Ethics in Indexing
with Heather Ebbs
Although we often allude to ethics in online discussions or personal chats with other indexers, neither of the North American societies codifies ethical guidelines for indexers. Could we? Should we? What are the ethical responsibilities of indexers? of indexing societies? How do ethics relate to professionalism?
The following scenarios may present an ethical dilemma at an individual or indexing society level:
- You strongly disagree with the author about the topic, believing that the author is providing misinformation or is offensively biased.
- You identify major quality issues in another indexer’s work for a mutual client.
- Your client censors (or asks you to censor) some topics in your index.
- A client puts down another indexer while corresponding with you, or another indexer publicly bad-mouths a client.
- You discover that a colleague has “borrowed” a chunk of copy directly from another colleague’s website.
- You discover that a colleague — another member of your indexing society — is claiming to have done work that was done by someone else.
This webinar exploring the ethical issues of indexing describes the sorts of situations that might arise for indexers, considers how to resolve such dilemmas, and ponders the responsibilities of both individual indexers and societies as a whole in an ethical practice of indexing.
Heather Ebbs has been indexing, editing and writing for more than 30 years and has indexed over 500 books, journals and reports in a wide variety of subjects and disciplines. A past president of ISC/SCI, she is currently International Liaison for the society.
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The webinar originally aired March 25, 2015
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