Program for ASI 2018 Conference

American Society for Indexing 2018 Conference

Indexers Rock!

Cleveland, Ohio April 26-28, 2018


Thursday, April 26

9 am – 5 pm: ASI Board Meeting
9 am – 4 pm: Feels Like the First Time: An Introduction to Indexing Fred Leise (with lunch break)
Designed for those individuals considering a career in indexing, and those who are looking for a refresher, this workshop provides an introduction to and overview of the basics of indexing, the indexing process, and the indexing business.

Topics to be covered include characteristics of indexers; what indexes are and how they are structured; proper administration of indexing projects; the index creation process, including indexable concepts, metatopics, and term selection for headings and subheadings; locators; names; index editing; and the business of indexing.

Over the course of the workshop, participants will create their own index to ASI’s Indexing Best Practices document.

You most likely won’t become a practicing indexer after just this workshop, but join Fred on this magical mystery tour of indexing, and you will be able to understand what an index is and how it is structured, how to complete a basic index for a simple text, the business context for creating indexes, and the complexities of running an indexing business.

5 pm – 6 pm: International Representatives Meeting
5 pm – 6 pm: SIG & Chapter Leaders Meeting
5 pm – 6:30 pm: Check-in and Badge Pickup
6 pm – 6:30 pm: Conference Buddy Meet & Greet
6:30 pm – 8 pm: Opening Reception and Welcome from President Kendra Millis

Friday, April 27

8:30 – 10:30 am: Check-In & Badge Pick-up

8:15 – 8:45 am: Chapter and SIG Meetings

9:00 – 10:00 am: Keynote Address, Maureen Mullin,
Formerly Acting Head Librarian, Cleveland Public Library

10:00 am – 10:15 am Break

10:15 – 11:15 am:

Keeping the Beat: How Controlled Metadata Affects Indexing. Marti Heyman.

A discussion of the interconnectedness of the design and structure of a controlled metadata (aka authority files) and its application in indexing and cataloging.

Tracking Project Data with Excel. Gale Rhoades.

Ever wonder how the experts know what to bid? They consult historical records of time taken to read, index, and edit each index they’ve written. How many entries? How many locators? How many cross-references? What is your earned rate of pay (total invoice divided by total hours) compared to the per page rate? Is there correlation between jobs from specific clients? Perhaps by type of project (e.g., trade, scholarly, catalog, biography, etc.)? Gale will have exemplar spreadsheets and will teach you the basics of making them your own. Setup a separate sheet for each year which tallies in a summary sheet and a quick glance sill show how your productivity has changed and give you an edge when bidding a new job.

Small Type: How to Deal with Notes. Enid Zafran.

Notes can challenge indexers of all levels of experience. They can make you feel insecure about your approach to both the subject matter in them and the entries you create. In this one-hour session Enid Zafran explains both the procedural and substantive aspects of handling notes. Different placement of notes in the book (bottom of page vs. endnotes) demand different strategies in dealing with them. When author’s write lengthy notes, they complicate the work of the indexer. Learning how to analyze the notes for indexable content, using certain guideposts, can make your job easier and improve the quality of the index.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lunch and Hines Award Presentation

12:30 – 2:30 pm: Guitars vs. Fenders: Creating Thesauri and Taxonomies that Rock. Heather Hedden.

A thesaurus, as a kind of controlled vocabulary, is a valuable tool for indexing different kinds of media: periodical articles, photographs, videos, podcasts, etc. Thesaurus and taxonomy creation is also an application of the indexing skillset that can earn additional freelance income. This session presents the basics of designing and creating a thesaurus or taxonomy, whether to support one’s own indexing projects or as a service to others. Topics to covered include: types and uses of controlled vocabularies, creating and wording of terms and variants, creating hierarchical and associative relationships, comparisons between thesauri and book indexes, and thesaurus management software.

Tips and Techniques to make Cindex Sing. Frances Lennie.

Using labels and other advanced features of SKY. Anne Fifer & Kamm Schreiner.

We will discuss the use of labels and the index pane, and batch processing in writing and editing indexes in SKY Index Professional with demonstrations. (Please note: because of the technical difficulties we have had in the past we will not be including any off-site presenters.)

2:45 – 3:00 pm Break

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Introduction to Scripture (Ancient Sources) Indexing. Richard Shrout, Elizabeth Walker & Meghan Brawley.

