Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers - who we are and what we do
There are some 230 members of ANZSI in Australia and New Zealand. Typically they are freelance indexers who also do editing, proofreading, and perhaps some library and allied work. The Society maintains a register of indexers with competence in a range of subject specialities whose services are available to editors, authors and publshers.
Indexers compile guides to the location of names, subjects and concepts in books and other publications, to allow readers to find quickly where an item is mentioned or discussed. An index comprises a series of entries, usually in alphabetical sequence, showing the page or section numbers to look up. The table of contents in the front of a publication indicates the structure of its contents; a good index provides an analysis of the information in it.
Besides indexes for the back of books, indexes are made for journals, databases, annual reports, newspapers, collections of pictures and images, websites and disks. Software packages are used to arrange, format and edit the entries in an index, but developing a good index for a publication is a creative process requiring human judgement.
Some examples of indexes are:
- Alphabetical entries at the back of a book directing readers to the pages to where names and subjects occur.
- A searchable list of key words which are taken from records in a database and which direct users to those records via a hyperlink system.
- An alphabetical listing of place names with the longitude and latitude figures of their location.
- A 'time-line' which directs users to the sections of a CD-ROM.
- An online help system in which various components of a program are linked to relevant help screens.
ANZSI conducts training courses in indexing, and run workshops, seminars and conferences.
ANZSI Council Survey
In 2007 ANZSI Council conducted a survey of members. Results were published in the ANZSI Newsletter, 2007;3(10):5-7.