Posts Tagged ‘American Society for Indexing’

Textbook Indexing

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Leoni McVey led a session, “To Textbooks, with Love,” on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the American Society for Indexing/Indexing Society of Canada Annual Conference in Chicago.  She discussed the process of elementary to high school and college textbook indexing, and some ways in which textbooks differ from other types of book indexing.  These books are well-organized, she said, with key terms in bold face.

She gave a handout listing “callouts”:  illustration (i), box (b), map (m), document (d), visual (v), chart/graph (c), table (t), and figure (f).  Callouts may be abbreviated or spelled out partially, and may or may not be italics.

Indexable and nonindexable book sections include the following: book preface and introduction: indexable.  Chapter introduction: indexable.  Timelines and chronologies: indexable.  Activities: nonindexable.  Case studies: depends, not if fictional.  Key term lists: indexable.  Review questions: indexable.  Bibliographies: nonindexable.  Glossaries: can be.  Glindex (combined glossary and index): questionable.

She said she compiles two indexes for a teacher edition and a student edition.   She indexes them separately, and then they are merged together, with ‘T’ noting Teacher Edition and ‘SN’ noting Student Notebook.

For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

 

Introduction to Taxonomies and Thesauri

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Heather Hedden, Senior Vocabulary Editor, Indexing and Vocabulary Services for Gale/Cengage Learning led a session on “An Introduction to Taxonomies and Thesauri” on Friday, June 17, 2016 at the American Society for Indexing/Indexing Society of Canada Annual Conference in Chicago.  Taxonomies and thesauri are types of controlled vocabularies that include an authoritative, restricted list of terms (words or phrases) mainly used for indexing/tagging content to support retrieval.  They usually make use of equivalent non-preferred terms (synonyms, etc.) to point to the correct, preferred terms, and may or may not have structured relationships between terms.

Taxonomy

A taxonomy is a controlled vocabulary with broader/narrower (parent/child) term relationships that include all terms to create a hierarchical structure.

  • With focus for categorizing and organizing concepts
  • May or may not have equivalent non-preferred terms (synonyms, etc.) to point to the correct, preferred terms
  • May comprise several hierarchies or facets (A facet can be considered a hierarchy.)

A taxonomy is any kind of controlled vocabulary in an enterprise, corporate setting, content management system, or for website navigation (e.g. e-commerce site).

Thesaurus

A thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary that has standard structured relationships between terms.

  • Hierarchical: broader term/narrower term (BT/NT)
  • Associative: related terms (RT)
  • Equivalence: preferred term (“use for” or “used for”)/non-preferred term (use) (USE/UF)

Also supports notes, such as scope notes (SN), for terms, as needed.

A thesaurus is most often the kind of controlled vocabulary used in indexing periodical literature.  It is also used for literature retrieval databases.  It is used by librarians, indexers, or other information professionals.  It includes non-preferred terms.

Benefits

The benefits of taxonomies/controlled vocabularies are that they bring together different wordings (synonyms) for the same concept.  They help people search for information by different names.  By classification, they help organize information into a logical structure.  They help people browse or navigate for information.

In future blog postings I will discuss other sessions from the American Society for Indexing Annual Conference in Chicago.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

The Future of Publishing

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Dominique Raccah, founder and CEO of Sourcebooks, gave the keynote speech on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the American Society for Indexing/Indexing Society of Canada annual conference in Chicago.  Ms. Raccah spoke about the current transformation of media and where publishing is situated within that changing world.  She gave an optimistic prediction for the future of print publishing.  She described the evolution of innovation at Sourcebooks, which was founded in 1987, and which publishes non-fiction, including self-help books, and fiction, including young adult and children’s books.  Sourcebooks publishes 400+ titles a year, and 80+ national and international bestsellers a year.  It has experienced 200% growth.

Put Me In The Story is a series of personalized books that add real value for customers by adding their names to well-known children’s stories.  The individualized book has the child’s name on the cover and throughout the book.  It mixes content, creativity, and technology, she said.  The publisher uses proprietary technology with a book builder engine.

