Merging duplicate observation fields?

I found the old threads on fixing or standardizing observation fields are locked, so I hope it’s ok to post this here. When posting observations of pollinators on flowers I try to add the existing observation field “Nectar Plant”. I recently noticed there were two identical looking entries “Nectar Plant” with the same name in the dropdown. I figured it was a bug and just always selected the first one. Now I realized they are two separate fields that appear the same, but the URL shows the difference is two or one spaces between nectar and plant. So I (and other users) have some observations with one field and some with the other. Any way to merge them? Should I just somehow bulk edit my own to fix them. They both display with one space in the dropdown menu when adding the fields, so it’s hard to select the correct one (single space).

Single space with ~38k observations.

Double space with ~300 observations.

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Separate fields could be used for separate projects or by different users, probably you should contact author of the second one if they’re written and ask if they’d like to delete it and use the “original” one? (I don’t remember if it’s possible, but moderators always could help).

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When deleting one of my own observation fields, i found bulk edit “batch” works to add the new field, but you have to delete the unwanted field individually for each observation, because in bulk edit, you cant delete fields in Batch, but it is quicker to go down the list of observations below the Batch function. You have to open a tab in each observation (I think its called “More fields”?), but the removal is much faster there than it is in other pages.

The site has stated in the past, they will take no action to manage observation fields, duplicates or otherwise.

So no, there is no way to merge them unless site management reverses that decision.

Thanks, I’ll try the batch edit or maybe use the identify pop-up. Luckily, I only found about thirty of mine that are using the wrong field.

The older observation field that is used more often shows that it’s associated with eight projects. The newer one with the double space in its name isn’t associated with any projects. I wondered if it was created in error when trying to use the original one? I thought it was strange that the site programming would allow two fields to be created with the same name… aside from the extra space, which is automatically removed when displayed on the site so that they look identical.

From my experience, I would say quite likely. The other possibility is someone wanted unique use of a field, or at least a use separate from the uses of the other one. Most of the Fields I use are ones I created, so I can use them to search my own observations and produce lists of my own observations, for reports and assessment of data etc. In those cases I name the fields something likely to distinguish it from fields used by others, eg by including the initials of my Project.

But having a name so similar and barely distinguishable would be very inconvenient, esp. If they display the same. I see no reason not to delete that Field if it is not in use. I dont think it is possible to delete Fields if they are in use…it certainly should not be…but before deleting it I would check that there are indeed no observations using that Field.

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