Request Documentation when research grade is changed back to needs ID

This has happened several times on iNaturalist. An organism is identified to Research Grade and the ID is accepted for several years and then a maverick ID comes along which puts the observation back into “needs ID”. But there is no reason given why the new identification has been suggested. If an ID has been apparently settled for over a year and then a change is proposed, shouldn’t the person(s) suggesting the change have to provide supporting documentation?

They aren’t required to do anything. You can ask them, and if they are conscious about their image they’ll probably respond. This is how the site operates. If they don’t respond, I’d recommend tagging some people you know are proficient in the taxon so that they can identify correctly and overrule the incorrect identifications, whatever those may be.

Note: You say “maverick”, but you are talking about the actual definition, not iNat’s definition. On iNaturalist, a maverick ID is one that is outvoted by three disagreeing IDs that agree with each other.

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Since RG observations are not the default in “Identify” searches, they are likely browsing a specific taxon to double check or fix common mistakes. I did this with the pair of Chamaesaracha sordida and edwardsiana in Central Texas and I probably should have added notes with my corrections.

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There’re any wrong ids staying at RG for years, if you really know their new id is wrong – tag a person who can help and add an id so community taxon changes back.

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It’s certainly polite to leave and explanation when disagreeing with an earlier identification. Sometimes we do it. It’s not required, though, and sometimes we don’t. I’m especially unlikely to do it with an older observation, because so many of those observers have left. Please, ask why. I would explain and many of the others who identify would explain, too.

As pointed out above you can also consult friends or people on the leaderboards for the taxa involved and perhaps find out.

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I have asked and not received any substantive replies.

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Well, that’s too bad! We’re supposed to help one another. For me, finding people who actually want to know is one of the good things of this site. (Although scatter-brained as I can be, I could miss explaining from time to time.)

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10 posts were split to a new topic: Are IDs that change on iNaturalist updated on GBIF?

It’s strange that they didn’t respond when asked for clarification. I almost always say why I am IDing a certain way when I disagree with more than one person.

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If it was really wrong it could be a new user probably from the app, recently there’s a big influx of such users adding random ids to old observations.

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I used to do that more, but have given up somewhat recently due to the time investment that comes with writing up a reply. If anybody asks I’ll gladly write out the reply and I have a little sentence in my profile saying so.

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they are likely browsing a specific taxon to double check or fix common mistakes

While that certainly does happen, in my experience it’s more often new users who are making inaccurate guesses at the species and throwing a wrench in the RG ID system as a result. I see that happening a lot, at least in the region I work.

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Oh, that’s a good idea, thanks.

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It is polite/courteous to leave an explanation when changing an ID. I do things the reverse of you. If it’s a new user I’m more willing to add a detailed explanation in the hopes of teaching something new.
It can be frustrating though, especially for commonly confused taxa. There are four Feltia spp that look similar, and after a while I’ll either just stop or not bother explaining, especially if the original identifier should know better.

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I was apparently unclear. I sometimes figure that explaining changes to old observations is not worthwhile because the observers have probably left. For new observations I’m more likely to leave explanations.

For taxa I see often, my file of standard explanations is useful. Copy, paste, and on to the next one.

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No worries! I might add an explanation to older observations to leave a ‘paper trail’, as it were, for others who may follow me.

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I added something like that to my profile yesterday, hopefully it will be helpful.

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As in, no reply? Or a reply that you found unsatisfying? Sometimes it takes a while for someone to respond.

As in no reply for most cases lately. Formerly did receive replies. When you suggest an ID the site says “please tell us why”. This implies that when someone changes an ID from RG they would follow these guidelines when they make the change, not at some unknown time in the future.

I am unclear as to the responsibility. When you suggest an ID the site says “please tell us why”. This implies that when someone changes an ID from RG they would follow these guidelines when they make the change, not at some unknown time in the future.

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