· Over twenty years of experience in information research and retrieval
· Excellent writing skills
· Cutting-edge background in electronic text manipulation
· Broad range of work experience; proven quick learner of difficult subject matter
· Superior ability to abstract and explain complex subjects for general audience
1993 – present
Mertes Editorial Services
Sole proprietor of busy, profitable indexing and editing service specializing in legal, theological, and academic works; large, complex projects; and electronic media. I can put together and manage teams of independent contractors for large jobs. Recent work includes indexing, copyediting, developmental editing, and proofreading work for: volumes of the History of Christianity series for Cambridge University Press; Meyer’s Ancient Ethics: An Introduction to Greek and Roman Ethical Philosophy for Routledge; a biography of Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun for Oxford University Press;many projects for the World Bank, including their flagship Latin American publication; Jay Schulkin’s neuropsychology texts; taxonomical tagging for the Health Care Finance Administration’s new Website; Interpreting Construction Contracts for the American Society of Civil Engineers; a new edition of Hugo Grotius’ Rights of War and Peace for Liberty Fund; and yearly volumes of Environmental Appeals Board Decisions for the EPA. Many of my clients, including Cambridge, OUP, The Canon Law Society of America, Stanford, Matthew Bender, World Bank, Liberty Fund, Thompson Publishing Group, Sapientia Press, and RIA, are repeat clients who have used me over many years.
1990 - 1999
Thompson Professional Publishing divisions, New Jersey and Virginia
Starting out as a senior indexer in the New Jersey Office of Maxwell Macmillan, I transferred to Virginia in 1992 to manage information retrieval services for the Research Institute of America Group (subsequently AlignMark Information Publishing). I was responsible for creating detailed indexes for new products and maintaining indexes for existing products; supervising staff and freelancers; developing finding aid styles for different publications; devising product work schedules; and overseeing all aspects of index production. I started up the department from scratch, hiring staff, establishing styles and standards, developing scheduling procedures, and computerizing the indexing function on a searchable database. I worked out an entirely new protocol for information retrieval on our CD-ROM products, combining traditional indexing techniques with the flexibility of keyword searching; and I developed a range of innovative information retrieval tools for our online products. I was a key contributor to the web-based publishing initiative for AlignMark Information Publishing, responsible for design, navigation, and functionality components of numerous online products.
1989 - 1990
Andromeda Press, Oxfordshire
Developmental editor for active book packaging company specializing in popular reference materials. I wrote, substantially edited, and indexed material to produce clearly-written, accessible text on complex subjects for the intelligent general reader.
1985 - 1989
Oxford University Press, Oxford
Lexicographer and computer specialist for Concise Oxford English Dictionary. I assisted in the first computerization of an OUP dictionary database, developing improvements to the data input system and the input form design, and participated in the development of the Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM.
1982 - 1985
Blackfriars College, University of Oxford
Lecturer in medieval history and theology, teaching classes in medieval church history, Thomism, and medieval Latin. Board member, Oxford Women’s Studies Committee, commissioning and producing lecture series and academic publications. I also produced indexes for a number of these publications. Archivist for Women’s Theology Library, documenting large collection of manuscript and video materials now held by the University of Birmingham. Post-doctoral degree in theology awarded in 1984.
1977 - 1982
Edinburgh University, Scotland
Ph.D. in medieval history awarded in 1981; archivist for Scottish Catholic Records Society, 1979 - 1982; junior lecturer in medieval history, 1980 - 1982; guest lecturer for Scottish National Trust Society and City/University adult education program, 1981-1982.
1973 - 1977
Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
BA in medieval studies awarded in 1977; archivist and preservation specialist for College Library’s rare books collection; media assistant to political science department’s “town meeting” video production. Recipient of Dalziel Award for alumnae, 1981.
Wilson Award (for excellence in indexing) judge, 1994-1997, 1999, and 2001. Board of Directors of American Society of Indexers (ASI), 1998-2001 term.
Vice President/President Elect/Past President of ASI, 2001-2004 term
President of DC Chapter of ASI, 2004-2005
Project manager of independent usability study for DC Chapter of ASI
Leader of popular seminars on indexing and taxonomies, available for both indexers and non-indexing editors:
NASCAR Indexing: Creating and Maintaining Speed; first presented at the ASI conference in Pasadena, 2005, and since presented to numerous ASI chapters and the Canadian Society of Indexers.
Indexing Legal Publications (with Enid Zafran); presented at the ASI conference in Philadelphia, 2007.
First Steps: A Guide to Indexing and Taxonomies for Legal Editors (with Enid Zafran and Fred Leise); presented to the Special Libraries Association conference in New York, 2004, and to the American Association of Law Librarians in St. Louis, 2006.
Adjunct Professor for Catholic University of America’s library school, teaching a graduate course in indexing for the first time in 2007.
Good Governance and Politic Rule: The Noble Household in England, 1250-1550 (Blackwells Press).
“Legal Indexing” in Indexing Specialties: Scholarly Books, ed. M. Towery and E. Zafran (ASI/ITI)
“Saints, Kings, and Peasants: Indexing Medieval and Renaissance History” in Indexing Specialties: History, ed. M. Towery (ASI/ITI)
“The Queen of Sciences: Indexing Theology and Disciplines Related to Religion” in Index it Right! Advice from the Experts, ed. E. Zafran (ASI/ITI)
“Classical and Medieval Names” in Indexing Names, ed. Noeline Bridge (ASI/ITI, forthcoming)
An Editor’s Guide to Indexes, F. Leise, N. Badgett, and K. Mertes (ITI/ASI, forthcoming)