See Also—July 2020

ASI News
—Statement from ASI's President
—ASI Partners with LIG Solutions to Provide Members Health Insurance Options
—ASI Webinar: Indexing Arabic Names, What Everyone Should Know
—Congratulations to Gina Guilinger
—Tribute to Former Member
Chapter Events
News from Other Associations
—ISC/SCI Announces 2020 Award Winners
—Style Guide Changes
—ISMTE's Upcoming Virtual Conference
Business of Indexing
Marketing Tidbits
Spotlight—Jason Begy

ASI News

Statement from ASI's President

In response to ongoing national events, ASI President Meghan Miller Brawley has made a statement regarding injustice, racism, and police brutality. In her message, Brawley states that ASI condemns “all forms of racism, discrimination, and social injustice.”

ASI Partners with LIG Solutions to Provide Members Health Insurance Options

ASI has created a new health insurance opportunity for its members. As a member of the Book Industry Health Insurance Partnership, the American Society for Indexing is now in a partnership with Lighthouse Insurance Group (LIG) Solutions to provide ASI members assistance in navigating the bewildering health insurance marketplace to locate the best health insurance plans for themselves, their families, and their businesses. LIG Solutions helps people understand their health benefits and different plan options to determine appropriate health insurance options. Please see the full announcement and the extensive FAQ provided.

ASI Webinar: Indexing Arabic Names, What Everyone Should Know

Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 12 PM PDT / 3 PM EDT

Presenter: Ælfwine Mischler

A new ASI webinar, Indexing Arabic Names, What Everyone Should Know, will be presented August 12.

This webinar explains potential difficulties in indexing both modern and premodern Arabic names. What do you do with the definite article and its variants? What is Al when it’s not an article? What names must not be split? When and where do you invert names? The materials for this webinar are based in part on errors found in published indexes.

This webinar will help you recognize:

  • the definite article and its variants,
  • compound names that must not be split,
  • titles that are mistaken for surnames,
  • and whether and where to invert names.

Please follow this link to attend the webinar.

Congratulations to Gina Guilinger

Gina Guilinger, of Weight of the Word, LLC, indexing service, is the indexer of The Flowing Grace of Now by Marina Wiederkehr which won second place in the prayer category of the Association of Catholic Publishers 2020 Excellence in Publishing Awards. From the ACP website: “This annual awards program honors the best resources from 2019 in up to 16 categories ranging in format from books to music.” Congratulations Gina!

Tribute: Robert “Bob” Richardson

The ASI community lost an old friend recently when Robert “Bob” Richardson passed away on June 8. A brief obituary can be read here. Bob had a long career in electrical engineering and technical librarianship before entering the indexing field. Bob was also an amateur humorist of some renown in the indexing community. One of his pithy stories can be read on the IDG list (you have to be a member to read): The Indexer Zone.

Chapter Events

There are no chapter events in this issue. Recent and future chapter meetings will be included in the August issue.

News from Other Associations

ISC/SCI Announces 2020 Award Winners


Indexing Society of Canada (ISC) announces their 2020 awards. Winners of ISC’s Ewart Daveluy Award for Excellence in Indexing and the Tamarack Award for Volunteers have been announced. Due to the outstanding quality of the entry indexes this year, two entrants were awarded the Ewart-Daveluy Award, Carla DeSantis and Anna Olivier. DeSantis’s scholarly index demonstrated exceptional skill at handling “an array of proper names, titles, and terms spanning a huge range of languages,” and Olivier’s scholarly indexes were found to be valuable tools for various scholars, linguists, literary critics, and specialists. The Tamarack Award goes to Margaret de Boer for her time as president and past president on the executive committee. Congratulations awardees!

Style Guide Changes

In mid June, top industry style guides announced changes to race related and cultural terminology guidelines.

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and the Associated Press (AP) have announced changes to their guidelines regarding capitalization of race related and cultural terms. There is a very lively discussion on the IDG list regarding these developments. (You will need to log in to access the discussion.) Note: several messages refer to APA instead of AP. The announcement that inspired the discussion was regarding the AP decision. (APA’s guideline has already been to capitalize Black and White and other racial and ethnic group names.) Here’s what the style guides have to say on this development:

  • AP—"We added an extensive entry on race related coverage last year, and updated this month to uppercase Black and Indigenous. We aim to decide on upper or lowercase white within a month.” They have a lengthy post, free to the public, on race related coverage that goes into much detail and lays out their guidelines.
  • CMOS—"In light of recent announcements elsewhere in publishing, many of our readers have been asking us whether we continue to recommend lowercase for terms such as black and white to refer to a person’s race or ethnicity, ‘unless a particular author or publisher prefers otherwise’—as we have advised in section 8.38 of the most recent edition of The Chicago Manual of Style … as of today … we have joined the ranks of those who ‘prefer otherwise.’” The guide discusses this decision at length in this informative blog post.

