Prevent duplicate identifications

Recent example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27958234

Not sure what workflow(s) are creating these, but I see them a lot. Maybe adding an ID manually, then accidentally (or intentionally?) hitting Agree right afterward? Maybe double-hits on Agree in the same or different windows?

Maybe these are a mere annoyance, but they do unnecessarily clutter up the Activity feed in the observation detail, and add some unknown (to me) data load to the system. Don’t know if they affect ID counts or anything else.

Stopping these from being created, plus a simple pop-up indicating “This is already your current ID for this observation” might help folks learn how the various user interfaces work (and don’t work) a little faster too.

If this should be a bug report instead, I’m happy to recategorize it, but my sense is that this has been expected behavior so far, maybe for good reasons I’m not understanding yet.

UPDATE: I see that currently I can’t agree with my own ID, so that’s not a possible workflow. But the duplicate IDs in the example above happened within 1 second of each other, so I can’t imagine that it was add 1st ID ==> withdraw 1st ID ==> add 2nd ID either.

Great idea!
I’ve had this happen to me when I clicked on agree, and when the ID didn’t appear after a few seconds I tried again, thinking that it hadn’t worked.
The one situation I would intentionally add the same ID twice is if I want to disagree with a finer ID, but accidentally click on the wrong option in the popup that appears - although I guess I could work around that by deleting my previous ID

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maybe this one happened by accidentally double-clicking on agree?

I know one way this is created for sure (because it happens to me sometimes):

I make all my IDs using the explore tab, not the identify tab. As I’m scrolling down I’ll open up every observation in a new tab. Because of the bug where the same observation appears 2-3 times on the one page, I’ll sometimes open up the one observation multiple times. I’ll ID the first one, close it, and then ID the same thing (without realising when I’m on autopilot IDing easy stuff) on the second tab. This creates the double ID like you showed.

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if I look at the IDentifications of the person in your example, both ID’s are there

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I think that this happens when a person agrees with everyone’s previous IDs. So in your example I think jeffreypineassociates clicked Agree on jdmore’s ID and then clicked Agree on kristalwatrous’ ID - which resulted in automatically withdrawing their previous (matching) ID. I figure people click Agree on duplicate IDs because they think that they’re marking it as agreement with that specific person, rather than adding their own matching ID. I often notice it happening when the OP is a new user, and they click Agree on every suggestion that’s given - even when there are several of the same taxon.

Anyway, this seems like a good feature request! There’s no reason we should need to be able to add an ID that matches our current ID, so having a warning popup would be good and help people understand what’s happening and how the Agree button works.

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another workflow where this occurs…

identify from the observation page, move the cursor over to click on the observation details (adult/juvenile/egg flowering fruiting etc), page refreshes and adds compare element, mouseclick activates compare and select, and closes, then my first id which started the whole process is withdrawn and the same id is added

when this happens, I know I need to take a break as I am starting to rush :) - but have often thought that the window layout might put the compare in a place that does not rearrange the layout in quite that way

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At least on the web site, once I agree with a particular ID, the agree buttons disappear on any and all other IDs of the same taxon. Currently, on my example obs, I see no agree buttons, because all the IDs match my own current ID. So the scenarios above shouldn’t be able to happen. But maybe things work differently on the phone apps, which I never use to ID things.

Here’s one workflow that could definitely be contributing to the problem:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/limit-available-agree-buttons-specifically-in-the-activity-feed/6574

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I have had this happen through glitches in my internet connectivity too which cause me to click the “agree” button twice.

I only use the web app.

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That would help me a lot. I occasionally accidentally hit the “a” key twice while identifying in identify (out of the many thousands of identifications I add, it’s bound to happen a few times). Also, there are some observations that I mark as unreviewed after identifying because I want to look at this again to make sure my ID is correct at a later date or get to a more specific taxon. Because of this, I have on occasion accidentally hit “a” again adding duplicate identification before realizing I had already IDed it as that. A couple of the other above workflow problems have also happened to me.

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I come here after this remark:

So, I voted for this feature request.

This is simply worth being fixed. Not desirable. No added value. (Just like a spelling mistake).

The server application should ignore (or respond with a warning message as suggested above) a duplicate identification.

Or, if there is a comment associated to the duplicate being submitted, the server could change it on the fly into a comment, so that the content is not lost.

3 Likes

More workflow examples here:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/two-ids-by-the-same-account-myself/10341