Conference 2021 :: Congrès 2021 – Virtual

This conference will give you a variety of topics to help you improve your indexing practice and make your business thrive, including:

  • Creating an award-winning index, from a panel of Ewart-Daveluy award winners
  • Editing your index to take it to the next level
  • Building client relationships
  • Quoting on projects
  • The new NISO standard for indexes (NISO is the National Information Standards Organization)
  • And more

As well, we will have

  • Keynote speaker Raegan Swanson from The ArQuives (The Canadian Lesbian + Gay Archives)
  • Jenny Higgins, former Wikipedian-in-Residence at Memorial University in Newfoundland
  • Announcement of the winner of the Ewart-Daveluy Award for Indexing Excellence

Each day there will be lots of fun activities to help you meet your fellow indexers.

Special for New Indexers

New indexers can register for the Fireside Chat hosted by Stephen Ullstrom and Margaret DeBoer. This group session is your opportunity to ask your burning questions on transitioning from student to practicing indexer.

Can’t make the whole conference?

Sessions will be recorded and made available to all registered attendees.


Raegan Swanson

Queering Archival Spaces and Description: LGBTQ2+ Community history and language at The ArQuives

Jenny Higgins

Something Wikid This Way Comes …
to the Centre for Newfoundland Studies

Mary Coe

In my mind’s eye, I’m turning
the page
How do readers make sense of active e-book indexes?

Kate Mertes

The Autobiography of an Indexing Relationship

Max McMaster

Quoting on Projects

Christine Jacobs

The Polished Index: Upping your Indexing Game

Pierke Bosschieter

Pre-emptive Preliminaries
How to build a satisfying client relationship

Judi Gibbs

Pilar Wyman

Indexing Standards. See NISO

Mary Coe

Bec Muir

The Spark is Curiosity: Becoming Practitioner-Researchers

Judy Dunlop

Mary Newberry

Audrey McClellan

Carla DeSantis

Anna Olivier

François Trahan

The Road to the Ewart-Daveluy Award

Optional Program for New Indexers

Stephen Ullstrom

Margaret De Boer

Fireside Chat

Conference Registration

Payment of conference fees gives you access to three days of workshops and events, plus access to all the recorded sessions for 12 months.

MembersNon-MembersStudentsFireside Chat
Early Bird$60$100$35$10
After April 30$75$100$25$10

Conference Blog

2020 Conference Cancelled

Given the World Health Organization’s announcement of a pandemic, we have determined to move forward with an abundance of caution. ISC/SCI is cancelling this year’s conference.

We have no plans to hold any online presentations, but intend to hold the conference next year in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Planning for next year’s conference—which we hope to be similar to what we had planned for this year—will start again in September, 2020.

If you registered for the conference, your fees will be refunded to you over the next week. If you do not receive a notice about your refund by March 25, please contact

We are sad and disappointed to announce this, but hope that everyone stays safe and well and comes to see us next year in Newfoundland!

Conference 2019 :: Congrès 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

May 24 – 25, 2019

University of Ottawa

12th Floor, Desmarais Building, 55 Laurier Avenue East

The publishing and information world continues to bring new challenges and new opportunities. At this conference, we’ll fine-tune our indexing practices, grow our business skills, offer our support and encouragement to newcomers, and pick the brains of those who have experience.

Ottawa is more than the political centre of Canada. It’s also home to some of the nation’s most important cultural venues. (Our conference site, which is on the University of Ottawa campus in the city’s centre, is just across the street from the new Ottawa Art Gallery.) The city is very walkable, with pathways on either side of the Rideau Canal.

The University of Ottawa is a medium-size campus and east to walk. Conference sessions will be on the top floor of the Desmarais Building (55 Laurier Avenue East). A map will be included in the conference packet.

