Adding or editing observation fields reports wrong user

If one edits an observation field the edit is attributed to the author of the field and not the editor - as reported in the dashboard.


Tony, I’m not sure this is the same effect you were speaking of, but I just got a notice that I added a value to an observation field for one of my observations:

regarding this observation:
In fact, someone else added that observation field and value.
My question is why the added value was attributed to me.


The answer is that it is a bug: - is it possible for you to figure out who changed the value?

It occurred to me that INat does not store who edits a field: and thus any edit is attributed to the observer of the observation. I hope that I am wrong.

As I understand it, only three people can edit an observation field.

  1. the person who added it.
  2. the owner of the observation
  3. the owner of the observation field.
    But only the person who added it can delete it (there is a bug with the Android cellphone app, which adds all observation fields in a project to any observation, even if empty (or alternatively with the wrong
    value if there is a default) - this is a right pain when managing the observation fields and trying to keep the data curated.

Hopefully someone will respond to this in due course?

1 Like

I believe anyone can edit an observation field (except on obs of users who disallow adding obs fields).

Linking github issue:


Happened to me now too: I got a notification that I had added an observation field to one of my observations (

I did not add this field, it was featherenthusiast. On the observation itself, also erroneously shows that it was me who added it




Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website; issue also present in iNat daily New Updates emails

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Using Firefox 91.0 under Win7E.

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: is where the activity error appears; American Black Duck × Mallard is the observation on which the activity is reported.

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Activity alert (on home screen or in daily email digest) reports the following: " anita363 added a value for “Campus Area” to an observation by you". anita363 is me, and I assure you I did no such thing. I did not add a value for “Campus Area” to my own photo in the past day (or ever). I’m guessing that someone else did so (which is fine) and that the system is attributing the activity to me instead of to them (less fine). Perhaps it was the same person who added a (mis)identification to the same obs within a day or so of the errant activity notice. But I can’t imagine they did anything wrong. I mean, aside from not being able to tell a hybrid duck from Adam – but that’s just someone using the platform as intended.

Thanks much!

I’ve noticed something similar when I edit a field someone else had added. After editing, I get a notification that that user added a value to the field (instead of me).

@anita363 I merged your report into this existing one. Sorry you’re still experiencing this problem.

Thank you!