The presentation will provide an introduction to scripture indexing with examples from Sky, Cindex, Macrex, and TExtract. Usage of the Handbook of the Society for Biblical Literature will be described. The newly available Best Practices for Scripture (Ancient Sources) Indexes be presented. The primary emphasis of this presentation will focus on “standard” scriptures. If time is available, we will briefly discuss other sources in addition to standard scriptures. We will point out possible areas of confusion that may need to be determined in advance with the author or editors.

3:00 – 5:00 pm Indexing with Index Manager: Indexing and Embedding the Forest and the Trees. Pilar Wyman & Katharina Munk.

Come work with Index-Manager, the all-in-one solution for embedded indexing. First, Pilar will briefly demonstrate how she uses Index-Manager for writing quality indexes, including providing analysis and headings, subheadings, cross-references, and page ranges. She will also show how she edits her work, and how she exports this work for final embedded publication.
Then, open your laptops! Pilar will lead participants through writing, editing, and embedding their own index entries. Participants will learn how to craft and edit both simple and complex index entries, with page ranges and with cross-references. Participants will also export and review their embedded indexes.
For detailed demonstration, please be sure to attend the Friday afternoon Software demo hour from 5:15-6:15.
Before the workshop, attendees should download free trial version of IndexManager and the document we will index together, “How to know the trees.” Attendees can download the document from the conference handout page (link coming soon).

The Naked Indexer on Stage. Kate Mertes.

The Naked Indexer is back! Kate Mertes will index a work in real time, and questions and discussion are encouraged.

5:15 – 6:15 pm Software Demo: Cindex, Index Manager, Macrex, Sky

  • Practice your Cindex Dance Moves
  • Ins and Outs of Index Manager
  • Macrex Gets Down with the Basics
  • SKY Index Pro 8.0: What’s new and what sets it apart

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Reception Honoring Dave Ream, with light hors d’oeuvres
ASI celebrates the life of long-time Cleveland resident Dave Ream.


Saturday, April 28

8:30 – 10:30 am: Check-In & Badge Pick-up

8:15 am – 8:45 am: Chapter and SIG Meetings

9:00 – 10:00 am How to be the Interface between Publishers and Digital Indexing techniques. Terry Casey, Jan Wright, and Pilar Wyman.

This presentation is coming out of a work group our Digital Publications Indexing SIG has going now to create documents to help indexers talk to publishers about digital indexing. We are working on four different documents that have different purposes from just generally selling the benefits of ebooks to technical information for indexer/publishers on the requirements and questions/problems involved in implement functioning indexes for digital publications.

Paths to Grow Your Indexing Business: A Discussion with a Start-up Publisher and a Document Usability Consultant. Tanja Bekhuis and Paul Sweum.

What paths can you take to grow your business? Tanja describes how indexing can be used for semantic analysis of documents and subsequent publication of white papers for marketing and revenue generation. She also describes why indexing fits into the workflow of a start-up publisher. Paul discusses indexing as an experienced consultant offering technical writing and usability features for documentation in government and business. He also discusses indexing as a business service and as a means of reaching clients beyond typical publishers. This session extends “The Indexing Town Hall” (ASI Chicago conference, 2016) and encourages audience participation.

Kinks and Cricks 101. Anna-Marie Larsen.

When we’re happy, we thrive in our work. But an unhappy body can block productivity and creativity. Discomfort in our low backs, wrists, necks, hips and shoulders is evidence that the body bears the brunt of too much time seated in chairs, a discomfort so abundant that in 2017 Wired magazine called sitting the new smoking. Yoga postures that target areas where tension lives and that can be performed without special equipment or clothing is an effective antidote for a body strained by repetitive movements or stiffened by lack of movement.

10:00 am – 10:15 am Break

10:15 am – 12:15 pm: Getting Started with Macrex: the Basics. Gale Rhoades.

An opportunity for participants to discover some of the reasons Macrex is the choice of professionals worldwide, this presentation will focus on the issues faced by new users. Advanced users are welcome to review the basics!

Avoid False Notes by Understanding these 8 Common Indexing Errors. Enid Zafran.

In this workshop Enid has organized the types of problems she encounters frequently and shows how to avoid these pitfalls in your work. Areas included are when to skip over names, sublevel phrasing, and cross-referencing. Hands-on exercises reinforce the principles that Enid endorses for quality indexing. This is aimed at both newer and more experienced indexers.

