"Request ID Help" button

I doubt that’s the case, disagreements send observations to a higher taxon, often one that has many obs and little iders.
You can use urls to find such obs.


Oh I see, that makes sense. I mostly ID bees and wasps. My number of mentions is still manageable currently, but identifiers with the top expertise get an almost unsustainable number for bees and wasps. Sometimes I do see people seem to repeatedly mention me just by copy and paste. So far the number isn’t too high, but I can see how that could get tiring if it was nonstop.


The lists aren’t always accurate, as neylon said. I am listed as a top identifier of the Black Dash, but all of them are my own observations. I mostly identified them by seeing them in the very small areas they occur in my location at the right time of year. I am definitely not an expert on this species.


Yes I think this is more efficient. I would like to be able to do a search for “observations with high-level display taxon due to conflicting lower IDs” separately from the simple “observations lacking finer IDs.” I’m sure many other identifiers would love to look through such a category if it existed, and would prefer that over being specifically tagged.


Um, I was just talking about it, and mollusca is the one I identify and lacking IDers for the number of observations.
Could you please share the url to find those? So many of mollusca observations are left with higher taxon after wrong original ID corrected by one or two users and I am always trying to add ID for such observations. I think those observations need IDs by identifiers more urgently compared with the ones with no precise ID at all. Thanks!

You told people refrain from doing it, as if they actively don’t do that, while probably they just never get to those observations.
You can use url for active identification https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki-part-1-of-2/63 then you choose lowest taxon in filters that’s depending on what you search is 1. one above it which will show observations with disagreements 2. one of the chosen id level, that way it has both observations without disagreement and observations with disagreement, but at least they’re both shown together.


I don’t mean to derail this completely, but I often get tagged by a few people a lot and then when I look at their page they have done very little identifying of others. Now there’s lots of people with no expertise but there everyone knows something to some degree, whether that just assigning plants to family or identifying mallards.

It there was a request ID button, it should be something that you “earn” after contributing to the overall ID effort. Maybe you get it once you’ve done 1000 IDs for others or something.

I guess at the end of the day, I just want preferential treatment haha. I’ve ID’d 50K+ observations yet I still have observations from taxons I’m not familiar with languishing. Would be nice to get at least some IDs of my things in return for my efforts.


Have you tried tagging in help for your languishers?


no because the process is super onerous (as others have mentioned above because the top lists are not great for a variety of reasons) and I don’t like getting tagged for IDs so I don’t want to do it do it to others.

A lot of the people I see asking requests have super coarse IDs that they posted 5 minutes ago (and usually very low quality photos). I think observations should sit for a before people can ask for requests. All this has made it so I don’t ask


I am a big fan of the concept but it does seem like it would be easy to manipulate/abuse. Encouraging IDs and making it more likely for observations to be IDed are both things that I would love to see but setting up a system that would do that seems like it would be really complicated. I think it’s good to start talking about a possible process but I don’t know if we’d ever reach a solution that everybody would agree to. The motives are really appealing to me though, so I’m interested in seeing what the general response to this concept is.


I agree, and I think there could be another issue: identifiers from, say, Europe or North America, are sometimes unlikely to be familiar with species from the tropics, even if from the same family/subfamily/tribe/etc. So if this is theoretically implemented, it should take in consideration the country where the observation comes from.

I also agree with this; I think it would get stressful for identifiers… So why not restrict the use? there could be a limit of times you can request help (maybe 4 times a month??) Another idea would be to give a bigger amount of times for people with alot of observations (maybe 5 a month for someone with 1000 obs, 6 for someone with 2000, and so on). Just a thought.


I do tag in people for help. But I add my best ID first. And only ask for help if

  1. the pictures are in focus and show some useful usable information. Blurry smudgy - mark as reviewed. Next
  2. the identifiers I ask are skilled, and busy - so I am very selective (once a week?) about asking for interesting, unusual, ongoing discussion obs. The ones that feel worth their time and effort.
  3. If I don’t know up front who to ask, I use the leaderboard, filter for place, then look for a familiar active and engaging name.
  4. The unfolding discussion is then a wonderful learning curve for me as people spell out why it is or isn’t …
  5. TBH the effort I have to make to decide WHO to ask is what I owe in gratitude for their ID.

