The EDGAR indices contain the company name, type of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) form filed, Central Index Key (CIK), filing date and the file name, which includes the folder path for FTP retrieval, as of 2015. Access to the EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) indices is through the SEC's File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. The FTP transfers files over the Internet; in this case, from the SEC to the end user.
Four index types are available on EDGAR, as of 2015. The company index is sorted by company name, the form index groups, the type of SEC form being filed, the master index is classed by CIK number and the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) index includes submissions containing XBRL financial files, which are sorted by CIK number. EDGAR only provides information on publicly traded companies in the United States.
Indexes are located in either the daily index files or the full yearly index files, which are broken down by quarter. Used together with the daily index files, the full index provides SEC filing information from any previous business day through the start of the current quarter, giving a complete picture of all SEC index filings, as of 2015.