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

Digital Publications Indexing Pro Bono Program

The Digital Publications Indexing SIG runs a free web or digital publications index creation service for non-profit organizations with small web sites or digital publications. This program benefits the organization, the SIG and its members by raising the visibility of web site and digital publications indexes in general, promoting the Digital Pubications Indexing SIG and its members, and helping members gain demonstrable experience.

About the Program

Indexers who wish to participate in the program must be a member of Digital Publications Indexing SIG and have some prior web site or digital publications indexing experience or training. Preference will go to those members who are listed on the web site. Each web site or digital publications index created under the program is reviewed by another web site or digital publications indexer prior to delivery.

The typical service provided by the program is as follows:

  • The web site or sub-site section should be approximately 15-100 web pages
  • The digital publication with approximately 2000 words
  • The index will conform to the "Best Practices" listed on this website
  • The indexing work will be done completely off-site
  • The index will be delivered as either a single HTML file or series of files or modified digital publication
  • The index project will have a deadline requiring less than full-time work to create (4 hours or less in a day, 20 hours or less than a week)
  • The indexer will not provide continual updates to the index

The non-profit organization will be expected to commit to:

  • Provide all the site files or digital publication to be indexed either on a shipped CD, in a downloadable compressed form or online if agreed, and no further major changes should be made (unless agreed with the indexer) during the period of time that the indexer is working.
  • Make the index publicly accessible (volunteers do this for free so they can demonstrate their work)
  • Keep the index available and accessible on the site or in their digital publication for at least a year (while no guarantee is expected, the index should not be intentionally temporary)
  • Acknowledge the creator of the indexer in some form (name mentioned somewhere on the site)

Further Information

Inquiries about the service should be directed to the Acting Digital Publications Indexing SIG Pro Bono Project Coordinator, Dwight Walker (mentor).


In June 2016, 3 members of the SIG approached the Webmaster to participate in a pro bono Web indexing project. This was quite exciting after the project had been inactive for 4 years.

In December 2016, 1 person dropped out of the pro bono.

Pro Bono Project Coordinator Job Description



  • offer support and engage emerging professionals
  • raise the rate of success for newbies locating clients
  • encourage experienced indexers to actively support emerging professionals in an organized effort.

Sources of Non-Profits


  • Indexing
  • Project Management
  • Web design
  • digital publications


  • create project
    • contact non-profit
    • find URL of site that is viable for an index
    • find digital publication that is viable for an index
  • find volunteer and train them
    • contact volunteer
    • get tools for volunteer e.g. HTML Indexer, WordEmbed, Microsoft Word, SKY Index
  • index site or electronic document
    • do outline of site to find what is worth indexing
    • find URLs of key parts of site to index
    • find key paragraphs of digital publication to index
    • create index
  • check index
    • peruse index
  • sign off
    • see how many hours expired doing index
    • terminate job
  • setup promo for indexer with
    • site URL
    • index URL
    • digital publication with embedded index
    • name of indexer
    • name of organisation

    Suggestions for contributions to this page should be sent to .

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