Question: I received an e-mail to become an arbitrator when I completed 100 batches. Does that automatically make me an arbitrator?
Answer: No. The e-mail only extends an invitation for you to consider the option and learn more about arbitration. You do not become an arbitrator until you agree and have been granted arbitrator privileges by your group administrator or by FamilySearch.
Question: How do I know when I’m ready to become an arbitrator?
Answer: Typically if you have indexed at least 2,000 records and your accuracy is at least 94 percent, then you may be ready to arbitrate. A good arbitrator is detail oriented, is able to follow project instructions carefully, is familiar with basic indexing guidelines, and is an experienced indexer of many projects. If you feel you have enough experience to be successful as an arbitrator, contact your group administrator or stake indexing director and let him or her know you are interested. If an administrator has not yet been assigned to your group, contact FamilySearch Support.
Question: Is my indexing work lost if the arbitrator chooses different transcription values?
Answer: No. None of the information an indexer keys is lost. Often an arbitrator must make a difficult choice between two equally good indexing answers. In such cases, both answers are preserved with one being published and the other stored for possible publication at a later date as needed.
Question: Does someone look at records I mark for review?
Answer: Yes. When you mark a record for review, your comment is seen by FamilySearch Worldwide Support and logged in our database. Due to the large number of requests for review, it is not possible at this time to send individual indexer responses.
Question: Is there a way to correct incorrectly arbitrated records?
Answer: Currently we do not have a way for a researcher to correct an incorrectly arbitrated record. However, we are working to make this possible in the future.
Question: Why is it important to do record matching first?
Answer: The purpose of record matching is to ensure that the correct indexed records are being compared. Records are typically not aligned when one of the indexers accidentally skips a record and the other doesn’t. This is usually obvious to the arbitrator when a large number of records of one of the indexers is seemingly incorrect. Consequently, record matching is the first step an arbitrator needs to do because it often corrects most of the mistakes. When this step is missed and record matching is done later, all of the arbitrator’s work on misaligned records becomes invalid, and the arbitrator must start over again.
Question: Is it really necessary to read all of the instructions?
Answer: Yes! Indexers must read all the instructions, including the project updates, to know what information to key and how to key it. It is equally important for an arbitrator to read all the instructions and updates in order to arbitrate correctly.
Question: Am I the final say?
Answer: Arbitrators make the final decision between the information indexed by the A indexer and the information indexed by the B indexer and determine what indexing values ultimately get published on FamilySearch.org. In the rare cases when an arbitrator feels uneasy or unqualified to make a judgment call, they are welcome to call FamilySearch Support to share a batch and receive an additional opinion.
Question: Does anyone check the arbitrators’ work?
Answer: Not typically. Aside from a spot-review before publication of record sets, arbitration is the final check for all of the indexing work.
*This is the seventh post in a series of articles about of arbitration.
- Now Is Not the Time to Get Cold Feet about Arbitration: Over 3 Million Images Are Waiting to Be Published
- Learning to Like the Referee: Why Arbitrators are Necessary and Deserve Some Respect
- “Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain”: Revealing the Truth about Arbitrators
- Ten Commandments for Arbitrators: We’re Doing Great, But We Can Always Do Better
- Arbitration Results Ruining Your Day?: What They Mean and How You Can Help
- What “Final” Really Means: Is Arbitration Really Data’s Last Chance?
- Frequently Asked Questions: Answers to the Most Common Questions Asked about Arbitration