~~ Indexing ~~

Ah yes … You mean a person does that? Many people assume that you can get a program to make an index. Or that you can simply use your search function to find specific words.

However, an indexer makes an index that points to the information that will be useful to the reader. A good index (done by a real person!) does two things that a computer can’t:

  • points the reader to concepts (not just the specific keyword)
  • omits passing mentions (that give no information to the reader)

This means that I will give the reader information on where to find discussions of a concept that might not actually use the specific word that is used in the index. For example, you might be looking for a discussion of the colour blue, so you look up blue in the index. I may have gathered page numbers of discussions of teal, turquoise, navy (where the word blue may not have arisen). In other instances, there may be mentions of blue that don’t really have any substantive information. The author may be discussing something and include a long list of colours, one of which is blue. If this doesn’t add to the information about the discussion of blue, I don’t put that page number in the index.

Indexing Society of Canada talks about what an indexer will bring to your project.

Projects

Cautiously Hopeful, Marie Carrière, forthcoming
Sport Media Vectors, Laurel Walzak, forthcoming
Grandma’s Cookies, Formac, 2020
More Powerful Together, Fernwood, 2020
Quality Agriculture, John Kempf, 2020
NOlympians, Fernwood, 2020
Hiding in Plain Sight, Fernwood, 2020
The Spatiality of the Hispanic Avant-Garde, Brill, 2020
Against the Current, MQUP, 2019
Shakespeare On Stage and Off, MQUP, 2019
When Poverty Mattered, Fernwood, 2019
Truth about Fraud, The Artful Editor, 2019
Good Governance in Economic Development, UBC Press, 2019
The Transcultural Streams of Canadian Chinese Identities, MQUP, 2019
Golf Favourites, Firefly, 2019
Pan American Silver, Paula Shackleton, 2019
Mental Fitness, Pat Thomas, 2019
Steeped in Blood, Frances Latchford, MQUP, 2019
Class Politics of Law
, Fernwood Publishing, 2019
Outside In, A Political Memoir
, Libby Davies, Between the Lines Books, 2019
Dis/Consent
, Fernwood Publishing, 2019
Iroquois in the West
, Jean Barman, MQUP, 2019
The Montreal Shtetl, Zelda Abramson, Between the Lines Books, 2019
On This Patch of Grass, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
Staying Alive While Living the Life, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
Canadian Justice, Indigenous Justice, McGill-Queens University Press, 2018
Bombardier Abroad, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
The Criminalization of Migration, Idil Atak and James C. Simeon, MQUP, 2018
From Suffragette to Homesteader, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
The Hands’ Measure, Inhabit Education, 2018
Basketball’s Greatest Stars, Firefly Books, 2018
The Universe Explained, Firefly Books, 2018
Racism and Anti-Racism in Canada, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
Pressing Interests, Phoebe Musandu, MQUP, 2018
Speculative Harvests, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
White Gloves Off, Second Story Press, 2018
Game Misconduct, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
Change a Life, Change your Own, Fernwood Publishing, 2018
Putting Trials on Trial, Elaine Craig, MQUP, 2017
Understanding Violence and Abuse, Fernwood Publishing, 2017
The Embodied Violinist, Gwen Thompson-Robinow, 2017
Rising Seas, Firefly Books, 2017
Agroecology, Fernwood Publishing, 2017
Mapping Geographies of Violence, Fernwood Publishing, 2017
Policing Black Lives, Robin Maynard, Fernwood Publishing, 2017
The Roots of Culture, The Power of Art, Monica Gattinger, MQUP, 2017
Common Sense and Legal Judgment, Patricia Cochran, MQUP, 2017
Look It Up, Pierre Pluye, MQUP, 2017
Thou Shalt Do No Murder, Inhabit Education, 2017
Critical Inquiries for Social Justice in Mental Health, Marina Morrow, UTP, 2017
Too Many People, Inhabit Education, 2017
Wash, Wear, and Care, Pat Armstrong, MQUP, 2017
Drone Nation, Erin Steuter, 2017
Screening Justice, Fernwood Publishing, 2016
About Canada: The Environment, Fernwood Publishing, 2016
Toronto Island Summers, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
No More Junk Food, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
Canada Since 1960, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
Gastro Blast, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
Outdoor Adventures, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, Volumes 4, 5, and 6, McGill-Queens University Press, 2015–2016
Rum, Blood and Treasure, Formac/Lorimer Publishing, 2016
Why Multimodal Literacy Matters, Rachel Heydon, 2016
Shapiro Indexing Services, various projects, 2015–2016
Strength of Conviction, Dundurn Press, 2015
Negotiating Water Governance, Alice Cohen, 2015
Loving Your Baby, Shari Morash, 2014
Second indexer for The Letterbooks of John Evelyn, edited by D. C. Chambers and D. Galbraith
Partial index for Survival Songs, text by Stephanie Sieburth, March 2014
Interviews for Harbord Village Residents’ Association, Oral History Project, 2013

“Alex produced an intuitive and comprehensive index for my book in jig time. She thoroughly anticipated even the odd or strange items I wanted indexed without my saying so. Upon reviewing the index, I found her work to be completely accurate, organized, and conceptually astute both categorically and in terms of relevant cross-references. I was genuinely thrilled with her work, have already referred her to other scholars who are nearing the end of their own books, and will most certainly enlist her services in the future. Thank you, Alex, for a great experience at the end of a journey for which an index is the final chapter! — Frances J. Latchford, Steeped in Blood: Adoption, Identity and the Meaning of Family

“Alex, you were a pleasure to work with and turned in an extremely detailed, thorough index. Thank you for being so communicative and for doing such a great job! — Jessie Hale, Inhabit Education

“Alex was great to deal with. Very professional, careful, and punctual. The index makes a strong contribution to our book. It goes into the right amount of detail for our book’s breadth and length, it covers authors, topics and public figures comprehensively and it also provides a sense of both contemporary and historical sources. We were very pleased with the way in which a reader can get a good sense of our book from the index alone. — Erin Steuter, Drone Nation

“To put it simply, I look at the indexes and see great minds at work on a great work. I’m grateful to everyone who was involved with the project and particularly to the thorough and thoughtful indexers who worked so hard and so quickly to help this report’s information reach as many people as possible.” — Ryan Van Huijstee, managing editor, MQUP (publisher, Truth and Reconciliation Reports)