Make ID by taxon describer automatically Research Grade

If an identifier is the original describer of a genus or species, his/her identification of that species should be tagged as Research Grade without confirmation by others. This could either be by recognizing the author in the taxon databases iNat uses or, if that’s not possible, an option of “Original Describer” in the pulldown menu for each observation. I realize that very few identifiers would use that option. Currently when this happens to me I comment “I described this species” or “I revised this genus”.

This seems like the edge case of all edge cases…


Edited the title to make it an action phrase, as suggested here, feel free to change it if it’s not accurate.

There have been suggestions for similar functionality in the past, but iNat has decided to not grant any user more power than any other when it comes to ID and data quality votes, so I don’t see this happening. And as @fogartyf said, adding this functionality for what would probably affect a handful of users would likely not be worth the development time.

A reputation model using only iNaturalist activity has been explored a bit, but it would be really complex.


I personally don’t think a reputation model would be of much good, all the reputations are purely social. You would trust the ID of someone who has made lots of correct IDes before and in the bio says “PhD student working at [Insert university] studying [Insert field]”.

It would be very interesting though, maybe a reputation could be something you apply to and someone does an investigation (A quick one), where you give them your email and you just confirm your status as maybe a Expericenced amateur or a professor. If it does happen, I do not think it should affect the weight of the IDes they make.


Yeah, i think this request is basically just one extreme edge case of a reputation system. It’s been discussed in depth so I won’t get into that all again, but I will say firstly that if someone who describes a species is also a participant in the community, for instance if user Naomibot came and identified an erythranthe she described for me, i might reak my rule for not agreeing with IDs i don’t know and ‘agree’ with her ID to get research grade. BBut… I personally don’t think species describers should get any kind of ‘ownership’ of the species on iNat, after all, species are revised, lumped, split, etc all the time.


I have no particular view on the RG suggestion. But I do want to say thank you for sharing your treehopper expertise with us! Inverts get so much less attention here and its very much valued.


I’m going to close this request, it’s not something iNat will move forward with.