Program for ASI & ISC/SCI 2016 Conference

American Society for Indexing — Indexing Society of Canada :: Société canadienne d’indexation

2016 Conference

Chicago, Illinois June 16-18, 2016

The Drama of Indexing


Thursday, June 16


9am to 5pm: ASI Board Meeting (with lunch break)

Conference Center

9am to 5pm: New-to-Indexing Class, Enid Zafran leads a beginner’s class in indexing (with lunch break)

1pm to 4pm: SCI/ISC Board Meeting

4pm to 5pm: International Representatives Meeting

6:30pm to 8pm: Opening night get-together and networking event: Join us at a local establishment to unwind, meet up with your indexing friends, and introduce yourself to invited local publishers. Meet our authors at the ASI Book Launch, too.

Friday, June 17

BREAKFAST ON YOUR OWN before you arrive.
9am to 10am: Plenary Session
Mentoring and Being Mentored. Enid Zafran, Frances Lennie, Pilar Wyman, Kathie Klee, Leoni McVey, and Ælfwine Mischler. Indexing is a collegiate profession. Many experienced indexers started their careers as protegés of people who would eventually become their colleagues; and even with the advantages of modern coursework, many new indexers get an advantageous start by locating a mentor. A mixed panel of mentors, mentees, potential mentees, and indexers who have been in both positions discuss their experiences, needs, and desires.

10am to 10.15am: Break

10.15am to 11.30am: Plenary Session
Keynote Speaker: Larry Sweazy, indexer and award-winning author of mystery novels (including See also Murder), talks to us about the writing and indexing life.

11.30am to 12noon: Split Sessions
Aspects of Quality Control for Indexes in South Africa. Jenny De Wet. Quality control of indexes is important in the final visual presentation and accuracy of printed book indexes. Aspects of the responsibility for the quality and accuracy of book indexes are investigated in the South African context.

Can You Hear Me Now? Tips for Running a Virtual Meeting. Jane Plass. Jane Plass offers tips on preparing for and running virtual meetings and programs. Various platforms for virtual meetings (such as conference calling, webinars, and videoconferencing) will be mentioned, but will not be the focus of the session.

An Introduction to Taxonomies and Thesauri. Heather Hedden. This session provides an overview of definitions and types of taxonomies and thesauri, how they are useful and used, and how they relate to indexes and indexing. Whether you are trying to decide to take the ASI Online Learning series “Practical Taxonomy Creation” or just curious to know a little bit about taxonomies, this session will be of interest.

12noon to 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm to 2.15pm: Split Sessions
Enter the Matrix: eBook Indexing. The Matrix Group, Int’l. Enter the Matrix! This workshop will look at the options for indexing content that will be output in multiple formats, including ebook formats (EPUB and Kindle), PDF, HTML and print. The presenters will introduce the Matrix tools for ebook indexing decision making, and will present roleplay scenarios in which participants can consider possible workflows and indexing approaches based on the matrices. (continued after break)

Engage & Work It! Marketing and Collaborating Strategies for Indexers. Paul R. Sweum and Lisa DeBoer. Lisa DeBoer and Paul Sweum blend their marketing and collaboration methods for an informative workshop divided into three parts. First, marketing strategies are discussed; branding, marketing materials, online presence, and proven methods in cultivating client relationships. Next, collaborating strategies for indexers to work together; discussion lists, social media, building referral networks, creating long-term mentoring relationships, and getting involved in organizations like ASI. The last component involves interactive exercises, including speed networking! The floor will also open to discussion, time pending. (continued after break)

Dealing with Diacritics and Symbols in an Index. Gale Rhoades. With globalization comes the need to properly spell the names of people, places, and things. Discover techniques (and fonts) for handling such entries -- your clients will love you!

2.15pm to 2.30pm: Break

2.30pm to 3.45pm: Split Sessions

Enter the Matrix, Continued

Engage & Work It! Continued

Case Study of a Bilingual, Multi-Volume Team-Based Indexing Project. Louise St. André (with Margaret de Boer, Mary Newberry, Anna Olivier, Alexandra Peace, and François Trahan). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has produced a comprehensive record on the Indian Residential Schools system and a 6-volume bilingual report with recommendations to Government concerning the system and its’ legacy. A team of 5 indexers, working from coast to coast, were recruited to produce a pdf index for each volume, to be accessible online, in French and English. The challenges were multiple: communication, decision making about consistency and name forms to be used, ethical considerations about what to include or not, etc. This presentation will examine the process and share lessons learned.

