Stat representation ideas for the "Year In Review" page

Seeing this year’s “Year In Review” page I thought about an article that became “famous” in the scientific community of Twitter and some other social networks called “Taxonomic bias in biodiversity data and societal preferences”, where some very interesting graphs are shown.

I think that iNat could make some graphs simmilar or based on this kind of articles on the next “Year In Review 2020” page, for example using the relationships between number of species, taxa curated that year, number of curators making changes on each particular group…
I really think that making some stats about curators and curation also would visibilize some very important work done by curators each year, and also would encourage people interested in underrepresented taxa to help curate those groups.

I am not sure about what specific relations might be the most interesting though, but I will add here the ones that the community propose, and if enough people are interested on this make a Feature Request with a Poll:

  • Observations for each group
  • Curators for each group (=number of curators making changes for a specific taxon)
  • Taxon changes for each group
  • Observations/Number of species registered for each group

(The meaning of “group” on this sentences is the big groups that are represented in the “Year In Review” page, like “Plants”, “Insects”, “Birds”…)


Curious! I don’t really agree with the paper’s premise that abundance of records in GBIF says anything about how much effort goes into “studying and protecting each and every living species on Earth,” and I think iNat records are an even weaker proxy, but still, it made me want to run some numbers. I ran a few stats for taxa that Troudet et al. had in their paper that are species-complete on iNat

The spreadsheet also has numbers for all of Troudet et al.'s taxa, but those numbers probably don’t mean that much since we don’t know how many described species are in the iNat database for those taxa.

Anyway, not too many surprises here. iNat users pay attention to big and/or pretty things, like most people. I was a bit surprised that there are no plant taxa on iNat that are species-complete yet, and that identifiers per observer is so steady at 0.2. Certainly not opposed to adding this to Year In Review next year. We kind of wanted to do more taxon-focused stuff this year but didn’t get around to it.

And, of course, this was a rush job, so there may be errors. Hopefully not, but maybe.


I just checked out the year in review, nice work team, I really liked the interactive nature of the stats.

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