Researchers need data from non-research grade observations

Lethal Bronzing is a fatal affliction of palms, both wild and in cultivation. Researchers studying the expanding range of the disease would benefit from knowing where examples are in urban/landscape settings, but an annotation suggests only research grade (wild) observations can be used by scientists.

Is that the case, or might scientists be able to see geographic range for casual observations?

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Anyone can download observations from iNat, even casual ones. Only RG observations are exported to GBIF though. So they are accessible, they just require a little more intention on the part of a researcher to access.

Though technically a disease would be in the wild, whether it is on a captive or a wild plant.

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welcome to the community.

“research grade” is a little bit of a misnomer. it doesn’t mean that those observations are necessarily suitable for (any) research purposes, nor that only those observations are suitable for research. it just means that the observation meets a standard set of criteria (has media evidence, has location recorded, has date recorded, is not marked as captive, etc…)

if you want to search for “casual” grade observations and use them for research, there’s nothing stopping you from doing so. just remember to respect licenses and attributions, etc., as you would if you using any data.

if you have any questions on how best to search for this data, don’t hesitate to ask.

on another note, if you’d like to collect observations of diseased palms, you could try using something like a traditional project or an observation field, although not all users allow those to be applied to their observations.


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