Do identifiers like to be thanked, and if so, should observers tag you to say thank you?

Perhaps a strange question. I try to always thank the people that identify species for me, but I don’t tag them (in case the surplus tagging is annoying).

I would like to hear from identifiers what you prefer. Do the comments (whether tagged or untagged) just add extra stuff to your feed that you’d rather not have there, or do you find it nice to see them?

If you do find them to be a nice thing and they aren’t annoying, do you prefer to be tagged with a thank you, or not tagged?

I am overwhelmingly grateful to all of you incredible people on here that volunteer your own time helping with identifications (I have learnt SO MUCH from you in a very short time, and having not done this for a long time, feel that I would be floundering without your fantastic help), and want to do the right thing to make your lives easier.


I like an occasional thank you without a tag. I think if everyone thanked me it would get annoying, but it’s pretty rare and it does make me smile.

I said the tag is not needed because usually when people tag me they are asking me a question. I might need bookmark the page to get back with an answer later, or do a comments search for my own name to find a tag I’ve lost track of.


I don’t feel that strongly about it but broadly speaking it just becomes something else to filter through


I enjoy it. Makes me feel like people are reading my comments and im not IDing into a void. I agree with one of the above posters, thank without tagging. And dont feel like you need to thank me, or thank every time I do something. Like, sometimes i will go through many (20+ even!) of one persons fungi; thanking me on one is plenty.

I dont mind being tagged for questions, though!


I do enjoy thanks, though it is probably best spared unless there’s something slightly more substantial to say than the two words “Thank you.” No need to tag me, I’m not following so many threads that I won’t see your reply without a tag.


I agree with arboretum_amy that it’s nice to be thanked occasionally, but if everyone did it it would be a bit much. I’d say keep on doing it, becuase most people don’t. Also I agree that a tag isn’t needed. One already gets notifications for any additional comments on an observation that one has ID’d, so a tag just results in two notifications for the same thing. Thank you for being thankful!


I find that most of the times that people thank IDers, they generally also blindly agree with their identification. Although I appreciate the thanking attitude, I would probably only prefer it (so it doesn’t spam my inbox) if they don’t blindly agree with the ID and ask why/how I IDed the individual (ie: characteristics to look for)


Some folks are very efficient identifiers and I don’t want to slow them down with thanks. But it’s hard not to thank someone who takes the time to teach me something – I am so grateful, even when I don’t internalize it on the first pass and have to be reminded down the road!


As someone who’s a low/mid-tier IDer-- apparently I have 8,179 identifications? Holy cow… I only look at things in my home state of Arkansas, so technically that’s a lot-- I would be inclined to agree that tagging people is a bit much. However, I would also say that I really do appreciate when people take the time to say even the simplest thank you.

I don’t think I respond to most of those comments, so those people don’t know, but it’s definitely something that makes me smile and carry on with my day having some sense of importance.

I can’t precisely identify what compels me to ID things, but I hope that somehow, some way, my identifications are helping people know more about the world around them. I love where I live and I hope having names for plants helps other people appreciate how wonderful where we live is, too. You can get lost on so many silly research tangents just from doing a little Googling about a plant… once you have a name for it!

It’s easy to get lost in the rut of thinking no individual ID matters, so I do feel pretty happy seeing someone take the time to thank me for identifying something for them. After all, the main point of iNat is just helping create a community that draws people closer to nature.

So, don’t stop taking the time to remind people that their IDs matter! :smiling_face:


I tend towards saying “thank you” without the tag. Usually I try to make it something more than just “thank you” and elaborate a bit more on the information they’ve given. For example:

Thanks for the information! Didn’t know that flower spikes and the leaf margins were so useful for ID.
Quite a great diversity of yucca species in Texas, so I’ll try to see if I can look them… especially for the less common species.

My parents have instilled in me a belief that it’s better to err on the side of gratitude, but with online communications it can be more difficult. Obviously, giving a comment every single time someone provides an ID diminishes the “special” feel of the thank-you comment. That’s why I personalize it to the user, especially if I tagged them for their thoughts. For just another typical ID from another user I see no need for a thank-you comment, only if they’ve done something beyond that they normally would do for an observation/user.