3.45pm to 4pm: Break

4.00pm to 5.30pm: Split Sessions

Multiple Entry Points: Variants and Cross-References in Indexes and Thesauri. Heather Hedden and John Magee. Indexes point to information, but sometimes multiple pointers are needed for the same information destination. This session reviews the use of See references and double posts in indexes and then moves on to look at how cross-references are used in thesauri and taxonomies. Focus is on the craft of coming up with synonyms and alternate phrases in indexes and thesauri, how they can be used to reduce scatter, and how they may differ between the two and between print and online in general.

A Distributed, Modular Workflow to Indexing Textbooks. David K. Ream and David Leistensnider. David Leistensnider of Pearson Education and David K. Ream of Leverage Technologies will present a method to manage recombinant indexes for textbooks. A brief discussion of standard indexing modalities will be followed by the method traditionally used at Pearson for indexing textbooks. Then the migration to, and the workflow for, the new distributed approach will be presented which is a hybrid of stand-alone indexing and macro-embedded indexing. This approach provides flexibility for the target environment where chapters, modules, and lessons can be re-used in multiple textbooks being published in different states.

Business Development from the Inside Out. Lydia Jones (with Sharon Woodhouse, Kira Henschel, and Gail Zelitzky). As self-employed professionals, indexers are responsible for all aspects of running a small business in addition to creating marvelous indexes. We have to be self-motivated to oversee a lot of different activities: marketing our services, interacting with customers, developing expertise, investing in equipment, balancing a budget, keeping a healthy life-balance and more. Career coaching introduces a new way to approach the complexities of freelancing and self-employment – from the inside out. Three professional career coaches with expertise in publishing and women-centered businesses will answer questions and talk frankly about ways you can run your small business more successfully.

5.30pm to 6.30pm: Chapter Leaders’ meeting; SIG Leaders’ meeting

7.00pm: Awards Dinner (off site)

Saturday, June 18

BREAKFAST ON YOUR OWN before you arrive.
9am to 10am: Plenary session
Keynote Speaker: The Future of Publishing. Dominique Raccah. CEO and Founder of Sourcebooks, Dominique Raccah has a unique perspective on the publishing industry. Before starting Sourcebooks in 1987, she worked as a quantitative researcher at advertising agency Leo Burnett. Ms. Raccah and Sourcebooks embraced the digital revolution and have produced some extraordinary works, such as The Shakesperience, an interactive product which includes audio and video to enhance the understanding of Shakespeare's plays. Believing that the interface between readers and content is what publishers need to focus on - a position that is particularly close to the indexer's heart - Ms. Raccah will speak to us about the current transformation of media and where publishing is situated within that changing world.

10am to 10.15am: Break

10.15am to 11.15am: Annual General Meetings for ASI and ISC/SCI (held concurrently)

11.15am to 11.45pm: Split Sessions
IXMLembedder: Index Entry Embedding Software. David K. Ream Leverage Technologies' latest offering allows indexers to work in their dedicated indexing software to create entries while embedding ids in the book's documents. Differences from other similar software will be noted. This is the first software to work with the IXML index data format that can be exported from CINDEX and Sky and process Word XML and other types of XML documents, such as DocBook.

Genesis of a Moonlighting Indexer. Meg Daniel. Are you waiting to retire before beginning your indexing career? Are you working full time now with a family and wonder if you dare quit your job in order to focus on indexing? Or, are you also one of the few indexers currently working full time and moonlighting as an indexer? If so, join Meg Daniel who will discuss how she conceived the idea of indexing, built her business while working through the "housing bubble" and now thrives while working full time and indexing part time (the life–work balancing act).

Everlasting Civilizations Rely Upon Information Management: Indexing the World Knowledge. Meral Alakus. Libraries are the most important indicators of civilizations, as places where knowledge is compiled, organized, kept for use by people for the betterment of humanity. Throughout history, advancement of civilizations was possible by transferring knowledge to next generations. Practice of information management was carried on for thousands of years by 1) librarians, archivists, bibliophiles, bibliographers, indexers, 2) libraries, archives, museums, and digital libraries. Indexing is the solution to identifying and making available records of world civilizations. Forms and tools of indexing from book indexing, controlled vocabularies, thesauri, taxonomies, of folksonomies will be reviewed.

