THURSDAY 19 October
8.30 – 8.50am Registration
9.00 – 9.10am Welcome address by ANZSI President – Madeleine Davis
9.15 – 9.50am Keynote speaker – To be Continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database – Professor Katherine Bode (ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences/ARC Future Fellow)
The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database is a major Australian bibliographical and indexing project that has been ongoing since 2013. It offers infrastructure for Australian literary history that is linked to the National Library of Australia’s Trove database, and includes a crowdsourcing function. Professor Bode’s presentation will overview the investigation and indexing of newspaper fiction and some of the literary historical findings this work has enabled.
10.00 – 10.20am Morning Tea
10.25 – 11.10am Making connections via linked data – Pru Mitchell (Australian Council for Educational Research)
As indexers our primary goal is to lead people to the content they are seeking. When we are successful, we can also entice them to journey further by signposting related material they may not have known was available. This presentation provides an overview of linked data and its contribution to that signposting and enriched user experience.
In 2007, at my first ANZSI conference, a colleague and I presented about the state of Australian education vocabularies. That paper finished with a challenge to create a future that combined the best of three approaches to indexing, namely: automation + professional human indexing + social tagging. In 2023, faced with today’s tools, how are we realising that challenge?
The session will focus on Wikidata as the pre-eminent source of global, multilingual linked data, and take participants on a journey into the concepts that underpin Wikidata of most relevance to indexers.
11.15 –12.00pm Panel Session – Indexers who are also editors: what are the challenges? Chair: Karen Gillen. Panel members: Kerryn Burgess, Juliet Richters, Tracy Harwood
12.00 – 12.55pm Lunch
‘Meet and Greet’ for new indexers
1.00 – 1.45pm Evaluating your own index – Sherrey Quinn
The paper briefly outlines standard criteria for evaluating indexes, including ANZSI Accreditation criteria. Techniques for checking an index before submission will be suggested. The focus will be on helping indexers to evaluate their own indexes so they can submit the best possible product for publication, or for Accreditation or the ANZSI Medal. Participants will be encouraged to participate in discussion, via practical examples shared by the presenter. The intent of this paper is not to focus on poor practice, but to encourage reflective practice and on-going improvement, thus furthering ANZSI’s aims of improving the quality of indexing and promoting the training and continuing professional development of indexers.
1.50 – 2.35pm Mondeca for thesaurus, ontology and auto tagging management – Glenda Browne
Mondeca is a thesaurus and ontology management package that we are using to manage content delivery and to enhance search results on a health statistics website. The thesaurus includes synonyms and hierarchical relationships that describe the terminology of the project separately from the content. Sophisticated linguistic tools and autotagging workflows are used to tag all of our content, with manual review. With the ontology function we can expand the standard thesaurus relationships with triples that are relevant to our population health focus. For example, we use a triple saying ‘is a risk factor for’ rather than just saying ‘is related to’. The automatically created metadata is then used to extract and display content on the topic pages and location pages on our website. While much indexing is a fairly solitary activity, thesaurus and ontology work places the indexer as a key player along with content managers and software developers in a much larger team.
2.40 – 3.05pm Afternoon Tea
3.10 – 3.55pm Indexing Conundrums – Max McMaster
This session will deal with a number of those ‘what do I do now dilemmas’ which plague all of us as indexers. The session will be deliberately interactive and designed to stretch the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the participants, bearing of course the audience for the given index in mind. Some of the examples will cover filing, so brush up on your indexing filing rules before the session.
4.00 – 4.45pm ANZSI Medal presentation and ANZSI Annual General Meeting
FRIDAY 20 October
8.30 – 8.50am Registration
9.00 – 9.30am Keynote speaker – Connecting with my frenemy: ChatGPT – Emily Halloran (Plain English Foundation)
This presentation highlights why we still need human information professionals in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). It draws on research about editing and AI, but the findings apply to indexers as well. The main findings suggest that:
- AI tools may struggle to help indexers working on texts structured in novel ways.
- AI tools may not generate accurate abstracts, summaries or overviews.
- Humans are better at organising information in a way that’s easy and quick to access.
- AI tools don’t always understand how nuanced language is.
- Humans are more thorough and consistent than AI tools.
But where do these findings leave us? We should use AI platforms like ChatGPT where appropriate, connecting with them as tools rather than rivals. And we should continue to monitor developments and consider the implications, good and bad, for indexers and beyond.
9.30 – 10.00am Morning Tea
10.00 – 10.45am E-book Indexes. More Than Meets the Eye – Mary Coe
Readers expect more from e-book indexes than just hyperlinked locators. In this session, Mary will take you into the mind’s eye of the reader as she explains her research on how people find information in e-books. She will share her recommendations for making e-book indexes better and suggest ways that you can advocate for the inclusion of indexes in e-books.
