, newsworthiness and specificity of your headings.
You should re-check your headings with each edition. Your organization changes, the world changes, and news judgment changes.

More than 21,000 carefully chosen headings reflecting an extremely wide diversity of topics are available to you in the Sources Subject Index. A Subject Index Advisory Board reviews headings to make sure they reflect recent developments as well as current norms in the information sciences.

To select or review the headings under which you want journalists to find you, start by going through the Subject Index in your copy of Sources and look for headings which are relevant to your organization, headings that best highlight your specific areas of expertise.

To help you find the subject headings most appropriate to you, we have also developed lists of headings arranged by broad category (e.g. Law, Health, Science and Technology) and by somewhat more defined sub-category (e.g. Criminal Law, Dentistry, Computers). We can send you a list of headings in the category which is relevant to you at your request, or you can view them online at

You are also invited to suggest additional headings be created if none of the existing headings seems to fully describe some of your areas of expertise. Your help in improving the Subject Index ever further is very welcome; however, Sources retains the right to make the final decision about the addition of new headings to the Index.

As a rule, the more specific your headings are, the better. Choose Employment for Disabled, or Employment/Executive, rather than Employment. Avoid vague and general headings such as Education or Environment, even if they are already in the book. Most of all, scratch your head and do internal research to discover all the areas of expertise and opinion your and your staff possess.

If you need more than 40 subject headings to fully describe your organization, you may list yourself under additional headings for only $5 per heading.

Ulli Diemer is the Sources Subject Index Editor and Publisher.

See also:

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sources Subject Index
Getting the most out of your Sources Listing
Enhance your listing and get the most for your dollars
Contacts: Connecting directly with Canadian journalists
How Sources magnifies your Internet visibility