Higher level research grade can be kidnapped by species level ID added later on

I read in another thread that identifiers are asked to assign research grade to higher taxon levels, where a determination at species level is not possible, by checking “ID is as good as can be”. Now I was made aware that if someone will add a species level determination later on, the observation will become research grade at this species level automatically.
Example: I check “ID is as good as can be” in an observation of ‘Complex Leptidea sinapis’ (comprising L. sinapis, L. reali and L. juvernica) → observation gets research grade at complex level. Later on, someone enters a species level ID, e.g. Leptidea reali → observation gets research grade at species level L. reali, which is inappropriate for a complex of species not identifiable without dissection.
Thank you for your thoughts.


Welcome to the forum! This is not a bug, but I agree that it leads to counterintuitive situations. When I run into situations like this, I make sure to check “Yes,” so I’d say the onus is on the IDer to fix this situation. Anyone can add a counter-vote though. It may be a good idea to reset the votes if the community taxon is changed, much like this request:


I think this is the same problem as when something is RG at species level and someone then adds an ID at subspecies level. It appears to become RG at subspecies level because the green banner appears next to the ‘observation ID’ (or whatever you want to call it) - but actually the community ID remains at species level (or complex level in your example) and this is what RG ‘officially’ refers to. It’s been discussed in quite a few other threads, I’m sorry I can’t find the links right now. But I agree it’s unhelpfully confusing (even GBIF is apparently confused by it…)

Welcome to the forum btw!

EDIT here’s a recent example of a similar thread Agreeing only with the nominal species is making a subspecific identification research grade - Bug Reports - iNaturalist Community Forum

Resetting the votes in such cases is absolutely necessary. Probably the term “bug” is not appropriate, but this feature as it is now is completely absurd.

there’s often confusion and frustration with the way the “can be improved?” DQA item works. fundamentally, i think this functionality is just implemented at the wrong level, and that really needs to be the first thing fixed before anything else is done with “can be improved?”.