Adding nondisagreeing genus ID after a more specific ID was made

Many times I put a genus ID on something with a species ID not as a contradiction, but more as a way of drawing more attention to an observation so someone else with more expertise will see it. Someone said that it hindered an observation from getting research grade? Please explain. Thanks!

4 Likes

Adding a genus ID after the more specific species ID won’t really attract any more attention to an observation, except for the very small number of people who might sort observations by “last updated”.

The only way it would hinder an observation from more quickly achieving research grade is if you had accidentally added a disagreeing genus ID (orange button) instead of without disagreeing (green button). I pretty rarely use that green button myself. I wonder if whoever said that is just mistaken about how IDs work. I’m happy to take a look at the observation if you want to send the link to me in a personal message.

For more discussion on the disagreeing ID pop-up language, see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/change-wording-used-by-the-system-when-downgrading-an-observation-to-an-higher-level-taxa/3862/

8 Likes

I would not recommend putting in a genus ID if there is already a plausible species ID on the observation.

1 Like

Can you say why? Thanks.

3 Likes

This is making me intensely angry if you or someone are doing this without explanation with an identification of mine or with a known specialist on a group. This means you are often ignorant and unwilling to put in the extra effort to check the present correct ID for that taxon. It is better not to add anything at all. It is clutter. It is better to ask about that species. Many people do that.

4 Likes

As someone who does a global search on caterpillars looking for instances of parasitism I see many caterpillars I can verify at genus. I’m careful to use the green button for the genus except for a few occasions I know the species chosen can’t be right. Since it says “improving” I thought it gave positive weighting with two agreements on genus (mine and the implied one in the species choice.) Some of these have had a single ID for three years or more.
Also many times I see a plant that I know the genus for in an area few experts go.

4 Likes

Thanks for clarifying! It definitely does do something by adding that genus ID. The observation would now have a community ID (at genus, not species) and yes does provide some more weight that the species ID would be heading in the right direction.

I don’t think being “intensely angry” is a typical or reasonable reaction to this but I will say adding a genus ID like this is a bit nonstandard. In most cases, identifiers will leave it alone and wait for someone else to confirm the species rather than add a coarser non-disagreeing ID. Hope that helps!

6 Likes

So the observation would now contribute to the computer vision model, correct?

3 Likes

i think others have covered most of the bases, but i wanted to point out that if something is identified to subspecies, i tend not to add additional ids at a higher level, even if not a disagreement, because it will still push the observation taxon to the higher level until the observation is research grade, i believe. also, if there are disagreements at a rank higher than my potential nonspecies id, i tend to only add my id if i can come back to remove it later, due to the math of to the community taxon calculation when there are disagreements. for example, if someone says something is a sweetgum and someone else says it’s a specific mulberry, and i can only commit to a general mulberry, then i tend to leave off my id, though i might add a comment.

5 Likes

Yes that’s true.

Why does it make you angry?

This means you are often ignorant and unwilling to put in the extra effort to check the present correct ID for that taxon.

On the contrary, adding a genus-level ID when the genus is all I can be confident of doesn’t demonstrate ignorance, it demonstrates a clear knowledge of what I can (and can’t) identify accurately. It does absolutely no harm to your more specific ID, it simply strengthens the genus ID in addition.

11 Likes

In my opinion it’s completely fine to add a non-disagreeing genus (or other higher-level taxon) ID if that’s all you are confident identifying, even if there is already a species ID from someone else. It might not be as significant a contribution but it certainly does no harm. If the observation only has one other ID then adding your genus ID can help the observation get to research grade at genus, get a community ID, and be included in the computer vision model - these are all good things. At worst, it simply has no effect.

(That’s all assuming it’s a non-disagreeing ID - a disagreeing ID is a lot more significant and more of a ‘statement’, which can be important and useful but has a very different message from a non-disagreeing ID.)

5 Likes

Well it does create notifications for anyone who has previously identified to species.

1 Like

Not only that. It is part of the endless clutter which does not contribute anything at all. This also create confusion to the original uploader of the observation. This person does not know the fine distinction for a non- disagreeing ID. He/she thinks it must be the correct ID.

1 Like

Yes, I see this a lot. Since an observation with a single ID does not contribute to the computer vision model, I sometimes add a second ID even if I don’t know the species. Every observation should have at least two IDs.

If an observation already has two IDs, but it still needs one or more IDs to reach Research Grade, the value of an ID more general than species depends on the situation. Suppose an observation has a genus-level ID and a species-level ID. If I don’t know the species but I do know the subgenus, I should add a subgenus-level ID since that raises the Community ID to the next level.

3 Likes

That’s true, but notifications are in the process of being overhauled anyway. If everyone was obliged to consider whether their action was worth sending a notification about, lots of people would be too worried to do anything at all.

4 Likes

What exactly is the endless clutter? Identifications? Other users? It sounds like you want iNat to be a repository for professional biologists to identify observations and nothing else.

You’re also making a lot of assumptions about what other users do and don’t know or understand. The community ID system is explained in the introductory guide, and there’s no reason to believe that the original observer can’t understand what it means when people give different levels of ID. In any case, if an observation has one species-level ID and one one agreeing genus-level ID, it would be perfectly reasonable for the observer (like the community ID algorithm itself) to conservatively consider the genus correct and the species provisional.

5 Likes

For clarity, you can only turn off confirming notifications. A genus ID after a species ID is not considered a confirming identification and can’t be turned off.

image

2 Likes

Oops, my mistake!

1 Like

I’ll do that, but I put in a comment.
Usually it’s something like “not disagreeing with @robertarcher397; just adding my ID to the best of my current ability to move it to the correct taxon”.

3 Likes