10.50 – 11.35am Authors as Indexers – Lisa Fedorak
Many scholarly presses tell their authors that they, the authors are the best person to index their book while many indexers advocate that they, as a pair of ‘fresh eyes’, are the best people to take on indexing due to their training and objectivity. Following up on exploratory quantitative research done in the early 1990’s on author made vs non-author made indexes, Lisa Fedorak surveyed and interviewed scholarly authors who crafted their own indexes. In this session she will present her findings from a qualitative perspective on why these authors undertook the indexing, how they tackled the task, their overall satisfaction or enjoyment of the process and an analysis of index quality in relation to the reasons given for indexing or the response to the indexing process.
11.40 – 1.00pm Lunch
Roundtable on Sky index tips & tricks – Sherrey Quinn
Roundtable on Cindex index tips & tricks – Mary Coe
Round-table sessions for Sky and Cindex Index users are not envisioned as training sessions, just as an informal discussion session during lunch with questions and answers, exchange of tips and so on.
1.00 – 1.45pm Silk purse or sow’s ear: can an index be created by the publisher from an indexer-supplied list of terms? – Sherrey Quinn
Some publishers employ a process of index creation in which they request a list of key terms from the author or an indexer at an early proof stage, subsequently adding page numbers to each term after final proofs are ready. Many indexers are sceptical of the utility of such an ‘index’, and the paper reviews comments in the literature on this topic. The author of the paper contributed to an ‘index’ created in this way, being curious about the process and the result. The paper outlines her experience with the process, noting pitfalls and positives, with comments on the outcome and its value.
1.50 – 2.35pm Collaborative think tanks: indexing and sharing – Glenda Browne
For this mid afternoon session we are asking you to read, markup (if that is your thing) and index a short 10 page report, ‘The Hunters and Collectors’: https://australiainstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/P598-Hunters-and-collectors-Web.pdf. Index the 10-page document, available from the link above, as if it was part of a larger document. Allow up to 50 locators or 40 lines. Don’t index the preliminary material (before page 1) but do index the Introduction and Conclusion. During the session we will join forces to share and discuss are approaches to indexing.
2.40 – 3.15pm Afternoon Tea
3.15 – 4.00pm Wikithon – updating Wikipedia – Mary Coe
Join us for a “Wikithon” to create and edit Wikipedia content related to indexing. No experience with Wikipedia editing necessary, just bring your knowledge and experience of indexing. We will start with an overview of the purpose and format of Wikipedia pages, an explanation of the editing process, and a quick review of existing pages related to indexing. Then we will break into groups to work on existing content or generate new pages.
Online access is not necessary, we welcome your contributions in discussion or on paper during the event. However, you are welcome to bring a laptop if you would like to dive into Wikipedia editing in real time during the session (please create a Wikipedia account before you arrive, if you don’t already have one).
4.05 –4.20pm Closing address by Conference Chair – Sharon Betridge
7.00pm Conference Dinner – Magpies Nest Restaurant, Wagga Wagga
Saturday 21 October
Introduction to back-of-book indexing Workshop – Glenda Browne (one day)
Unfortunately, due to insufficient numbers, ‘Introduction to back-of-book indexing Workshop’ won’t be running as a follow-up to the conference. For information on online indexing courses, see https://www.anzsi.org/about-indexing/online-courses/
Advanced (refresher) indexing Workshop Max McMaster (half day)
For participants who have forgotten some of their basic indexing skills this workshop will cover the essentials. It will also cover some more advanced indexing techniques to enhance their indexing knowledge. This workshop is not suitable for new indexers. Participants will be supplied with an electronic workbook prior to the course, accessible from a secure area on the ANZSI website. They can either download the workbook onto their laptop or print the workbook out. For any queries or further information contact Max: firstname.lastname@example.org
The workshop includes morning tea.
To be Continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database – Professor Katherine Bode (ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences/ARC Future Fellow)
Professor Bode completed a PhD in English at the University of Queensland in 2006, and held an ARC-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2007–10) at the University of Sydney and a lectureship in English at the University of Tasmania.
Appointed to the ANU’s Centre for Digital Humanities Research in 2011, Professor Bode headed the Centre from 2011 to 2013. In 2013 she was awarded an ARC-funded Discovery Project to explore Australian and international fiction in digitised 19th-century Australian newspapers (2013–16), and in 2016 moved to a continuing appointment in ANU’s School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics. She began an ARC-funded Future Fellowship in 2018, exploring the relationship between computing and reading. She has subsequently received other ARC grants, including a Special Research Initiative, in 2020, to continue her exploration of fiction in digitized Australian newspapers, this time in 20th century newspapers, and a Discovery Grant in 2023, to explore Irishness in Australian literature.
