Searchable records are a huge part of what makes family history research possible. A lot happens to a record from the time it is found in the basement of an old municipal building to the moment it’s published online for you to track down. Indexing is one of those very important steps, but what comes next is equally important.
Reviewing is the quality check that takes place after a record is indexed. Batches of indexed records must go through this step before they can continue on to publication.
Because there are more people indexing than reviewing records, indexing often outpaces reviewing efforts, causing a delay in publication.
Update to Quality Check Process
Web indexing is the new online indexing system launched by FamilySearch in 2017. The web indexing system uses reviewing instead of the arbitration process used in the desktop program. Reviewing helps unify volunteers and allows for more people to participate. Instead of reconciling the A and B key, as was done in arbitration, the review step involves checking the indexing work of another volunteer.
If a reviewer makes several changes to the batch, another volunteer will review the batch again. FamilySearch carefully monitors the quality of indexed records and has seen good results from the reviewing process so far.
An uplifting way to provide feedback and learning to volunteers is being researched and carefully considered.
Who Can Review?
Volunteers are granted the ability to review batches once they have indexed 1,000 records on the web indexing system. This requirement is intended to give volunteers time to become familiar with web indexing and many different types of projects before they begin reviewing.
Volunteers who arbitrated on the desktop program were automatically given review rights when web indexing was launched in 2017. If you were an arbitrator and still do not have review rights, contact FamilySearch.
Once volunteers have review rights, they are encouraged to do both activities, indexing and reviewing. Both activities are vital to publishing these records to publication and making them searchable.
How to Review
On the FamilySearch web indexing page, click Find Batches. On the left side of the pop-up window, click the Activity drop-down list, and then click Review to see all projects available for review.
The orange and red bars show how much of the project has been indexed and reviewed. If the indexing on the project starts to outpace the reviewing, a “Help Review” message will appear.
Next, go over the indexed information and compare it to the information on the image. Check the field helps and project instructions as you review to ensure that you understand what should be indexed in each field.
Sometimes the original index is incomplete or incorrect. Instead of spending time fixing it, you can return the batch to be reindexed.
- In the top left corner of the screen, click Batch.
- In the drop-down list, click Reindex Batch.
- Review—video tutorial created by a member of the community
- Web indexing—Reviewing a batch—FamilySearch Help Center