ANZSI provides an Accreditation scheme for its members who are back-of-book style indexers. The scheme is a credentialling system for indexers who have gained some experience in indexing and have demonstrated competence when assessed against criteria based on standard indexing principles and practice. Accredited Indexers are entitled to use a special logo on their stationery, emails and websites.
Formerly known as ‘Registration’, ‘Accreditation’ was adopted as the new name for the process in 2012.
For ANZSI members, Accreditation:
- recognises the quality of an indexer’s work, based on an example assessed by a panel of experienced indexers, and
- acknowledges the professionalism of an indexer through its requirement that only published indexes are reviewed. Having an index published demonstrates the indexer’s ability to perform work under marketplace conditions, constraints and deadlines.
For authors, editors and publishers, Accreditation status indicates competence, measured against accepted indexing practice and agreed criteria.
Applicants for Accreditation are assessed on an index of their choice, by a panel chosen from the ANZSI Accreditation Committee. Each member of the panel assesses the index independently. Currently only back-of-book style indexing (including cumulative indexes to journal titles, or similar indexes) is assessed; however this policy does not preclude the granting of Accreditation for online or database indexers in future, when suitable criteria are developed.
Applications are assessed against criteria published in the ANZSI Accreditation Policy. The assessment process is anonymous – Panel members do not know who the applicant is, nor does the applicant know who is on the panel assigned to the assessment.
Note: The Society does not guarantee the quality of the entire body of an indexer’s work through the granting of Accreditation, nor can it be held responsible for examples of poor performance by an individual indexer.
Who should apply? How do I apply? What should be submitted?
The Accreditation Committee strongly suggests that an indexer should gain some experience and practice before submitting an application for Accreditation. Intending applicants should consult the Tips for achieving Accreditation and the Accreditation Policy before submitting an application.
There is an application fee; details are on the application form.
If you have questions, please contact Receiving Officer, Accreditation.
To apply for Accreditation:
- Complete an application form confirming current membership of ANZSI and supplying background details
- Select a book and its index, that in your (the applicant’s) opinion is a good example of your work, that demonstrates acceptable indexing practice, and conformity with indexing conventions and standards, and which satisfies these conditions:
- The index includes subjects and concepts as well as proper names, so that it provides examples of subject analysis in its presentation of headings and subheadings. That is, an index consisting entirely of names does not meet this criterion.
- The index is substantial in size, comprising a minimum of six pages, double column.
- The index is in a work published by a commercial, academic, scholarly or government publisher, or other organisation. Self-published indexes in any format (print, electronic, online etc) are not acceptable. Internet-published indexes mounted on an individual’s website (either that of the indexer or of any other personal website) are considered self-published and will not be considered, although internet-published indexes mounted on commercial or organisational sites are acceptable. Indexes published as part of the ANZSI mentoring series are considered training exercises and are not acceptable.
- Digital indexes will be considered (for example if published in parallel with a printed index, or as an alternative to a printed edition, or if the item does not exist in any other format).
Provided the index satisfies these conditions, it does not matter what type of book is submitted – it does not have to be a long book with obscure or complex subject matter; indeed, assessors welcome shorter books with straightforward subject matter. However, annual reports are not recommended as candidates for submission because they do not necessarily give an indexer sufficient opportunity to demonstrate subject analysis, and it may be difficult for the indexer to demonstrate that the index is entirely their own work and not based on earlier editions indexed by others.
- Please also prepare an explanation of any conditions, requirements or constraints (imposed, say, by a publisher) that in your view significantly affected the compilation of the index submitted. These notes will be considered by the Panel in assessing the application. Please provide the explanation on a separate page attached to the application.
- At the time of application make a non-refundable payment of A$90 (Australian members) or NZ$90 (NZ members) to the Society to defray the handling and administrative costs of dealing with the application. This fee is reviewed regularly.
- Post the book, a separate copy of the index as published, the application form and any supporting notes to the Receiving Officer, Accreditation. All applications will be acknowledged.
Valuable or irreplaceable materials should not be submitted for assessment; although ANZSI treats all material with due care and respect it takes no responsibility for any loss or damage occurring in the postal system.
Each applicant receives notification of the results of the assessment, and a detailed report on the index, set out against the assessment criteria. Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply for Accreditation after six months from date of assessment of the previous application. Unsuccessful applications are not taken into consideration when assessing a new application.
The criteria for assessment are based on standard indexing practices and conventions. Members of the assessment panel look for evidence in the submitted index that the applicant understands and can apply these practices and conventions. Applicants can find the assessment criteria within the Accreditation Policy.
If some or all of the strategies suggested below are followed before applying for Accreditation, then chances of success are likely to be high:
- Learn the the basic principles and conventions of indexing:
- Attend training courses and professional development events.
- Consult the standard textbooks (you’ll need a core collection if you intend to work as a professional indexer).
- Practise, practise, practise! ANZSI may have suitable collaborative or volunteer projects in which you can participate.
- Apply after you have written several indexes, so that you’ve encountered some of the dilemmas of indexing and had opportunities to develop judgement and strategies to deal with them.
- Evaluate your index yourself, before you submit it, consulting the Accreditation criteria. Useful articles on how to evaluate an index are listed on the Resources page.
- Read indexes, especially the award-winning ones. ANZSI lists its Medal winning indexes and Highly Commended indexes. The other indexing societies list award winners on their websites too. Also, many indexes are now viewable on publisher websites.
- Network, go to ANZSI meetings, talk to other indexers.
- When you are new to indexing, find an approachable, knowledgeable colleague to be your mentor, with whom to discuss your indexes. If you don’t know anyone, enquire via the Newsletter or ask a colleague listed in Indexers Available.
‘Evaluating indexes: observations on ANZSI experience’, Sherrey Quinn, The Indexer, 2015, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 107–112
Indexing tips and traps; Practical approaches to improving indexes and achieving ANZSI Accreditation, by Sherrey Quinn. Paper presented at the ANZSI Conference, Wellington, 15 March 2013
‘Renewal of Accreditation [rescinded by Council]’, ANZSI Newsletter, 2013, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 2–3
‘Registered/Accredited Indexer’ nomenclature: information paper’, ANZSI Newsletter, 2012, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 6–7
‘Renewal of Registration: information paper’, ANZSI Newsletter, 2012, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 4–6
Registration process and procedures review and report, report to Council, 7 September 2010 (Council document 35/009, September 2010)