Keying Tool Update – Version is now live!

In this version of the tool we have made a few very noticeable changes that we hope you are as excited about as we are.

The first change you’ll notice is the addition of your accuracy rating!  We have received a lot of feedback from you asking how you are doing and wondering if your keying is accurate.  The number you see is calculated based on the number of image sets you’ve keyed that have been arbitrated so as your accuracy fluctuates this indicates that more of your image sets have been arbitrated.  Don’t be discouraged if your accuracy rating is lower than expected.  As we continue to improve the tool and our instructions, based largely on your feedback, we expect to see everyone’s ratings improve.  We’re in this together, and we’re all getting better with practice. 

Another change you will likely notice is when you open the Download Image Sets screen you will now see a question, “Not finding the project you are looking for?” followed by a “Learn why.” link.  This link leads to an article that outlines the process each project follows and provides an understanding for why you see projects appear and disappear from the listing.   

And I know that a few people have been waiting to hear that we have added guides as an alternative to following along with the highlighted fields.  You can now add both vertical and horizontal guides to help mark your place on an image.

Additional enhancements were made to the arbitration process, error tracking, login process, and the international language tools.

We appreciate your feedback and assistance as we continue to work through the Beta testing and make improvements.  If there is something you think we could do to make your keying experience better please click on the “Provide Feedbacklink in the top right hand corner of the tool. 

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I have a follow-on question from the following comment included in post # 30 by Joan:
“If a field is required, something must be entered into the field. You cannot merely leave it blank, you must mark it blank”
I have keyed a number of different indexes and don’t recall any of them specifying that a blank field must be marked as such In fact, some of the instructions say to skip a field if it is blank. On the other hand, the keying tool allows you to specify a blank, so I assume it must be used under certain circumstances.
Any advice from the experts ?

Hi Tim. The following excerpt was copied from keying instructions. Although I’m not an expert, I hope this helps.

“What fields should be keyed?

We have required fields, these are the highlighted fields, that are based on information that all of the records should contain. If this information isn’t available the fields should be marked “blank”. There are other fields included on form types that some records may contain, but since not all of the records have this information it would be time consuming to mark all of them blank if the information isn’t present. If there is a field available and there is information on the record that is applicable this information should be collected.

There is often information on the records that we do not have fields for. Although it would be nice to capture more information, the main reason we don’t ask for all of the information available on a record is that we are creating an index. The information we gather is based on information that will be searchable.”

Hi Jane. (Item 45)

When you are in the keying area, on the bottom right there is a link under where it says My role: Keyer

That link (See community leaders and discuss online) will take you to a dashboard that has all the projects and the collective results. Hope this helps. The link is below.

Sorry. I find no indication of my accuracy rating on my stats. Seems I am missing something.

Accuracy as I understand it is only calculated when there is a referral to arbitration. That means that two keyers disagree upon a record or records in a group or individual card data. Then each keyer gets an accuracy rating. That means that is the arbitrator disagrees with your input you get a lower rating and the one with which he agrees gets the higher rating. If you records are arbitrated only once you can have a very high rating or a very low rating depending on how many errors you were judged to have made. If you differ by only one record you keyed it wrong you have a 0% accuracy! Conversely if you were right you have 100%!
You just have to wait until other keyers key the same records with different entries then you will be rated. Until then you don’t see any accuracy for your work.
You shouldn’t be dismayed though. Over time your skills will develop and your rating will be more representative of your work.
I have keyed nearly 7000 records so far and have not received a rating yet. If the second keying agrees with the second keyer or there have been no keying of the records you have completed you won’t see any thing in the accuracy slot.

I was one of the people that wanted guidance on how accurate my keying was. Having read some of the feedback – maybe the answer is to be able to choose as part of the set up system whether or not to get this feedback.
I really did want it and am happy to have it as a percentage of the arbitrated items – this actually is a good guide for me. I know that I have issues with spelling (dyslexia) but this can be positive. I type all of the names (don’t use the scroll bar unless absolutely out of ideas). What’s the positive of dyslexia; well actually I can read names others can’t decipher because I tend to read word shapes rather than individual letters, which sometimes allows me to see the word below a very strange bit of handwriting.
I don’t know how I will feel if my percentage slips, but I suspect anything over 50% is at least acceptable. Professional “keying” accepts an inaccuracy level of around 95%, but they are not trying to read old documents with very individual handwritten entries.
It would be a real shame if any one dropped out because of this. Hold onto the fact that some of these records are really difficult (even when assessed as average). If two keyers differ, both could be incorrect, even when arbitrated the answer could still be wrong – the nearest match is the best that we can achieve in some cases. What really matters is keeping these records for others to use in a useful format – not how accurate you are as an individual keyer. Just keep keying and Happy Holidays!

When there is an obvious mistake by the censustaker, such as entering “M” for the sex of “Eunice” who is plainly shown as “Daughter”, should we enter the “M” anyway, or should we enter the correct “F”?
How about clear, unambiguous, misspellings of names, counties and states? Should they be entered as spelled, or as they were probably intended?
Are you more interested in an accurate transcription, or an accurate interpretation?

I am having the same trouble as Nancy #50. The highlighter is jumping all over and it’s really difficult to keep track of where you are on the line both horizontally and vertically. I have keyed over 7800 records and have no accuracy rating. Also goes against my grain to put Annie as a male daughter!

I’ve just had my stats updated from 70% to 50% accuracy. I’m so sorry to have wasted your time. Unless someone can tell me where I’m going wrong, I give up

I was eager to help keying in data but am unable to do so as the form onto which data must be entered is largely off the bottom of my screen and there is no way of moving it into view.

My first accuracy rating was 81%. Since then, every time I submit, it goes down. I submitted a Nebraska Census set this morning, and the number of entries did not go up by 100, and the accuracy rating went down from 78 to 77?????

I have found that the easiest way to do that Census is to use 50% size of the page. That way, I can see the name on the left, and the state/country on the right at the same time. (The highlight doesn’t stay on the correct line)

Before I had to reinstall my operating system, and redownload the keying tool, I was able to change the color of the highlight. Now I can’t find that choice, and I like the highlight to be yellow, not red.

Still enjoying!