iNat newbie here with historical roadkill data

I am beginning to enter data, from paper notebooks, of roadkilled birds collected over several years beginning in 1980. What’s the best way to enter these? Do I choose the old protocol from the dropdown, and add fields for sex and dead/alive? I understand none of these are research grade because there are no photos, correct? Some of these were discarded, and some donated to a museum and some to a nature center, and I’m assuming that all goes in the Notes section. I’m good with tedious accurate data entry, but just want to start out the best I can with making this data useful. Thanks!


You choose to upload observations without photos, they will be casual, otherwise it’s the same as if you’d upload a new observation, you can add annotations and observation fields (there’re several for dead and roadkills) and even add those observations in roadkill projects. If you’d be able in the future to relocate donated remains you could add pics of them to observations or if they have some museum serial code you could add it too as observation field.


Yeah, it looks like you’ve got it. I’m not sure about adding fields - you could enter the observation, then add the annotations. A little more time consuming. Perhaps others are more informed about that than me. Also, check under Projects to see if there are any about road-kill (although I often find it hard to search projects). If there are none, you may consider setting one up yourself.
EDIT - I see @marina_gorbunova has already mentioned projects.


In my opinion (just what I picked up on), iNat tries to minimize restrictions. So, there isn’t just one way you can do this. Maybe there are people already assembling similar data and whose “method” you can use. The Notes section is probably best for special, non-systematic, data since it’s more difficult to search for. There are tons of Observation Fields and Tags, which I think are freely developed, probably mostly by “special interest groups” (maybe like “roadkill”). The Annotations are independent of those and in my view more useful for the general user. However, Annotations can be altered by any user while you can restrict access to Observation Fields. Especially if you have a lot of data you might want to look into Projects, either starting a new one or joining an existing one.


There’s a project called Dead Birds, which is all birds not just roadkill, but sounds about right for you.


RE searching for projects, I also haven’t had the best luck. Sometimes finding similar observations and seeing if they belong to any existing, appropriate ones can be helpful. I also wonder if compiling your data into a CSV file would work easiest, without pictures involved, and linking them to the best tag name. Though that brings up another issue, which maybe is worth another forum post (unless it has already been discussed), that the tags field vocabulary isn’t well controlled (but I assume the “best” ones are at the top?) Pictures attached for reference to the tag gripe with a test observation.


@jeannep and @trashmob Welcome to the Forum. I hope you will continue to contribute!


Hi @jeannep, welcome to iNat and the forum!

Depending on how your data are structured, a CSV-upload might be easier if you have only data without photos:
You could locally enter data in a spread sheet, export them in CSV-format, and then upload them to iNat.

You might need to ask iNat staff how you could arrange your data so that the Sex / Age / Dead-Annotations get filled in.

If you have catalogue numbers for those that went to museums, you can use an Observation Field for that (eg “Museum number”, which asks for museum acronym plus catalogue number).

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Just for reference, the site has previously stated they will apply no standardization or any form of controls to observation fields.

Users will remain free to create and or use as many seemingly duplicated ones as they wish.


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