Indexers are signing up in record numbers. Since the start of the 1940 U.S. Census Project, we have seen as many as 3,000 new indexers registering per day. We couldn’t be more thrilled—or concerned.
We currently have a backlog of over 3 million images for active projects that need to be arbitrated. That’s 3 million images and their respective indexes that aren’t published on FamilySearch.org because they haven’t made it through arbitration. They could be published in a matter of days if they were all arbitrated today. It’s just a matter of having enough volunteers to do the work.
Now, imagine what will happen as we add the records of one of the most popular indexing projects in history. How many of the 3.5 million images from the 1940 U.S. Census Project are going to be added to the arbitration backlog? Only time will tell, but “it ain’t gonna be pretty” unless something changes.
How do we fix the backlog? Easy—we just need more arbitrators. If you’re an arbitrator, we need you. If you’re a former arbitrator who left to focus on indexing, we need you. If you’re a former arbitrator who stopped volunteering for FamilySearch altogether, we need you. If you’re an experienced indexer who thinks you might be qualified to arbitrate, we need you. If you’re an indexer who is willing to get the proper amount of experience so you can qualify yourself to arbitrate, we need you too.
If you’re saying to yourself, “OK, I’m convinced; what do I need to do?” then here’s how to take the next step.
For current and past arbitrators, you know what to do. Be sure to get familiar with the projects you are planning to arbitrate. The best way to do this is to thoroughly read the project instructions, field helps, and project updates and then index several batches of the project.
For the rest of you would-be arbitrators, go to the Indexing Resource Guide and look for the section on arbitration, where you’ll find everything you need to become an arbitrator. If you’re part of an organized indexing group or LDS stake, give your group administrator or stake indexing director a call. He or she can probably help you understand the process quickly and help you decide if arbitration is right for you. You can find out the name and contact information for your group administrator or stake indexing director by opening the FamilySearch indexing program, clicking on the Help menu, and selecting Contact Support.
If you’re afraid that you’re not good enough to arbitrate, read the rest of the articles linked to below, and then decide. It’s not for everyone, but if you are mature and meticulous, an experienced indexer, and willing to qualify yourself, you likely have what it takes to become a great arbitrator. You’ll never know unless you try.
This is the first post in a series of articles that reveal the mysteries 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