Understanding Accuracy

We’ve received a lot of feedback regarding accuracy and wanted to let you know a little more about why we started showing the accuracy rating and about how accuracy is counted.

As more contributors joined the project we were asked many times for an indicator of how well they were doing – since we all want to know if our contributions are making a difference.  Based on this feedback we looked for a way to show you how well you were doing with your keying efforts and this is where the accuracy rating came in.  We are grateful for your feedback as we are always looking at ways we can clarify and improve both this feature and other features.

In regard to whether your contributions are making a difference that cannot be measured.  During this stage of beta testing your contributions have been incredibly beneficial – we would not be where we are today without you, the many contributors who give of your time keying, providing feedback, assisting us with bug testing, testing arbitration, and the list goes on.  Your accuracy rating does not reflect your value to the project and the value that you are providing to people who will view the indexes free because of your efforts.

There have been some speculations on how accuracy is counted and what types of records are counted and we want to clarify this for you.  Accuracy is counted based on the number of fields that were accepted in the arbitration process. 

  • If an image set has not reached arbitration it does not reflect in your accuracy. 
  • If all of the fields for Keyer A and Keyer B match in an image set that image set is counted as 100% accurate.  (Each image set goes through arbitration whether the fields all match or not.)
  • When Keyer A and Keyer B have fields that do not match the arbitrator chooses which, or neither, record is correctly recorded from the image.  Each of the fields that are accepted as correct positively impact accuracy and each field that is not accepted negatively affects accuracy.   With the accuracy rating being based on the field level it is clear to see how small mistypes or not keying all of the available fields will affect your accuracy negatively.

Our hope is that you won’t be discouraged by your accuracy score.   The beta process has been a learning process for everyone and we acknowledge that at times the instructions and directions have not been as detailed as we need them to be.  We appreciate your contributions to the project and for being patient and willing to continue on as we learn the best ways to set up the projects and communicate with you. 

As you see your accuracy rating going up or down – at least mine does – we want you to be aware of the resources that are available to assist you in keying and I hope that you will recognize your very important role as a contributor no matter what your accuracy rating is. 

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Reader Comments

Thank you for your kind comments. It helps to know I am more than just a percentage. Keep up the help screens and aids.

Helping us understand accuracy should soothe some of our type-A personality dysfunction.


Even knowing that one is truly loved, it remains devastating to drop 20-percentage points after keying 30-40 sets of blessedly awful 1885 Nebraska Census handwriting…realizing this effort would be arbitration HELL.

Thanks – it’s good to know that when my accuracy percentage goes down just when I thought it was going to go UP, I’m not alone. :)

So far I have 100% accuracy, but I can’t imagine it will stay that way. I keyed some VERY pale images. At first I thought about sending them back, but I figured I could probably do as well as anyone, so I gave them a try. I don’t think I will go into a nosedive if my accuracy rating drops once those are analyzed. But I think it might be nice to know how many of my files have been arbitrated.

Thanks for the info!

Yes it´s nice to know mthat the effort you are making is appreciated! I would say though when keying some of the records which are very indistinct and the red highlighter comes over it I wonder whether what I see it as does not match another´s inerpretation, am I missing something, and can be come quite
paranoid about it! :) :)

Well after reading what I seemed to have typed I hope you can make sense of it ! My excuse is I am having a problem with my keyboard !! :)

Thank you for the information!

I think one thing that might help people is to provide a notation under the accuracy percentage that indicates just how many of our keyed records have been arbitrated. That way, if our rating stays at the same percentage for a long period of time or suddenly changes drastically, we know that it’s because our records have or haven’t been arbitrated. And, we would have an idea of just how many are still out there waiting to be arbitrated.

I am hooked on the Andrews Newspaper Indexes. Fascinating. But also, very hard to decide how to enter as each card is different. Often simply an arbitary decision on what I think records the availiable info in the clearest way.

So, anyone getting smug about a 100% rating should try a few sets of these more challenging records.

Just because the arbitrator doesnt agree with some of my decisions doesnt mean I am wrong. What it does mean is that I have a fluctuating accuracy score ranging from 70% (very depressing) to 87% (nearly made 90!).

