Allow taxon curators to edit taxon names, reducing "pointless" taxon changes for fixes like epithet ending changes or adding hybrid symbols

Currently only staff or the user who created the taxon can edit the taxon name. All other curators must create a taxon change to edit the name.

This is good to document meaningful changes to taxonomy, such as something being transferred to a new genus, a taxon being split into 2 or more taxa, lumped, etc, so as to apply that change to how the observations are filed in the database, and to provide a notification and record to users when and why the change was done. But, it’s mostly messy and meaningless for things like updating the end of a specific epithet from -a to -us, to add a hybrid symbol, or change a hybrid symbol from x to ×.

Staff have also mentioned that taxon changes can be very burdensome on the website’s infrastructure. A taxon change withdraws all IDs, inactivates the old taxon, adds new IDs to all observations with the new taxon, updates all place checklists and life lists, and everyone who has used the taxon on an observation or checklist etc will be notified, among other changes.

The proposal is to allow taxon curators, who are selected by staff, to be trusted to use this power to make these types of small name edits without need for an actual taxon change.

current state

preferred option with editable text field for taxon curators

It would be ideal to still have an accessible change history list to indicate that something was done. (That would apply to all changes to a taxon, like changing geoprivacy settings, conservation status, etc.)

This was previously added to the list of potential improvements to taxonomic curation on iNat in July 2019.

i gave up today encountering this issue and left the epiphet as is when trying to change “sh” to “sch”

1 Like

Has my support 100%, thanks @bouteloua for putting it up for consideration.