Document Indexing Explained | Types, Steps & Outsourcing

Document Indexing Explained Types, Steps & Outsourcing

What is Document Indexing?

Document indexing is the process of organizing and managing digital documents to make them easier to find and access. It is a key part of any business’s document management system and is essential for managing large volumes of documents. Document indexing involves assigning terms or tags to documents to categorize them and make them searchable. This can be done manually or by using automated software. 

Why is Document Indexing Important? 

Indexing documents is a critical step in the document management process, as it allows documents to be easily located and retrieved. With indexing, documents would be easier to identify and access, making them essentially useless. Indexing also makes it easier for users to search for specific documents within an extensive database. 

Indexing can be a time-consuming and tedious process, but it is an important part of any business’s document management system. Without indexing, documents can be hard to locate, meaning that important information can be lost or not easily retrieved when needed. By indexing documents, businesses can ensure that all documents are easily located and retrieved when needed, thereby improving efficiency and reducing costs associated with document management. 

Indexing can also help businesses to better manage the amount of information they store. This is especially important for businesses that have large amounts of data and need to store it efficiently. By indexing documents, businesses can ensure that important documents are easily located and accessed when needed. This can help businesses to reduce overall storage costs and ensure that important information is not lost. 

Finally, indexing documents can also improve document security. By indexing documents, businesses can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to certain documents. This can help to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information, which can be extremely important in the business world. 

Document Indexing Types

There are several different types of document indexing, including basic keyword indexing, structured indexing, content-based indexing, and thesaurus-based indexing. Each type of indexing has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Basic keyword indexing

This is the simplest form of document indexing. In this method, documents are indexed using keywords or phrases. This type of indexing is simple to implement but can be limited in terms of its accuracy. 

Structured indexing 

This is more complex than keyword indexing, as it involves assigning specific fields to documents and then indexing them based on those fields. This method is more accurate and allows for more detailed searches, but can be more time-consuming and expensive to set up. 

Content-based indexing 

This is a type of indexing that uses the content of a document to categorize it. This method can be used to index large volumes of documents quickly and accurately and is often used by search engines. 

Thesaurus-based indexing

This is a type of indexing that uses a pre-defined thesaurus of terms to index documents. This method is generally more accurate than basic keyword indexing, as it is based on a predefined set of terms. However, it can be more time-consuming and expensive to set up. 

How is document indexing done?

The process of document indexing involves a variety of methods and techniques, and there is no single right way to do it. Different organizations will have their own specific needs and preferences when it comes to document indexing. However, some basic steps are generally followed in the process. 

The first step in document indexing is to determine what type of documents need to be indexed. 

This is often done by looking at the type of information contained in the documents and classifying them accordingly. For example, if a document contains financial data, it may be classified as a financial document, while a document containing technical information may be classified as a technical document. Once the type of document has been identified, the next step is to create a structure for the document index. This structure usually consists of categories and subcategories, which provide a way to organize the documents. 

The next step is to decide on the indexing criteria. 

This involves deciding what fields need to be included in the index. Common fields include the date the document was created, the author of the document, the subject of the document, and the keywords associated with the document. Depending on the type of document, other fields may also be added. Once the indexing criteria have been determined, the documents can be categorized and indexed. 

After the documents have been indexed, they must be stored securely. 

This is important to ensure that the documents are not lost or stolen. The documents should be stored in a way that allows them to be easily accessed and retrieved when needed. For example, the documents may be stored in a filing cabinet or database. 

Once the documents have been indexed and stored, they must be maintained. 

This involves regularly updating the index, as well as checking to make sure the documents are still accurate and up to date. It is also important to make sure that the documents are backed up regularly. This will ensure that the documents can be recovered if they are ever lost or damaged. 

What is Document Indexing Outsourcing?

Document indexing outsourcing is the practice of hiring an external company or organization to manage document indexing on behalf of a business. This process can include a range of services, such as document scanning, classification, categorization, and keyword assignment. Document indexing outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek to reduce overhead costs and free up internal resources to focus on core business activities. 

Document indexing outsourcing offers several key benefits. By outsourcing document indexing, businesses can save time and money, as well as reduce the risk of errors and mistakes. Furthermore, the process can be completed quickly and efficiently, allowing the organization to focus on other tasks. Additionally, outsourcing document indexing can help organizations remain compliant with regulations and laws, including those related to data privacy and security. 

When selecting a document indexing outsourcing provider, it is important to consider several factors. First, the provider should have expertise in the field and experience in providing document indexing services. The provider should also have a strong commitment to customer service and should be able to provide a range of services to meet the specific needs of the organization. It is also important to consider the cost of the services, as well as the technology used to ensure accuracy and efficiency. 

In addition to selecting the right document indexing outsourcing provider, businesses should also have a clear understanding of their goals and objectives. This should include a detailed plan of the specific tasks that need to be completed, as well as the desired outcome. This will help the organization to ensure that the document indexing process is completed efficiently and cost-effectively. 


Document indexing outsourcing can be an effective and cost-efficient way for businesses to streamline their document indexing process. By selecting the right provider, businesses can save time and money, as well as ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations and laws. Furthermore, by having a clear understanding of their goals and objectives, businesses can ensure that the document indexing process is completed efficiently and cost-effectively.

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