Conference and Workshop Agenda

Download the Program

View and download conference handouts (Members Only content)


Anne Fifer, “Editing Without Pain”
Alexandre Grandmaître and Martine Rocheleau, “Accessing Parliamentary Information: from Traditional Indexes to a Database Integrated Information Management System”
Fred Leise, “Brilliantly Structured Indexes Redux: New Realities in Index Structure”
Kate Mertes, “Beyond the Subject Index: The Index Locorum”
Gale Rhoades and Marian Sullivan, “Above and Beyond: The Experts Help You Get the Most from Your Indexing Software”
Annual General Meeting
Banquet and Awards


Camille Callison (Canadian Federation of Library Associations) and Katherine Kasirer in “A Behind-the-Screen Look at the Indigenous Knowledge Materials Classification Schema (IMCS) Implementation during the Creation of NFB’s Indigenous Cinema”
Enid Zafran, “Indexing Scholarly Books: Go Deep”
Ruth Paulauskas (BreathWoRx), “BreathWoRx for Desk Workers”
Kendra Millis, “Indexing Lives”
Pierre Joyal on incorporating your business
Heather Ebbs, Christine Jacobs, Anne Louise Mahoney, and Elizabeth Schwaiger, “Ethical Choices: Thinking Beyond the Page”

Sunday (optional) – Sold Out

“Names, the Challenge of Indexing”, a full-day workshop with Enid Zafran, has been sold out, but you can be added to the waiting list when you register. Location is same as conference venue.

Conference Sponsors

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors:

Beth Macfie
Clive Pyne
Heather Ebbs
Margaret de Boer
Ruth Pincoe
Thanks also to the Lord Elgin Hotel and the University of Ottawa residence.

Conference Announcements


Conference rates include continental breakfast (with protein), lunch, and snacks.
Early bird rates apply until April 15.

Prices are in Canadian Dollars

Members Non-members Students
Early Bird After April 15 Early Bird After April 15
Full conference $291 $343 $344 $396 $158
Friday or Saturday only $159 $184 $211 $238 $80

Sunday Workshop “Names” presented by Enid Zafran (includes lunch)$105 (sold out, wait list available)


Plan Your Travel

To help you plan your travel, here’s the schedule of activities:

  • Thursday, May 23: Optional dinner (pay your own) at Johnny Farina Italian Restaurant, 216 Elgin Street or East India Company, 210 Somerset St. W, from 6 p.m. on.
  • Friday, May 24: Breakfast around 8, sessions from 9 until 5, followed by banquet at Signatures Restaurant, 453 Laurier Ave. E. Cash bar from 6:15 p.m. Banquet at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 25: Breakfast around 8, sessions from 9 until 5, followed by optional dinner (pay your own) at Colonnade Pizza, 280 Metcalfe St. from 6 p.m. on.
  • Sunday, May 26: “Names” workshop from 9 until 4, location is same as conference venue (12th floor, Desmarais Building, 55 Laurier Avenue E.)


We have negotiated special rates for conference attendees at two venues:

University of Ottawa Housing

90U Residence
90 University, less than a five-minute walk to the conference venue
Two bedroom suites with double beds and kitchenette for $125 per suite per night
Rates apply until April 11, 2019

Lord Elgin Hotel

Lord Elgin Hotel
100 Elgin Street, less than 10 minute walk to the conference venue
Classic King, Classic Queen, Classic 2 Queen Beds: $239 for Single or Double
Rates apply until April 22

There are many other accommodation options in downtown Ottawa, including boutique hotels such as the Byward Blue Inn and ARC the Hotel, B&Bs such as Auberge McGee’s Inn and Auberge des Arts, and chain hotels such as Novotel, Days Inn, Fairmont and others. Airbnbs in Sandy Hill and the Byward Market area are closest, but Downtown and Centretown are also quite close. Even the Glebe neighborhood is only a 30- to 40-minute walk along the Rideau canal, and it will be a beautiful walk at the end of May.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Conference 2018 :: Congrès 2018 – Winnipeg, MB

Historic Fort Garry Hotel, venue for the ISC/SCI conference
Historic Fort Garry Hotel, venue for the ISC/SCI conference

Winnipeg, June 8 – 9, 2018

Fort Garry Hotel

Get into the flow and join us in Winnipeg for our 2018 conference.

  • Discover the best tips and techniques for your indexing practice
  • Explore new insights and ideas for your business and career
  • Meet and mingle with colleagues old and new

Winnipeg is an extraordinary city situated on the Canadian Prairie at the crossroads of ancient North American canoe routes. Consider lingering a while to experience the rich multicultural heritage, the prairie landscape, and illuminating attractions such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (“the world’s only museum that explores human rights as a concept and aspiration”) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (the largest collection of Inuit art in the world). Learn more about what to do while you are in Winnipeg.


