Changing the System to Limit the Ability to Confer Research Grade Status

This topic is inspired by the topic on this forum beginning “Penang Intersecondary . . .” I’m not sure this would be such a problem if Research Grade weren’t so easy to obtain by one person without knowledge agreeing with another person without knowledge. I think there should there be some objective standard to be met for the ability to change a “Needs ID” observation to Research Grade.


The majority of the problems would be fixed if new accounts had a probationary period of say one month, in which their IDs don’t count towards CID or RG. Allowing mentor accounts to be attached to their accounts and then the mentor could “release” IDs if they deemed them to be sensible attempts.

The Penang thing is a recurring problem when ever there is a school assignment or bioblitz that occurs without a reasonable level of instruction on how to use iNat. Ideally the staff or tutors on those should hold mini “test” bioblitzes to identify any problems before they are unleashed enmass onto the community.


Some of our best IDers don’t add observations so I don’t think anything that requires adding observations as a requirement for adding IDs is a good idea.


Yes, I agree. I thought of that after I posted, and now I’ve taken that phrase out.


I’m going to create a Feature Request on the subject of Ability to Confer Research Grade Status, because it doesn’t seem possible to convert the category.


The idea of a probationary period can include the ability to “release” from that probationary period immediately (by a curator?) for cases where experts are joining, or where suitable tuition is supplied.

I also like the idea of mentor accounts. I reckon just a simple probationary period where certain problematic actions are controlled, with the ability to have mentors that are able to and take responsibility for cleaning up problems with those accounts. That way such events as bioblitzes can have accounts generated on the day and be active, with the coordinators able to make changes that absentee observers wouldn’t do.

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I think it might be because you have received “likes” on it?

Regardless, having a general category to initially discuss the idea, and then formalising into a Feature Request is not a bad thing. In fact, it is much better than modifying the feature request as the discussion goes, because if I read it as being one thing, vote on it, but then the description of the feature request changes, I might not want to have voted on the new version of it!

“I reckon we all need free ice-cream when it is over 30 deg C outside”
I would vote for that
“Change that to we all need to be forced to run 50kms when it is 30 deg C outside”
I would not want my vote to continue to count for that!

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Thank you. I agree with you on no changes to Feature Requests–in fact, I wish it were not possible. But the problem I’m seeing with this being a general topic is that additional topics are being raised and soon this will turn into one of the many iNaturalist group discussions with way too many different proposals and no conclusion. I generally agree with your proposals, though. I can’t seem to make a new Feature Request–I guess my trust level was downgraded or something.

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i don’t think you got demoted. They just need approval from admin and maybe no one is around.

In terms of edits it does seem odd that it doesn’t notify when someone does a bit edit. I think we should just cultivate the etiquette that any major edits should just turn into a new request if people have voted.


No, it was user error. Feature Request is pending approval.

I know we were asked to keep feature requests to a couple each initially, maybe they put that limit in formally… We can only vote on 6 at first anyway, I think they wanted to keep the number of things to vote on relatively low for that reason.

@tiwane As far as I’m concerned, this thread can be closed at any time, since I made a Feature Request out of the subject in the title. If others want it left open, that’s fine, though. I’m not tracking it any more.

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I don’t think it needs to be closed, in case anyone wants to comment more. I close Feature Requests to give people their votes back and bugs might be closed just to note that the bug has been dealt. These topics are a bit more open-ended so I think it’s fine to leave them open.


Got it! Thanks for the clarification.

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Paloma’s initial thought, that two fuzzy observations can override an expert, is so well taken. It can be frustrating to have someone base a species choice on a flower color, without seeing the leaf, stem and habitat. Sometimes there are genetic requirements in a species determination that are lacking from the observation photo.
My wish would be that if an expert or DOU (detail-oriented user) sees an identification feature overridden or ignored, that this observation and its comments can be fielded to an expert for that species. (and not an expert by the most report counts or by consensus)
All said with the understanding that we’re trying to do taste tests on water from a fire hydrant. Thanks, moderators.


I am a Newbie, came via Seek and now having both apps.
I was just searching for the meaning of RG Status as I recognized it in some of my observations.
As I read here, there are some issues about observations moving to fast to RG-Status?

I don’t Think, that These suggested mentor-accounts exist now? Haven’t heard about them before…

So I wonder, if my observations which have RG Status are okay or if the Status has to be changed…

So I could need a little help, to make sure their status is okay or if I did something wrong.

I think, I could need a bit more information on that topic.

Anybody who likes to help out a Newbie?

@ seeker1000 nothing for you to particularly worry about. Its just that some people who don’t know for sure what they are identifying suggest a species and then all it takes is another person who also doesn’t know to agree with them to make it RG. It doesn’t mean any of your observations are necessarily incorrect RG obs.

Ah okay.
Normally I scan with SEEK.
And when people come up with a different opinion, then Seek. So that the level of picture gets ID and 2/3 full green score, I delete the wrong observation in Seek as I can’t edit the name there.
With directly uploaded ones, I changed my suggestion and agreed after three people had suggested a different type of goose and I looked at them via inat, in the NABU app and checked back with my pictures.

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