ISMTE's Upcoming Virtual Conference

The International Society of Managing & Technical Editors (ISMTE) is presenting their 2020 North American Virtual Conference on August 4–7. From their site: ISMTE is “a unique community for managing and technical editors at scholarly publications worldwide that combines networking, training, and industry proven best practices—allowing them to engage with other professionals, broaden their day to day skills, and be proud of the journals they produce.” The conference title is “Evolving Trends in Scholarly Publishing.” Surely a topic of interest to indexers everywhere.

Business of Indexing

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (signed into law by the president on March 27) extends unemployment assistance to freelance workers, independent contractors, and self-employed professionals. Here is an exhaustive informational webpage regarding PUA assembled by the US Department of Labor.

Marketing Tidbits

Periodic website overhauls are a regular part of managing a freelance business. Keeping pace with the Internet’s ever evolving design aesthetics and updating professional qualifications and achievements are key maintenance tasks. Some professionals keep an outdated website available to browsers during maintenance. Others prefer to use a placeholder page announcing the site maintenance. There are specific plug ins designed to create placeholder pages for popular content hosting platforms (CHPs). However, they are often bundled with others making their use cost prohibitive. Here is a quick way to make a placeholder page without a plug in. This can be adapted for most CHPs.

  1. Create a page explaining that the site is undergoing maintenance. Include links to your other professional profiles so you do not lose potential clients.
  2. Create a new simple navigation menu with the placeholder page as the Home page. Include a navigation button to your contact page as well. Title this menu “Maintenance.”
  3. Make the Maintenance menu the active menu and, voila, you have a placeholder page. Visitors will only be able to view the placeholder page with your profile links and your contact page.

After maintenance, simply activate your redesigned site’s navigation menu and reassign your new Home page. Save the Maintenance page and menu for later use.


Jason Begy

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

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from?

I currently live in Montreal, Quebec, although I am originally from western New York State.

What is your educational background?

At the undergraduate level, I have a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Classics from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After that, I earned a master’s degree in Professional Writing and Information Design from Northeastern University in Boston, which was a mix of technical writing, editing, and user experience design. At this point, I was aiming for a technical writing career, but right before I graduated, I was accepted into MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program. There I concentrated on game studies and design, earning a second master’s degree and starting down the path to an academic career.

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

I’m an avid board gamer, preferring complex economic games that take far too much time to play. This has resulted in some professional opportunities, as I occasionally get to edit and index rulebooks for these games—yes, there are enough rules that an index is extremely helpful!

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

After my time at MIT, I had planned on an academic career and started a Ph.D. in Montreal. During that time I discovered indexing and transitioned out of academia to focus on my freelancing. I am no longer directly involved in academia, but I occasionally edit and review papers for my former colleagues.

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

While in graduate school, I co authored a book with my supervisor, Mia Consalvo. Players and Their Pets was published by University of Minnesota Press. When it came time to index it, we did not have a budget we could draw from, so it fell to me. I read a few brief guides and got started. I only had a few days to do this, so the end result was...unimpressive. But that is what got me interested in indexing as a career path. I joined the ASI a few months later and began studying indexing in earnest.

When I was a researcher I was fond of indexes and frustrated when books lacked them. While I was writing my master’s thesis at MIT, I was making heavy use of a particular book that lacked an index entirely, and it was extremely frustrating. I ended up retyping numerous passages into a text editor and just referring to that instead of the book itself, because it was easier to find what I needed.

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

The best advantage is the Find an Indexer service. It is a great way to stand out and for potential clients to find you. I have received enough business through this service to cover the cost many times over.

What is your most effective COVID-19 coping strategy?

Business wise, I have been doing more marketing than usual, which seems to be helping. Personally, I make sure to get outside for a walk every day while wearing a mask and avoiding crowded parks.

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