Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Genealogy Resolution: Improved Access to Resources

Depending on the size of an individual document, the time from acquisition to being posted online can vary greatly. Some items arrive and are posted the following week. Others take months, or longer, to complete the journey.

In 2011, we have resolved to make the resources that get scanned and transcribed into the Genealogy Today Subscription Data collection accessible earlier in the process. As the first step towards achieving this resolution, effective today, premium members (i.e. paid subscribers) now have access to two new features in a section labeled "Premium Member Services" on their Team Roots start page.

The first feature, PRE-Release Items, allows members to search individual documents as soon as they are indexed. While our goal is to upload completed items every Sunday, periodically that's not feasible, so some items may be queued for several weeks. Members will now be able to search these documents BEFORE they are uploaded into the database and cataloged into Live Roots.

The second new feature, Scanned Item Queue, lets members browse the collection of items that are in the "pipeline" but have not yet been indexed. We will be adding two options on the document pages to allow members to request lookups from an item, and/or let us know they are very interested in an item (i.e. we should accelerate getting it indexed).

In an upcoming update to the Live Roots catalog (Resource search on Genealogy Today), the items in both of these categories will be included; reducing the need to browse the lists separately. While the items will be added to the Live Roots catalog, only premium members will be able to preview search and/or request lookups.

Additional premium member services are under development.

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