Taxonomic Merge / Swap timer

#1

If I’m updating a flora Taxon to conform with Plants Of The World Online than I would like the ability to create a draft that will be committed when the timer reaches 00:00:00. Allowing a Heads-Up to be displayed for up to a moth if necessary. This will allow other iNat users to have a discussion about the species if need be & possibly place that species on a deviation list if a high volume of people don’t agree with such Taxon swaps. Furthermore this will add a level of ‘Safe Guard’ procedures from mistakes such as incorrect spelling or incorrectly misplacing the Taxon.

  • An automatic message to be sent to all users whom are interests in such Taxonomic updates for that particular species, genus, family…
  • Automated messages to be sent to the 3 Top observers
  • Automated message to be sent to the 3 Top identifiers
  • An Icon added to the new Taxon showing iNat users that the Taxon has recently been updated (similar to a flag icon)
  • Automatically add Timer icon nears ‘Head-up’ message
  • Automated message asking curators to check Taxon Swap if the user has implemented less than x Taxonomic swaps. (Useful for new curators)
  • Implement a ‘Checked’ button showing that other curators have checked for errors.

If a new curator is to implement a Taxon swap than should the draft be committed without it being checked by additional curators?

Perhaps we can select what automatically gets implemented such as messages?

Would iNat be able to recognize users that show interests in particular species than send an automated message warning about the Taxon change? (Maybe an iNat user has made 50 identities of which 49 have been for a particular species 98% of interests are with species x)

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#2

I would be for a timer that reminded the creator of a taxon change after a certain period of time to check the feedback so far, so they can decide whether to commit the change, or maybe extend the timer more. But I would not want to see a draft change get automatically committed after a timer expires, without final curator review first.

There is a page where any curator can filter existing taxon changes by various criteria, review pending draft changes, etc.:
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes. But currently I don’t think there is a way for a curator to automatically be notified of new/pending changes, except to find and add a comment to them first.

So yes, a way for a curator to sign up to be notified of draft changes by newer curators could be useful, if experienced curators are willing to sign up as “reviewers.”

And yes, a block on relatively inexperienced curators committing taxon changes for a certain period of time is worth considering too, in my opinion. I was very cautious with taxon changes when I first started as a curator (and still am!), but not everyone is! :expressionless: Inadvertent carelessness can do a great deal of damage.

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#3

This is a good comment about automatically committing to such change without further review. If there is an error or objections then of course it’ll have to be reviewed before any change can be committed. Perhaps the system can detect activity regarding comments or reviews to that page. A ‘Stop’ button if an experienced curator detects a problem can also be implemented.

At the moment the way I see it; If Taxon update is almost instantaneous then what is preventing a user from doing harm by changing Taxon. If the system had additional protection against potential faults such as a timer then it’ll help reduce harm to iNat.

Rather than the instantaneous ‘commit’ it now enters a delayed response to ensure everything is correct before implementing the swap or merge.

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