I would like iNat to have a popup with a link to a tutorial.
You have posted 100 obs, received 40 IDs, most of your obs are insects - here is your link - see who you can help to an ID. Pay it forward. People need to be reminded that indentifiers are people with lives and issues, not bots.


Yes to all this! I’m really only comfortable with Noctuidae in Canada, and even then, there are groups I don’t touch. If I get a request for help on a species in Peru, say, I’ll try to help, but often I’m out of my depth.
As well, I’m at the top of the leaderboard for a number of moth species, but that is often because I’ll work though a large backload of ID’s at once, and then promptly forget the identifying features!


I wish I could recommend this comment a hundred times!!


I like that. When I first got into iNat and was still figuring it out, I would put ID’s on peoples observations that had ID’d my uploads. I still do that occasionally.


how often do you do this that you need a button to automate the process?

Every day. Usually many times a day.

I seem to be one of the few identifiers of Indo-Pacific marinelife who bothers to curate older observations that are taxonomically stuck on here. The process of finding these observations… then clicking on the appropriate taxon page… then searching through the list of identifiers for that taxon… then figuring out which of those users is active and has actual expertise in the taxon… then carefully typing out their user names… then waiting to see if they respond… then repeating the process with more user names if those first few fail to respond… etc…

It is an enormous waste of my time and likely a hindrance for many experts who might otherwise engage more actively on here. My request is primarily intended to assist curators on here. A “Request Help” button would be challenging to implement for the broader user base, unless severe limitations on its usage were imposed.

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i think if this were to be implemented in the system, the limitations should really be based not on the ID requestor’s role (curator or not), but on the requestee’s preferences – probably something like a combination of (A) maximum number of ID requests per week, (B) maximum number of ID requests from per requestor per week, and (C) requestors to block.

an ID request should ideally become an entirely new type of activity, separate from the IDs and comments. this way, it would be theoretically possible to build functionality to search for observations not yet reviewed with an ID request (rather than relying entirely on notifications and the dashboard to find these).

in the meantime, i mentioned earlier that it would be possible to automate some of the flow that you had proposed. just to let you visualize something like that in action, here’s a video of me using Power Automate to fill in top identifiers in the comments field in an observation detail page: https://youtu.be/nkj80kdjm_4. it wouldn’t take much to customize this however you liked. for example, if you wanted to fill things in from the Identify page instead of the Observation detail page, it would only take a few extra actions in the flow setup. it’s also doable to exclude specific users from being mentioned based on a list, or mentioning only the next 3 top identifiers (rather than all of them). when you build your own flow to handle this process, you can control exactly how you want it to work for your use case. (and maybe once you and/or others have been able to try out different flows for a while, you might come back with more structured ideas about how this should work if implemented in the system.)


I’d emphasize identifiers choosing what they want to ID. Also, chances are if an obs. gets no IDs for awhile it’s either a very obscure species or in others cases a very abundant one, or belongs to a difficult to ID group, is a low quality photo, or there’s a lack of identifiers for the taxon and location. If an obs. is a very clear photo of a recognizable species it will probably get IDed eventually. I often change location globally to ID bees and wasps and there are simply too many obs. to keep up with and new ones are always being added (which is good, otherwise). They’re all called Needs ID because they’re all equally “in need of attention.”


Given this request isn’t getting much support, you might want to consider other ways of tackling this issue, such as creating a traditional project for observations that you think deserve expert attention, and maybe a journal post once a month tagging relevant people to check out the project. Then you just add the observations to the project as you go along, and identifiers who are interested in helping can filter in Identify to show just corals, or gobies, or whatever, within the project.