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

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!


Imo a like/heart system like the forum has would be ideal


By the way, I really appreciate you asking. The vast majority of the time, I like being thanked. Also, I greatly enjoy reading all the grateful comments that I receive and don’t want people to stop or think they’re impeding my work by thanking me. That said, there have been a few times where the number of comments have made it difficult to navigate my notifications (usually only from a handful of observers who thank me on every observation). I don’t at all want to discourage these observers from interacting with me (especially in such a positive way), and I do still appreciate it, but it can get overwhelming.

Long story short, since you’re asking the question, you’re probably fine with whatever method you use. It shows that you both respect the identifier’s expertise, process, and time.


Most of the time I tag people to discuss about ID, and many people do that. It’s believed that tagging might have the usage of highlighting in the message, But for thanking I think it’s no need to tag but I don’t oppose. People can thank as they will but if I was thanked I will be happy.

1 Like

When I am going thru my notifications. Or ploughing thru the old Pre-Mavericks.
I see an obs where

  1. The observer has a wrong ID
  2. Two trusted identifiers add the right ID (they agree) . Perhaps with a (polite and) helpful explanation of the right and wrong.
  3. Observer leaves an enthusiastic thank you!
  4. I am still identifying at that obs because the observer has left it trapped at a broader ID. That is NOT saying thank you, that is making work.
  5. I favour walking the talk. If an identifier has taught you something, pay it forward. Sort out your own obs where the help applies. Then help to clear the backlog for the identifier. That is a sincere and appreciated thank you - I see you joining in clearing the backlog. Thank YOU!

(Note to self - find the recent obs where my - why is it ant-like beetle, not an ant? - was answered by @egordon88 - NO elbow in the antenna!)

Always more to learn on iNat - 5 obs for a relative in Chile.


Do not like. If you asked me to ID something and I successfully clicked a button, I prefer that you thank me by not thanking me. It may feel natural and polite to thank me, but it would be terrible if everyone did it.

However, if you ask a question and I end up typing a paragraph or two, I’d like to find out if it was of some use to you.


It could be quite annoying for expert, especially if he id’ed 20-30-40 observations per row)

Sometimes I greet expert, if I’ve got for example several identifications for rare species. But one comment with tagging is much better then flooding every observation. Btw, it may add some noise for users who look through observations to find some discussions about the identifications or observations (like additional information to seperate species, about behaviour of the observed item and so on and so for)


I do it probably more than most people but I like to do it only when it’s somebody I’ve never seen before or somebody who IDed many of my observations in a single timeframe/sitting. And I always keep it at a simple “thanks” unless I have a question or something. I agree that it would be annoying if done excessively. Though I’ve probably annoyed some people even by doing it abstemiously.


Not mandatory obviously but I always make the time to type a “You’re welcome!” back if I ever do get thanked. I’m always glad to be of service whenever someone does feel the need to ping me for something!


I think we need like/thank you button instead of “agree”.


I think it’s too much to thank people explicitly just for basic IDs. Some identifiers are doing many hundreds of IDs a day. I don’t want to see the comment thread under observations filled with useless politenesses; it’s just spammy and gets in the way of useful content and discussion.

That said, there are of course times that you will want to thank somebody for going above and beyond. If somebody takes the time to give a detailed explanation of their ID with references etc then of course I reply with my thanks in such a case. And if I saw that somebody had IDed a large number of my obs, I might even send them a private message saying thanks.