Hub for finding identification guides?

I keep randomly coming across iNat journal posts and profiles that have some useful links to identification resources and even the guides themselves in the journals, but is there somewhere that pulls together these resources that makes them more accessible to people that are trying to find them?

It seems like it would be ideal if there were a wiki or something that anyone could edit to add links to identification resources. This, of course, could get really complicated if it were thorough as so many taxa are involved and guides could be regional and/or taxon specific. The closest thing I’ve found on the forum is this, which is kind of similar to what I’m thinking about but may need to have levels upon levels to actually contain all the resources out there. With plants alone, there could be hundreds or thousand of both regional guides and guides that are global but taxon specific.

I’ve been thinking it would be good to make some identification guides but it is so hard to know if someone has made one already or not as there doesn’t seem to be a place to pull all these resources together. There’s no reason to duplicate the effort if something already exists. The problem is there are so many useful guides in random places that the average person looking for them will probably never find many of them.

If someone wants to really help with IDing taxa they aren’t that familiar with, it would be good to make it as easy as possible for them to find the resources that will help them ID the groups they’d like to focus on. Seems like a single place to look for these resources would be the way to go.


I feel like the forum post you linked is pretty substantial already, and it is a wiki so you can edit it. I’m not really sure what else you are proposing that isn’t given in that post - might you be able to elaborate on that?


I don’t, honestly. Some (very useful) links, no books at all. There are more ID books on german plants in only one of my bookshelfs than ID links in that entire post. It is going in the right direction for sure! But we’d need a real tool for that, user friendly, intuitive and all. Like, if I want to know the latest on mediterranean ID literature, a lot of researchwork is needed just to get the literature links, and then get it sorted by usefulness.
I think a tool is needed. Enter your location, enter the taxonomic group, enter your level of expertise (from newbie to pro), and get all the relevant books and ID papers listed for the area, from picture book to monography.

1 Like, not in German…

Not only guides, also a website

Thanks for the links! Yeah, we should create something like that, worldwide, with thousands and thousands of entries and a multiple language user interface.

Ok, then I feel like the iNat forum is probably not the ideal host for such a project. You’d want a custom website, probably.

There’s a separate post for books. But how and why iNat forum would store it all? Just open e-library of your choice, there’re thousands of books in pdf and djvu.

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It’s more of a skeleton of what I’m thinking. It would be nice if there were one place where people could go to find all the guides they are looking for. Let’s say I want to learn how to ID the genus Clarkia. I would go to Plants/Onagraceae/Clarkia and find resources like these:

Or if I wanted to ID Australian ghost crabs, I could go to the appropriate taxonomic section for ghost crabs or a geographic section for Australian crabs and find this:

Right now, there are lots of resources like these buried where most people will never find them. It would be nice to have a single place that makes them easy to find. Thousands of links could certainly be added to the existing Wiki, but is that the best way to go about sharing this information?

@loarie You’ve made some of these guides. Do you have any ideas for making it so that the average person could actually find them easily?