Searching usernames to add to project - name does not appear in the dropdown results

Platform/Browser (Windows 10, Firefox):

Description of problem

Step 1: Go to iNat Project

Step 2: Select “Members”

Step 3: Select “Invite new members here”

Step 4: Type in username into search bar.

Problem: When a full username is submitted as a search string e.g. “treehu” (see: screenshot), the search function returns many results of “treehu*”, but none of the results are the string itself. The search results are not paginated, so the user can only select from the top results suggested by the search function. How can one invite a user to a project in this case? (FWIW, the username is spelled correctly and does exist). If one simply types in the username and clicks “Invite”, the search returns “Invited user can’t be blank”.

Thanks for any insights you might have!!


i suppose you could work around the problem by making the project not invite-only, and then just message or e-mail (if you have their e-mails) your proposed members a link to the project and ask them to join it. (i’m not sure, but maybe it’s even possible to turn off invite-only for a moment to let treehu join and then turn it back on.)

but if you must go invite-only and can’t temporarily turn it off, then it seems to me like you’re stuck (unless the user changes their login). that particular field seems to rely on the universal search, which will return only the top 30 results by default. unfortunately, treehu shows up near the end of a list of 172 users that are returned by a search for “treehu”.

ideally, the search would prioritize exact matches, but it doesn’t seem to do that. there are a couple of existing feature requests that talk about trying to implement some sort of exact matching which would also be another way to address this:

one last thing that i noticed was that the “About Invitations” box on the page seems to indicate that you should be able search by e-mail address, too, which could have offered another way to work around the problem. unfortunately, i don’t think you can search by e-mail. (it’s probably a good thing that you can’t search by e-mail, too, since that would open a small security/privacy hole.) i bring that up because the text on that page probably needs to changed to remove that part about searching by e-mails.


Thanks for sharing, @pisum!

Looks like others have identified a similar problem in other aspects of the website that use search, which is reassuring in that it’s not just me that finds this to be an obstacle! For the interim I’ll take your advice and open the project’s invite setting temporarily to bring in users that can’t be found via search.



Added to my weekly report.

Much appreciated, @tiwane!

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