ANZSI is the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers. We are the only professional body for indexers in these countries. We have a national Council, and various regional and interest groups.
Our members are typically 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 publishers.
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 introductory training sessions in indexing, and run workshops, seminars and conferences.
The aims of ANZSI are to:
- improve the quality of indexing in Australia and New Zealand
- promote the training, continuing professional development, status and interests of indexers in Australia and New Zealand
- provide opportunities for those interested in and connected with indexing to meet and exchange information and experiences relating to all aspects of indexing
- act as an advisory body on indexing to which authors, editors, publishers and others may apply for guidance
- establish and maintain relationships between the society and other bodies with related interests
- raise awareness of the value of indexers, indexing and indexes
- publish and disseminate information in accord with the foregoing aims.
Membership of the Society is open to people and institutions engaged in indexing, and to others interested in promoting the aims of the Society.
Continuing professional development
Continuing professional development depends on contact with other indexers, which the Society provides through its meetings, courses, workshops, biannual conference and newsletter. The Society’s membership list is available to members, in the Member Directory so informal contacts can be made — the Society encourages the formation of groups.
Current awareness is vital to indexers who need to keep abreast of new methods, new media and new technology. The Society provides a wide range of current awareness opportunities through its publications and meetings.
Services offered by both accredited indexers and by other trained and experienced indexers are actively promoted by the Society. Freelance members of the Society, in particular, can be put in touch with publishers and authors seeking indexers, especially members with special subject expertise. This is done through Indexers Available and the Member Directory.
Indexers Available is a listing compiled by the Society to help publishers and authors to find an indexer. The indexers listed are all members of the Society and all expect to be available to take commissions. It includes accredited indexers, and other indexers with training and/or experience.
Register of Accredited Indexers
Professional competence is recognised by admission to the Register of Accredited Indexers. Accreditation requires the fulfillment of certain conditions.
Fees for indexing are always open to negotiation. The Society publishes a recommended rate for freelance back-of-book indexers. Individual indexers are at liberty to charge above or below this rate as they deem appropriate.
Database indexing rates are more variable, and are usually charged on a per record basis, so rates will vary depending on the complexity of the indexing required.
Meetings are held periodically in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. They are fully reported in the Newsletter. See our Events section for more details.