Some months ago we were part of a month long Big Butterfly Month. The protocol used a format agreed upon by Lepidopterists across India . This included recording every individual seen, and photographed for cross checking - since many people new to butterflies were going to join in.
Inaturalist was one of the mediums used to document the data - so we recorded each individual (on a paper format) and also tried to photograph each individual and upload it.
I understand from some people from this thread that there is no consensus on what is the correct process
From my view point i thought of these
The region we are in (Uttarakhand Himalaya, India) has very few observations (about 28,000 for an area of 53000 sq km of very diverse habitats). So the existing data set is really low to start with
Multiple pictures of the same species will help future enthusiasts from that area in easier identification (assuming that the AI tool incorporates these data points of both form and populations). Right now the AI keeps reverting to European or American Species like this observation
Mulitple angles of the same species, in different light conditions, resolutions also means feeding the AI better data (as long as the observations attain, i suppose, Research Grade Status)
People posting them, ideally, should also id them - and this makes them better naturalists (i hope).
While not exactly “scientific” in some cases multiple observations could be used to highlight a phenomenon. In the Himalaya there has been a lot of talk (and papers) on early and unseasonal flowering iof Rhododendron arboreum. (See this filtered set).
Once again we are encouraging observers to post as many observations they have of this tree in order to capture some sense of the phenomenon
See this project for a focus on winter observations.
However I have been cautioning them to mention in these bulk (say a flock of single species birds) observations that this is “one individual in a group of many” so that identifiers and curators are alerted to the fact that this is not list or number padding but a genuine case of multiple individuals.
Look forward to your thoughts on this and any other cautionary principles.