The Put Me In The Story books are the number one personalized books in America, she said.  This website has gotten three million visitors.  Not only are these books a transformative source of revenue growth for Sourcebooks, but the books add to the author’s revenue stream.

To build on this success, Sourcebooks may next publish custom books, such as Simple Truths, which are motivational books.  These books could be branded with your name and/or business logo.  Sourcebooks is also experimenting with augmented reality (AR) books, which expand and enhance the experience of reading.  Sourcebooks innovates with mixed media publishing, such as the Poetry Speaks books combining audio and text, which create an interactive experience for children.   The Shakesperience is an interactive product which includes audio and video to enhance the understanding of Shakespeare’s plays.

In creating a successful publishing market, she stressed the importance of focusing on the customer.  What are customers trying to do?  Innovation is iterative, she said.  Find a viable model and scale, she added.  Build on your success, she concluded.

In future blog postings I will discuss other sessions from the American Society for Indexing Conference.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

ASI & ISC 2016 Conference in Chicago

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The joint American Society for Indexing – Indexing Society of Canada annual conference was held June 16 through 18 in Chicago, Illinois at the Conference Chicago at University Center, which I attended.  The keynote speaker on June 17th was Larry Sweazy, indexer and award-winning author of mystery novels, including See Also Murder, who spoke about the writing and indexing life.  The main character in this novel, a murder mystery, is Marjorie Trumaine, an indexer who lives in the 1960s in North Dakota.  He said he chose this time period so that she would use index cards.

The second book in this series is See Also Deception.  He has also written six Texas Ranger novels.  He started writing love poems when he was young, then had short stories published.

In addition to writing novels, he works on 30 to 40 indexes a year.

He said he does not outline his novels.  He said when he starts a novel, he does not know who the killer is.  He writes to find out.  He calls himself a “pants-er,” one who flies by the seat of his pants.  In indexing as well, he jumps right in and starts on the first page, and does not preread or mark up the pages.

He said writing mysteries is like indexing, because you turn chaos into order.  The bad guy gets what he deserves, he said.

He maintains consistency in his characters, and said he knows their education and family tree.  He said he knows what’s in the character’s wallet.

He keeps a strict schedule, working on a certain number of pages of a novel a day and then indexing for the rest of the day, perhaps 75 pages of a book.

In future blog postings, I will discuss other sessions from the ASI & ISC Conference in Chicago.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

 

Newsletter Article Feature

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Meet a Fellow Indexer: Lisa Ryan

The author of this blog, Lisa Ryan, was featured in the Spring 2015 Heartland Chapter Newsletter of the American Society for Indexing (ASI).  The link to the article is below.  “When Lisa isn’t indexing and abstracting books, she’s writing them,” the article says.  “I have written two young adult novels and three screenplays, and I am working to get these published or produced.”  The article gives her background as a journalist before changing careers to library science.  Her biggest influence, she says, was her mother, who was a middle school librarian before retiring.

She earned her Master of Science in Library Science Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She worked as an Indexer/Abstracter for the National Association of Home Builders, then as an Indexer for the U.S. Department of Transportation, both in Washington, D.C.  She founded and developed Stellar Searches LLC in 2007, focusing on research and online searches and then expanded into indexing and abstracting.  She joined ASI shortly thereafter.

Lisa focuses on back-of-the-book, periodical, newspaper, and database indexing and her specialties include science and technology, social science, education, and scholarly works, but she is open to indexing and abstracting a variety of topics.

Read more about Lisa Ryan in the article by Roseann Biederman, “Meet a Fellow Indexer: Lisa Ryan.” Heartland Chapter Newsletter of the American Society for Indexing. Spring 2015. http://www.heartlandindexers.org/meet-lisa-ryan.html

For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

 

Digital Trends Task Force Update

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

During the annual conference for the American Society for Indexing (ASI), held in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, April 19, 2013, a Digital Trends Task Force (DTTF) Update was given as part of the Plenary Session.  The co-chairs are David Ream and Jan Wright.