View or download the conference program.


To help you plan your travel, here’s the schedule of activities:

  • Thursday, June 7: a pre-conference event, starting at 5:30
  • Friday, June 8: breakfast, sessions from 9 until 5, and banquet dinner at 6:30
  • Saturday, June 9: breakfast, sessions from 9 until 5, followed by a reception at the conference hotel
  • Sunday, June 10, 9:00 to 12:00: Workshop: “Indexing for Multiple Outputs” presented by Cheryl Landes, renowned speaker and owner of Tabby Cat Communications.

Donations and Sponsorships

Thank you to the following people and organizations who provided door prizes and equipment for our conference. You helped make it a success.

Conference Announcements

Conference 2017 :: Congrès 2017 – Montréal, QC

Reflect, refresh, and celebrate 40 years of indexing

We came to Montreal to learn from the experts, meet and chat with colleagues, and celebrate our 40th year—our Ruby Anniversary!

Considérez de nouvelles approches, renouvelez vos énergies et célébrez les 40 ans de la Société d’indexation

Nous sommes venir à Montréal pour apprendre des experts dans votre domaine, rencontrer vos collègues et célébrer le 40e anniversaire de la société.


Conference 2016 :: Congrès 2016 – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois, USA

June 17–18, 2016

The Indexing Conference for 2016 was an international event! The conference was jointly hosted by the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC/SCI) and the American Society for Indexing (ASI) in Carl Sandburg’s “City of the Big Shoulders,” Chicago.

The sessions were held at Conference Chicago University Center. You can find the program below.


Conference 2015 :: Congrès 2015 – Victoria, BC

The Business of Indexing: Doing it Right

Our 2015 annual conference will take place on 28 and 29 May at the Harbour Towers Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. Registration is open, see below.

L’Indexation côté affaires : les bonnes pratiques

Notre congrès annuel de 2015 se tiendra les 28 et 29 mai, à l’hôtel Harbour Towers à Victoria en Colombie-Britannique. Vous pouvez vous inscrire dès maintenant.

Registration is now closed.

Calling all lovers of books, chocolate, coffee and tea!

Schedule and rates :: Horaire et forfaits

Member rates:

$325 two day regular rate
$175 one day regular rate

Note: Member rates apply to members of other indexing societies, as well as to EAC/ACR and PEAVI members.


$375 two day rate
$200 one day rate


Conference schedule

Wednesday 27 May, 6 pm onwards

Please join us on Wednesday night for an informal dinner at Swans Brew Pub. Located in the heart of Old Town Victoria by Market Square, Swan’s is a landmark pub featuring an on-site brewery with award-winning beers and delicious meals in a heritage setting. We’ll be there at 6pm, so come for a drink or dinner or just to say hello.


Thursday 28 May, 8:45 am to 4:45 pm

Sylvia Coates: Keynote speech

Heather Ebbs and Thérèse Shere: Making Time: Work Wisely So You Can Play More

Annual General Meeting

Raymond Frogner: Building Houses of Memory: Rewriting Professional Standards

JoAnne Burek: Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness for Freelancers

Stephen Ullstrom with Mary Newberry: Cross-Border Indexing: Regulations and Considerations

Gillian Watts: Watching the Pennies: Finances for Freelancers

Friday 29 May, 9 am to 5 pm

Lucie Haskins: Jumping on the Embedded Indexing Bandwagon – Or Should I?

Sylvia Coates: The Business of Indexing – Indexing Efficiency, Speed, and Earnings

Alan Walker: Order and Chaos in Indexing, Editing and Publishing

Kendra Millis: Marketing Your Indexing Business

Julie McClung and Rosalind Guldner: Ethical Indexing Practices: The Indexer as Intermediary

En français : Congrès SCI 2015_francais

ISC/SCI Banquet, Thursday 28 May, 6:15 pm

The ISC Banquet will be held in the Legislative Dining Room of the historic Parliament Buildings. Facing the Inner Harbour, the “People’s House” is one of the most beautiful and architecturally significant buildings in British Columbia. Banquet attendees will be able to view the art and interior of the building before proceeding to the Dining Room to enjoy a three-course meal. The Parliament Buildings are a 10-minute walk from the conference hotel. Hope to see you there!


