Best Professional Practices

The American Society for Indexing (ASI) recognizes that appropriate professional practices benefit both indexers and their clients. ASI also recognizes that indexers who work as part of a team face unique challenges.

The sections below reflect ASI recommendations for professional practices. ASI recommends that all indexers follow the practices for individual indexers and that indexing team leaders and managers follow the additional practices that specifically apply to them.

For access to the ASI Best Practices for Indexing guide, look here.

As Individual Indexers

Information Access
We promote access to information in all of its forms. To the best of our ability, we provide truthful and accurate communications. We dedicate ourselves to conciseness, clarity, coherence, and creativity, striving to meet the needs of all clients who may need the services of indexers and information architects.

We strive to produce the best indexes possible within time and budget constraints. We negotiate realistic agreements on schedules, price, and delivery format, and we fulfill contractual obligations in a timely, responsible manner. We are truthful in advertising our services. We try to alert our clients and employers when we believe that material in documents has problematic aspects.

We respect the confidentiality of clients and employers, disclosing business-sensitive information only with their consent or when legally required to do so. Any indexing samples included in resumes are properly attributed. Indexes used in commercial demonstrations or presented to another client or employer are given proper bibliographic identification.

We avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts to clients and employers before proceeding with negotiations or projects.

We are devoted to education about indexing. When asked, we evaluate information products and services constructively and tactfully and seek definitive assessments of our own professional performance. We seek to advance the profession of indexing through our own integrity and excellence. We assist others in our profession through mentoring, networking, and instruction. Through courses and conferences held nationally and regionally, we encourage professional development at all levels, from beginner to advanced indexer.
As Indexing Team Leaders and Managers

Mentoring and Critiquing
We provide appropriate mentoring and supportive critiquing, particularly when supervising projects that can affect safety, health, or health sciences research or when supervising any project that can affect the welfare of others.

Guidelines and Atmosphere
We provide guidelines that are clear and sufficient for each project. We also establish a friendly atmosphere that encourages reasonable and appropriate questions.