This has led me to a dilemma though. Sometimes the identifier will respond to that comment with some more interesting information. And I’ll think, “dear me, would it be rude not to respond?” Do I end the conversation off there or keep going? Would a short response seem rude? Would a longer response keep the conversation going? Who would end off?

Note that I consider myself a bit socially challenged and tend to overthink these sort-of things, although that is not always a bad thing.


Thank you for all the galls :slightly_smiling_face:


Sometimes I will scroll through observations of a certain species of interest and open up any observation that has comments on it, as this can often be a great source of insider intel or little tidbits that can be so so useful when trying to identify something. (e.g., this Psora obs) For me, the “thank you” comments get in the way of that, but to be honest it’s not such a big hassle that I would advocate against it.
I tend to only leave thanks for IDs if there is already a conversation on the sighting, eg if I’ve already tagged someone asking for clarification or tips, or if someone else has left me a note about the observation.


A thanks is nice for the first identifier, or if that identifier was tagged in by you or someone else, or if the identifier gave additional information. If I’m the 2nd or 3rd identifier then there’s no need to thank me.

For tagging, I think if one identifier ID’d several of yours, then a tag and “thanks for all the ID’s” in one of them is nice, but for just one or two, just a thanks with no tag is fine.


For me, sometimes it’s too much, sometimes it’s pleasant. It all depends on how large a batch of observations I recently added identifications too. My rule for thanking identifiers is that I only thank one individual once per day/batch of identifications. If I am particularly grateful, I express that gratitude in that single comment.

Also, I usually limit it to when they’ve added many identifications at once. This isn’t exactly ideal as I think it would be better to thank everyone, but I know from experience that if everyone that I IDed for thanks me, I end up with a very long list of notifications.

A better system would probably be to keep track of who identifies my observations and thank new identifiers regardless of how many identifications they provide. That would still probably end up being a lot for me, but it would probably be a better balance than I have towards encouraging new identifiers.

As for tagging, it just becomes two notifications on my end, so I skip it. Not sure if there are any identifiers that have settings where they wouldn’t see it if not tagged.


Just to clarify, are you talking about tagging someone in a comment on your observation page? I have never done that, but I have started (or started feeling free to) thank people via a personal message from their profile page (which allows me to read some interesting profiles in the process).

Everyone I have messaged has been perfectly polite about it, and some have offered some (much appreciated) additional comments. I would be interested how frequent IDers feel about being thanked via message.

And while we are discussing this, how does one search comments?


These other topics should be informative:


On the one hand, thanks are nice. It’s never wrong to thank someone. On the other hand, I don’t need thanks for most simple ID’s and if everyone thanked, it would be too much. I’d say, thank people if they left a comment that you found helpful, or if you see someone just ID’d a who bunch of your observations. Thank people who did a little extra.

No need to tag a person when thanking – your comment will appear in their dashboard anyway. Unless, of course, you’re trying to thank just one of several people who ID’d. Then a more polite way to do it might be to say what you’re being thankful for, or to tag.


I don’t really mind either way on the receiving end, but on the giving I usually thank if they take the time to leave their justification/settle a dispute. Does feel a bit weird to get thanked when I just toss a “yep, looks right” ID onto an obvs, but if I spent a while typing up a nice paragraph, I definitely appreciate it


I don’t really care one way or the other. What would make me happier is if people would respond when there’s a correction to an obviously wrong ID (especially if I included an explainer). You can see when people last logged in so it’s not just inactive users. Just changing their ID (which usually came from the CV) to a nondisagreeing higher level would be fine, so the ID gets shown.


I don’t identify so that I can get recognition from other people; I do it so that more observations can reach Research Grade status.

So for me, it is not necessary to tag me at all as I don’t need “thanks”. I do enjoy when I get tagged and it becomes part of a discussion around the observation, however!