Our last newsletter revealed the secrets of arbitration. This article addresses some unanswered questions and summarizes some of the comments and questions from our family of indexers and arbitrators.
Question: What happens when I mark “Please Review” in my arbitration results?
Answer: When an indexer marks Please Review, a message is sent to the FamilySearch indexing database. When you mark Please Review, your efforts are helping define arbitration problems and are monitored even though no feedback is sent. The database keeps a running tally of arbitrators who have the most Please Review marks. Those individuals with the highest number of marks are contacted by phone and given additional one-on-one training. Arbitrators who have been contacted and individually trained have shown significant improvement. Unfortunately, with our current system, we are unable to correct individual arbitration errors. However, system changes are planned that will allow for record amendments.
Question: How does the FamilySearch Search feature compensate for mistakes made by indexers and arbitrators?
Answer: The FamilySearch.org search engine intelligently interprets search requests to enhance the results it returns. When a value is entered on familysearch.org, the search engine will match the first three to four letters entered as well as find phonetic matches. Adjustments are also made for spaces within the search results. What does this mean for indexers and arbitrators? Basically, if you are having a hard time deciphering a letter such as an “a,” “o,” or “e,” you can be comforted knowing the search engine will include all of those options in its search results. For example, if the researcher entered in Johansen with an s-e-n, the search engine would also include Johanson, with an s-o-n in the results.
Question: I’d like to be an arbitrator but do not have a group administrator or stake indexing director. How can I get arbitration rights?
Answer: If you do not currently have a group administrator or stake indexing director, then you will need to call FamilySearch Support. Support will help to identify possible local support through an existing group or stake. If they are unable to connect you with a local contact, FamilySearch Support will look at the number of records you have completed, ask for your arbitration results percentage, and may go through an indexing batch with you to verify your readiness. Once those steps have been taken, FamilySearch Support may grant you arbitration rights. This process helps us to ensure quality arbitrators.
The arbitration newsletter was one of our best received and we were grateful for all of the comments and feedback given. The most common requests were:
- Provide an arbitrator’s version of Arbitration Results
- Provide a way for indexers to know why their redo batches are being sent back so they can learn from their mistakes.
- Provide a comment box to enter reasons for marking “Please Review”
- Consolidate the rules and instructions into one location.
- Provide better examples in the field helps.
- Provide an Indexer 10 Commandments
We are evaluating and prioritizing the many comments and requests contributed by our readers and will be using them to improve the indexing program and the development of future software releases. So, hang in there, because positive change is ahead.
Again, thank you for all of your wonderful feedback. We do hear you, and we are listening!
This is one of six articles in a series of posts from the recent indexing newsletter: