In the UK some recording schemes are very strongly in favour of having real names attached to records. This is partly to do with recognising duplication, but also more generally it has long been considered good practice in biological recording for recorder names to be part of the biological record, so that it is clear who has taken responsibility for recording and identifying the record, and also so that credit can be given to the recorder.
Alongside this, some people have good reasons not to want their real name to be shared online, and such decisions must be respected.
On iNaturalist users are required to give a username and can optionally also provide a “Display Name”.
If possible, it would be great if users give their real names in the "Display Name”, but only if they are comfortable with doing so. If they are not then they can of course continue to use an alias on iNaturalist, but this may mean that some UK recording schemes may not be willing to accept their records.
Through the iNaturalistUK user group and the work the BRC (who manage iRecord) are doing with the recording schemes we are looking at all options available to find solutions that work for the iNaturalistUK user and the data users.
How to check / update username and display name:
Within the App this is the accessed by clicking ‘Edit Profile’. The user name is that next to the head and shoulders icon. The display name is that next to the face.
On the website go to Account Settings > Profile. Under Display name it states “This is the name that will be displayed on your profile as well as for copyright attribution”
So my user name is giselle_s . My display name is Giselle Sterry.
In respect of a feature to obscure the real name this would be for iNaturalist developers to consider and likely will need consensus from across the global community. Adding a post on the Feature Request section may be the best place to find the level of support.