Allow us to add sources to Taxon Names

It would be helpful if we could add sources to common names in the same way we can add them to Taxon Changes and Taxon Forms. The display would look like this, with the addition I made surrounded by a red rectangle:

as oppose to what we have now:

I do not think it should be mandatory for every name to have a source, but having the option would be beneficial. It would allow us to communicate to other users where the names come from, both for scientific synonyms and vernaculars. As someone who has added many common names to the site, I have occasionally been contacted by other users who doubt the “validity” of the name I added just because the species is not very well-known.

Additionally, it would make this guideline hold a little more weight:

If it is preferred that we include names that have been used “elsewhere” and were not invented just for iNaturalist, allowing us to add sources would help maintain accountability.

I like this idea, but have also had the thought that iNat should identify the user that first creates a taxon and the date. Currently, I don’t this is the case. Taxon changes are marked with the user making the change, but I did not see the originator… This way we could write the originator if a question arises. Same goes for a taxon common name.

iNaturalist does do this, actually.

This information is at the bottom of the Taxon Form.

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I’m sorry, but I must be too dense to see it, but I do not see such a thing on the taxon pages that I look at. For example,

… or

I see where changes have been made, by whom and when. But the creation of the original name (in this case, Hibiscus moscheutos lasiocarpos 143501) seems to have no information about who or when it was created. Sorry!

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This information may only be accessible to curators. It may be worth while creating your own Feature Request to argue that this info should be more explicit and accessible to everyone.

Thanks! It may be my browser or like you say, but I am starting to understand some of the intracacies better!

I would stick to a few published sources like Wikidata, Wikispecies, EOL, IOC birdlist and make the list exportable with descriptive tags like date, author, source, taxonID so it is easy to match with other systems and easy to compare

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Added an issue for this here:

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Thanks, @tiwane. I thought this feature request fell on deaf ears.

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I’m sorry, it can just take a long time to get things approved and going through. There are a lot of requests and a small number of staff (really only two developers for the website).

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@tiwane I noticed in the github issue that you’ve suggested adding another column in the Names section of the Taxon Details page for the source. To me that seems a little cluttered, and if we also want to publicly display who added the name, it would get even more cluttered. If I can make a design suggestion – what if we add another link under Add a Name called something like See Name Details?

This would take you to a page similar to Manage Names, but with no editing privileges and showing the Source and the Created by/Updated by fields.


Added your suggestion to the issue, thanks!