Link to top identifiers of that taxon, not *observations* of that taxon

i’m just a regular user of the system, not staff. so i don’t really have insight into what staff would be willing to change. personally, i think changing the Taxon screen as you’re proposing makes that screen too complicated.

and before you even think about changes to the Taxon screen, you really need to address the fundamental difference between identifiers of observations and identifiers (of taxa). there are different reasons you might want to get each of these. so i would leave the Identifiers tab on the Observations screen alone.

in my opinion, the right way to address this feature request is to create a new Identifications screen that is similar to the Observations screen. instead of allowing you to query for observations and related statistics, an Identifications screen would allow you to query for identifications and related statistics.

once an Identifications screen exists, then you could link the top identifier in the Taxon screen to the top Identifiers tab in the Identifications screen.

doing things the way i’ve suggested above is not a small thing, which is probably why no action has been taken down this path. still, ultimately, i think going down that path is needed as part of raising the importance of Identifying to a level more equal to that of Observing.


Let’s be interested in the taxon page of Family Apiaceae and let’s consider an observation of a Wild Carrot. Someone that first identified this observation as “Plantae” is one of the “identifiers of observations”. Someone that later identified this observation as “Apiaceae” or as “Wild Carrot” is one of the “identifiers of observations” and is one of the “identifiers (of taxa)”. Did I understand correctly?

Could you elaborate? What are the possible reasons to get the “identifiers of observations”?

(I don’t question the existence of the need, I would like to get the use cases and user stories that the solution depends on).

In the case the observer did not add his own ID on an observation, the person who identifies this observation as “Plantae” do this in order to put the observation into a category so that it may be found by identifiers interested in “Plantae”. In this case, getting the “identifiers of observations” would mean getting these people who identify as “Plantae” in order to direct observations to other identifiers. Is that the subject?


there are times when you’re not specifying a particular taxon or rank but you still want to know who’s helped to identify. for example, if you’re running a bioblitz and are interested in seeing not just who’s observing but who’s helping to identify (any taxon), then you’d be more interested in seeing identifiers at an observation level rather than identifiers at the level of a particular taxon.

this applies even if you, say, had a taxon-specific Daucus carota project. you might still want to see everyone who helped to identify observations in that project, even if some of those people could only identify to Apiaceae or Plantae.

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Hello there,

I came through the discrepancy and opened a bug report. Some users came by, and told me about the post and feature request. I suggested a solution in my bug report and was told to publish it as a comment here. @bouteloua please if it needs a new post tell me or feel free to move this comment.

Basically, what I have thought is that when one come by a taxon page under TOP IDENTIFIER
the website should be able to show what the icon and number means when you hover your mouse over them.

We already have this function in iNat, like when you put your mouse over Improving

What are your opinions? Is it difficult to implement in taxon pages?


Yes, I was thinking a popup (?) can appear over the Top Identifier username or their # of ID. Your explanation is more understandable and having also a message appear when you hover over Leaderbord will be helpful as well.

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That clarifies why I carefully choose an @mention from the leaderboard
and then get
‘sorry can’t help with this one. Don’t know That taxon

I have learnt to use the leaderboard to remind me who - is working on grasses in the Eastern Cape

I only half-followed the subtleties there so I’ll have a look again.
To outline my own interest, I’m interested in top quality identifiers for a region. I don’t use it often but have done so.
Usually if someone has offered an outstanding number of ids in a genus you probably assume they’ve picked up experience and are useful, at least at genus level, hopefully at species level too, but you’re at the mercy of region. It’s a problem if there are only a few observations total, but works well if there are many - I’ve seen exceptions to this with someone who likes a genus and probably knows it in their own region but puts some very erratic ids outside their region of knowledge.
Genus or higher level is useful if you don’t have an idea. More often I have an idea but there are some very similar species so I’m interested in discriminating say 2 or 3 taxa that are very similar. I’d be looking for identifiers for those very specific taxa however the very nature of such very similar taxa means there will be a lot of mis-identifiers. I noticed recently for example a taxon with hundreds of RG obs in the US where just about every one is wrong, and the one it was confused with was reasonably distinguishable. So the idea of them being good identifiers because they match the RG conclusion doesn’t exactly hold.
My own preference would be that people self-declare their skills in a systematic way in their profile, i.e. you enter (as many as you like) taxonomic branch (e.g. Veronica) - region (e.g. Turkey) - Level (e.g. Good, Expert) - and iNat could prompt people who seem experienced to fill it in and periodically update it. Most experienced people will want to do so, the inexperienced won’t bother.

For what you want - I rely on comments which spell out,
what and why. Not that because … or - it is this because …
I also rely on taxon specialists who are willing to say, I don’t know that one, but ask John.