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Digital Publications Indexing SIG, a Special Interest Group of the American Society for Indexing

Name Transition

The Digital Publications Indexing SIG has replaced the former Web & Electronic Indexing SIG. The Board of American Society for Indexing approved the renaming and refocusing of the the SIG at its November 2016 board meeting.

The content of this website still remains more heavily focused on web indexing until new content by its volunteer members is written. Please contact Webmaster to contribute more digital publications indexing content. See Articles for current EPUB material.

As of February 2, 2017, the Digital Publications Indexing SIG now has a new URL Please update your bookmarks and links!


Digital publications indexing is a wide and varied area spanning ebooks, taxonomies and Web.

The Digital Publications Indexing SIG (Special Interest Group) promotes:

  • ebook indexing
  • easy ebook reading technology
  • embedded indexing of Microsoft Word, PDF and Framemaker electronic documents, online help, databases and ezines
  • Web sites, HTML and XML indexing including Content Management Systems such as Drupal, Joomla! or WordPress
  • using appropriate indexing software, ebook readers and search engine metadata

Its first objective is to serve the professional interests of indexers who seek to apply their skills in traditional human indexing to the nontraditional ebook, electronic and Web medium to include:

  • indexing ebooks
  • indexing online help and embedded indexing of MS Word, Framemaker and PDF;
  • metadata keyword tagging of Web pages for search engine optimization;
  • the writing of indexes for individual Web sites, intranets, online periodicals, and collections of multiple Web sites;

Its second objective is to:

  • inform the ebook, online help, electronic document and Web design and development community of the advantages of professional indexes to digital media;
  • promote best practices for ebook indexing and Web indexing and tagging.


The SIG's sister SIGs include Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies SIG and Periodical and Database Indexing SIG. See our Taxonomies discussion groups. This is to do with metadata and ontology creation.

The ASI Digital Trends Task Force (ASI DTTF) provides the SIG with information on eBook indexing with software tools. See our Digital Publishing epub discussion groups. DTTF is not a SIG and this SIG has become the new ebook SIG. This is to do with digital publications and embedded indexing. DTTF encourages people to join our SIG where they can apply their knowledge from DTTF in hands-on ebook indexing.

Society of Indexers Publishing Technology Group, UK is a key partner with the SIG covering many of the same topics including ebook indexing.

ASI is a member of W3C including Publishing@W3C whom IDPF merged with in January 2017 of whom ASI was a member also. W3C formed W3C EPUB 3 Community Group in Febuary 2017 which is seeking members.

Ecosystem in Digital Publishing

The SIG supports the integration of the following in the digital publishing ecosystem:
  • libraries
  • publishers
  • indexers
  • readers
  • software developers
  • booksellers and online stores
  • authors and technical writers
  • search engines
  • universities and colleges
  • medical practitioners, hospitals, pharmacies and patients in digital medical health records
  • metadata and database experts
  • Web developers and Web designers

We will attempt to connect publishers who need digital publications indexing and embedded indexing with indexers who do ebook and embedded indexing to grow the electronic indexing industry and not just have packagers remove the vital contact between publisher and indexer. Mostly IT and scientific publishers use embedded indexing.


IDPF merged with Publishing@W3C in January 30, 2017 (W3C press release). ASI was a member of IDPF and is a member of W3C.

IDPF/W3C works with Readium Foundation, opensource software for EPUB 3 and Open Web Platform.

EPUB 3 Summit was held by IDPF/Readium Foundation with EDRLab (European Digital Reading Lab) in March 9-10, 2017 in Brussels.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is awarded ACM Turing Award for Web in April 2017 (ACM Press Release).

From 2013 onwards, Canadian Web and electronic indexers are doing very well with Hansard indexes and PDF indexes.

Vancouver and Montreal public library systems are the best in the world (Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf) (7/15 story, LIBRI study 12/13). Canadians are the growing part of the SIG! (7/15)

Ex ANZSI President Glenda Browne and member of our SIG won a research fellowship from Australian Copyright Agency to research ebook indexing (6/15). Australian Copyright Agency paid for Glenda Browne to go to ASI/ISC/SCI conference in Chicago in June 2016 to speak on ebook indexing.