The mission of the ASI DTTF is to gather information about changes in digital publishing practices as they affect indexes.  Also, members of the DTTF strive to interface with leading digital publishing companies, e-Reader hardware and software suppliers, standards developers, and industry partners to find solutions to ensure inclusion of usable indexes in nonfiction digital book formats and e-books.  Another mission of the DTTF is to inform ASI members regarding digital trands in a timely manner so that indexers can prepare for and participate in technology-driven and process changes.

Members of the DTTF have been working to develop EPUB 3 Indexing Standards, as covered in the last blog posting.  Noting that functionality for indexes for e-Books was broken, members of the DTTF worked with leading software developers such as Adobe in digital publishing.  The next version of Adobe InDesign, Creative Cloud, currently available by subscription, will offer embedded linked indexes for e-Books.

The DTTF used four keywords to describe the approach to the development of e-Book indexes: monetization, discovery, navigation, and metadata or aboutness.

Future blog postings will cover other sessions at the ASI conference.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

Indexing in the Age of e-Books

Monday, May 6th, 2013

A Plenary Session, held on Thursday, April 18th at the Hotel Contessa during the annual conference for the American Society for Indexing focused on “Indexing in the Age of e-Books.”  Joshua Tallent, chief e-Book Architect for Firebrand Technologies, gave the presentation.

“Indexes are at a crossroads,” he said. “The worst thing you can do is keep on doing the same thing.  The time is ripe for change, and you are uniquely suited for the challenges ahead.”

As an e-Book Architect, Tallent has developed indexes for e-Books.

He explained how embedded indexes work, describing their HTML structure.  This moves in only one direction, however.  Eventually, we will get to the point where linking does not just move in one direction.

He described EPUB 3 Indexing Specifications, which are gaining prominence.  These are the indexing standards which give the specifications that govern the indexes for e-Books.

He said that that there is no good e-Book development software currently available.  “InDesign ePub export is broken. Word HTML export is broken,” he said.

The index needs to be linked deeper than the page level, to the paragraph.  With InDesign, it is possible to create ID’s for every page by numbering every paragraph in the book.  It is hard to link the index to the exact spot and requires lots of manual labor.  This cannot be completely automated, he said.

He concluded by saying that print books are not dead.  Publishers are selling more print books than e-Books.  There is a lack of support for the functionality of indexes in e-Books.

Other workshops held during the American Society for Indexing Conference will be highlighted in future blog postings.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com

 

American Society for Indexing Conference

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

I recently attended the annual conference for the American Society for Indexing (ASI) in San Antonio, Texas.  Held at the Hotel Contessa on the San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk, the keynote address was given on Thursday, April 18th by Judith Pascoe, Professor at the University of Iowa and author of “My Last Index.”  Prof. Pascoe gave an entertaining and humorous speech that detailed “The Secret Lives of Indexers.”  She explored index cards, indexing villainy, indexing artistry, and indexing in Barbara Pym novels.

Prof. Pascoe started out by giving historical background on indexing, in which indexers would index on index cards.  Indexers would write one subject heading on each index card and then sort them alphabetically.

“The index card is a symbol of the neat orderly work that indexers carry out in a world that is neat and opaque,” she said.

Describing the conventional stereotype of an indexer, she pointed out the main character in Barbara Pym’s novel, No Fond Return of Love.  She quoted passages from the novel in giving a picture of the secret life of this indexer.

She eluded to the theme of the ASI annual conference, “The Art and Craft of Indexing,” in portraying indexing as an art and a craft.  More than a technical endeavor, indexing is crafting an artistic work, she emphasized.

“Indexing is a door opening into a new world like Dorothy stepping forth into Oz,” she concluded.

Future blog postings will cover other workshop sessions at the ASI annual conference.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website, http://www.stellarsearches.com