Program for ASI 2020 Conference

American Society for Indexing 2020 Conference

Publishing Crossroads

Raleigh, North Carolina, April 23-25, 2020


Thursday, April 23

9:00 – 4:00 New Indexers Workshop. Kendra Millis.
Indexing is a specialized skill, but one that is needed by publishers of all types. In this overview workshop designed for beginners, you'll learn the basics of indexing: types of indexes, characteristics of an indexer, index terminology, publications that need index, qualities of a good and useful index, and more. No matter what field you plan to index in, whether you have just a little experience or none at all, you’ll leave this workshop with a better understanding of what indexing’s all about and how to go about pursuing your indexing career.

9:00 – 4:00 Indexing Signposts: Intermediate/Advanced Topics in Indexing Fred Leise.
“Indexing Signposts” is aimed at those indexers who have recently completed an introduction to indexing course or are early in their career. The workshop offers a unique opportunity to expand indexing skills by learning from an indexer with nearly 25 years of experience. This full-day workshop will cover the following:

  • Metatopic entries and headings
  • Granularity and pangranularity
  • Index structure
  • Structural indexing
  • Textual indexing: Description and entry types
  • Textual indexing: Choosing appropriate subheadings
  • Editing the index

In addition, there will be several exercises that will allow participants to practice skills they have just learned. Finally, there will be an opportunity customize the workshop with discussions of specific issues that each participant is facing.

9:00 – 5:00 Board meeting
5:00 – 6:00 International Representatives Meeting
5:00 – 6:00 Chapter and SIG Leaders Meeting
5:00 – 6:30 Check-in and Badge Pickup
5:00 – 6:00 Information Session/Meet and Greet with Training Course Students and Experienced Indexers
6:00 – 6:30 Conference Buddy Meet and Greet
6:30 – 8:00 Welcome Reception
ASI President Jennifer Spanier will welcome attendees to this year’s conference. Come enjoy getting reacquainted with colleagues, as well as meeting new ones. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and there will be a cash bar.

Friday, April 24

Breakfast included in conference hotel room rate.

8:15 – 8:45 Individual chapter and SIG meetings

8:30 – 10:30 Check-in and Badge Pickup

9:00 – 10:00 Sessions

Stand-out Self-Promotion: Four Steps to Winning More Work Before You Start Chasing Clients. JoAnne Burek
We all want clients coming to us, rather than us chasing them. That’s why we list ourselves on the society’s website—the marketplace where clients look for indexers. So, when a client searches for an indexer and you show up in the long list of candidates, will you be noticed? And if you make it to the shortlist, can you keep the interest alive, comfortably and naturally? Learn the four steps that help you win more business. Topic includes listings, websites, and email responses to clients’ queries. We’ll also delve into the client’s mind and find out what really sells.

Finding Your Way with Marketing: A Panel Q&A. Panelists Meghan Miller Brawley, Shannon Li; moderator Kendra Millis
Lots of indexers seek advice about the “right way” to market their services. But in reality there are multiple ways that can be effective. The key is finding the right way for you. In this panel, several indexers will discuss their marketing philosophy and methods, and then address questions from the audience.

Semi-Retirement vs. Full Retirement as an Alternative for Indexers. Carolyn Weaver
Semi-retirement is a viable alternative for established indexers who aren’t ready to stop indexing entirely but want a better balance between work and personal needs. Once you’re collecting social security, mandatory RMD distributions, and AARP discounts, transitioning to the slower pace of part-time indexing may be a logical career step for you! This collaborative session (audience participation required!) will discuss practical issues (financial and health-related concerns) and also help you decide what you don’t want to do in semi-retirement.

10:00 – 10:15 Morning Break (coffee, tea, and snacks will be served)

10:15 – 12:15 Sessions

Naked Indexer. Devon Thomas
Thrill to the sights and sounds of an indexer approaching a text in real time! See her frown, type, delete, and re-type. Hear her mutterings and sighs of frustrations. Imagine the smell of coffee as her brain grinds away! In all seriousness, watching another indexer approach a new text is informative and fascinating, regardless of your level of experience. In this session I will take a new-to-me text and start indexing it, explaining my process and decisions as I go. Comments, questions, and sharing will be welcome.

