Hello! And request for guidance

I just signed up and uploaded my first batch of observations. Right off the bat, I have a couple of questions.

Should I go in and check the “Agree” switch? (Assuming I agree.)

I went through the walk through but I didn’t see any more specific instructions. Are there any?

Anyway, I’m glad to be here and I hope to become a useful contributor.

Everyone please stay safe and healthy!


Welcome to the forum and to iNat!



When you make an observation, it will likely suggest a “computer vision” (sort of an artificial intelligence / machine learning thing) recommendation. If you accept that as your ID, then there will be no agree option for you, as each identifier (including observer) can only have one ID per observation. If someone else IDs as something else, then an agree option will become available to you, but you should only click it if you do in fact agree with them. If you do, that new ID will replace your old ID, and having two IDs the same will make the observation Research Grade.

I would suggest starting off cautiously, only putting IDs or agreeing with other identifiers if you actually believe the ID to be correct. Each “wrong” ID takes two or three “correct” IDs to bring the community ID in line with what it actually is, so you can minimise the community workload by being conservative in your IDs If you like iNaturalist and feel you will be active for a long time, then you can start to get more “assertive” in your identifying, knowing that you will be around to be a part of any discussion and re-evaluation that might happen. If you find that there is a split in the opinions amongst the community, and you yourself aren’t sure which species is more likely, then you can withdraw your ID and leave it to be debated by more knowledgeable identifiers.

My biggest advice would be to initiate conversation and ask questions at every opportunity… there is a fantastic wealth of knowledge, expertise and friendliness to be enjoyed here!


Like the above post, I’d start off cautious and only agreeing if you are sure the ID suggestion makes sense. Ask lots of questions!

I havent gone through the walkthrough, but I suppose further instructions would be: have fun! As you continue to use iNat, quickly your eyes will open to the immense biodiversity of your local area, and gradually you may even end up recognising some of them!


@wellersl Stephen can you please clarify what you mean by ‘agree’. Are you talking about an identification when you first load the photo, or are you talking about hitting the agree button when someone else enters an identification for one of your records?

One of the guidelines the site asks people to try and follow is “do not agree for the sake of agreeing”. It is not impolite to not agree with someone else’s identification, nor is it required.

In general the site best practice is to only enter or agree with an ID if you independently based on your own knowledge can do it. So for instance if you load a bird and are positive it is a gull, but not sure what kind, then enter an ID of Gulls.


Hi and welcome! I snooped a bit and I see you’re in Tuscon. Southern AZ is one of my favorite places!

My advice: it’s nicer on identifiers if you can avoid uploading observations completely without ID. This doesn’t appear to be something you have been doing, but just so you know–often when identifiers view observations, they set the search engine to a category like “plants” or “insects” according to their interest. If the ID line is completely blank, the site cannot know what category the observation goes in, and lumps all such images into a bin we call “unknowns.” Sorting the unknowns by hand can get a little tedious. So if you ever find yourself completely stumped on what to call your image, try at least to put a high taxa such as “Plantae” on it.


@wellersl “agree” is for faster adding of the id, if you do agree with that id but you have no idea about other species, don’t click o it, better write a comment to the identifier or just leave it s it is, someone else will ad another id or maybe in the future you will be comfortable to id it by yourself and then you can click “agree”.

1 Like

You had to snoop for that? :grinning:

Thanks to all for the input/suggestions. I think I realized the “Agree” button I was referring to gets added to the observation after someone else comments. True? That being the case, I have no choice but to leave it alone. And so I will.

No, it is added after someone adds an identification, which in turn may or may not have text comments. It is a short cut to adding an identification with the same species. As I noted above, you are not required to use it, if you know/believe the user has got it right, you can agree which then adds your identification.


Ah, shoot. I only just realized how different things look on a tablet vs PC. Or just chalk it up to a senior moment. I’ll figure it all out eventually. I still have a couple of active brain cells.


1 Like

Don’t worry, it’s easier to first learn on PC, as it has more functions and they’re easier to understand.

To answer the second part of your question about other instructions, iNaturalist has a Vimeo account with a bunch of videos: https://vimeo.com/user7188222

Some are specific to topics that might not be helpful to you, but I’ve browsed the list and found some that are interesting and/or useful. I’m kind of new here myself and still learning.

Of course there’s the Help section and the Forum, where we are now.

Lastly, like most things iNaturalist is best learned through practice and observation. Upload some photos, test it out, ask questions, learn from mistakes. (You’ll make mistakes–I have–but nothing terrible is likely to happen on iNat.)

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.