Web Indexing: Reviewing

February 28, 2018  - by 

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?

Reviewing replaces arbitrating in FamilySearch Indexing.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.

How to volunteer with Indexing at FamilySearch to review indexes.

How to review indexes as a volunteer with FamilySearch indexing.Find a project you are familiar with, and then, to open a review batch, click the Review button. As with indexing, check to be sure that each image has information to be indexed.

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.

Check the quality of other volunteers' work with FamilySearch indexing.

Help FamilySearch Indexing be as accurate as possible.If you disagree with some of the indexed information, you can correct it in the data entry area.

Sometimes the original index is incomplete or incorrect. Instead of spending time fixing it, you can return the batch to be reindexed.

  1. In the top left corner of the screen, click Batch.
  2. In the drop-down list, click Reindex Batch.

More information

  1. Review—video tutorial created by a member of the community
  2. Web indexing—Reviewing a batch—FamilySearch Help Center


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  1. I was invited to review documents two months ago and have been doing reviewing within the birth analysis studies in Michigan. This has been very helpful and improved the accuracy and completed portions of the study replies which were incorrect of incomplete. There is still much to do in these studies which will take time and effort.

  2. Why, when selecting a particular batch to review, the setup program frequently fails to complete the setup for me to Review? I can select a full set of 10 batch, and every single one fails when the loading is partly completed.

  3. I have done tens of thousands of index records on the old system but not on the Web app. Why can’t I do reviews until i have a thousand done on Web? Can’t i be grandfathered in?

      1. I remember those. They were 100% indexed. That means there are no more records to index. I don’t know if there will be another part to it, or every single record on Earth has been indexed, but either way, that batch was indexed to the max.

  4. I have done thousand of indexed names in the old system but I wonder where did it go because it appeared that I have to start again. Is there any translation in English of the Spanish instruction when the document is written in Spanish and the indexer is from non Spanish speaking country but can understand important words of the Spanish document?

  5. When doing the review part of indexing
    I have run into records that have been left
    out and wonder if they should be entered at the end of the batch or is there a way to
    insert a form in order to keep the records in

  6. When doing the review part of indexing
    I have run into records that have been left
    out and wonder if they should be entered at the end of the batch or is there a way to
    insert a form in order to keep the records in

    1. During review, you enter a missed record just as you would if, while indexing, you discovered you left a record out and need to insert it in proper order. In the case of an indexer who used the column method of Data Entry, such as in indexing first and last names in separate columns, the columns may be out of sync – record 17 John Smith, who is followed by record 18 Allen Parker, may be incorrectly entered as John Parker (easy to do because the eyes can “jump” in long lists). This needs to be corrected. You can make the correction(s) or, if the corrections are lengthy, you can return the batch for reindexing.

  7. I have been performing reviews for various Italian records but as of the past week any attempt to click review opens a batch to index. Will this glitch be corrected soon?

    1. Hello William! Thank you so much for letting us know about this glitch! We’ll get it fixed as quickly as we can.

  8. I have currently indexed 1,250 records, but when I click Find Batches, it only shows me batches I can index. Why can’t I review?