I’m learning heaps from the records. That is why I keep going.

As I have written before, I am one who thinks that showing an accuracy rating should be abolished. I think it is not only misunderstood in general but it is giving off the wrong message to the volunteers manning the keyboards. An accuracy criteria should only be established when rules and standards have been set and everyone knows what they have to do to reach 100%. The rating becomes a disincentive to those who have been taught that they have to achieve 100% regardless. Since so much is left to the judgment and interpretation of several very different people it only takes a little error or misinterpretation of a very small item to make it appear that the keyers are absolutely on the wrong track and they should be ashamed of themselves. And finally, it serves no real purpose in letting people know how poorly they are doing without telling them what they are doing wrong so they can try to correct it. So, I think putting out a rating for accuracy is at best premature for this project. It does more harm than good.

I believe the rating is essential as the project is totally dependent on the accuracy of transcriptions. We have all seen what happens when accuracy is absent.

The Andrews Cards, as has been pointed out, can often be entered in more than one way. I try to find the most concise method that takes into account all relevant information on each card, but what I feel is relevant may not be the same as someone else’s relevance.
Because of this, I feel the Accuracy Rating is more of an ‘Agreement’ Rating.

Well, at least you all have something to go by. It appears that none of the records that I have keyed have been arbitrated:(

Thanks for the comments. As a newbie, and also a Type A, it has been a challenge for me to see my accuracy rating and not get discouraged.

I remember my first few image sets and how clueless I felt. I also dipped into all different types of record sets. Let’s face it-the criminal records are much more “enticing” than Naturalization records.

I got my accuracy rating and was dismayed. There was no way that I had done that poorly. :)

After attending your awesome webinar, I came away with a renewed sense of being a small part of something important.

So, I stretched my fingers, and dug back into those typed Naturalization records to get my bearings. I need to crawl before I can walk.

Thanks for the encouragement, Anna. It is much appreciated.

You want to take an accuracy nose dive? Try the Italian records. These are what I work on..full time.

I wont even tell ya what my accuracy is on those.

First, some of them are not on forms, just a huge page of something that looks like a spider fell into the ink well and ran across the page. One needs at least a little knowledge of the language to make heads or tails of these things…and even then, its sketchy.

Second, some of the instructions are just not accurate.

In case anyone is reading, that can inform or fix this, let me explain.

One of the fields for marriages and marriage publications is “place of birth” which on the record will say “nata in” (born in).However, some of these records dont say that in the spot where you are supposed to find it. Instead, it says “residente in” (lives in).

Well then, just leave that area blank, right? Ok..but on the sample provided in the help area…they boxed off where “nata in” should be, but that document does not say “nata in” it says “residente in”).

I was keying in the residente in, in the birth area. I stopped..figuring that leaving it blank..gives me half a chance that thats what they want.

I am against the accuracy score…however, my logic is, no matter how badly you rate, thats one less record off the pile, that can be moved along its way. If you didnt choose to do it..it would still be sitting there.

My accuracy is bouncing between 74% and 90%. At the 74% level it is saying that one in 4 of the fields I key are wrong. That just doesnt seem right – I am working on the UK criminal records. Any thoughts on what is happening? There has to be some systemic issue.

On a second issue what is your view on acceptable accuracy

I arbitrate records elsewhere.

Your score fluctuates because the arbitrator went with the other persons name or date.

And yours could be right.

There are many names or fields that are correct..the spelling. Names like McDonald and Mc Donald. Another would be O’Henry or Ohenry. The spelling is correct on both. They have to choose one. And they arent given rules on which to accept..just like we arent.

If the name has an accent mark. These show up for arbitration. It is not mandatory to use them. The arbitrator chooses one…either with or without the accent mark. Nobody told us whether to use them or not.

If you were at the webinar and watched them arbitrate, you can see that a lot of it is up to the personal opinion of that person. They choose keyer A, keyer B..or just add in what they think it is.

If you were at the meeting and saw the sample writings and how opinions differ, you can understand why this method of calculating accuracy is not a good one.

