Add drop-down to Identify filters for number of IDs made by observer

Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: Website

URLs (aka web addresses) of any pages, if relevant:

Description of need: Currently there are few identifiers placing just about all the ID’s. Many identifiers are also observers. I would like a way to filter observations by who places ID’s. So when I’m identifying; I can set region, taxon, and observers who also have, say 10K identifications. We already have a way to sort by new accounts, what about a way to support the people making the ID’s? This could also be a way to return the favor if there is an option to identify observations of those who ID’d my stuff.

Feature request details: Add it as a drop-down filter under More Filters possibly next to: With Annotation would fit. Perhaps calling it Prioritize identifiers with options being:
ID’d my observations
Placed 1000 ID’s for others
Placed 10K ID’s for others

I like this idea! Yes, I know that I can go through and tag people to get some IDs on taxa I don’t have familiarity with, but as all identifiers know, there are problems with tags.

Having something like this is a way to support fellow identifiers! Additionally, maybe something like this would encourage others to ID. There will always be bad actors who may give bad IDs in order to get some theoretical “special treatment”, but I don’t think that should be a reason not to do something. Plus, if there’s a tiny “reward” (a chance your stuff will get identified quicker) maybe a few more people will get into IDs and help the effort overall.


I do worry a little bit about this being implemented. One of the reasons, as identified above, is that it could incentivize bulk IDing - if there’s a specific cutoff (like 10k IDs or whatever) users might make careless IDs to get there. We already have some users who do this with motivation being the leaderboards alone (plenty of forum topics address that one…).

I’m a little less worried about a feature that allows you to ID for someone who has IDed your observations.

Both implementations though I think run the risk of increasing “inequality” on iNat - they give preference or special treatment (however one wants to phrase it) to established users who have IDed for lots of other folks or made lots of IDs. Experienced users already know how the site works and are often invested and prepared to wait for IDs to come along. Newer users, who don’t have many/any followers, don’t know the best ways to ID their own observations, or understand which experts to tag, may wait for IDs a long time and get turned off by a lack of response and leave iNat. So effectively giving the option to prioritize experienced over new users who may arguably benefit more seems a bit off to me.

So on the whole, while I agree that this would be nice for high volume IDers, I think there are some downsides which, for me, would outweigh, the positives.

NB: I write from the perspective of someone who is definitely an IDer (>100k IDs, IDs outnumber observations >100:1) and would benefit from this feature.


I could see an issue with people trying to ID their way into the list, but putting the number of required ID’s high would weed out a lot problems.

As to the problems of prioritizing regular users, there already is a way to prioritize new users, why not another option going the other way?

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the ratio of observations to IDs could work! The amount of people that are super-users in terms of IDs and identifications is very small. From my anecdotal data, it seems like many super-IDs have some IDs but overall not a huge amount.

(I have 100K IDs and 800 observations, neylon has almost 200K IDs with 5500 observations)

Maybe 100:1 is a bit high. I could see it being 75:1 or even 50:1 (25:1???). I think it’s nice to support new users, but if this site is going to continue to function with more users, we need some way to even slightly incentivize IDs.

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1:100 means someone with 10k observations need a million of ids done. With those high % most iders won’t have observations at all to id?
I know many on forum are trying to get to 1:2, that’s actually good enough, maybe you could take 1:5 if you want less results.
(I’m a little confused if you meant super observers or super iders, but it’s true for both).


I meant that there’s not many people that ID a ton and have a ton of IDs.

So it’s not like all of a sudden if people chose to ID other’s with high # of observations, they would never be looking people who don’t ID. The observations of people who ID a lot would be knocked out relatively fast because there’s not tons overall

I agree with these concerns as well. It intensifies the ‘gamification’ and ‘ranking’ aspect, which are both things I don’t think are especially good to have on iNat.

In addition, often it’s not about how many ID’s a person has made, but about how well the know the specific area or taxon in question. Adopting an “X number of IDs” system ignores this.

As I’ve said elsewhere in the forum, I’d actually lean the other direction, in favor of doing away with ranking people by how many IDs they have entrely, possibly even removing the “top IDrs rank entirely”.


I know where you are coming from and I appreciate the suggestion to support IDers.

However, I don’t think a feature like this is necessary. There are already possibilities to find IDers. The most prolific ones will probably pop up in your feed anyhow. But it is also possible to find them through leader boards for specific regions, taxa or both. From there it is easy to go to their observations and see what you can do to pay them back. I actually do that regularly… just go to their observations, pick my taxa and see what I can do for them. IDers already know how the site works and sometime will just ask for help.

However, the case is different for new users and I get why it is useful to be able to filter for them (even if l actually hear it the first time now :sweat_smile:). They are not easily found, don’t know yet how the site works and some positive reinforcement (getting observations IDed) might get them hooked. It’s not the same issue I think.

Also, I agree with the sentiment that has been raised that it is often not too much about quantity alone. I don’t think it would be easy to find a useful and fair cut-off point.


Because I do a lot of identifying, I know who to @mention (poke with a sharp stick) to get my few obs an ID.

To your intention of - supporting identifiers - please - chose a location and / or taxon and help to identify. Anything. Anywhere. Especially the routine obvious easy stuff. Free up the skilled identifiers to dedicate time to their good stuff.

Mr Dragonfly needs us to go thru Unknowns for … insects … odonata if you can.
That is active and effective support which thanks Mr Dragonfly for helping my obs.
I humungously doubt that Mr Dragonfly needs ANY ID help from me?

And when you have cleared your local Unknowns - well done, take a deep breath and reach out to the next geographical place / layer. Or an even deeper breath and tackle Needs ID. Especially what is trapped in limbo with very broad IDs like it’s a Plant!


I’m not sure there, speaking from my perspective, I know a lot about identifying Bombus, but plants are green things that don’t move and occasionally have colorful things on top. When I upload those, I neither know how to sort those or who to tag. If you help me with plants or Anything outside of Bombus, then very likely you’re helping me with something I don’t know. Even with Bombus, annoyingly I am the top identifier and top observer in my state (by a long margin in both cases), so if I get something wrong (it happens), it will sometimes sit there for quite a long time without me knowing it.


What about iding for those with high% of needs id + something else to filter out “lazy accounts” woth many “bad” observations, like number of observations, so e.g. you choose a person with 5k+ observations and 80% needs id.

To branch off of this point, there are pretty sufficient filtering features for finding users with any which X criteria. Top identifier and observer of something are easily found on a taxa’s page or by filtering explore, and it’s just as easy to do for a certain place. You can even choose a range so you don’t have to be bound by a specifically labeled location. I feel like those tools could be used and sorted in just a couple of seconds and would give you what you’re looking for.

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Yes, but I think the point is that there should be ways to “reward” people who contribute to the site. This site has a bottleneck of observers (see this recent paper) but right now we do nothing to reward or incentivize behavior.
I see having something like this as a way to “tip your server” , essentially a way for other users to thank those who keep the site a place where so many amateurs go.
I know I can go through all my observations and tag people, but I see it a better use of my time to go through a backlog of bees that haven’t been ID’d in 5+ years. Therefore, a feature like allows mutual sharing of expertise to those who have put the most into the site.

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It can work either way, though. New and inexperienced users can be encouraged through receiving IDs and that can motivate them to want to do it themselves. That’s what made me start mostly. I felt bad that people had put so much effort towards my junk, so I wanted to return the favor.

I think the leaderboards “reward” people in a way, by giving recognition. But those within themselves can be controversial and people feel different ways about them, but I think they serve a similar purpose of what’s being sought after here? That’s a question because I might be wrong with that train of thought but that’s just how I’m interpreting this.

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Yesterday I was enjoying Lachnaea filamentosa
Blue! Pretty! Then I went thru Lachnaeas to move L f to Research Grade, where I could. It has 60 obs, needs more for CV. Then I leapt to the top of the leaderboard :upside_down_face:

And asked @jeremygilmore to rescue me. Jeremy 26 (thank you) Diana 16.

For your Solidago - go to the leaderboard (taxon then filtered for place). Pick a familiar name. When I am lost among unknown identifiers - I often chose someone active on the Forum (I know they are active, leaderboard says they have The Knowledge)

This is the only time I have seen an identifier ask for our help. Meanwhile Joe Fish has gone on Taxonomy Strike so anyone with marine life skills to offer - iNat Needs You.


Haha, same! I still have about 90 planty things hanging around at class-level or higher, because that is often all I personally can do about them. I just do know next to nothing about them… and with around 850 needs-ID-plants I don´t feel like starting to tag anyone… would get annoying soon I guess

Bookmarked - you have about 800 plants needs ID.

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The issue there, is the frequent discussions on the etiquette of reaching out to identifiers. Common consensus is don’t tag too often and put some effort into the ID. I also end up a backlog of things that I thought looked interesting at the time, but haven’t had time to look into them.

I do appreciate the ID’s by the way.


Just to be clear. A lot of us already take time and specifically place ID’s for people who ID our stuff. @tockgoestick was one of my top three last year, birdandbook ran through a lot of my stuff adding observation field to my Bombus. And several times when someone has placed ID’s for me I’ve gone through as much of their stuff as I could.

What I want here, is just a quick way to do that. Especially now that I have confirming ID’s turned off, I don’t always know who’s helping me. This would be a way to thank everyone quickly.

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