Split Sessions

10:15 – 11:15 am: Make a Lasting Impact on Our Profession – 21st Century Standards for Indexes. Heather Hedden & Marti Heyman.

This interactive session will include an overview of the landscape of standards and recommended practices relevant to indexers. We’ll provide a brief orientation to NISO before diving into two specific NISO documents of importance to ASI members. “Guidelines for Indexes and Related Information Retrieval Devices” needs updating. Much has changed since this recommended practice was published in 1997, such as embedded indexing and indexing for eBooks. “Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies,” relevant to periodical/database indexing, is scheduled for revision, and discussion has already begun regarding expansion of the scope of this standard.

11:20 – 12:20 pm: Play Ball! Indexing Sports and Fitness Titles. Connie Binder.

Join us for a pun-filled romp through the wild world of sports indexing. The Sports-Fitness Indexing SIG is pooling its resources to provide a presentation filled with superb technical information (and perhaps more than a few bad jokes). Learn the basics of sports indexing and how it differs from other genres. We’ll tackle pitching to clients, passing mentions, double posting, keeping your eye on the ball, and rolling with the punches, so you can knock that index out of the park!

12:20 – 1:50 pm: Lunch & Annual Meeting

2:00 – 3:00 pm: NYU Integrated Indexes Overview. Michel Biezunski.

An overview of a case study of an ongoing project to automatically create a master back-of-the-book style index based on the integrated index entries of 80 books. On the table will be the conceptual background to this project (Topic maps), and its relation to indexing, including the fact that the Topic maps standard was based on the metaphor of book indexes and its implicit graph underlying structure. The double challenge in this project will also be discussed: variations in the index entries between books (something that can be tweaked using a curation tool we built for this project) plus inconsistent markup (this one could be fixed by using the EPUB3 index spec.).

Riffing with Publishers about the Industry’s Relationship with Indexing. John Magee & Chuck Knapp.

The Publishers’ Roundtable will gather several publisher representatives to discuss publishing issues of interest to indexers including: data mining and indexing, the continued print to digital transition, eBooks, market changes, editorial tools, and the role of manual and automated 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, Director of Taxonomy & Indexing at Bloomberg BNA.

Adding Sweet Harmonics through Indexing Music. Eileen Allen.

Books about music present some unique problems for the indexer to handle. This session will walk you through the main challenges so you can be confident in expanding your repertoire.

3:00 – 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 5:15 pm: Brilliantly Structured Indexes Redux: Another Look at Index Structure. Fred Leise.

This workshop expands on the concepts developed in the ASI online learning course presented in the fall of 2016. Those three sessions focused on a method for creating an index structure using a top-down and bottom-up process with a TOC-based metatopic entry as the starting point.

This workshop steps back to look at index structure from a broader perspective: we will explore a number of different possible index structures, focusing on their basic units of structure, and how creating those structures fit into a standard indexing process.

Kinks and Cricks 102. Anna-Marie Larsen.

We will build on the information in Kinks, Cricks and Stiffies 101 to increase our understanding of how body postures can help us with productivity and increase health benefits.

Split Sessions

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm: Topic Maps in the Enhanced Networked Monographs Project. Alexandra Provo.

Enhanced Networked Monographs (ENM) is an experimental publishing project expanding on work done for NYU Press Open Access Books. We are creating a reader experience website featuring annotation, full-text search, and navigation via a topic map of names and concepts derived from index entries. This presentation outline the hybrid human/machine workflow for curating the topic map (editing and enriching). To demonstrate possible uses for topic maps, prototypes/designs that leverage topics in an ebook discovery interface will be presented. Finally, suggestions for further research into the role of topic maps in ebook discovery will be presented.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Indexes and Controlled Vocabularies in the Age of Intelligent Machines. Daniel Lovins.

What is the future of human catalogers and indexers as knowledge work is increasingly performed by machines? What is the outlook for working with semi-structured data (like a back-of-book index) or unstructured data (like an OCR text file) in light of increasingly powerful natural language processing tools? I will argue that human-curated indexes and controlled vocabularies will continue to play a key role, albeit increasingly reliant on distributed, machine-assisted workflows. It will take time to find the right mix of crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, and professional curation, but we will continue to need “the human in the loop”.

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Closing Reception

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