You all came here to volunteer, not join some contest.

No matter how badly you think you are doing..you are pushing the records along. Isnt that what we all came here for? To help? And moving the records along..is helping.

Firstly, i am thoroughly enjoying being able to participate in the archiving project. When i received my first accuracy rating i was disillusioned, i couldn’t work out what i had done wrong. I like haven’t the rating there as something to strive for but it would be really great if there was a way for us to know what it is we are doing wrong, then we can work on improving, and also increase our efficiency.

and yes i am also a type A, don’t like getting things wrong!


Knowing my accuracy is important as far as giving me feed back on how well I am doing. I realize this is a somewhat objective number based on who arbitrates and what rules are used. It also is highly affected by the project difficulty. Here are some of my comments on how I think it could be improved and provide better feedback to individuals:

1) Force fields with a certain set of inputs to be input from a drop down list or auto complete feature. For example, all date fields should only accept the proper full spelling of the month (drop down list and/or auto complete). In fact, inputing the month number could also cause the tool to select the corresponding entry. Days can be checked to see that they are in the range of 1 – 31. And years can be verified as consisting of 4 digits, perhaps even within a given range (depending on the project) such as 1700 – 1999.

2) If the user tries to input an incorrect value, he will not be able to proceed until he has either entered an acceptable value or an error (such as blank or illegible) or uses some override mechanism to continue.

This could be used in many fields in different forms and projects. It would produce uniformity and reduce errors.

3) I agree that I would like to see how many records my rating is based on! It might also be helpful to break it down further by listing the accuracy for each project a person has worked on. Thus, someone working on the Andrews project would thus be less discouraged to see a lower rating for that project than one of the naturalization projects.

4) I also do not like working in a vacuum. It would be nice to be able to see where the majority of my errors are occurring. It could be as simple as improperly entering one field such as the date or locality in a census or criminal set which is repeated over and over in each record.

5) Perhaps extraneous information that is entered should not be counted against a persons rating. Only the required fields would be counted and the rest could just be discarded.

I appreciate your comments, help and encouragement!


The idea you mentioned with the dates will only work if its done right.

The italian records have this.

You cant type anything in the field but one letter. You cannot type the whole month in, if you wanted to.

The months are in Italian, so you need to put in the first letter of the italian month.

This feature doesnt work right..or at least, for me it doesnt.

With the months that start with the same letter, a dropdown appears. Only the top month on the list (no list has more than 2 months with the same letter). The month on the top has a number one. If you hit the number one..you get that month. The second one has no number..if you choose that, a box opens, showing the 2 months, you need to highlight yours, then click ok. This slows you down.

Even on the months that have no other month beginning with that letter, like july (it starts with an L) or, feb, sept, oct, nov, dec. You type the first letter..the month appears highlighted blue..you click enter to move on..it disappears. You have to click the next field with the mouse, once the highlighted blue month appears. Again..this slows you down.

I havent worked on many records here, in english. I dont know how those months work..I cant recall..but, if they were to change it to this method, I am sure it would slow everyone down, plus its very annoying.

I think the only remaining thing which will help those Type A personalities here from getting all uptight about their accuracy scores is some sort of constructive feedback about why the accuracy score is what it is.

There is no way we can proactively learn how to improve our scores unless we see in front of us what has been marked as incorrect. One example would be the folks who had been typing “3 months” instead of just “Imprisonment” during the criminal registers project.

More precise instructions can fix this. Also, more attention paid by the keyer to whatever information is provided.

I arbitrate elsewhere. Most of the mistakes I see can be avoided if people read the project info and paid attention to the help field on the right side.

I dont think they can provide individuals with information on where they are going wrong.

We can only work with what they give us, as far as information, plus actually read the highlights when we have to recheck the fields before sending.

I still think this accuracy scoring is a bad idea.

