Say what the Community Taxon is in the DQA

Often people vote too soon on the question “Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?” in the Data Quality Assessment section (DQA). For example, they add a refining ID, but the community taxon doesn’t yet match their ID, and they say “No, it’s as good as it can be”. For example:

ID1: Flowering plants
ID2: Typha (cattails)
The Observation Taxon is now Typha (cattails),
but the Community Taxon is only flowering plants

If IDer 2 now votes that the Community Taxon, flowering plants, cannot be improved, but that’s counter to the genus level ID they just made.

How about adding the Community Taxon in that sentence?

Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon, Angiospermae (flowering plants), still be confirmed or improved?

It would need to update whenever the Community Taxon changes.

Note: for more on the topic of Observation Taxon vs. Community Taxon, see topics like:

For that matter, shouldn’t all the DQA votes just be cleared and start over if/when the community taxon changes, since all those votes were for different community ID(s)? Or is that what you are saying here?


Speaking as a fairly new user myself, I think a lot of new users don’t understand this question and how it behaves. I’ve seen a couple of observations that would have long ago been research grade at species level except for someone marking this check box - I assume by accident:

I don’t know the history of these - I suspect they were marked by someone before they reached species at the community taxon. I like both suggestions above. It might also make sense to provide a warning if someone marks this while the Community Taxon is species level (and maybe even the Observation Taxon). I don’t know of many legitimate cases for doing this, and if it happens by accident it seems to take a long time to get cleaned up.



I just observed asimilar issue. It is not about users checking the “community taxon ID cannot be improved” box too soon, but forgetting to disagree with a previous ID which has a higher taxonomic resolution before checking it. This I have seen while revising some research-grade observations. The observer suggests and initial ID at species level, and then, other users (whose IDs in this taxonomic group I know to be trustworthy) suggest a coarser taxonomic ID without disagreeing with the original ID, and then (likely these latter users) check the “community taxon ID cannot be improved” box. Then, iNat prioritizes the finer ID, and sends it directly to RG.

This is one example:
But I have found ~10 cases in a single search, all with the same issue. For now, I have been “fixing” these other IDs by disagreeing with the original species ID and checking again for the “taxon community ID cannot be improved” box, but I wonder how often this happens and how easy to fix this may be.

In any case, I believe that adding a verification message/pop-up/whatever would do more good than harm, preventing easily avoidable identification errors that otherwise just get sent to RG directly. And well, from my very unexperienced point of view, this seems quite easy to implement :innocent:.

see also


And also the convoluted Ancestor Disagreement, which constantly confuses iNatters. Leaving the CID not where we expect it to be.

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Which ID of an observation is exported to GBIF?

Made a Github issue here: We decided to split it into a second line, which makes translation much easier.