In-house workshop: Indexing for editors

Understanding indexes and preparing them for publication

Have you thought of inviting a professional tutor-indexer into your company?

The Society of Indexers runs a half-day in-house workshop that you can fit into your busy schedule. The tutor-indexer will tailor the content of the workshop to your own editorial needs and/or those of your colleagues.

Please note that an online version of this workshop is also available, allowing you to work individually at your own pace.

Publisher feedback

Thank you for the workshop on indexing for our editors last month – it was very enthusiastically received by both new and experienced editors, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are a couple of sample comments from those who attended: “Fascinating insight into how indexers work – full of information that will directly impact how I go about briefing indexers and editing indexes when they come in-house”,  and “Great to see the indexing process from the indexers’ point of view, and learn more about the thinking and process behind creating them”. Our editors really enjoyed the workshops and activities, and feel much more confident now about commissioning and assessing indexes.  DK, April 2016

As an in-house editor

  • Do you know how to choose a good professional indexer?
  • Do you know how to brief a professional indexer?
  • Could you give guidance to the author and professional indexer about their respective responsibilities?
  • Do you know how to cost an index?
  • Would you know how to check whether an index is of an acceptable standard, and recognize a bad one?

Factors that will affect the indexer’s job

  • The quality of editing and overall structure of the publication
  • Realistic expectations from both author and editor
  • Adequate space for the index, to match the length and content of the book
  • Reasonable deadlines
  • Changes to the original schedule
  • Whether substantial changes are likely to be made, particularly when these involve random repagination

How will an indexing workshop help you?

The Society of Indexers’ in-house workshop, with practical exercises to help you understand the indexing process, can include the following topics:

Dealing with indexes

  • Commissioning an index – budget; deadline; space available; depth of coverage; disk or email format
  • Authors as indexers
  • BSI and ISO Standards and publishers’ house styles
  • How to assess an index
  • Indexer/editor relationships
  • Making changes to an existing index: revised editions — repaginate or start from scratch?

The basics of the indexing process: how professional indexers do it

  • Choosing what to include
  • Filing order
  • Arranging headings and subheadings
  • Cross-references
  • Page references
  • Proper names
  • Foreign terminology
  • Editing out the unnecessary detail – being clear, concise and consistent
  • Using dedicated indexing software

Further information

For more information and to book an in-house workshop, email [email protected] or contact the office:

The Society of Indexers
Woodbourn Business Centre,
10 Jessell Street
Sheffield S9 3HY

Tel: +44 (0)114 244 9561