At first I got a paranoid at my accuracy (my first was 84%)

Then I decided that unless I got feedback on my common errors I was going to ignore it. Especially as it depends on someone else’s opinion. You could be right and they could be wrong, you will never know

One of the first things I read on the help for keying was “if you are not sure just try your best” and with some of the writing the way it is that is all anyone can do

As far as I am concerned as long as I am still enjoying this that is all that matters

The Italian month entry is a problem that needs fixing! Properly done, it would not slow you down, but would speed you up by “self completing” months so you don’t have to type anything else, just hit TAB to move to the next field.

I’ve seen the same thing about doing your best and I agree, with many of these, all you can do is make your best try. If no one tries, information is lost. If you try, you may get it correct or close. At least it gives the arbitrator something to go on! And no, you shouldn’t let your score bother you. Think of it as an “overall project process rating.” After all, it reflects not only your keying and “interpretation”, but also that of another keyer and an arbitor.


Let me tell you something..you are so right.

I arbitrate elsewhere..and I KNOW I am NOT always right.

I am a person like you and I do both indexing and arbitrating (and no, I dont get my own indexing back to arbitrate).

In my opinion, arbitrating is the easier of the two. You have two typed things and the document. Because there are choices for you, it often makes the document clearer, in your mind.

There are also times, that I can see clearly what something says..and the other two people didnt.

It really helps the arbitrator when the indexing person takes their best guess. This gives them something more to go on. It also doesnt affect your accuracy, because wrong or blank, still counts against that.

I work on just the italian records. I dont even want to say what my accuracy score is..its low. But, I was only scored on my first 700 entries..and I KNOW where the mistakes were made. Some, are unavoidable, you just cant make out the chicken scratch writing. Others, I feel come from not enough information on how they want you to record things..aliases comes to mind, here.

Another thing I wish we could do, is recall a batch that we just sent out. I sometimes agonize over something for 5 minutes, take my best guess and in the next batch, the same name appears, clear as a bell. I am the type person, that would go back and make the correction. I do that, within the batch..I will go back pages…but, once its gone..its gone.

And one more thing. I see a few people boasting 90-100% accuracy. I am sure they are proud of this. But, if you check out the list of projects. Some say “easy”. When I began here, to get my feet wet..I tried a few “easy”. One name, one date, type written.

I want to see what the scores of some of these people would be, if they attempted some of these Italian records. Some arent even on fill in the blank type pages. They are a page and a half, of chicken scratch…some batches taking an hour to do.

Thats why..this accuracy score is inaccurate. I dont pay attention to it.

As an arbitrator and a keyer, I have to say that most records that I arbitrate have only a simple mistake and not that many at all.
Many of us including myself must of been so frustrated at times at not being able to find a family member only to find that their name has been spelt wrong by one letter. I have to say I feel great being able to check records and correct mistakes so that I am helping others to find their relations easier. Everyone who takes part in this project be it a keyer or arbitrator, should feel proud of themselves for taking part in a project that can effectively help thousands of people who are tracing their ancestors.
So if your rating is a little low…don’t stress over it. For every mistake, think of how many you got right..its a job well done.

I have done easy and hard downloads. I went from a 65 to an 89 back to a 88. I would like to know what I have done wrong, but that may come in time.

Just think about what we are doing for people who cannot afford to pay for these records. That is why I like doing this. I do it because it makes me feel good. You should all be proud of your selves weather you have a 20 or a 100.
Just my opinion

Are we having examinations now to see if we are up to scratch, this is volunteer work – be grateful. The only thing that a fluctuating percentage accuracy reading causes is the volunteer to get demoralised and walk away. Get rid of it unless the volunteer asks for it.
mine fluctuates between 90% and 68% at 68% I have no motivation to continue, If it is not an accurate reading of every transcription done please keep it off the screen. you A people might need it, but not me!!! I do not like tests and exams especially when I have not submitted myself for them.

I said, from the day they added it, that it should come with an on/off switch.

I also said, that I felt it was in very poor taste, as we are volunteers and shouldnt feel like we are being graded.

It is also NOT accurate, especially if its based on arbitration. I arbitrate elsewhere and am aware of my OWN mistakes when arbitrating. This job makes you have to take your best guess, very often.

I believe that the folks that asked for this..didnt want a score. They wanted to know where they are making mistakes..and some mistakes they are making because of lack of proper instructions. Poor instructions also contributes to your accuracy. You keep doing it wrong every single time.

