Looking for advice on how to cite a project

Hey all!

Has anyone cited an iNat project page before? There’s not much in the way of guidance in the Help page beyond citing the website as a whole. Would you recommend iNaturalist is the “author” or the project admins for the page I’m citing?

Thanks!

1 Like

What are you citing from the project?
Couldn’t you cite the individual observations?

1 Like

The project as a whole. I’m writing up a lesson that directs instructors to some examples of projects on iNaturalist.

1 Like

Probably the admins are the authors and iNaturalist is the publisher/website name (that’s how I’ve cited iNaturalist projects on wikipedia)

2 Likes

Most projects are simply a list of observations, so I would lean toward just the project title or iNaturalist, if an author is required. Some projects do include significant curation and management by the project manager(s) and particular users who may not be on the list of managers, and it’s not always possible to see who is doing the work. Maybe you could ask the manager. :)

4 Likes

Projects comprise user-generated content, so they, and most other stuff on iNat, typically wouldn’t be a reliable source for Wikipedia. Curious the situations in which you’re citing projects on Wikipedia (though maybe a new topic or posting here might be better).

3 Likes

i suppose you could treat project admins as something like editors. so if citing the observations (which have multiple authors), in Harvard-ish style, it might be something like this, i think:

iNaturalist (n.d.). Observations in O’Donnell, K. (admin.), Macaulay Summer of Nature 2020 project. Available from: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/macaulay-summer-of-nature-2020. [15 July 2020].

or more simply:

iNaturalist (n.d.). Macaulay Summer of Nature 2020 project observations. Available from: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/macaulay-summer-of-nature-2020. [15 July 2020].

or if you’re more focused on the project structure, setup, and summary text than its observations, then i think this:

O’Donnell, K. (admin.) (n.d.). Macaulay Summer of Nature 2020 project, iNaturalist. Available from: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/macaulay-summer-of-nature-2020. [15 July 2020].

… i think how you ultimately cite something will just depend on what knowledge you got from it and who contributed to that knowledge.

2 Likes

Thanks for the discussion, @pisum and @bouteloua. It helped me get my brain around the issue.

Where I’m citing a collection project for its list of observations/data, then iNat would make sense as the author because it’s the user generated content of the whole community, collected by iNat in what’s basically a search function with a fancy face.

However, if I were citing a collection project as a package that includes things like journal posts or a traditional project where the observations have been curated, then I think it makes more sense to have the admins like editors.

THANKS :)

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.