See Also—April 2024

ASI News
—"Spread Your Indexing Wings" with others at 2024 Conference
—Call for proposals
—Come to the Indexing Playground on April 24
—Cast your ballot for ASI board
Key Words: New editor, new issue, new index
—Place-names webinar available for replays
—Early ASI president Preschel has died
Chapters and SIGS
—History/Archaeology SIG meets this month
Associated Industry News
—CINDEX transitions to open-source model
Business and Marketing
—First-quarter taxes are due
Spotlight on Jolanta Komornicka

ASI News

"Spread Your Indexing Wings" with others at 2024 Conference

For the first time since 2019, indexers will gather in person for ASI's 2024 Annual Conference. "Spread Your Indexing Wings” will be held June 5 through June 6 on the campus of Bryn Mawr College, located outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The campus setting will give indexers an opportunity to learn about their craft while networking with other indexers and relaxing in the evenings. It's also just a short train ride to downtown Philly.

Optional pre-conference courses will be held on Tuesday, June 4, and the Welcoming Reception starts at 6:00 p.m. that evening in a picturesque historic hall.

Watch for more conference details here.

Call for proposals

In the meantime, would you like to be a conference presenter, or do you have an idea for a session?

ASI welcomes presentation proposals from interested parties, whether new or experienced indexers, or others in the field. Panel presentations are welcome, too.

Most presentation slots allow for one-hour programs. Visual content, such as slides and illustrations, are encouraged but are not required. PowerPoint help is available.

Deadline for proposals is April 19, 2024, and they can be submitted online.

If you have other presentation ideas or questions, contact conference chairperson Kendra Millis.

Come to the Indexing Playground on April 24

Join fellow indexers online on April 24, 2024, for a break on the Indexing Playground. This is an opportunity to network and enjoy connection in an informal setting especially for ASI members. It starts at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern), and there is no need to register.

The theme is indexing specialties. Attendees can socialize with their indexing peers and discuss their experiences and questions relating to particular specialties. Gather on Zoom and then break into these playgrounds, which will each have a host:

  • Culinary
  • Digital publications
  • Plants and animals
  • Legal and government
  • Medical, health, fitness, and wellness
  • History, archaeology, and biography

Visit here for more information, including about the genesis of the Playground.

Cast your ballot for ASI board


ASI has announced its slate of candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors, and voting takes place through April 22. Full information about these candidates is here:

Jen Weers
Directors at Large (three-year term)
Kevin Gunn
Mylinh Hamlington

The Nominations Committee had several goals when working to put together the slate of candidates, including the development of a strong Board of Directors that will function well as a whole while also representing the diversity of ASI members and their views; broadening the number of people who are included in ASI leadership at all levels; and ensuring that ASI will continue to have active members with board experience who are willing to take on future leadership roles at the highest levels.

Members need to login to access the ballot. The deadline to vote is 5:00 p.m. Pacific time on April 22, 2024.

Candidates will take office at ASI's Annual Meeting, which will take place online on June 22, 2024. More information is to come about the Annual Meeting.

Key Words: New editor, new issue, new index

Welcome the new editor of Key Words

Sarahh Scher is the new editor of Key Words, ASI's quarterly journal. She assumed the role on April 1.

She has been indexing since 2021, focusing on scholarly texts in the humanities—with topics ranging from art history to human geography.

Sarahh, who lives in New England, holds a PhD in art history from Emory University and an MFA in printmaking from New Mexico State University. As an art historian, she has published articles and book chapters and has presented internationally.

Spring issue focuses on gender and sexuality

Thank you to Daniel Heila for his years of service as Key Words editor, which concludes with the publication of the Spring 2024 issue.

The issue explores gender and sexuality, with articles on indexing a history of French Sexuality; sensitivity and empathy when indexing LGBTQ+ titles; and building bridges between authors and readers of gender-related titles.

It also includes news about the upcoming conference and the second Business Bookshelf column.

Explore index, updated through 2023

The index to Key Words is now up to date, with the addition of the index to issues from 2017 to 2023.

Find links to all Key Words indexes here.

The new index is the work of ASI members Ritu Amrita, DeAnna Burghart, Jessica Campbell, Mylinh Hamlington, Noelle Padilla, Jessica Siddiqi, and Kathleen Zander. This was done under the leadership and editorship of Carolyn Weaver—who last year donated issues of Key Words and its predecessor newsletter, stretching back to 1991. Find those archives here.

Place-names webinar available for replays

Bill Wheaton, who started indexing last year after retiring as a geospatial scientist, gave indexers an in-depth look at geographic place-names in ASI's March webinar.

The "Indexing Geographic Place-names" program focused on:

  • The terminology relative to place-names, including toponymy—the science of place-names.
  • Problems and issues for indexers when indexing place-names and what indexing sources say.
  • Authoritative national and international sources for place-names and how to search and use those websites.
  • Place-names that change and why they change.

Bill's expertise shone through, and he peppered the presentation with interesting trivia through informal polls and quizzes.

