Contact the Cunningham Library to discuss your metadata and indexing needs. The technical services expertise available within the library includes:

  • curation (monitoring, identification and selection) of research outputs for preparation of topical databases
  • metadata schema development
  • database design, construction and maintenance
  • thesaurus evaluation, construction and development
  • indexing, including the use of automatic classification technology
  • information dissemination using social media

What is indexing?

Indexing is the process of reading and analysing textual or pictorial material to identify its key concepts and terms and then compiling a systematically arranged display of those terms. Terms typically include features like creator, title, date and subjects. These key concepts act as a summary of the full content for the information searcher.

Our indexed databases

The Cunningham Library established the Australian Education Index (AEI) in 1979. It now comprises of nearly 220 000 entries relating to educational research, policy and practice in Australia. This is an example of database indexing, using controlled vocabularies. In this case the Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors, also compiled by Cunningham Library staff, is used to source subject terms.


The library curates three other specialist databases that emanate from the AEI via

Publishers donating resources for inclusion in AEI, DRIE, BOLDE or Learning Ground should contact the library for more information.

Australian Education Research Theses Database is a subscription database consisting of doctoral and masters research theses accepted by Australian universities in the field of education. More than 18 000 theses are listed dating back to 1919. Nearly 6000 theses are available online. Also included are some education theses from overseas universities on Australian education topics.