Are old identifications sometimes removed from the database?

I’ve just discovered that on many of my earliest observations,
as viewed both in the app and on the website, my original ID is no longer visible. Only those IDs added by other people still appear. If it were just one or two, I could believe I’d accidentally entered a placeholder name. But I’ve found 13-14 observations submitted between 2021/08/09 and 2021/08/22 on which my original ID is not visible.

I’m sure I put an actual ID on at least most of those. First, at that point I was still often selecting from the suggestions, before I learned that can affect the perceived quality of an observation. Second, I had to update the observation time on most of those early entries, because I was never asked to choose a time zone and the default’s apparently in the central Pacific Ocean. I believe I’d have noticed if those entries had a placeholder, with no thumbnail photo for the taxon.

What might cause my original ID to no longer appear?

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IDs aren’t supposed to be removed, so this is worth looking into. One thing to check is sometimes IDs don’t save if you quickly leave an observation page after making them, although that’s unlikely to be the cause if this happened when you were initially uploading them. You might want to paste an example url too.

i looked at a few of these observations without your own identification, and i didn’t see any evidence of there being an ID prior to the first ID by another person.

the link below provides examples of the first ID by others from 4 of your observations, where you made an ID in 1 of these cases and didn’t make IDs in the 3 other cases. identification records are captured with an indication of what the observation taxon was prior to the ID. in the 3 cases where you had no ID, these identification records captured no previous taxon, but in the observation where you made an ID, the first ID by another person shows that there was a previous taxon (which would have come from your ID).

https://jumear.github.io/stirfry/iNatAPIv1_identifications.html?id=198119837,198119915,200775255,201922136

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Are you sure your ID actually went through and showed up after it was uploaded? I’ve entered names and sometimes the interface doesn’t properly pick up that I selected it, so the field ends up blank.

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Yeah this can be caused by a misspelling or taxonomy issues, etc. the typed text from the app shows up in the observation only until someone else adds ID and after that it disappears. After I do a big upload I look at my calendar or “edit my observations” for any dotted line white pins that mean something wasn’t tagged right.

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many people use the suggestion as a shortcut to the ID they know. The perceived quality depends on the track record of the identifier. Not on whether they. Carefully. Typed out. The whole species name.

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I didn’t know you could get that info out of the API.

yup, but it’s not perfect. see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/previous-taxon-recorded-on-identification-from-upload-page-is-the-same-as-the-identification-taxon-instead-of-null-undefined/26128.

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