Remove leaderboard from Identify page

Note this is specifically about removing the leaderboard on Identify. Please leave discussions about observer leaderboards to another thread. Please also refrain from calling out particular identifiers in a negative way as this is against forum guidelines.

Many people agree the Identify leaderboard seems to encourage non-optimal behaviors, and the biggest benefit (finding “experts”) can still be done from Explore, from the Taxon page, and from the Observation page. With three not-very-hard-to-find options, I think it’s very reasonable to remove it from the place where it seems most likely to encourage bad behavior. And as a bonus, we can also increase the thumbnail size with the extra space.

Identify leaderboard

Leaderboards in Explore, a Taxon page, and an Observation page

Snippets of previous comments on identification leaderboards:

Since there are “three not-very-hard-to-find options” that do the same thing, why would removing one of them change the behaviors?

Which of the top ten IDers seem to be exhibiting non-optimal behaviors?

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Individuals adding many many IDs are almost certainly using the Identify interface (rather than observation pages, explore, the dashboard, etc.). I don’t have hard evidence that they won’t still pay attention to leaderboards in other locations, but I feel that not having those numbers right there in the Identify interface can only be a good thing in lessening the motivation for uncritical IDs.



Forum guidelines say not to call out individual users in a negative way. I’m not going to name names, and we will use a heavy hand in moderating future content that does.

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Didn’t the way the photos were edited/cropped name names?

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It was absolutely not my intention to suggest any particular users in those screenshots are at fault. The first two screenshots are just of iNat’s overall top identifiers, and I had no particular reason to choose plants or Pinus for the other screenshots.

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I replaced the screenshots with versions that blur out the names to hopefully prevent any confusion.

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Would larger thumbnails have the unintended consequence of more people identifying from the thumbnail without opening the photo and looking at it in detail? In itself, its own problem.

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I’m sure this has been discussed before, but would an adjusted weighting ID system also help with this? Stating the obvious, but at the moment the 10th identical ID on an observation is given the same ‘value’ on the leaderboards as the first ID that nailed the species.

Edit: just to clarify this better, agreeing IDs still have their value, e.g. overriding maverick IDs, but it’s the 8th, 9th, 10th ones on really common stuff that are the issue in my mind

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Then remove the agree button on thumbnails :wink:

In all seriousness, I would say thumbnail size is basically an independent request and probably we should keep the discussion here to removing the leaderboard and we can talk over there about enlarging the thumbnails.


I totally see where you’re coming from, but I think a change of this magnitude is outside the scope of the current request. I actually see potentially two separate weighting systems: one that allows an “expert” ID to do more to change the Community ID [staff response to that here], and a different one that somehow weights the quality of an ID (e.g. a first ID is worth more than a 10th agreeing ID, or a maverick ID that later overturns the CID is worth more, etc.) to create a better top identifiers list.
But both of these have been discussed before, and again, I don’t think this is really the best place to continue those discussions.

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I have worked really hard to move things from “unknown” to a kingdom. I don’t think that makes me the leader of anything and I’d rather it wasn’t counted as if I were, say, someone actually identifying a species. Just my two cents.

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Nicely said. I think this is where a lot of good comes from in identifying species down to the 5th or 10th plus identification. A number of IDs will come from aping the first and it is great to see (or personally produce) a correction. I don’t think a weighting system will work but keeping the IDs coming is the best policy.

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I don’t share the concerns about bad IDer behavior, but I still support this on UI grounds alone. More space for observations or larger thumbnails or whatever!

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There is value in every agreeing, even if its 5, 10 or 200. But after achieving research grade, the agreeing should not count to leaderboards. Some “top identifyers” really aren’t exactly experts…

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There’s no easy correction for 10 ids made, and a big question how these were made and how many wrongly agreed observations are in the system only because of mass identifiers (agreers). So definitely those should’ve weighted less than reasonable first 5.

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I’m not sure why the agree button still shows up after that many people already have. Perhaps the identify page shouldn’t include research grade results?

It happens when you don’t refresh the page and observations can be RG and still be shown for you.

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Like the explore page, the identify page can be set to show both, or just research. If someone was wanting to run their stats up, I imagine they are setting it up to show only RG. Removing that feature from the Identify page would do more to curb that undesired behavior than removing the leaderboard. They would then have to use explore page to open individual observations to agree.

The observations with huge amounts of IDs are generally caused by following, posts to this forum, or ID wars.

I have notice some users doing a specific species in bulk. I assume they are either assuring IDs of their well known species, or trying to achieve a good knowledge of variations of the species.

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It’s happened to me this way: I search for a species with which I’m familiar. I “agree” with those observations that have an “agree” button that I feel I can ID via thumbnail, not knowing that I’m the third or 48th vote. Then I feel silly. Then I remember to go back and filter out the research grade ones. I’m not agreeing to run up my numbers, but the outcome and process both are probably undesirable.

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I suppose I generally improve kingdom level observations so it’s not often I view anything research grade. That makes sense.

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I mostly ID unknowns, so I sometimes pile on the second ID. I follow a few people, so sometime I’m 5th or so IDing something of theirs. Of course there is Gerald!

Sometimes a user having removed Community ID can cause some piling on of IDs as well, as people try to get it out of Unknown. :)

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