Attendees received a valuable list of resources for researching place-names.

The webinar is available for replay for those who registered but is also available for purchase for all ASI members and non-members.

Early ASI president Preschel has died

Barbara Preschel, president of ASI in the 1970s, died in February at age 95.

According to her obituary in the New York Times, Barbara worked in the information field for decades, specializing in indexing. She resided in New York City.

Chapters and SIGS

History/Archaeology SIG meets this month

The History/Archaeology Special Interest Group will meet online on April 26, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Visit the H/A SIG's website for information about joining. Questions? Email Vickie Jacobs.

Information about all of ASI’s SIGs is available here.

Please share news about your SIG with See Also.

Associated Industry News

CINDEX transitions to open-source model

CINDEX owner Scribendi announced last month that as of April 1, 2024, they will not be selling or requiring licenses for the use of CINDEX, but will be releasing it to the realm of open-source software. With this transition, Scribendi will no longer provide user support.

For those users who already own licensed copies of CINDEX, the program will continue to work as it has, and these changes will not affect your present copy, according to ASI member and CINDEX consultant Maria Sullivan—who is working on a new platform for user support.

For the rest of the indexing community, the transition to the open-source model means that the code for the software will be freely accessible. On March 26, via a separate email to licensed users, Scribendi announced they had released the code and also made installers for both MacOS and Windows available for free for 90 days.

The CINDEX Users group offers important context about this change. There is also a CINDEX open-source working group, which has put together a helpful FAQs document. The discussion group is a good place to watch for timely information about this transition and about access to support for users. There will be updates in this newsletter as well.

Business and Marketing

First-quarter taxes are due

In addition to April 15 being the filing deadline for 2023 income taxes, it's also when first-quarter taxes are due for those who are self-employed. Maine and Massachusetts residents have until April 17, because of state holidays.

NerdWallet offers tips on determining what you owe quarterly: estimating based on prior-year taxes or estimating based on what you have earned so far this year.

IRS Form 1040-ES for 2024 estimated taxes is here.

Spotlight on Jolanta Komornicka

This month's Spotlight is on Jolanta Komornicka, the owner of Close Reading Indexing & Editing.

If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Laurie Hlavaty.

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?

I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, with my husband, daughter, and two very affectionate cats. I moved here in 2017 from Charlottesville, Virginia, but I have lived in many places. I grew up in Minnesota (Twin Cities), then went to Oregon for university, Boston for grad school, back to Oregon for a year, back to Boston, then to Virginia. I’ve also lived for extended periods in both France and Poland.

What is your educational background?

As an undergraduate, I double majored in history-literature and then went on to earn an MA and a PhD in history. My research specialty is crime and society in fourteenth-century France. When I decided to leave academia, I took several courses in editing and indexing at what’s now Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?

I love to travel (but prefer natural spaces or places that have visibly older buildings, at least 400 years old; modern cities don’t interest me much). My main hobby is table-top gaming, both board games and, especially, role-playing games. I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of video games and have been playing those when I get the chance. I tend to fidget in meetings or while watching TV, so I also do a lot of needle crafts (knitting, quilting by hand, and cross-stitch are the main ones). In the warmer months, I do a lot of hiking—and there’s nothing quite like a forest after a spring rain.

What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?

I started editing about a year before I began indexing and still copy edit and proofread on a regular basis, though the majority of my income comes from indexing. Before either of those, I was an assistant professor of history. I was teaching a course on the Black Death when the pandemic shut down my university—the moment I was relevant, I was out of a job! I’ve since left academia and no longer teach or publish (though an article of mine has just come out in an edited collection, nearly ten years after I wrote it). My indexing and editing work focuses on academic subjects, however, so I manage to keep a toe in the water and stay aware of recent research.

What is a favorite strategy to help motivate or inspire when you are feeling stuck during a work project?

My go-to solution is to change the medium. If I have been indexing straight from the PDF on the screen (which is usually how I work), I’ll print out a chapter or even the whole book and will go to marking up the text instead. Sometimes I’ll simply throw the manuscript file onto my tablet and mark up that way, though I find the visual and tactile elements of working on paper more conducive to thinking differently and getting unstuck. I think it helps that when I move to paper or the tablet, I’m also moving work locations (usually onto the couch). My cats certainly appreciate greater access to my lap when I do this.

When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?

I took the TMU course on indexing in the fall of 2021, taught by Alex Peace, and can’t say enough good things about it. I contracted my first paying job in November 2021 (though that manuscript didn’t arrive until May) and was working on my first index for a client by January 2022. I joined ASI relatively soon after finishing the indexing course, if I recall correctly.

For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?

I get a lot of benefit from the History/Archaeology SIG and have had multiple clients contact me after finding my profile on the ASI listing. I am also grateful that ASI archives past webinars and makes them available for purchase. I spent much of my first year working my way through various webinars relevant to the kind of indexing I wanted to do.

Items to be considered for the See Also newsletter should be submitted by the 15th of the month before publication. For May 2024 issue, please email by April 15th. Thank you.

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