I stopped keying after being here only a few days before the scoreboard appeared. I returned, because to me..its more important to get the info out there..and figure, even if every single one that I did had errors, it takes it off the pile and moves it along.

Maybe they should run a poll, to see if it should go or stay. I am betting, those who asked for it, and now see how they are doing it, without telling them where they are going wrong, dont want it anymore, either.

I also do volunteer proofreading for the Gutenberg project. One of the resources we have is to look at the differences between our work and the proofreader that followed us who is at the next level. This allows me to see what I missed so that I can improve on the next book I proofread. Very helpful for knowing what to work on. Maybe something like that can be implemented here which would tell us if it was an accented character or a bigger problem like the form being wrong, etc.

I agree that after being at the webinar and seeing the expert presenters/arbitrators debate among themselves and come up with different answers on the presented examples, that I find my accuracy score feeling less important. Unless some changes are made to how things are arbitrated, the score can’t be a measure of how you are doing. Not yet.

I also agree that the input fields should be much more specific only allowing certain possible answers in the fields. IE: male or female as complete words and not just an initial, and no other possible letter accepted.

Just my two cents. I enjoy the keying and know that even if my accuracy score is not what would be acceptable on my school report card, I am still contributing to these records being made available to the larger populace. Remember, they used to be sitting in a musty box somewhere that we would have had to spend thousands of dollars and many days to travel and sort through them with no guarantee we would find what we were seeking. We are all collectively upping the odds of success for ourselves and everyone else out there searching for records of their ancestors, even if we have to scroll through a few extra pages because one letter was keyed wrong. Keep the big picture in mind and know that your contribution will help regardless of your accuracy score.

For me I appreciate the accuracy rating as a guide. But I don’t know that it makes me a better keyer. I’d really like to know what I did wrong so I don’t go on making the same mistakes. That probably isn’t possible, so I’m going to continue entering info with the attitude that Jan (#17)states — and she’s right. Whatever we are doing it is helping to get these records out there and available to the people!!!! Try not to worry so much about your rating and just feel good that you’re contributing!!

I agree with you, however, in a sense, what these people see for their accuracy score, makes them feel they are wasting their time, if its low.

I am actually contradicting myself, since I have now encountered some confusion, that makes me want to discontinue, until its sorted out. I still dont care about the accuracy score..and is not the reason why I am considering to discontinue.

We are all putting time in here, that we could be spending doing something else. If most of what you have been doing, appears as incorrect, you dont want to bother…especially when all of it is not your fault.

I have encountered an issue with the italian records that we are now discussing on the forum. Basically, we are the blind leading the blind. With no imput from the higher ups. I am questioning some of the time consuming effort I am putting in here.

I am now debating on if I should continue here or not.

The information provided to us for certain fields of these records is incorrect..or vague. They are asking for the place of birth for two parties. Their example shows the area for this to be found..only, that is NOT their place of birth..its the place they reside. At first, I was adding that town name anyway..which is very time consuming because each little town and commune needs to be googled, for correct spelling and to see if it actually exists, as the handwriting cant always be deciphered accurately.

Forum people suggested to leave it blank. My next 500 or so entries, I left blank.

Another forum member discovered the birth town does exist on these records, but way down below.

I began to then add those, until I realized, many of the birth towns were the same as the one they resided in. Is some unsuspecting arbitrator now removing those birth towns, thinking it is the residence, which they dont want..and my hours of lookups are now a total waste of time????

We are not all on the same page here, for this time consuming project that very few people select to work on.

And then they add an accuracy score to the mix?

I have seen many posts of upset volunteers. One, because the info they need to key is sketchy and then they have the nerve to grade you on it.

I think I may wait this out and discontinue until someone gets some accurate information out there. Can we score THEM for accuracy? lol

I have been arbitrating the England and Wales Criminal records, in terms of helping other family history researchers, I think the most important thing is to get the correct spelling of the name. Out of each image set of between 40 and 60 records the maximum number of disagreements between keyers that I have seen over the name is 4. In many cases the keyers have agreed on all the names. Everyone who is keying is making a valuable contribution, as someone in an earlier post said, we are making information available to the world, which was previously only accessible to a few people. So don’t get disheartened about accuracy

Type your comment here.