Indexing with Index Manager: Indexing and Embedding Forests and Trees Even in Times of Deforestation. Pilar Wyman
Are you struggling to improve your embedded indexing services? Pilar will lead indexers through using Index-Manager efficiently for best writing quality embedded indexes. Beyond the basics, Pilar will demonstrate and show how to import external index files for updating, modifying, and then embedding. (Beginners need not stay away: This session will also include review of creating and embedding indexes, including headings, subheadings, cross-references, page ranges, and cross-references, and exporting and review their embedded indexes.) Bring your laptop with Index Manager already installed! Download a free trial version here.

10:15 – 11:15

The Virtual Assistant. Michelle Guiliano
Are there times when you wished you had an assistant–someone to help with filing, invoicing, recording timesheets, and tracking business expenses? Should you make an effort to find, hire, and train the right person so you have more time to index? No! The answer is at your fingertips, literally. Michelle Guiliano, DPM will explain how to use apps, software programs, and plain old paper to streamline business tasks, prepare better estimates, and organize tax paperwork. She will also share the details of her filing system, complete with virtual filing cabinets and drawers. Don’t work harder. Learn to work smarter.

11:15 – 12:15

Facing the Crossroads. Nan Badgett
Facing the crossroads where work, personal life, and family responsibilities intersect doesn’t have to make you cross. Nan Badgett will offer ideas on work-life balance, scheduling, and client relations so you can navigate the crossroads successfully.

12:15 – 2:00 Lunch and Keynote Speech

2:00 – 3:00 Sessions

From the Scriptorium to the Cloud. Roberta Engleman
What is the story told at the crossroads where indexing, university presses, and the current state of scholarly publishing meet? Where are scholarly indexers when they find themselves at this crossroads? Where does a rich tradition of information retrieval find itself in response to the needs of twenty-first century scholars, scholarly authors, and the vehicles that carry scholarly ideas into an increasingly born-digital world? Roberta Engleman comes to this question from the dual perspective of a modern working indexer and a librarian who spent her career among that most traditional embodiment of scholarly information seeking, the early printed book.

Creating Inviting Chapter Events. Gwen Henson
Interacting with fellow indexers at the local level enables you to network with your peers, enjoy social time, and talk indexing with people who care about it. How can you create a chapter event that engages your members and makes them eager to participate? We’ll talk about creative options that are easy to organize and fun to attend.

Making Stress Your BFF. Amanda Chay
Some stress improves performance and boosts motivation; when we have the resources, that is. But when these resources are depleted, stress becomes disruptive and compromises our performance and health. Learn how to use stress to your advantage, instead of the other way around, with scientific-backed research and the methods of mindfulness, gratitude, and restoration.

3:00 – 3:15 Afternoon Break (beverages and snacks will be served)

3:15 – 4:15 Sessions

Update on NISO Z39.4 Criteria for Indexes: Creating a National Standard. John Magee, Marti Heyman, Pilar Wyman
Several members of the working group on NISO Z39.4 Criteria for Indexes will present an update on their progress, discuss the process of creating an indexing standard, discuss indexing issues that have arisen during the process, and take questions from the audience. The panel discussion will be facilitated by working group member John Magee and will include working group co-chairs Pilar Wyman and Marti Heyman, as well as working group member Janet Perlman.

Excel for Freelancers. Bonnie Taylor
Most users of Microsoft Office products have some familiarity with Excel but aren't using it as effectively as they could. Come learn some basic best practices and get a taste of how powerful this program can be. We will discuss ideas for how you can leverage this power in both your business and personal lives.

Mindfulness Is the Mental Gym. Amanda Chay
Roughly half of our waking hours are spent reliving the past or worrying about the future. It’s like living a life on autopilot. What if you could take back control of your mind and become the pilot of your life again? Enter the idea of mindfulness: a scientifically proven way to get more done with less effort, be happier and kinder, less bothered by others, and healthier.

4:15 – 5:00 Networking time

5:00 – 7:00 Reception and Awards Presentations


Saturday, April 25

Breakfast included in conference hotel room rate.

8:15 – 8:45 Individual chapter and SIG meetings

8:30 – 10:30 Check-in and Badge Pickup

9:00 – 10:00 Sessions

Tables of Cases. Bonnie Taylor
Tables of cases and statutes can look intimidating to nonlawyers, almost as if they're written in a foreign language. These tables, however, follow some pretty basic rules. This session will give you an overview of these rules and the confidence you need to take on tabling work.

Take a Walk on the File Side: Organizing for Freelance Indexing. Becky Hornyak
An overview of office organization: files and folders using software such as Word and Excel spreadsheets. Presentation of examples of forms used, list of files kept both on the computer and on paper, covering tax document retention, standard email wording, and website updating.

