Specifying observation requirements for umbrella projects

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I’ve just created my first umbrella project and added three traditional projects to it: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fungal-diversity-survey

I would like to specify certain basic observation criteria for the umbrella project, ie no slime molds and no lichens.

The Edit Project page suggests that this is possible (“Observation Requirements: Please specify the requirements for the observations to be added to this project”) but there isn’t a working field into which to enter such requirements. The field only accepts links to other projects. Is this a mistake?

Thank you!

The 3 projects you have included already specify in their terms that observations must be in taxonomy Fungi. Since slime molds are not under the same kingdom as Fungi, wouldn’t they already be excluded, so you don’t need to worry about those?
Though lichens would still be included.

I suspect this is by design, rather than a bug, for cases where you are seeding your project with other projects, so that your umbrella project doesn’t have terms that contradict those you are including (like excluding lichens when the included projects don’t). I think it’s probably an either/or thing; you can set your own terms in a collection project or accept existing projects with their terms under your umbrella, but not both.

But that’s just me spitballing, and I could be completely wrong. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey, I was right (it’s rare, but it happens): Umbrellas and Collections are different.



(Screenshot from the 2nd link):


OK thanks - but I’m still confused. Why the sentence “Please specify requirements” when there is no place to specify requirements? And some of the projects that want to be part of my umbrella projects might have lichens in them, for example. Do I have to go through each one and weed them out?

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in the context of umbrella projects, the requirements that you need to specify are the projects to be included in the umbrella project.


I don’t think that’s an option for umbrella projects. They just consolidate everything in the included projects.

I’m not entirely sure if manual removal is an option for a collection project, either, though I think it is.

If you want to exclude certain specific sac fungi like lichens, then I think you have to either (1) make your own project that includes the date, users & place terms of those three but excludes the taxa that include lichens, or (2) ask the project admins if they would consider changing their project terms to exclude lichens. I would recommend creating your own over asking them to change.

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They are essentially “search terms”, so unless they are specifically excluded by the criteria for the project there is no way to manually exclude individual observation from a collection project.

There was a discussion around adding the ability to use fields or tags as criteria for collection projects, which would mean you could set or clear a field value to include or exclude a particular observation. Not sure if that is going to be implemented though, as it may become too server intensive and thus defeat the reasons why collection projects became a thing…