Correcting Research Grade Requirements for Collected Specimens

#1

I tend to not post pictures of my collected insects, but sometimes I forget to take a picture before I catch it in the field. I have noticed that the location is marked inaccurate, even though I marked the location as the place where I collected said insect. On the other hand, I have noticed that other collectors–often those who are doing the collecting for a school project–will mark the location as their own home (One time someone uploaded a water bug in a location that has no water).
Is there a correct way iNat users should post collection photos and/or iNat users should deal with the research quality of collected observations?

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#2

If the date and location reflect where the organism was collected (as opposed to the captive date/location where it was photographed) then the “Date is accurate” and “Location is accurate” quality metrics should be given a thumbs up.

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#3

So do you also advocate the converse, that if date and location reflect where the photograph was taken (and it is a collected specimen), then “Date is accurate” and “Location is accurate” should be thumbs down? Only the first, live encounter with the organism “counts”?

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#4

Not always possible to tell, since they might have collected it in the area just outside the building…or inside.

For unlikely-to-have-been-collected-at-the-location/date specimens—e.g. organisms with specific habitat affinities with a GPS pinpoint inside of a large university building or a specimen that looks like it was collected years ago—yep, we should vote down location and/or date in the Data Quality Assessment area.

Since at this point users aren’t notified when those items are voted down, always best to leave a comment too.

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#5

Thanks. I wonder if that needs to be spelled out more clearly as a policy somewhere in the user guidance information? Or have I just missed it before? The general “encounter between observer and organism” could apply to both the live and preserved scenarios of a specimen organism.

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#6

It sort of is here, with “butterfly mounted in a display case” [unsaid “marked with date/location of the photo taken”] vs. “your museum/herbarium specimens that are appropriately marked with date and location of original collection”.
https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#captive

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#7

Yeah, that addresses the Captive/Wild DQA, but not the Location and Date DQAs.

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