"Agree"ing with other's suggestions on my observations


I may have missed this somewhere, but what exactly does it mean when you “agree” with someone’s suggestion on your own obs? Does it mean I’ve checked it out or just that I trust their judgment? I’m not knowledgeable about some obs and appreciate the suggestions, but I don’t know if there’s any advantage to ‘agreeing’ if I don’t really know what I’m talking about :laughing:



welcome to the forum :)

as per iNat guidelines, " An identification confirms that you can confidently identify it yourself compared to any possible lookalikes. Please do not simply “Agree” with an ID that someone else has made without confirming that you understand how to identify that taxon. If you agree with the ID without actually knowing the taxon, it may reach Research Grade erroneously."

So this is a good mindset to have; it is perfectly ok to just leave the other user’s ID as is, no need to do anything further. If, however, someone else’s ID explicitly disagrees with yours (as opposed to refining your ID), and you think they’re probably correct but are not 100% sure, you can withdraw your ID instead of hitting agree.


Welcome to the forum! thebeachcomber has already answered your question but I just wanted to say thank you for asking it in the first place! It’s an important question that few people take the time to consider.


I agree with other answers, including that this is a great question to ask, and shows that you’re thinking along the right lines!

I just had one thought to add which is that some users seem to use the agree function to “thank” other IDers or as a kind of “like”, but we shouldn’t do this (if someone wants to says “Thanks!” they can always do that in a comment).

The agree button/function is often used by other subsequent IDers as a quick way to add another ID matching one that has already been made on an observation (rather than typing it in), but each ID we make should reflect our own knowledge/expertise, not our perception of whether or not another user is correct.


This good question is specifically why I add some information if I disagree with an identification. It offers the user a chance to do their own research and make up their mind to agree or withdraw. A bit more work, but it saves some time by not having to respond. As an example, this morning a rather knowledgeable individual changed an ID to Noctuidae from an identified species, without saying why. The OP asked the person why (so far no response). I double checked my confirmation, and have no idea what prompted the person to make such a big change. So I need to wait and see what their reasoning is, too.


“…you think they’re probably correct but are not 100% sure, you can withdraw your ID instead of hitting agree.”

Thanks! Very helpful.

Thanks much, everyone! All super helpful! Got it! :grin:


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