Canada’s Professional Society of Indexers Since 1977

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 who works in the subject area of your project.

Find resources

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

Attend an event

Attend a local meeting of indexers or attend the annual conference.

Become a member

Join the Society and enjoy the benefits of membership.

Featured Post

What practices will help me with good index term selection?

Term selection is a key factor that determines the quality and usability of an index. Good index terms are clear, … […]

Upcoming Events

Mary Newberry Mentorship Program

Indexing Society of Canada

The Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) is excited to announce the Mary Newberry Mentorship Program.

Stephen Ullstrom

The proposal for this new initiative was developed over this past year by the mentorship committee, composed of Stephen Ullstrom (chair), Margaret de Boer, and Pierre Joyal. The proposal was accepted by the executive at their May 5, 2018 meeting. The first coordinators for the program are Stephen Ullstrom and Linda Christian (pictured), who were appointed last week at the June executive meeting and conference.

Currently, the program is a proposal on paper. The first task for the coordinators is to turn the proposal into a functioning program. We hope to begin the first mentorships by January 2019.

Linda Christian

Highlights of the proposal include the following:

  • Mentorship will be available to all ISC/SCI members, regardless of level of indexing experience. We firmly believe that mentorship can be valuable at all stages of a career.
  • Mentorship will be one-on-one, and will take place in two-month blocks, with the option for renewal.
  • A small fee will be charged, most of which will be an honorarium for the mentor. We want to make the program accessible for all, while also acknowledging the commitment needed from both parties for mentorship to be a success.

The program is  named  after  our  own  Mary Newberry,  in  recognition  of     her many years  of  mentorship  and teaching.  We are  thrilled to  be able  to honour Mary in this way.

The coordinators and executive are excited for the potential of this new initiative. We hope that it will be of great benefit to all ISC/SCI members. Stay tuned in the coming months for more details as the program takes shape. We look forward to sharing those details with you.

Bidding on an index? Be like the Spiderman of Paris

JoAnne Burek

screen capture of video
from the video

Mamoudou Gassama, the Malian man now called the “Spiderman of Paris,” climbed four levels up the side of a building and rescued a four-year-old boy dangling from a balcony. As a bonus, he was honoured with a medal for bravery, the promise of citizenship, and a job with the fire brigade. That success will come—if you are prepared and courageous—was demonstrated again.

How was Gassama prepared? Well, he is athletic and fit. He may even have rock-climbing experience. Anyway, he seemed to know what he was doing.

His skills and his courage made the rescue not only successful, but awesome.

How does this apply to indexing, you wonder?

Preparation and a little courage can help you win more indexing business. At the conference in Winnipeg June 8-9, I’m revealing selling secrets that will help you write compelling responses to authors’ and editors’ queries…those emails that ask “Would you be interested in indexing my book?”

By the way, if you are still on the fence about attending, be aware that the deadline for the banquet numbers is Thursday, May 31.

See you at the conference!

A precious resource

JoAnne Burek

clockTime is a non-renewable resource. Thus we were reminded by Christine LeBlanc when she led a recent Editors Canada webinar on starting a freelance career. She strongly encouraged word workers to feel confident in what we charge because of the time we put into doing our work well.

Her statement also reminds us—freelance or not—of occasions when that precious resource feels badly spent. An hour embroiled in solving a tech problem when you’re on an indexing deadline feels so different from an hour spent catching up with a dear friend, playing with a child, or reading a good book!

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend an hour with an indexing tech expert in a non-stressful—even pleasantly collegial—environment to save some stress and time down the road?

Bring your questions to the ISC/SCI 2018 conference in Winnipeg and spend some time with indexing software experts Kamm Schreiner (SKY), Gale Rhoades (MACREX), and Frances Lennie (CINDEX) who know these powerful programs better than anyone. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Speaking of time, the conference is June 8-9—less than a month away. We hope you can make it.

Exploring usability

Indexing Society of Canada

Index written by a technical indexer
Fig 2: Technical indexer

Index written by a scholarly index
Fig 1: Scholarly indexer

Two questions:

1. Has becoming an indexer changed the way you use indexes?

2. Assume you mostly indexed technical books. Would that influence the way you index scholarly books?

These are just two questions you might ponder if you read “Testing usability: ‘Experience an index usability test’ at the ASI Conference (Portland, 2009)” by Cheryl Landes. This article appeared in the December 2009 issue of The Indexer.

At the ASI conference, Cheryl led a session in which 14 attendees reviewed and looked up entries in two indexes that were written for a single book of essays. One of the indexes was written by a scholarly indexer, the other by a technical indexer. The usability test results were interesting, but even more so were the reviewers’ comments.

Cheryl received a regional Award of Excellence from the Society for Technical Communications for this article.

You will enjoy hearing about Cheryl’s latest insights on index usability when you come to the conference in Winnipeg on June 8-9.

Patterns of indexing careers

Indexing Society of Canada

Indexers cwheel of fortuneome into their careers from many directions. For some, it’s a natural progression from a job in a publishing house. Others discover the calling accidentally. There are indexers who started out by volunteering to write an index for a friend or a local society.

Once the decision is made to become an indexer, the career launch is more or less predictable: training, followed by practice, then marketing and building up a list of active clients.

Throughout your career, it’s all on you. You will become so good at your work that your clients won’t want you to stop.

So how does an indexer move into retirement gently? Join us for the ISC/SCI conference in Winnipeg June 8-9 as Heather Ebbs shares her thoughts and wisdom on what it means to glide away from a successful career.