Thanks for explaining the accuracy score. It is mostly a judgement call between three people. I don’t mind missing points for guessing wrong on spelling…etc. It’s when I am posting wrong on image sets: like not enough information on the image sets….etc or using the wrong card – and getting everything wrong worries me. Then I would like to be notified so I can correct my ways. Being new at this….I do see where more explaination and examples could be posted.

Someone suggested reading the post coming in on my image sets….and this does help. I was never sure if I was doing it right…but reading the input helps.
Thanks for the opportunity to help keying the image sets and your posting of information. Hopefully I will get better.

As an arbitrator I might be able to help put your minds at ease… there are times when what we indexed gets flagged as “wrong” even though its not.. for instance:

1) If a record date is December 2, 1930 and you put December 02, 1930 while indexer “B” puts the date as 2. The system makes us choose between the two as to what is right. Someone unfortunately has to be wrong.

2) If you abbreviate a month and the other indexer spells it out entirely.. someone loses.

In the roughly 1,000 records I have arbitrated I have seen countless examples of the above. Take heart – accuracy % is not always a direct reflection on our work.

Be careful of abbreviations – don’t expand them unless you are 100% sure of what it is. For instance a country abbreviated as Aust. Can’t assume Austria/Australia.

I have much more appreciation for keyers now that I have begun indexing.

I key everyday and my accuracy rating hasn’t changed even by one for over two weeks.

WHY?? Arbitrating backlog?

1. We are all doing our best. Remember the saying ‘A man who never made a mistake, never made anything’.

2.I just enjoy the work , its interesting and will help someones research

I forgot what I really needed to say.
On the NYC naturialsation cards. The comment on original country of origin says: Queen of England, wales, Scotland etc. If the name is not obviuosly British, Welsh ect . Hoe is the card marked I feel it should be left blank. Help please

With regard to how much your accuracy rating changes, it should become less and less variable as more and more of the records you have keyed are arbitrated.
e.g.if 5000 of the records you have keyed have been arbitrated and you have an accuracy rating of 90% then 500 more of the records you have keyed are arbitrated with an acccuracy of only 80%, then your overall accuracy would only drop by 0.9% to 89.1%

Accuracy Rating is just a simple feedback mechanism which can be automated, and is therefore cheap.

Problem is we really need better, more targetted feedback. If I am consistently, say, completing the date incorrectly I need to know this. If this specific feedback is not forthcoming I am going to keep on making the same mistake.

As to instructions, for the Andrews project there are at least 4 “definitive” sets which disagree with each other. There should be one definitive, regularly maintained, set of instructions for each project. These should include fully worked examples showing images and the resulting records. The more examples the better for Andrews. And then update them as necessary in the light of experience.

And it always helps to know WHY the rules are what they are. Once I had listened to the Arbitration webinar I then understood WHY I only need to key in they primary person (+spouse/father/mother as appropriate) and not everyone mentioned on the card.

I believe we should be told our specific mistake elst we will NEVER fix our problem entry process. Seeing how we are trown at a project with no individual precise comprehensive INSTRUCTIONS for a particular keying form. Then basically told we are wrong. What are we supposed to do ??? Searching boards for people guessing the answers is no way to get accurate data entered !!

A quick question about how accuracy is calculated please. Does the accuracy score relate to every record ever typed, or, after time, do the oldest scores drop off the end so that the overall score we are shown reflect current performance?

Like most people I think I made a lot of mistakes early on, but as I gained practice, and as the help fields provided were improved (sometimes with real revelations!) I hope my current accuracy is much better.

It would be good to understand whether the early mistakes are on the record for ever, or whether there is a rolling cleardown to ensure rating reflects a current position.


I totally agree with your comments. I haven’t been doing this that long and find the message boards a bit difficult to find information on certain fields. Being told what was not accepted could go along way to improving accuracy far more efficiently than the % rating. The webinar was very useful for this.