ASI's Training in Indexing Course, Third edition: An Open Forum on Course Development. Carolyn Weaver
The current edition of ASI's Training in Indexing course was launched in 2013. The Training Course Planning Committee is now seeking member input into the planning process for an updated course to be launched as soon as possible. If you're an ASI course graduate, an indexing student, a graduate of a different training program, or just curious, please join us at this Open Forum! The Planning Committee needs your input to help make the next version of the Training Course a benchmark for the indexing community.

10:00 – 10:15 Morning Break (coffee, tea, and snacks will be served)

10:15 – 12:15 Sessions

Medical Indexing: Is It Your Niche? Anne Fifer
This presentation will include a discussion of the levels of medical indexing with examples of each, and the requirements for each level of work. The problem of how to evaluate the level of the project before accepting (or declining) work as well as suitable references for working in this area.

CINDEX Office Hours. Frances Lennie and Maria Sullivan
As the title suggests we will uncover some hidden gems in Cindex, but will primarily focus on your suggestions of what you would like to see covered (please submit these suggestions in advance to and burning questions of the moment.
Operating systems have changed significantly so we offer a team approach to address specific Mac and Windows issues.

Macros. Gale Rhoades

12: 15 – 2:00 Lunch and Annual General Meeting

2:00 – 4:00 Sessions

2:00 – 3:00

Increasing Your Indexing Speed. Kendra Millis
We all know the phrase: time is money. And there’s only so much work you can do in a given amount of time, right? But what if you could work faster, without sacrificing quality. Doing so would allow you to earn more in the same amount of work time, or keep your earnings steady while freeing up time for other things. This session will go over various ways you can increase the speed at which you work.

Indexing on the Side. Maxine Henry
Indexing when it's not your primary method of making a living has its own benefits and challenges. This presentation will touch on some ways of making it work while maintaining balance; specifically, knowing your limits, understanding your goals, and appreciating your worth. The issues of time management and project management will be discussed, as well as the benefits of having community support and ways to leverage that support.

Computer Programs, How to Use: An Unconference. Lisa DeBoer
This session will be a participant-led discussion and workshop on computer programs used in indexing. The participants will develop an agenda based on their interests and then share information and skills. Possible topics include dedicated indexing software, PDF readers, embedded indexing tools, web site design, accounting software, or other computer programs. Personal laptops or tablets are welcome but not required.

3:00 – 4:00

Editing as You Go: Using Structure and Term Selection to Produce an Almost Final Index. Kendra Millis
It’s not uncommon for indexers to set aside a day at the end of a project just for editing. But is this time really needed? This session will explore techniques and indexing processes that can reduce the editing time required by helping you produce an almost-final index as your first draft.

Current Trends in Publishing: On the Inside Looking Out. Diana Witt
It’s no secret that indexing is a low priority end-of-production task for most publishers. Research into the publishing industry has revealed some reasons why this might be so. This is not a panel about indexing. It is meant to provide a look into what publishers of nonfiction books are thinking about and worrying about in the current technology-driven publishing industry. Several things are examined: Sales statistics for nonfiction books, including textbooks; the increasing dominance of Amazon, not just in book sales, but in the publishing industry itself; the increased visibility of self-publishing; recent trends in format innovation, beyond the basic e-book model. A survey of recent articles and research projects on the future of publishing, including some recent developments in indexing software. Finally, a look at industry proposals for a publishing “ecosystem” that would encourage collaborative market models for content creation and management, that might include authors, editors, indexers, and readers.

Marking Up with Tablets. Joan Shapiro, Michelle Guiliano, Jennifer Spanier
Marking up proofs for indexing is a mainstay practice for many indexers, yet many of us prefer greener work habits and enjoy the portability of our work. Enter the tablet! With special electronic "pens" and "pencils" indexers can mark up proofs right on screen and, in some cases, even use those screens as a second monitor while inputting index terms. Preparation of the PDF is the first step to properly annotate using an iPad or other tablet. Setting up the PDF will be discussed, along with hints and strategies for ensuring the proper flow of files between your iPad and PC or Mac. Tablets can also be used for other business practices such as signing contracts. Come hear your fellow indexers discuss ways in which they are changing their workflow by putting their tablets to work. iPads will be demonstrated, but other types of tablets will be discussed as well.

4:00 – 5:00 Closing Reception