Sessions details

Thursday May 28

Keynote (9-10 am)  Sylvia Coates, an indexer since 1989, developed and teaches the UC Berkeley Extension indexing course. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

10:15-11:45 am

Title  Making Time: Work Wisely So You Can Play More

Description  Are you happy with your effectiveness during the workday, or are you less efficient than you’d like to be? Are you bored, overwhelmed, scattered, or distracted? In this lively session we’ll talk about how to recognize and resolve focus and productivity problems. We’ll share practical tips, tools, and strategies for making the most of your working hours and creating more time for all the other things in your life.

Presenters  Heather Ebbs has been indexing, editing and writing for more than 30 years. She is a past president of ISC/SCI, the Editors’ Association of Canada and her local curling club.

Thérèse Shere has more than 500 indexes to her credit, as well as several articles and presentations on indexing. She likes to spend non-work time botanizing and playing with her new grandson.

12:45-1:45 pm  Annual General Meeting

2-3 pm

Title  Building Houses of Memory: Rewriting Professional Standards

Description  Archives safeguard and present material that reminds us of our identities: the memories and traditions that combine to create our collective history. Establishing access points to these unique, interrelated records is important to building the collective memory of our society. Digital documents, multicultural societies, distributed and localized governance — the changes in modern society must be reflected in the standards used to arrange and describe our cultural records of enduring value. This talk looks at some examples of how the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) is meeting these challenges.

Presenter  Raymond Frogner is an archivist at BC Archives. M.A. University of Victoria; MAS University of British Columbia; University of Alberta Archivist (10 years); RBCM Archivist 3 years. Executive Canadian Council of Archives. Winner Kaye Lamb Prize, 2011; Alan D. Ridge Award, 2011 (archival awards).

3:15-3:45 pm

Title  Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness for Freelancers

Description  No business is immune to disasters, and businesses that depend on information technology are particularly vulnerable because of the wide range of problems that can affect them. A disaster or other adverse incident can lead to financial losses and a diminished reputation. Freelance indexers should be concerned about these same things. We will learn the framework that organizations use to assess and reduce their exposure to risk, and apply these principles to the life of freelance work.

Presenter  JoAnne Burek is a new indexer specializing in business and general non-fiction. She recently retired from the information technology industry after 36 years.

3:45-4:15 pm

Title  Cross-Border Indexing: Regulations and Considerations

Description  Canada can sometimes seem like a small pond, unable to provide enough work to sustain full-time indexing. One solution is to look for clients in other countries. But how do we report foreign income on our Canadian tax returns? What are our tax responsibilities in these other countries? How do we deal with overseas payment and exchange rates? These and other pertinent questions will be considered.

Presenter  Stephen Ullstrom has been indexing for four years. In 2014 he won the Purple Pen Award for best new indexer. He currently lives in Edmonton.

4:15-4:45 pm

Title  Watching the Pennies: Finances for Freelancers

Description  This session offers financial tips for indexers who are self-employed, and will be especially valuable for those who are new to freelancing. It stresses the importance of having a financial plan for your business and then watching the bottom line. The focus will be on keeping track of your business’s income and expenses, including invoicing, paying the bills, basic bookkeeping, banking, and tax considerations.

Presenter  Gillian Watts has been a freelance editor and indexer for 18 years and treasurer of several organizations, including ISC/SCI, for even longer.


Friday May 29

9-10:30 am

Title  Jumping on the Embedded Indexing Bandwagon – Or Should I?

Description  What is embedded indexing? What’s the big deal? How is it different from back-of-the-book indexing? Why should I bother with it? Will I be left behind if I don’t? What work is there for embedded indexers? How much will it cost and how much time will it take for me to learn? This session addresses all these questions and more.

Presenter  Lucie Haskins became an indexer in 2000 after a long career in corporate America and specializes in embedded indexing and in computer- and business related topics.

10:45-11:45 am

Title  The Business of Indexing – Indexing Efficiency, Speed, and Earnings

Description  A successful indexing business requires both good indexing skills and excellent business skills. This presentation will include a general overview of the business aspects of indexing, including professional development, business decisions, and client relationships, but the primary emphasis of the discussion will be on indexing speed. Specific indexing techniques designed to increase efficiency and speed, without sacrificing quality, will be discussed and then practised with a series of hands-on exercises.

