A register of genera that could be "easily" raised to research grade?

There are genera/species/complexes that, being difficult to identify, often receive few identifications. In some cases there are few users who identify such genera. Thus, as a result, many observations are stuck in the “needs ID” limbo because no one seem to “dare” to confirm the identification. In some cases, these observations need just one ID to reach RG.
I think it could be important to try to move upwards such observations to RG.
Maybe a sort of register or database of such taxa could be useful to raise users’ awareness?

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It sounds like that would be quite a long list. I have found observations like that while filtering for easy-to-ID taxa (for me, someone very familiar with ID of these taxa) in areas that receive a lot of attention already (such as filtering for Birds in the United States). We already have such a database when you filter your Identify to such genera/taxa. This is already what some ID experts (like me) do.

There are also events to identify species in areas that have relatively fewer observations but a relatively higher number of observations not yet out of Kingdom ID, such as Mission Impossible: Africa.


Why? I know once upon a time Research Grade Observations uploaded to GBIF, however that does not seem to be the case any longer.

Exhibit A (17 days), Exhibit B (4 weeks), Exhibit C (6 weeks).

Knowing researchers who come looking for them have used my Needs ID data just fine (sometimes but not always bringing them to RG by adding an ID or checking that little “as good as it gets” box), what is the impetus?

Well, I could ask you why not.

I mean you could? But since you are the one who stated it could be important, I think the argument to make would be yours?

Otherwise, I think it is just a matter of preference.

Ok, it could be just a waste of time.
But. let’s pose it in other words, is it better to have more “needs ID” or more RG observations?

That’s a bit of a false dichotomy; it excludes Casual.

I know what my answer would be for my own Observations (that the important factor is accuracy, be it Casual, Needs ID, or Research Grade). I also know that I am glad to have patience in buckets because due to my location (and sometimes due to rarity of species) identification and/or confirmation often takes longer than might feel comfortable for someone else.

Exhibit A (2 years)

However someone else’s answer may be “accuracy within a set time period” and that person may wish to click Agree at a higher taxonomic level or check “as good as it can be” to move their own Observations along to Research Grade (or Casual) within that time period in order to lower the number of Needs Identifications among their own Observations. That is fine for that person. As I said, I think this is just a matter of preference.

And that’s a good thing. In the complex I study I can do searches on iNat in which every single observations is incorrectly identified. Better to do nothing than be wrong.

Your idea has merit though as pointed out there’s a lot of taxa/complexes like that, and increasing every day.

If there is a particular taxon you can filter for @blue_celery, you can use this link


All three of your exhibits are on GBIF:


So that’s a clear benefit to getting things to research grade when possible.

Furthermore, the value of the iNaturalist repository is improved by adding certainty to identifications when possible. We may disagree on the urgency of this particular request, but it seems clear that adding identifications to observations that are labelled as ‘needs id’ is a useful thing. It’s right there in the name: needs id.


I wonder why the GBIF addition logo thingie no longer appears on Observations then? (@tiwane?)

I am also not sure of the benefit of them appearing there, to be honest. As I said, my Needs ID Observations are accessed and utilized by researchers when desired even if they are not on GBIF.

Yes, I did not dispute that. I only dispute that there should be a universal expiration on when if that is not achieved, there should be a motion to tick it away. My “when possible” may look different than someone else’s and my patience may be more abundant, and that is OK.

I asked if there was some reason, and thus far I cannot say I see one for myself.

As I said, personal preference.

I don’t think @blue_celery was suggesting automatically upgrading ID to research grade. My reading of their question was if we had a register of genera that could be easily identified, then it would be easier to recruit users to actually do the identification. That seems like a good idea, although maybe not practical.

Ah. I read it very differently, based on:

This made me think he was speaking of difficult to identify species, rather than the genera that could be easily identified as you read.

Which seemed to suggest that people should be more daring in pushing things beyond their expertise to Research Grade.

This statement led me to ask why it was important. It still feels like a matter of personal preference.

My personal preference is to wait for those with the expertise to come along and not feel daring to confirm, to make an identification solely because they believe it and feel themselves qualified to assess it so, not because they are motivated to get it to Research Grade.

If another person’s is different, then that is splendid. I only wished to understand if there was a universal reason, and there does not seem to be.

I interpreted this as: many complexes (e.g., things that cannot be IDed to species without direction) are stuck at needs ID because people are too shy about IDing and/or clicking “no” for “can this species be improved”. I can certainly see a benefit to moving such observations to RG.


Click no, cannot be improved for your own Observations? Excellent and completely valid personal preference.

See my post here.

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Not always. Sometimes, I come across an observation that has languished at a very broad ID for a long time. I give it a shot, the best I can – and within a day, someone has corrected my ID to genus or species. In cases like that, being wrong was better than doing nothing.


there are a good number of genera that have only one species – such as Ricinus and Nerium.

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Hook, line and sinker. Very effective. (For the iNatters who respond to notifications)
There is an elegant name for that, somewhere in the forum, for ‘being wrong’ provokes a quick response.

For “easily” I meant really easy to confirm or, alternatively, when a trustworthy identifier has provided one ID.