I am enjoying doing this with the aim more will gain access to information and putting something back for using those searches I used to find my family information most have which has been straight forward luckily for me but not the case for everybody. Everyone who has given up personal time to do this is a valued member of the big team.

I am new to arbitration and really wanted some guidance
I have been looking at the Sands street indexes.
I have come across a number of image sets where one person has entered the wrong street name at some point and copied that through all the records or they just haven’t read the project instructions and have put in the wrong street names throughout

If I arbitrate it, their stats get trashed
but if I reject it all their hard work has gone, as the names are mostly correct

I feel guilty either way- please make me feel better

I am new to this and am totally bummed at my accuracy (82%). I like the feedback about my accuracy; but without feedback about what I doing wrong, the accuracy value can be very discouraging.

The project I am doing has all typed information and there is very little data that can be misinterpreted. So, I’m thinking I am doing something fundamentally wrong. I’ve read and reread all the hints, and truthfully the descriptions of what to enter, and format, is lacking and needs to be accompanied by real examples.

Please consider providing feedback as to which fields were wrong and why. With that information I can improve. Otherwise I am thinking of giving this up.

I would love to know what I am missing. The percentage tells me I don’t match another person’s interpretation/translation, but it would be nice to know if I am making the same mistakes over and over.

No, I am not getting 100% but that is my goal.

The problem I have about accuracy and not knowing what it is that I am doing wrong is that it undermines my confidence in how I key. By this I mean I first had accuracy of about 86%, this jumped to 97%. I have done English Criminal Records, Slave Manifests and Andrews. I have concentrated on Andrews now. The last few months my accuracy has dropped and dropped to 63%. I have read and read and scoured the boards for tips and cannot see why my accuracy is so poor. I now find that I am wondering am I doing this right when at one time I was certain and now I’m thinking about changing it to see if that affects accuracy. For instance where a death is mentioned in a clipping asking for relatives to contact solicitors, I have always classed as other ignoring date of death as per instructions. I am now thinking should I do 2 entries one for death and one for other? Will that make a difference? I know the rule is one entry, per clipping as per the name at top of the page, which is what I have adhered to but I am struggling to find what is so radically wrong. I have arbitrated records but then started thinking should I be doing this now accuracy is so low? I see so many obvious mistakes being made that again I think why is my accuracy so low? I am not obsessed to get 100% or anything daft like that but much as it is easy to say ‘it doesn’t matter, the job’s getting done’ it isn’t easy to carry on feeling I’m not doing a good job.

Apologies for such a long ramble. I have not ‘posted’ before but I really am getting disillusioned over this.

I’m working the Chalmers project and I agree with Dean. It is a real downer to keep trying to improve accuracy when you are not told what you are doing wrong.

On Friday, 5th June, my records keyed was in excess of 900. This morning, 8th June, after keying more records, it was 715. This evening it is 657. Why is this changing so rapidly for no good reason?

I have been Keying and Abitrating for a while now. Lately my Accuracy score dropped to 63% and then to Nill% Quite alarming really with no feed back as to why. I wonder if this has happened to any one else. or if anyone knows the reason behind this.

I just committed an error with the PA petitions. I was mentally gathering data on Jacob Enders, awaiting the Intention or Petition form to appear to enter it when the image set completed. He was not in the next set and therefore will not appear. Is there any way to recall an image set to rectify an error?

I do not mind an accuracy rating, but feedback is needed on corrections made to help improve input. Why is there no feedback???

Given the nature of this work and knowing that the accuracy of records can make or break finding ancestors, I feel the accuracy rating is even more important than the number of records keyed.

I’ve been a keyer for 4 weeks now, maintaining a 98-99% accuracy (21,000+ records keyed to date). When I started arbitrating 2 weeks ago, I was amazed by the poor keying of some records I’ve seen, and I’m not talking about typing in all caps or entering a leading zero.

I’m talking about the keyer who keys the surname & given name and leaves other fields blank, even when the information is CLEARLY WRITTEN on the record; OR repeatedly enters the given name as a surname and the surname as the given name; OR repeatedly omits the middle name(s) from the given name even though this information is on the record. The unwritten message I get from these keyers is “I’m only here for the discount.”

