The Communicator

News - December 2009

Society of Indexers: Newsletter editing

In July 2009, I was appointed Editor of the Society of Indexer's quarterly newsletter SIdelights, and have been responsible so far for a modest redesign and the content of two issues, those for Autumn and Winter 2009. SIdelights covers indexing in the UK and Ireland, as well as serving overseas SI members without their own national indexing newsletters. The Indexer, of course, is international in scope.

Society of Indexers: Training

After about five years of delivering the Society's national training on embedded indexing, I stepped down following the workshop I led at the 2009 Conference, although I contributed to an update of the Society's standard training course that will shortly be introduced and I shall be involved in conducting online tutorials during 2010. These are a potentially invaluable development of the training course, introduced since I gained Accreditation in 2004. In those days, we learned from common course materials and had our answers and sample indexes marked on a pass-or-fail basis. Now, for the first time, trainees are able to obtain feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their individual technique as they progress.

Society of Indexers: Membership Grading

Between Autumn 2008 and Summer 2009, I served on a working party charged with recommending changes to the grading system used by the Society, in order to reflect experience as well as the level of training, and related changes to the service that advertises members' services, Indexers Available. It's report has been accepted as a basis for restructuring both by the Society's Executive Board and by the membership, in a ballot counted at the 2009 AGM in September.

Periodical indexing

After a long period concentrating exclusively on what librarians call monographs (and the rest of us call books), I recently had the opportunity to prepare the cumulative index to twenty-one annual volumes of Taylor & Francis' Annals of Science, covering the years 1987 to 2007 and amounting to nearly 12,000 printed pages.

Embedded Indexing Workshops

I have acted as tutor on all the Society of Indexers' Embedded Indexing workshops from March 2005 to September 2009. These covered the principles of embedded indexing and possible variations on the basic approach; provided practice in constructing embedded indexes using MS Word and suggested additional questions indexers need to ask when negotiating embedded indexing commissions, before briefly describing four third-party add-ons, designed to automate aspects of MS Word embedding.

My own publications are now listed on a separate