In all of the recent controversy over removing the Agree button, a number of experts spoke up that they agree to most observations of their study taxa as a way to mark that they have reviewed these, and to subscribe to notifications of future changes or comments.
Are there other tools that iNat should provide to help those who curate observations to make this easier and not have us rely on duplicate identifications?
My personal goals in curating taxa are:
- see the range of the organism from where it is being observed
- see the regional variation in appearance
- see the odd aberrant individual or hybrid
- help others by correcting common identification mistakes
- learn more about these organisms or how to see them from the comments that get posted
- catch way out-of-range ID mistakes
- learn about taxon changes (while I try to follow the literature, sometimes I find out about a new species by a maverick ID here on iNat)
I think that subscribing to taxa on one’s dashboard was intended to by used for this, and it worked when iNat was a smaller place. With how busy iNat is now, I never look at my dashboard, which has too much noise, and instead rely on various searches in the identify tool and notifications in the upper-right corner of each page.
Perhaps we need a way to say that “I am interested in all observations of this taxa in this region” – show me new ones and changes to existing ones. What other ways are there to solve this? What would work better than what we have now?