Writing about Indexing
Articles in The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing
Gee M. (2023) Metatopic musings, Part 2. Metatopic conceptualisation and indexing strategies. The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing. 41(2): 141-155
How do book indexers construct headings for the metatopic – the main topic of the whole book, the overarching ‘thing’ it is about? Based on the author’s reflective diaries recording her indexing decisions, this article explores the different approaches to indexing the metatopic. Beginning with several ways in which simple metatopics may be approached, she moves on to consider multiple metatopics and multifaceted metatopics, using case examples from her own indexes to explore the strategies for indexing them. These are presented as an indexing toolkit resource for other indexers (early-career or otherwise) who need a little encouragement to leave their comfort zones.
Gee M. (2022) Metatopic musings, Part 1. UK and US practices compared. The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing. 40(4): 259-275
How to index the metatopic of a book (the main 'thing' that the book is about) gives even experienced indexers pause for thought from time to time. There is a perception amongst book indexers that practices in the UK and the USA differ. This article reports the results of a small survey study comparing metatopic indexing practices. The results suggest that there are in fact differences between how UK and US indexers handle the metatopic. However, it is unclear why these differences exist; they may stem from how indexers are trained or how they network with each other. A subsequent article will explore the different approaches to indexing the metatopic in further detail.
Gee M. (2021) Indexes compared: reflections on the benefits of peer review
exercises. The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing. 39(3): 231-244
Book indexers are finding ways to engage in peer review exercises, which mainly involve a group of indexers preparing their own indexes for the same text and then comparing them. They are doing this both online and in person, using discussion forums, tutorials and locally run groups. Melanie Gee reports on the peer review exercises organized by the UK Society of Indexers. She concludes that peer exercises not only build skills but also provide social connections for otherwise solitary professional indexers.
Articles in Sidelights: Newsletter of the Society of Indexers
January 2024 – Working with pre-press suppliers: indexers share their experiences
I report the results of a survey of members of the Society of Indexers about their experiences of working with different pre-press suppliers.
July 2022 – Running Zoom discussions: words of encouragement
I have organized several Zoom meetings for indexers to discuss indexing matters, and wrote a short piece encouraging others to do likewise for their (and others’) professional development.
January 2022 – Reflections on a year of reflective writing: Melanie Gee weighs good and bad work
I kept a reflective log of all my indexing work during 2021 and here I reflect on what I found, including an insight into what – for me – represented ‘good work’ and ‘bad work’.
July 2018 - Let’s compare notes: Caroline Diepeveen is experienced at embedded indexing in Word, Melanie Gee has just embarked upon it
I co-wrote this article with Caroline Diepeveen very soon after I started indexing full-time. We shared our perspectives of tackling Word-embedded indexes, clarified some of the terminology, and discussed software that we used.
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