Indicate whether Research Grade on taxon page photo browser

I find it confusing that the photos of taxa contain unconfirmed IDs. If someone makes a wild guess at a taxon, that photo shows up immediately in the taxon photos. I’ve been misled by a few of those, before I learned to check the Research status of photos I use to confirm or select an ID.

It can skew the geographical distribution too, because people who check range before selecting an ID might be misinformed. This is especially worrying with species that have a small range but are visually similar to a more common, widely distributed species.

I think I’d prefer that unconfirmed IDs do not show up in the taxon photos at all, but it’s a subject worth discussing separately.

Do you suggest some sort of banner or text saying “No Research Grade observations available” if the taxon lacks any, and then show non-RG photos?

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I would want this to be optional, so people can see the non-RG photos if they want to.

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I think that @jbecky would just like the default view to be Research and not Any. Basically the reverse of what it is now:

image

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I think what’s being asked in the proposal is just to have some sort of RG label on photos. The whole:

I think I’d prefer that unconfirmed IDs do not show up in the taxon photos at all, but it’s a subject worth discussing separately.

is unrelated to the request.

It can skew the geographical distribution too, because people who check range before selecting an ID might be misinformed. This is especially worrying with species that have a small range but are visually similar to a more common, widely distributed species.

This reminds me of the massive issue we currently have with Globularia, where G. vulgaris (which should only occur in Sweden) is reported (even as RG) all across Europe, in place of the more appropriate G. bisnagarica.

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A green RG or Research Grade banner on each photo would be good.

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I really agree. Or have the display of observations default to showing those observations that are RG. The current situation is a problem in part because it likely leads to further misidentification when well-meaning people explore a possible taxon and then see a wide variety of species. There’s a reasonable assumption from a new user that observations shown will be RG, I think. I was certainly shocked when I learned otherwise.

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There is a filter for Quality Grade when browsing taxa photos. The default is any but you can toggle Research to show RG photos.

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We should all keep in mind, too, that a Research Grade badge does not necessarily equate to being correctly identified. There are plenty of misidentified Research Grade observations on iNaturalist (though plenty more that are correct too, in my experience). These typically happen when someone “agrees” with someone else’s ID without really knowing how to identify that species themselves.

Also keep in mind that this is not a situation unique to iNaturalist, or to citizen science data sets in general. Even in the best curated museums and herbaria, with constant expert attention, there are plenty of misidentified (and unidentified) specimens waiting to be found and corrected.

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