Show Most Identifications stats on project homepages

Platform(s): website, all browsers.

URLs: Any project, e.g. ones I made: Green Roof Biodiversity and First iNat Bee and Wasp Records.

Description of need:
Along with Most Species and Most Observations, Most Identifications stats would also be informative to show on project homepages and help generate interest and observer and identifier motivation in projects. Currently, there is one roundabout way to find ID stats: click View Observations, which brings you to Explore, then click Identifiers. The downside is that method takes longer, and is on a different page where many won’t think to look. Also, ID stats are not only interesting but in some projects can also be just as large or an even larger focus than observations and species, so isn’t merely supplementary or tangential.

Feature request details:
It would be ideal if a fourth Most Identifications stats column were added to project homepages to show the top five ranks from the ID stats, in the same format of the existing stats columns.

I’m concerned this would just incentivize people to add more agreeing IDs or to add IDs they’re not sure of, but I guess that applies to any sort of identifier leaderboard and not just this specific case.


This seems to really only be an issue for traditional projects, not collection projects. In collection projects, the identifications have their own tab that leads directly to the identifier list with just one click, which seems reasonable.
Having the identifiers on the front page would clutter it a bit, so I like the collection project approach of having it easily accessible but not right on the front page.

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I can see that potential, didn’t realize it was a factor in the original project design? Although as you say and is true of various site proposals there can be pros and cons either way and other factors involved. Some projects are also less “competitive” than others, e.g. ones based on iNat firsts are only supposed to have 1 obs. per species. And e.g. green roofs obs. are uncommon on iNat so far, so I assumed the green roof project would be more observation-based. In other words, my projects haven’t gotten competitive, at least yet.

The issue of users adding uncritical agreeing IDs is also a thing in itself people on the forum have discussed addressing. People have suggested more onboarding/education (including forum education) to recommend against such agreeing, although I’ve observed that many people agree that way just to make obs. RG fast without checking/caring about accuracy, project or no project. Similarly, some mark DQA “taxon cannot be improved” arbitrarily just to get RG.


The point I’m raising is that it isn’t clear why Identifications should be considered more tangential/supplementary info. than Observations and Species. Because for certain projects Observations and Species are less relevant and IDs are more relevant. I don’t think adding ID stats would clutter it much more than it “already is” (i.e. there already is a lot of info there, but which we’re used to). Another possibility would be for the page to become organized in tabs like Explore is. That way the homepage isn’t cluttered (or is only focused on one tab at a time at least), but we still have the idea to click on each tab from the homepage. As surprising as it may sound, a page even being one or two clicks away will be missed by many. Especially in traditional projects at least (which I focus on) where going to stats is essentially leaving the project page for Explore.


Many iders voiced that they do get competetive from seeing leaderboards (e.g. topic about removing leaderboards), I’m not sure a regular expert can be tempted to add wrong/out of air ids just by seeing a leaderboard though. I think it would be useful to have more control over projects and choose which graphs/lists are shown on the main page.

I agree that leaderboards can cause competition. But if competition is healthy and fair it’s one side of the same coin as increasing users’ motivation to observe/ID/submit obs. in a good way. I also feel like we all see leaderboards everywhere anyway, e.g. taxon pages, observations, profiles, and the Explore IDer tab. And that most competition comes from the “big leaderboard” on Explore or species pages. Although some big projects must create their own additional competition too.

A second thought I added above is that some people who really “misuse” agreeing IDs (or other parts of iNat) aren’t doing it based on anything but their own reasons. And also nothing different (like a different environment) will typically persuade many to change unless it actually prevents what they’re doing in some way. I go back my usual suggestion that ideally iNat might use a training program which new users must complete when joining, to try to teach everything (this and other issues) “upstream,” preventing problems downstream.


I can particularly see this being an issue for school projects, where the students, who aren’t necessarily excited about using iNaturalist and may be joking around, would have a larger incentive to do exactly what you are saying, to beat their friends.


Although this is also an issue for big projects like City Nature Challenge. Also, in some ways iNat and it’s main leaderboard stats themselves are like one big project, and one that shows ID stats. I mostly just assume a certain percent of users will guess/agree IDs no matter what. I guess it would need to be tested to know if adding ID stats to projects would worsen it and by how much. It’s possible it would at least slightly. Although I mostly see that overshadowed by how common it already is, and prefer it be addressed by iNat in a more significant general way instead, if at all. It also seems unideal that iNat needs to obscure ID stats, Community Taxon, and DQA from (obs.) homepages at all. I’d prefer either that user training/education be addressed more up front when joining, or that the expectation just be that everyone would expect that a certain percent of people will guess IDs, another percent will use intermediate caution, and a third percent will use strict caution, like they do currently. I’d also prefer iNat no longer need to obscure ID-relevant info in general (DQA, CT, IDs), at least if guessing/agreeing could be improved in the future somewhat.


Identification leaderboards are useful.

The second stage of onboarding, addictive use, shows us which name on the list knows the IDs - can explain why. And which are click click click.

I am constantly amazed that a new to me identifier is revealed as working on the taxonomy of … daisies and based in NZ … yesterday for example.

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