Presenter  Sylvia Coates, an indexer since 1989, developed and teaches the UC Berkeley Extension indexing course. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

12:45-1:45 pm

Title  Order and Chaos in Indexing, Editing and Publishing

Description  This session looks at the responses of indexers, editors, and publishers to the challenges of information management during the scientific revolution of the 17th century, making a comparison with our own responses to the current, digital information revolution.

Presenter  Alan Walker is a former President, a three-times Medal winner, and an Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers.

2-3:30 pm

Title  Marketing Your Indexing Business

Description  The main focus of this presentation is how to develop a marketing plan and marketing materials. Topics will include branding, methods, formats, introductory letters, and follow-ups. Attendees will leave with ideas about what their marketing materials will look like, a list of the materials they plan to use, and ideas for how to put it all together. We will also touch on ongoing marketing throughout your career.

Presenter  Kendra Millis, who lives in Maine, has been indexing full-time since 2008, and has expanded her services to include copyediting, proofreading, and project management.

3:45-4:45 pm

Title  Ethical Indexing Practices: The Indexer as Intermediary

Description  As intermediaries for the text, indexers make decisions about how to accurately reflect source information for future retrieval. An awareness of ethical practices in indexing both serves index users and enhances professional credibility. This session will examine content that challenges indexers: multi-authored works, personal bias, differing points of view, disorganized or poorly presented text, and the power of indexers to distort or censor information, with examples drawn from the indexing of political debates.

Presenters  Julie McClung and Rosalind Guldner are experienced indexers of political debates at the British Columbia and Ontario Legislative Assemblies.


Conference 2013 :: Congrès 2013 – Halifax, NS

Mapping Between the Lines: Annual Conference 2013

Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 7 and 8

The 2013 conference was a joint event, held with the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC). The conference was June 7 to 9, with indexing-focused sessions on June 7 and 8. Nancy Mulvany, author of Indexing Books, referred to as the “gold-standard” for back of the book indexing, was the indexers’ keynote speaker. Ms Mulvany opened the sessions on June 7, 2013.

The centre of Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the Lord Nelson Hotel was the venue for this conference.

Cartes entre les lignes : congrès annuel de 2013

À Halifax en Nouvelle-Écosse les 7 et 8 juin

Le congrès annuel de 2013 a été tenu conjointement avec celui de l’Association canadienne des réviseurs (ACR). Le congrès s’est étendu du 7 au 9 juin et les présentations sur l’indexation ont eu lieu les 7 et 8. Nancy Mulvany, l’auteure de Indexing Books, l’étalon de référence en ce qui a trait à l’indexation de livres, était la conférencière d’ouverture le 7 juin 2013.

Le congrès s’est tenu au cœur d’Halifax, à l’hôtel Lord Nelson.

Friday 7 June / Vendredi 7 juin

9:00 – 9:45: Keynote Nancy Mulvany – The Repurposed Book Index and Indexer

10:00 – 11:00: Pilar Wyman – Metadata, Marketing, and More: Indexes as Discovery Tools

11:15 – 12:15: Louise Spiteri – User-Generated Metadata: Boon or Bust for Indexing and Controlled Vocabularies?

1:00 – 2:00: ISC/SCI AGM

2:15 – 3:15: Caroline Diepeveen – The EJIW Team Indexing Experience: Is Team Indexing the Way Forward?

3:30 – 4:30: Indexing Software Innovations: Frances Lennie, Cindex; Gale Rhoades, Macrex; Kamm Schreiner, Sky; and Harry Bego, TExtract

7:30 – 10:00: ISC/SCI Banquet at Dalhousie University Club

Saturday 8 June / Samedi 8 juin

9:00 – 9:45: EAC Keynote

10:00 – 11:00: Elaine Ménard – Image Indexing: TIIARA, a Bilingual Taxonomy to the Rescue!

11:15 – 12:15: Marnie Lamb – Indexing a Memoir: Michael Bryant’s 28 Seconds, with Mary Newberry, Margaret de Boer and Marjorie Simmins panel discussion

1:15 – 2:15: David K. Ream – A Walk through the EPUB3 Indexes Specification, with contributions from Ronnie Seagren

2:15 – 2:30: ISC/SCI Closing Plenary