MOST INDEXING PROJECTS follow general indexing rules, and most indexers can index standard works on most topics. Some projects, however, have special requirements. To analyse concepts adequately, indexers must understand the language of the subjects they are indexing and the typical needs of users of those documents or systems. For projects such as online help indexing, technical skills are also required.
Indexing societies maintain lists of indexers who are available for work. ANZSI Indexers Available (www.aussi.org/indexersavailable/subjects.htm) has about thirty-five categories for specialties, including Arts and crafts, Business and economics and Health and medicine. In the ASI salary survey (www.asindexing.org/site/SalarySurvey.shtml), the main areas of specialty noted were computer science (17%), medicine and surgery (14%), law (13%) and business and management (10%).
Both the Society of Indexers (UK and Ireland) and the American Society of Indexers publish books on a range of subject specialties. SI has published Occasional Papers (OPs) on indexing biographies, legal materials, the medical sciences, periodicals, and children's books (www.indexers.org.uk/InAvail/publications/oppubs.htm). This series has been discontinued, but similar material will be published in The indexer's new Centrepiece feature.
ASI, through Information Today, has published books on indexing genealogy, history, law, medicine, psychology, and scholarly books (including economics, public policy, philosophy, law, and music), and one on cookbook indexing is planned. Index it right has chapters on philosophy, theology, biography, horticulture, art, encyclopedias, computer manuals and websites (www.asindexing.org/site/asipub.shtml). Many ASI SIGS link to useful information relevant to their specialty – follow links to individual websites at www.asindexing.org/site/sigs.shtml.