FamilySearch Evaluation Survey

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Project Overview, Updates, & FAQ Comments & Questions

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This project will help improve the search feature on the FamilySearch website.

The FamilySearch website uses a very complex technology to help patrons find records that correspond to their search terms. As you enter simple search terms, the system compensates for alternate names, changes in geography and government jurisdiction over time, and records that have incomplete or conflicting information —and all this it does for dozens of concurrent searchers in microseconds.

Occasionally, as we have time and resources, we take steps to improve this technology. Generally this requires a big dose of specially-constructed training data. We are creating this special training data by asking volunteer indexers to look at queries (the search information) and rate the results (the records that match). You will answer 6 questions about each result by selecting one of the options given. This is not a traditional indexing project; we are asking for your opinion and there are no right or wrong answers. The results of this brief effort should help us to make our search engine a lot smarter.

We anticipate that the project will last no more than a month. We thank you in advance for your assistance in helping us to improve the systems that assist you in finding your ancestors!

Instructions[edit | edit source]

Project instructions and field helps are provided within each batch.

A training presentation that walks you through a few images can be found here:

Questions & Answers[edit | edit source]

Q. Will this project need to be arbitrated?
A. No. This project will only be indexed once and not arbitrated.

Q. My stake (or group) has an indexing goal that we are working toward. Will my work on this project count toward that goal?
A. Yes.

Q. The text on my batch is difficult to read. The letters don't appear to be complete. What should I do?
A. Change the magnification (zoom in or zoom out) to 100%. These images are best viewed at 100% magnification.

Q. What do I do when there are only 5 search results listed instead of 8?
A.This is an update as of 12 Apr 2011: Index as many lines as there are search results, and then mark each remaining line blank by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B. If there are no search results listed, mark the image type as a No Extractable Data Image.

Q. Will the search query ever tell me if the researcher asked for exact results?
A. Yes. If “exact” was specified, then the term “Pref’d” in the search query will be replaced with “Exact” wherever it was specified.

Q. What are we searching for? Birth? Marriage? Residence? It doesn’t indicate what the preferred event is.
A. Most of the time the search query will not specify an event. It will simply say, “Pref’d Event Date” or “Pref’d Event Place.” In these cases, the search is for any recorded events. There will be times though that the search will be for a specific event. In these cases, the query will state something like “Pref’d Birth Place” or “Pref’d Birth Date.” Change your opinions/answers based on this additional information.

Q. What type of record did the search result come from? My opinion of the quality of the result would change if I knew what record type was being referenced.
A. We don’t have this information for the evaluation survey. Consider yourself in the position of a new researcher entering the search query and not knowing that one record type should be more reliable than another. You may not know that a marriage record usually has more accurate information than a census. However, some of you are more advanced researchers and you may be able to determine from the information provided (and not provided) in the search result what record type is being referenced. [For example, if the principal’s spouse is listed, I can assume I’m not looking at a birth certificate for the principal.] Feel free to use your knowledge and previous experience to help justify your final opinion.

To Discuss This Project[edit | edit source]

  1. Click the Discussion link on the right side of this page.
  2. On the Talk page, Click the + link to add a new section or new question to the page.
  3. Click the edit link to the right of any section/question heading to add an answer or other text to that section.
  4. Click the Watch link on that page to be notified of any changes that are made to the page. (Detailed steps to watch a page are provided under Notifications below.

Notifications[edit | edit source]

You can be notified if there are additions or changes to this page. To use this feature:

  1. Click the Sign In link in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Enter your user name and password. (The same user name and password you use to do indexing.)
  3. Click OK.
  4. Return to this page.
  5. Click the Watch link on the right side of this page. If you cannot find the Watch link, click the Views link first and then the Watch link will appear and you can click it.

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