UK libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close (BBC 3/16). From 2010-2016, 8000 paid library staff were lost (25% decrease) and replaced by 15542 volunteers (98% increase). Net 525 libraries were closed (= 343 closed + 232 transferred to community groups - 50 new libraries; 111 proposed closures) (12%) because they lost funds from UK Government. Scotland lost least paid staff (3%), England worst (28%). To survive, they need to modernize and provide free wifi to deliver more ebooks. Many more readers in UK will be reading ebooks via smartphone or tablet with so many closures.

Yahoo! Directory was closed in December 2014 20 years after it opened, an early Web index dying, showing Web indexing is dying.

ALA Fight for Library Funding. US Govt is proposing big cuts in library funding. (May 5, 2017)


The SIG lists current courses, webinars and training options for digital publications indexing for beginners and more advanced indexers.

A list of software tools for Web and electronic indexing is maintained.

Blogs and articles are available by authors from around the world, mostly online or via library. This field changes quickly.

The SIG's members participate in events such as the ASI Annual Conference giving talks on Digital Publications Indexing topics. Other affiliated society conferences often have talks on digital publications indexing too. Anyone with a digital publications indexing event is encouraged to contact the Webmaster to have it listed in the events page.

Ebook indexing podcasts, articles, tips, tools and videos are available.

Best practices for Web, ebook and tagging are listed.

Pro Bono Mentoring Project is available for indexers to learn digital publications indexing from an expert on a volunteer indexing job.


The Digital Publications Indexing SIG is an affiliate of the American Society for Indexing, but serves eBook and Web indexers and electronic, embedded and Web indexing worldwide and members of affiliated societies are encourage to

Members of the SIG are encouraged to update their skills and interests on their profile in the

to help with training and focus for the SIG.

Advanced Web and electronic indexers are encouraged to register to be listed on the SIG's Contract Indexer directory and tick their skills and interests. This is after joining.

Potential members are encouraged to contact the SIG manager if they are struggling with joining or using our site.

Contact Us

Contact us with any questions. No canvassers please.

RSS feedLatest News

recruitmentRenaming SIG - Aug 23, 2016
We ran a poll to choose new name for SIG
new name is Digital Publications Indexing SIG as it was ratified by Board in November 2016
recruitmentRecruiting SIG Manager and Assistants
We are recruiting volunteers for Digital Publications Indexing SIG:
  • SIG interim manager (Heather Hedden)
  • SIG assistant manager
  • Google Groups ASI Digital Pubications Indexing SIG discussion group moderator (for members only)
  • LinkedIn Indexes for Digital Publications discussion group moderator (open to nonmembers, too)
  • Continuing education coordinator
  • Member relations coordinator
  • Webmaster
Contact Heather Hedden ASI SIG Relations Coordinator if interested
researchEmbedded and tagging index survey (survey) by Dave Ream (ASI Web and Electronic Indexing SIG) due Mar 27, 2016, open to anyone
member areamember area was fixed so people can login and update their member or contract indexer details, reset and change their password, set skill profile, change mailinglist subscription and renew membership (due annually with current society membership)
American Society for Indexing-Indexing Conference, June 15-17, 2017 - Portland Maine USA
SIG panel - Digital Publications Indexing SIG panel (Heather Hedden and AElfwine Mischler)

Digital Publications Indexing SIG meeting involving publishers and indexers in the Boston area post July 2017 - details to come
podcastsWeb indexing podcasts, ebooks and videos were added. (Apr 1, 2013)
medal Web indexing award 2016 winner (Jan 9, 2016)
Web indexing award 2014 winner (Jan 28, 2014)
statusDatabase is up after being down on Mar 5 2015 and Mar 12, 2015. If down or there is a server or Web page error, contact Webmaster to report error, update or join.

Site Updates

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Last updated July 14, 2017
Site maintained by Dwight Walker

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