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The Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) is Canada’s national association of indexers. We invite you to find an indexer for your project, read our publications, discover our conferences, events, and resources for indexers, find out about membership, and learn about the Society.


Find an indexer

Find an indexer in your subject area for your project.


Find resources

Find information about indexes, indexing practices, and training in indexing.

Attend an event

Visit an indexing get-together in your region or attend the annual conference.

Become a member

Join the Society and enjoy the benefits of membership.

Another Successful Conference

Our May 27-28 conference in Ottawa was attended by 66 people from across Canada and parts of the US. We met old friends and made new ones as we laughed, learned, and shared experiences and encouragement. You can find more photos in our conference album on Flickr.

Several speakers made their handouts available to our members. If you’re an ISC/SCI member, log in and find the handouts here. If you’re not a member but attended the conference, visit this page and use the conference password.

Thank you to the conference committee headed by Heather Ebbs, with Alicia Peres, Barb Cuerden, Frances Curry, JoAnne Burek, and Nancy Wills, for all your work in planning and organizing this successful event.

Thank you, all you wonderful donors, for providing door prizes. Your contributions helped make the conference fun.

Beth Macfie
Clive Pyne
Heather Ebbs
Margaret de Boer
Ruth Pincoe

Thanks also to the Lord Elgin Hotel and the University of Ottawa residence.

Thank you, attendees, for your enthusiasm and participation. And an extra-big thank you if you filled out the conference survey. Your input and comments will be of enormous help to next year’s conference committee.

And speaking of next year’s conference, we’re headed to St. Johns, Newfoundland! The dates are June 12-13, 2020, so start thinking about your plans now.

DReam to Index Scholarships

In 2018, the Friends of Dave established a fund to honor David K. Ream who passed away at the end of 2017. Dave, who was well known throughout the indexing communities of the world, provided computer-programming, database construction, and typesetting to indexers and abstractors for more than 30 years. Dave gave so much to the field of indexing and was especially interested in helping indexers succeed in their work. That is why we have chosen to honor him by recognizing new people coming to the field and helping them on their indexing journey.

The scholarships enable newer indexers to attend a national indexing conference. In 2019, each winner receives $500 USD toward the expense of her conference registration and travel.

We are pleased to announce the two winners for the 2019 DReam to Index Scholarships:

Siusan Moffat

AElfwine Mischler

Both Siusan and AElfwine took the UC Berkeley Course for introductory indexing training. They have registered to attend the Ottawa Conference of the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC).

Siusan lives in Toronto, Canada, and AElfwine lives in Cairo, Egypt.

We look forward to their ongoing growth as indexers!

In 2020, the DReam to Index scholarships will be offered again using the same criteria – for more information, about Dave Ream and the scholarships please see www.dreamtoindex.com.

Great Intentions

In Cal Newport’s latest book, “Digital Minimalism”, he describes how the Amish use technology intentionally.

When a new technology arises, the whole community closely observes a first adopter and tries “to discern the ultimate impact of the technology on the things the community values most. If this impact is deemed more negative than helpful, the technology is prohibited. Otherwise, it’s allowed, but usually with caveats on its use that optimize its positives and minimize its negatives.”

Over thirty years ago, indexers were adopting a new technology when we switched from index cards to indexing software. No doubt at the time there were positives and negatives to be thought through.

Looking back now, and especially for indexers who started after the age of cards, it’s hard to imagine there were negatives.

But are we optimizing the positives?

Learn some new tips and habits at the ISC/SCI Conference in Ottawa May 24-25, when Gale Rhoades (Macrex) and Maria Sullivan (Cindex) give you their best advice to help you optimize your use of your indexing software.

Visit the conference page here.

Bursary for Structurally Disadvantaged People

We were able to secure funding from the Special Projects committee for our very first bursary!

The Bursary for Structurally Disadvantaged People is for one person, and it will cover fees for an indexing course, two years of ISC membership with listing, and entry into the Mentorship program.

The Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity committee (TIDE) is a very small committee and we will be needing more people to join in to help develop and organize the bursary. Please get in touch to help out! siusanmoffat (at.) gmail (dot) com

The Professional Treatment

In 1997, John E Simkin, a founding member of the Australian Indexing Society, wrote about the “technical vs. professional aspects of the practice of indexing” and argued that “indexers must take professionalism seriously if they are to raise their own status or contribute to the development of modern information management.” You can read the article here in The Indexer Volume 20 (4) https://www.theindexer.org/files/20-4/20-4_178.pdf

Simkin must have said something controversial, because in the following issue (Vol 20 (1)), there were three “counterblast” letters to the editor. What were the concerns? Well, one of them was this throw-away statement “If all you’ve ever bothered to learn is how to knock off an index to a book on some well-known topic — gardening, biography, cookery …”.

You just don’t knock off a biography, exclaimed the letter-writers. Carol Barlow, a scientist, wrote that indexing biographies is “demanding, time consuming, and uneconomic” and added “I therefore leave these to the experts.” Hazel Bell directed the readers to her book “Indexing biographies and other stories of human lives” for  the contrary case.

Biographies and memoirs can be fascinating to index and are within anyone’s capability with some training. At the conference in Ottawa May 24-25, Kendra Millis will help us grow professionally when she shares her expertise in this rich and engaging genre.

And now a reminder that special pricing deadlines are approaching fast. Early bird pricing on conference fees ends Monday April 15. The discount on room rates at the 90U Residence on the University of Ottawa campus ends April 11. The Lord Elgin room rate discount ends April 22.

Get the details and links are here.

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