From 2013 to 2016 Professor Bode was funded by an ARC Discovery Project for ‘To be continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database’, which explored fiction in historical Australian newspapers. That project has received subsequent funding, from ANU and ARC schemes, to expand its data collection and improve its infrastructure, including its crowdsourcing facilities. Today, it lists over 50,000 publications of novels, novellas and short stories, by Australian and international authors, in digitised Australian newspapers. Exploring their circulation and contents provides new insights into how literature travelled globally in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the consequences of this movement for literary, reading, and cultural history. This project also motivated a reconsideration of the relationship of literary history to the archive in this age of digital remediation.
Making connections via linked data – Pru Mitchell (Australian Council for Educational Research)
Pru is an education librarian with diverse experience across the education sector, including managing national online education and metadata projects. She leads ACER’s Cunningham Library team which is responsible for production of key research databases including the Australian Education Index. Her research interests centre on metadata and vocabularies. Pru is an adjunct lecturer in the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University and an active member of Wikimedia Australia.
Evaluating your own index – Sherrey Quinn
Silk purse or sow’s ear. Can an index be created by the publisher from an indexer-supplied list of terms? Sherrey Quinn
Sherrey Quinn ( BA, DipLib, FALIA, ALIA CP, ANZSI Accredited Indexer, Certificate IV in Training & Assessment) is a partner in Libraries Alive!, the specialist library and information consulting company established in 1997 and based in Canberra. Sherrey works on information management projects, including indexing projects (back-of-book, journal and database indexing), controlled vocabularies, and a broad range of library-related projects including planning, reviews, training, system evaluation and implementation.
Sherrey has been an Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI) Accredited Indexer since 1992. Sherrey is the ANZSI Secretary and currently serves as Chair of the ANZSI Accreditation Committee. She has won the ANZSI John Simkin Medal and has received two ANZSI Highly Commended certificates for her indexes.
Prior to establishing her own company, Sherrey managed library and information services in government agencies and science and technology research organisations; during this time she managed or participated in numerous indexing projects. She began her career at the National Library of Australia.
Mondeca software for thesaurus, ontology and auto-tagging management – Glenda Browne
Collaborative think tanks: indexing and sharing – Glenda Browne
Glenda Browne has been a freelance indexer of books, journals and websites since 1988. She has taught short courses on indexing for ANZSI, Macleay College and UNSW. Glenda is co-author of Website indexing and The indexing companion, and author of The indexing companion workbook: book indexing. She has twice been Highly Commended in the ANZSI Indexing Medal awards and was the winner of the Ig Nobel Award for Literature for an article about indexing.
Glenda has held many roles in ANZSI including president, education officer and newsletter editor. She has also been the ANZSI representative for The Indexer, the IDPF EPUB Indexes Working Group and the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative. Further information available at www.webindexing.com.au.
Indexing Conundrums – Max McMaster
Advanced (refresher) indexing Workshop – Max McMaster
Max McMaster is a freelance book indexer, having compiled over 2800 indexes in a range of disciplines including the sciences, environment, business, cooking and travel, as well as for many government reports. He has been awarded the ANZSI Medal for book indexing on three occasions. Until last year he was an instructor for the University of California, Berkeley Extension indexing course, a role he held for 12 years. Full details available at. www.masterindexing.com
E-book Indexes. More Than Meets the Eye – Mary Coe
Wikithon – updating Wikipedia – Mary Coe
Dr Mary Coe has been indexing for 30 years, working in a wide range of subject areas and formats, including books. She was awarded a PhD by Charles Sturt University (CSU) in 2022 for her thesis on how readers make sense of active e-book indexes. Mary is an Adjunct Lecturer at CSU, Editor of The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing, and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI) and the Society of Indexers (SI).
Authors as Indexers – Lisa Fedorak
Lisa Fedorak indexes scholarly works in the humanities and social sciences with a focus on fine arts, social justice and business. Her formal education includes an MFA and as a former executive director and curator of non-profit arts organizations, Lisa brings her interdisciplinary art and business background to bear on her indexes.
A member of the Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI), Lisa has been actively involved in the Society as the Membership Secretary, BC Regional Representative, conference programmer or committee chair (2020-2023, and was an instigator in the resuscitation of the member’s rate survey. In 2021 she was awarded the Tamarack Award for her volunteer contributions.
Connecting with my frenemy: ChatGPT – Emily Halloran
Emily Halloran is a plain language editor for Plain English Foundation. Her master’s research focused on plain language and ignited her passion for clear communication. She uses plain language to remove barriers that prevent people from accessing vital information. Emily’s determined to take difficult documents and make them easier to understand. Her attention to detail and efficiency means clients such as New South Wales’s largest council receive plain language interventions that benefit upwards of 400,000 people. And Emily doesn’t just edit – she writes too. Her content for Plain English Foundation makes plain language accessible to the public, with useful and practical advice. Before becoming an editor, Emily worked as a high school French and English teacher.