Doing the right thing by the author and the reader

Over the last week, we’ve had a riveting discussion on the ISC-L forum.

It started because a Canadian indexer was indexing a book on racism in the US, and had asked an American indexer for advice on approaching the language. For the benefit of ISC-L forum readers, the American indexer posted the very useful guidance that she gave to the Canadian indexer.

That post started a flood of comments about our struggles in indexing books that deal with difficult issues.

We really want to do the right thing by the author and the reader.

As indexer Alicia Peres put it very eloquently:

As indexers, we are acutely aware that our work comes at the end of the publication process, and we must deal with the text as it has been written. Yet, in dealing with the terms readers are likely to look for, we are not without influence, both in educating readers through terminology and in how we select and word index listings.

Alicia wrote these words not for the forum, but in her invitation to Gregory Younging, a Member of Opsakwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, the Indigenous Studies Program Coordinator at University of British Columbia Okanagan, and author of “Elements of Indigenous Style.”

And that is how she convinced Dr. Younging to come to Winnipeg to speak at our conference.

Learn first-hand from an author who has thought deeply about language when you come to the ISC/SCI conference on June 8-9.

Three Indexing Courses

Three indexing courses are being taught by ISC/SCI members:

  • Indexing: Theory and Application (University of California at Berkeley Extension – taught by Heather Ebbs, an ISC/SCI past president, as well as U.S. indexers Sylvia Coates and Fred Leise and Australian indexer Max McMaster)
  • Indexing for Books, Journals, and Reports (Ryerson University – taught by Mary Newberry, past ISC/SCI co-president)
  • Indexing: An Essential Art and Science (Simon Fraser University – taught by Audrey McClellan and Iva Cheung)

These courses represent excellent opportunities to learn from experienced members of the Society. For more information on these and other indexing courses, seminars, and workshops, please go to the Education and Training section of the Resources page.

Charging for Indexing Services

“How much?”

It’s one of the first questions from clients and new indexers. But as with almost any fee for service, there is no hard and fast answer.

In a survey done by ISC/SCI in spring 2008, members were asked what they charge, and how, and the answers varied widely (see Bulletin, Vol. 30, No 3 [Summer 2008], p. 28-32), with hourly rates ranging from $20 to $65, typeset page rates ranging from $1.85 to $10 and manuscript page rates ranging from $3 to $8.

[…]Charging for Indexing Services