ASI Webinar: On Aboutness—Determining What It’s All About

with Kate Mertes, Mertes Editorial Services

Kate Mertes

The webinar was presented December 17, 2013

What’s it all about? That is the question capable indexers must keep in front of them as they work through a text. Kate Mertes will show you how to avoid tangents and stay focused to produce a good index. We'll look at Meta-topics, Ur-topics, Chapter topics, Micro-topics, and Non-topics as a way of organizing entries into a coherent map of the book.

You will:

  • Learn how to figure out the through-line of the text
  • Discover new ways of handling the all-important meta-topic in your index entries
  • Master the art of chapter breakdown for faster indexing

Kate Mertes is sole proprietor of Mertes Editorial Services, providing indexing, information retrieval, and editorial expertise for complex, challenging projects in law and the humanities. Kate took her B.A. in medieval studies, a Ph.D. in medieval history, and a post-doctoral degree in theology, and after teaching at university level for several years moved into publishing with a stint at Oxford English Dictionaries. After nine years as a managing editor of indexing with Research Institute of America, a legal publishing company, Kate started her own business in 1998. She has lived in Alexandria, VA, since 1992. Kate served on the Board of the American Society for Indexing (ASI) from 1998 to 2004, and has been president of ASI twice, in 2002-2003 and 2009-2010; she is currently serving as immediate past president. She was also president of the Mid and South Atlantic chapter of ASI, 2005-2006, and periodically teaches a course on indexing for the Library School of the Catholic University of America. Kate is a founding member of the Institute of Certified Indexers. Kate is also the author of Good Governance and Politic Rule: The English Noble Household, 1250-1550, and chapters in many of ASI’s publications on the indexing of legal, historical, and theological materials. She is a co-author, with Fred Leise and Nan Badgett, of Indexing for Editors and Authors. In 2013 Kate was the recipient of the Wilson Award for Liberty Fund’s edition of Montesquieu’s Mes Pensées.

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