Should I delete my unverifiable observations?

Hi folks,

I’ve created lots of observations over the last few days by uploading several CV files and then adding images to those for which I have them. This has left several 10’s of my observations ID’d but without images (status = casual). Are these still useful or should I remove them?



Definitely useful! Research Grade is just an indication that certain criteria have been met. Many RG observations could be deemed of low value, and many casual observations could prove to be very useful… Value is in the eye of the researcher :)


Seconding @kiwifergus, there’s value to leaving your no-image observations on the site. They document your understanding that a specific organism was present at a certain place and time. Anyone using the site (or a data extract) for research can make their own determination of whether or how to use your data.


definitely keep them. As others have said there’s no issue with doing this. The site will track them separately from verifiable observations and people who don’t want to see them can easily filter them out.


Definitely not keep them. I saw many such observations but know that the name is suspect. This species does not occur N of this border etc.

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It is generally not useful to generalise.

Seriously, though, if in your specific search you particularly required a verifiable observation, then it is your particular use case that makes a casual observation of the type OP mentions that makes the observation unsuitable for you. This does not detract from the usefulness of that observation to the original observer, or for other uses. I’d say keep them if they are useful you you.


Is it better then to have several unverified occurrence records in a continent where that species never occur? If there is one others often follows.

One can use those as a “teaching moment” with a short comment, and the observer may then seek to learn more about what they misunderstood?

Unfortunately in the cases I am thinking about, not a single response.

I’d keep them. They’re casual grade so can easily be filtered out. Having had a quick look at a couple of your observations it looks like you have some where that species hasn’t been observed nearby so that adds value. Well assuming the observation is correct of course but I’m fairly sure they are since your observations with photos have been confirmed. Someone who looks at your casual observations can review your research grade observations and come to their own conclusion about whether your causal observations are likely to be correct.


These don’t affect the algorithm or species lists as far as i know, so probably won’t cause others to follow due to their presence. That being said if one is added way out of range where it can’t possibly occur it’s fine to initiate a dialog in the observaiton. I’ve even disagreed with a few IDs that I felt had no chance of being correct and wild/naturalized (Saguaro in Alaska type situations)… The etiquette changes, I think, with inactive users. When users aren’t active and able to discuss these, they become more questionable, though there’s no way to filter them by that.

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Unless you have reason to suspect the person asking this question is responsible for adding incorrect casual records, I don’t think this is a fair statement. Potential mistakes by other users should have no bearing on a user using the site in a permitted way.

As others have said, by all means keep them, they certainly have value for you, and if others wish to look at or use them, they are available for them


If it is clearly and significantly out of range, then you can mark it “location inaccurate” and leave a comment as to what you have done and why. They become casual because they don’t have evidence, so any use of the data that requires the level of accuracy you are alluding to would hopefully filter those out… And hence why RG was called RG! If you find that they don’t have comments or correcting IDs, then you can be the one to put them! If you can’t be bothered doing that, then leave it for someone else to do… it doesn’t break iNat.

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