If completed projects were to go live without any accountability for accuracy, the discount wouldn’t be worth a hill of beans if the keyer can’t find the records he/she is looking for because he/she neglected to key all available required informtion.

My first 800 or so records had an accuracy score of 0% which perhaps could be dismissed as “no records checked yet”. It then went up to 36% and stayed there without change through 1,500; 2,000 and now 2,180 records.

I’m not convinced that the accuracy score is in anyway meanful. On the basis of transparency, if a score is to be given, the score at least aught to provide that date that it was last calculated and the number of records it was based on.


It just seems to me that the accuracy rating would mean a lot more if we had some sort of handle on just exactly what it is we are doing wrong.
I have run on to a few things that could have been entered more than one way. If I had some sort of feedback on what it is that I am doing incorrectly the accuracy would improve dramatically.
So far I am holding at 87%, but the perfectionist in me is screaming constantly. I know that this will eventually lead to discouragement and abandonment of the entire project on my part.

Oh Well.

I did my first 20 records and received 0% accuracy! I double checked all entries so it can’t be the typing. Did I not follow directions correctly? Did I use the wrong form? Please help me understand.
Audrey (audstew1)

I am unable to download the new keying tool. Help!


My problem with accuracy checks and using the drop down lists forces the keyer to at times follow misspellings started at the beginning of keying (other peoples). An example is BUSMHAN rather than BUSHMAN. BUSMHAN is shown in the drop down menu; the listing, however shows BUSHMAN, John (Ida). Am I wrong in presuming to ignore the drop down list?

I have the same accuracy rating for close to a month. I am doing the PA and MD project. I am at 84% and haven’t changed since then. I realize there are alot of projects to arbitrate, but I have only did this project since it started. Could someone please give me my correct accuracy?

Thank you

As a new keyer, one thing that would be tremendously helpful is the ability to see which records were inaccurate. When I saw how low my initial accuracy was, I really went and read the instructions closer (which I should have done from the start). I’d like to continue getting better and seeing my mistakes would help.

In gouing over the naturalization record I find that the typed pages are often different from the handwritten pages, especially the signatures by the person in question. In keying the correct info I regularly input info different from the Typed page. Also there are documents that have a small piece of paper covering allowing for all required iformation to still be seen. When I input these pages although I am supposed to skip them, my rating goes up. When I input the handwritten info over the typed my rating goes down. Doesnt make sense. Are the arbitrators looking at the same records or just making assumptions? It is disconcerting to make a big drop when you work so hard. I guess however you rate, it would be difficult.Ever onward.

I just did my first project, and got back 46% accuracy which was very disheartening since I was so meticulous, and I scanned all of the help pages and was not able to find anything that addressed my questions!!! Since I couln’t get help I had to make an educated guess. It would have been so much more helpful if I could have seen what mistakes I had made (probably when added in Proprietor as it was in the doc even though there was no field for it) which would have helped in knowing how to key next time…

I agree with everyone who has requested feedback on errors. I have been over and over the instructions and tips for the New York U.S. Naturalization records and sometimes my accuracy goes up, sometimes down. If I knew what I was doing incorrectly, it would be a great help. I’m a little reluctant to keep going “blind”. Hopefully I’ll get a response from Support soon.

I downloaded two sets that I really didn’t understand how to key, so I cancelled them. I was using Firefox and it wouldn’t let me explain why in the box. I am much more comfortable with the NY immigration lists and there are plenty of them. Do those 2 cancellations affect my score?

I just started keying last week, maybe some of the pros can give me some insight as to why my accuracy needs improvement. It is not the keying, as I am a typist. It is not the decipering as they are typed cards. I believe it is the fields, the example given does not even closely resemble the card in the image set I am given. I spend so much time trying to decipher what they want on these cards that I could be keying if only the examples and instructions matched.
The other issue is how about showing us an example already keyed and more importantly where our errors were? If we don’t know where we erred it is a bit difficult to fix.