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Winning Awards for Indexes

You probably know about book awards such as the ones listed here.

Did you also know that you can enter your books, periodicals, web sites, and software in contests to win prizes for their indexes?

Here are the four major awards for indexes:

Wheatley Medal (print)
H.W. Wilson Award (print)
Australia/New Zealand awards (print and online)
Society for Technical Communications (print and online)


Society of Indexers (SI) Wheatley Medal

The British and Irish professional body for indexing

The Society provides a variety of educational resources about indexing. Their course on indexing is what got me started in 1985!

Each year the Society and the Library Association jointly award the Wheatley Medal for an outstanding index published in the United Kingdom. A prestigious golden medal, plus a cash prize of £500 is awarded to the top indexer.

The Society's biannual journal, The Indexer has a monthly listing of indexes praised and censured. You'll want your books listed in the praised group!


American Society of Indexers (ASI) Wilson Award

This is the only professional organization in the United States devoted solely to the advancement of indexing, abstracting, and database building.

Since 1978 the American Society of Indexers has given out the
H.W. Wilson Award to "honor excellence in indexing of an English language monograph or other non-serial publication published during the previous calendar year."

The award includes a citation and $1,000 for the indexer and a citation for the publisher.


Australian Society of Indexers - Book/periodical award

Each year the Australian Society of Indexers offers a medal for the most outstanding index to a book or periodical compiled in Australia or New Zealand. The winner receives a certificate.

The Australian Society of Indexers - Web award

The Australian Society is also the first among international indexing associations to offer ongoing award competitions for the best Web index. The criteria for this award is "that the site index makes a useful contribution to the retrieval of information from the site." Sites that qualify are entitled to display a special icon showing that they received this award.

The Australian Society of Indexers originally defined a Web index as follows:

"A Web Index is a human construction which provides users with direct access to online material."


The Society for Technical Communication (STC) awards

The STC is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of Technical Communication

STC offers the following three competitions to evaluate professional technical communication in different media:

Online Communication. Includes forms of communication that depend on a computer or other electronic media for delivery. This section includes an award for online help.

Technical Art. Includes both physical media and online technical art products.

Technical Publications. Printed material illustrating technical writing.

Various chapters of STC offer yearly awards in these three categories. It is not necessary to be a member of STC to compete for these awards.

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NANCY HUMPHREYS · WORDMAPS · 415-462-1844

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