Okay, I don’t disagree with that. I’m not currently planning to use this method, despite seeing the value in it. I think we can roughly distinguish between people new to using it, and others who are researchers or using it with a comparable-level of knowledge. I agree it shouldn’t be a simple copy paste look up. Knowledge is also needed about the genetics of the taxonomic group beyond the one species, etc. What I meant was stated in my response to another user’s comment which seemed to suggest DNA-based IDs aren’t reliable to trust in general/all cases. There are two parts of that issue to respond to.
1: Is it valid for observers to upload/ID that way? I think yes, but mostly if they’re using it to a research-level standard, including having knowledge of related literature, limitations, etc. In the event a person were using it with insufficient experience/knowledge, they should note that, and so express more ID conservativeness (not ID to species), and add as much supporting info. as they can, and others should regard their evidence with caution. But overall, I was assuming most users who use it are in or to the level of research.
I’ve only seen it used for bats so far on iNat, where 1-2 people used it who are researchers. But also in bats, many users used spectrograms, for which I did wonder if some were sufficiently informed to be translating them into certain species IDs (vs. only making Genus IDs), e.g. cases where it could match either of two species.
2: Is it valid for a second identifier to confirm DNA IDs? I think it can be, in cases where the observer’s use of the method and ID were reliable, informed, and experienced. But, it’s ideal for the second identifier to know as much as possible about the method, taxonomic group/literature, etc. So summarizing, it seems best for any observer and identifier making or confirming DNA IDs to be informed to a research-like/level standard. Conversely, it would be unjustified to automatically assume any and every DNA-based ID were correct without being informed, assessing observer reliability, etc.
The following are publications which seemingly use DNA IDs reliably, authored by some researchers who make some iNat. DNA-IDs: 1, 2. Secondary identifiers with knowledge of the method and the taxonomic groups have felt it justified to confirm their DNA IDs.
I see no basis for general doubt that researchers can use these methods correctly, unless it can be specifically explained why they erred in the context of a specific study. Re: your specific mention of a % of barcodes being wrong, I so far assume this doesn’t necessarily affect all groups, such as the groups discussed in publications/studies, or that if it did they’d make that caveat. I am also unsure what your position is on some of these, since I thought above you supported the use of DNA (or did you only mean for certain particular taxa)?