Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists' Society
Development of a consolidated species index
Methods used for Volumes 6-10

Plover   Ringed   Charadrius   hiaticula   6 129
Plover   Forbes's   Charadrius   forbesi   6 129
Plover   Grey   Pluvialis   squatarola   6 129
Wagtail Yellow Motacilla  flava  7 24-26  
Kingfisher  Pygmy   Ceyx   pictus   7 27-8
Kingfisher Senegal Halcyon  senegalensis  7 31-33  
Owlet  Red-chested   Glaucidium   tephronotum   7 61-2  
Cormorant   Reed   Phalacrocorax   africanus   7 9-10  
Warbler   Sedge   Acrocephalus   schoenobaenus   7 94-5  
Nightingale     Luscinia   megarhynchos   7 94-5  
Wagtail Yellow Motacilla  flava  7 94-5  
Whinchat     Saxicola   rubetra   7 94-5  
Warbler   Garden   Sylvia   borin   7 94-5  
Wagtail Yellow Motacilla  flava  7 96-7  
Shikra     Accipiter   badius   7 2
Sandpiper   Common   Actitis   hypoleucos   7 2
Jacana   African   Actophilornis   africanus   7 2
Teal   Common   Anas   crecca   7 2
Garganey     Anas   querquedula   7 2


Because there was no printed index for these volumes, Bob Dowsett did the indexing himself, from his copies of the Bulletin.  He has developed a rapid method of indexing (10-12 species a minute) whereby he types a code for the species (e.g. accova for Accipiter ovampensis) and a macro in his computer converts this into the database reference as well as the scientific and English names of the species.  From his database he produced an Excel file, part of which is shown to the left.  Each mention of a species on a page of the Bull gave rise to a row in this file.  There were 4,531 rows, so the indexing presumably took Bob between 6 and 8 hours.

He sent the file to Peter Browne, who made it into an index in the same format as the Malimbus index.  The procedure was as follows:

  1. Copy columns 3-6 of the Excel file to cols 1-4 of a QuattroPro spreadsheet. The first two columns with English names were not needed at this point. QuattroPro was chosen because Peter is more familiar with this than he is with Excel.
  2. Sort all the records by genus, species, volume and page so that all records for a species come on consecutive rows and in the order of volume and page.
  3. Write and run macros to (a) detect and mark the last row for a species and (b) build up the vol/page references for each species on successive rows in the same format as used in the Malimbus index.
  4. Sort the rows and delete all except the last row for each species.

This took about 20 hours and was done 2-6 February 2007.  The index of these volumes contains 794 species.