~~ 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 creates 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.

In addition to back-of-the-book indexing – for print, I create embedded indexes for ebooks. This means that instead of page numbers in the index, I produce something that is linked back to a place in the text where the word or concept is written about. I use Index Manager to create these indexes.

“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


Fragment, Image, and Absence, Penn State University, forthcoming
Youth without Representation
, André Stockemer, Michigan State University, forthcoming
From Charity to Change
, Hilary Pearson, MQUP, forthcoming
Red Mitten Nationalism,
Estée Fresco, MQUP, forthcoming
In Light of Rome
, Penn State University, 2022
Bombs and Barbed Wire,
Goose Lane Editions, 2022
Death in the Snow
, W. George Lovell, MQUP, forthcoming
Climate Change, Interrupted
, Barbara Leckie, forthcoming
Seven Democratic Values
, Penn State University Press, forthcoming
Kenya’s Engagement with China,
Anita Plummer, Michigan State University, 2022
Unravelling Research
, Fernwood Publishing, 2022
Leaving Home
, Andrew Saltarelli, K-Selected Books,    forthcoming
Ǫ da gaho dḛ:s
, Timothy Leduc, MQUP, 2022
Flora’s Fieldworkers, Ann Shteir, MQUP, 2022
Villain, Vermin, Icon, Kin, Stephanie Rutherford, MQUP, 2022
Late-Life Homelessness
, Amanda Grenier, MQUP, 2021
Fair Trade Handbook
, Fernwood, 2021
Grandma’s Breads
, Formac, 2021
L.M. Montgomery and Gender
, Laura Robinson and E. Holly Pike, MQUP, 2021
Fairtrade Handbook
, Fernwood Publishing, 2021
Soccer in Mind, Andrew Guest, 2021
Aleep in the Deep
, Goose Lane Editions, 2021
Nationalism, Secessionism, and Autonomy
, André Lecours, 2021
Clinical Research in Psychiatry
, Marina Altmann, 2021
Best East Coast Jams, Pickles, Reserves, and Breads,
Formac, 2021
Constitutional Politics
, André Lecours, MQUP, 2021
Change Through Time in Psychoanalysis
, Fitzpatrick Hanley, Routledge, 2021
, Stephen Kimber, GooseLane Editions, 2021
Dying in Good Hands
, Christine Sutherland, Brush Education, 2020
Who’s Coming Out to Play
, Claire Carter, MQUP, 2020
Canada Waste Flows, Myra Hird, MQUP, 2020
Animals as Legal Beings, Maneesha Deckha, UTP, 2020
Cautiously Hopeful, Marie Carrière, MQUP, 2020
Sport Media Vectors, Laurel Walzak, 2020
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
, 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, 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, MQUP,    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

“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)