The good, the bad and the ugly of Commonwealth annual report indexes


5:45pm, Wednesday 31 July 2019
Starts at 6pm sharp
Ferguson Room, upstairs at the National Library of Australia, Parkes Place
Light refreshments before and after; all welcome

The inclusion of subject indexes in Commonwealth annual reports is mandatory, but do Commonwealth organisations follow what is required?

Mary Russell and Max McMaster, both professional indexers, have examined the indexes of all 186 Commonwealth Government annual reports for 2016/17 and were surprised to discover that 38 did not include an index, although some had a compliance index/list of requirements. The remaining 138 reports were analysed in detail.

This session is designed for editors who work with annual reports.

The presentation will start at 6pm sharp. This is half an hour earlier than usual, so please arrive on time if you don’t want to miss anything.

The presenters will provide a snapshot of a “standard” annual report and will look at the quality of the indexes and how they vary (the good, the bad and the ugly), as well as style issues in terms of the overall look of the index, together with specific layout issues, e.g. subheadings indistinguishable from turnover lines. They will also suggest ways the indexes could be improved, by looking at specific elements of the reports, e.g. CEO and board members, annual performance statements, financials and audit report, staff information, appendixes, glossaries, etc.

A checklist of what to look for in Commonwealth annual report indexes will be provided.

If you work as either an in-house editor in a Government department or statutory authority on annual reports, or as an external editor dealing with Commonwealth annual reports, this session is for you.

Max McMaster has been a full-time freelance book indexer for the past 27 years, having compiled over 2500 indexes on a range of subjects including the sciences, environment, business and social sciences, as well as general trade titles. Max lectures on indexing to editors in Australia and Singapore. He has been an instructor for the University of California Berkeley Extension virtual indexing course for the past eight years. He has been awarded the ANZSI Medal for book indexing on three occasions.

Mary Russell has been a freelance indexer since2005. She specialises in indexing academic publications in the medical, science and education areas as well as reports and training manuals for government departments and professional organisations. Many of the indexes are embedded into MS Word. For variety she indexes stationery catalogues. Mary has a background in statistics and has worked in medical and engineering libraries. She co-wrote Indexing your annual report with Max McMaster in 2010.

%d bloggers like this: