Is it possible yet to have multiple observers linked to single observations?

During lockdown, our household decided we’d census all the biodiversity of our house. We strategised it so that only one of us would have an iNat account and administrate a ‘project’ to keep things systematic, so all of us who took photos would just forward them onto him and he’d upload them for recording/identification.

I subsequently decided that I’d get iNat and have become a dedicated user. One thing I noticed is that our observation photos are accredited to the person who uploaded them; this is obviously totally understandable. But it got me thinking if there was a way that two people could share an observation, so that 1) it counts as an observation for both; and 2) that people in this situation are appropriately credited for their work.

I have checked the forums for discussions of this issue and found a couple of threads, but most are associated with a slightly different situation (multiple observers observing the same individual organism and submitting records of it) and the one thread where it was talked about dated to 2019, where one of the staff said they weren’t going to do it at the time as it wasn’t one of their agenda items for the year. I am hence wondering if that feature has since been developed, or is going to be.

I could do the thing where I just submit the exact same photos as my own observation, but I don’t really want to do that, as I like to consider the scientific aspect of having duplicates of what should be single records and the effect that has on judging abundance and frequency. But I think it would be ideal if the record at large could reflect the appropriate credit for work done and my own experience of encounter; after all, I did actually see the thing, whether or not it was with somebody else.


welcome to the forum Russell :)

to directly address your title, short answer, no


While not exactly what you are asking for, and not really satisfying, you can add other people as ‘Observers’ under the ‘Observation Fields’ section on the page of an observation. So you would be credited, but it would not contribute to the statistics on your account.

For the future, to do this kind of thing it could be a good idea to make a Project to which everyone contributes.


As far as credit, you could politely request the user who uploaded your photos to add a note to each of those observations saying, “photo by @…; added with permission”.


Or you ask him - to delete his obs using your photo.
Then you upload your photo as your own obs.
If ‘his’ obs has an ID, maybe start yours with that ID (if you agree with it?)
That makes more work for identifiers.

You would need to decide how important it is to you to have your own obs running on iNat under your name. Your life list depends on it being your obs.

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Thanks for the responses everyone, sorry for the tardy reply as I’ve mostly been in the field for the last week or so. I’m not the hungriest stat-chaser so list numbers don’t really matter to me that much (though it’s obviously nice to see those numbers going up!). I think the proposals @sam_e and @kmforum suggest prob comes closest to achieving what I’m asking for, though hopefully iNat will eventually implement a better system that more accurately reflects effort credit. @sam_e re: projects, very true and we actually do have a project for that particular survey. It was just unfamiliarity and a desire to keep things delegated to different people that meant we only had one person submitting observations at first. Cheers all.

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