11.45pm to 12.45pm: Lunch (If SIGs or any other small groups would like to organize a table to have a meeting during lunch, this is your opportunity! Please let Kate Mertes know at

12.45pm to 2.15pm: Split Sessions
Macrex: Power and Flexibility at Your Fingertips. Gale Rhoades. Macrex has more power and flexibility than an indexer will ever need which makes it the perfect tool for scholarly and trade books as well as for journal, periodical, collection, newspaper, embedded, and electronic projects. This will be a brief overview of a few of the popular or new functions which inspire indexers worldwide. A free demo including 90 days tech support is available for all attendees. (continued after the break)

Publishers’ Roundtable. John Magee and Chuck Knapp. The Publishers' Roundtable will gather several publisher representatives to discuss publishing issues of interest to indexers including: the shift from print to digital, eBooks, market changes, editorial tools, and the role of indexing in the future of publishing. It will also include open Q&A from the floor. The Roundtable will be co-hosted by John Magee, Director of Indexing & Controlled Vocabularies for Cengage Learning, and Chuck Knapp, Taxonomy & Indexing Manager for Bloomberg BNA. Additional participants include David Leistensnider, Manager of Technology and Design for Assessment and Instruction for Pearson, and Ted Trautmann, Editor-in-Chief, Legal and Regulatory U.S., Wolters Kluwer.

To Textbooks, With Love. Leoni McVey. Using the textbooks chapter from Index It Right!, we will discuss the process of elementary to high school and college textbook indexing, and some ways in which textbooks differ from other types of book indexing.

2.15pm to 2.30pm: Break

2.30pm to 4.00pm: Split Sessions
Macrex. Gale Rhoades, Continued

Sky Indexing Software. S. Anne Fifer. A panel discussion of tips and tricks for getting the most out of Sky indexing software.

Index File Submission with CINDEX™. Maria Sullivan. Give your clients what they (think they) want and decipher what they really need. Ensure success by translating file submission instructions; unlock the hidden meaning behind your editors’ cryptic submission requests. When it comes to the index your editor may not always use the same descriptive terminology as an indexer would. We will review the differences between the basic file types created by CINDEX and review when each is appropriate. We will also explore communication strategies with your client to help you provide what they need, rather than what they appear to want. By using real life instructions that indexers have received from their editors we will gain an understanding of what is being requested. Attendees are encouraged to bring instructions received in their work experiences, so that we may use them as examples.

4.00pm to 4.15pm: Break

4.15pm to 5.45pm: Split Sessions
Two Short Sessions

Accessible Web Indexes – Design for Those with Disabilities. Cheryl Caballero. To comply with new regulations, the indexers at the Ontario Legislature had to alter their production processes to make their online indexes accessible to visually-impaired users. We will discuss how we used W3C standards as a guide, and existing Cindex software with the addition of some customized HTML coding, metadata and explanatory notes, to create electronic indexes that can be easily read and navigated by visually impaired persons. We believe the end result is an improved index for all Hansard index users.
Indexing Oral History. Lee Berry (Chemical Heritage Foundation) and Mary Newberry (Harbord Village Oral History Project). Indexing oral history collections poses unique challenges, largely unaddressed in the literature in both the oral history and the indexing communities. The Chemical Heritage Foundation's Center for Oral History maintains a collection of over 900 transcribed oral history interviews, conducted over the past thirty years. Each has been individually indexed, though the quality of these indexes varies considerably. Lee Berry will present her approach to improving and standardizing the production of oral history indexes. Mary Newberry led a team effort to index an oral history project on her neighborhood. She will present the strategies they developed for making the indexing quick and possible to be done by a number of people, largely volunteer, and still maintain some cohesiveness.

Specificity: A Case of the Missing Granularity. Fred Leise. When indexing, the index must consider concepts at all levels of granularity, both the general and the specific. It's easy to neglect the forest for the trees or the trees for the forest. This seminar will explore an indexing method that combines both top-down (structural) and bottom up (textual) indexing, as well as the importance of concept specificity.

The Expansion of Indexing Town Hall: A discussion about trailblazing new opportunities for indexers. Paul R. Sweum. What paths are being carved to develop new indexing opportunities, and what do those efforts look like? How will indexing continue to be relevant and grow? This interactive "town hall," or salon-style discussion, focuses on the current landscape of indexing opportunities outside of typical publishing circles. A variety of backgrounds and industry models will inform discussion on the current landscape, explore pathways to expanding opportunities, and identify potential stones to be turned. Canadian and American indexers operating in these paradigms will join Paul Sweum, who serves as “MC” to engage the room of indexing colleagues. A variety of backgrounds from town hall participants will maximize this discussion—wrapping up this international conference with perfect timing—as indexers leave Chicago to resume their work and efforts in trailblazing potential pathways for indexing!

6pm onward: reception at conference center

Please note, the conference schedule is subject to change.

Registration is now open. Click for registration rates.