Issue with users automatically agreeing to an identification

Thank you…I noticed others doing that. I hope others realize that though not an expert by any degree, some things I do know are NOT what has been suggested as a new ID. I’ll keep doing this then.
Personally, I find that messaging a person who has given a different ID with the question carefully phrased as How did you come to this ID? has been valuable in me learning whether I do agree or still feel the ID I have put in is going to stay.

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One thing I appreciate about iNat is that it gives everyone a chance to be involved in making identifications even if it is just a “ditto” id. However, right now the id of an elementary student who wants to be a part of citizen science is weighted the same as the college professor of entomology. What if when making an id you could select a level of expertise; Expert - “I am familiar with this taxa and most similar species” 5pts, Knowledgeable - “I am familiar with many of this taxa in this area” 3pts, Learning - “I am learning this taxa and know some of the similar species” 1 pt. An observation needs 10 pts to be research grade. Also Expert levels could require a comment to build a database of accessible species descriptions. Just an idea I have been playing with.


What you are describing is a weighting or reputation system, and I believe iNat is reluctant to go down that road. I was concerned about it when I first joined, but the more you are in iNat the more you realise that CID does work. We have a pseudo weighting system in that if you know or come to recognise expert identifiers, you can add weight to their IDs with a confirmation. Caveats: don’t do it unless you will be around to change or delete your ID, and withdraw it if there is contention.


I think what sometimes happens is that, when an ID is given without a comment or remark, users who are inexperienced with iNaturalist/nature see the ID and consciously or unconsciously assume that it is being given with a high level of confidence, despite the fact that (or perhaps because) iNat calls every ID a suggestion.

I think it’s pretty much always worth adding a remark to indicate one’s confidence level in one’s ID. Like if I’m confident in my ID, then I put something like “This is X.x,” or if I’m unsure, then something like “I think it’s X.x.” Either way, anyone can still disagree with or question my ID. And maybe it will remind inexperienced users not to assume that identifiers are always sure of their IDs.


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