How many identifications that agree are enough for an observation?

I have seen a lichen with 4 wrong IDs. My correct ID went automatically to Maverick category. And, as there were no lichen IDers in the area in question, wrong ID remained in Research grade.

You need to vote “can be improved”.


Thank you. Did not remember about this option.

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i wonder if this could be solved at least partially by simply adding Sago Palm as a common name for Cycas revoluta?

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Hi all. I asked a similar question – as part of a collection of “beginner’s queries” to the iNat Help email address – not long after I started using iNat, and received the following response: “this is kind of up to you. Adding extra IDs won’t hurt, as long as you are quite certain of your ID, and it might help in situations where someone withdraws an ID or deletes their account and their IDs are lost”. I haven’t spotted reference to this last point above (apologies if I’ve overlooked something!) – i.e. that an existing Research-Grade-reaching or disagreement-resolving ID could be lost if an identifier leaves iNat (obviously, both scenarios still ‘resolvable’ with new input, but…) – so thought it might be worth sharing. Rob


I wish there was a way to force, or at least strongly encourage, people to look at a photo of their ID choice. Many times I have corrected IDs for Common Juniper (J. communis) that are photos of scale-leaf junipers or some flowering plant, a really obvious difference. When choosing and ID, J. communis for example, it would be nice if they were shown a photo and asked, “does it look like this?” or “Are you sure?” and make it less easy to just go with the computer vision suggestion.

However, people need to learn what to pay attention to, or even that there is something that needs to be looked at closely. A little guidance by the experienced identifier goes a long way: count the petals, look how long the wings are, this whelk twists the other way. Without pointing to specific details inexperienced observers will say well of course, this is a purple flower, it does look the same, so it must be that species.

(And by inexperienced observers, I mean me, mostly.)


I’m new here, I didn’t know there were league tables for agreeing IDs. I have agreed a couple of idents on my posts when they clarified an unknown ID from Seek. I shall read around the way inaturalist works and mend my ways.

I’m sort of skeptical about this because for most taxa where this phenomenon occurs (>2-3 confirming IDs, e.g. birds and American Alligator in my experience) there are plenty of experienced identifiers and the species isn’t that hard to identify, so if the observations go back to Needs ID it’s not a big deal. When needed, identifiers will see it and identify it. It’s not necessary until that point.

I think the time and effort could be better spent on the many many observations that are already Needs ID. When I began identifying on iNat I started with birds but quickly started feeling that I wasn’t able to add much value doing that. So I tried learning how to identify some insects groups that were underidentified yet not too difficult, and I feel like I’ve contributed more to the community that way.

I think there is value in reviewing Research Grade observations to find misidentifications, but that is probably easier done through the browse photos tool than the identify page, since it’s easier to view photos and more efficient since you don’t have to click through all the correctly identified observations.

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