Top identifiers of iNat: how do you feel about users "calling you out" for identifications?


I didn’t used to mind being tagged on observations of certain taxa that I’m familiar with. It was infrequent and usually by someone in my local area. Lately, though, I’ve been getting tagged on observations from all over the world pretty much daily. Most of these are of species I’m completely unfamiliar with in regions of the world I’ve never been to (e.g. South Africa, Colombia, Malaysia). An increasing number of users seem to be simply tagging top identifiers of certain taxa in the hopes of getting their observations identified.

Have any other top identifiers been experiencing this? How do you feel about it and is there anything we can do about it?



I get tagged fairly often, but it has only happened a couple of times from places that i’m not familiar with. Mostly I don’t have a problem with this, so I just try and help when I can and otherwise just say that I don’t have much experience in this area. Mostly this works, but i can imagine it getting annoying if it happens more often.
Maybe the “top identifiers” section in an observation could be filtered by continent?
just an idea, but I’m not sure how else this problem (if it even is one) could be fixed.

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There was some discussion about this here.

I’ve personally only had issues like that happen a couple times, but I don’t know if I count as a “top identifier” since I’m not in the top 3 for any major group.
I think gently asking the user not to do it would be the best solution as long as it’s not happening too much, but if a lot of users are doing it then it might warrant having some sort of limit (like not tagging more than 2 people per comment, with an explanation when triggered) or a message the first time a user tags another user.

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Oh sorry! Didn’t realize this was already a topic.


General consensus on etiquette regarding recruiting IDs from specific identifiers?

Perhaps the “Top Identifiers of X” section of an observation should not be shown for large, vague taxa? E.g. if an observation’s ID is plants, then it shouldn’t show the top 10 global identifiers of plants (wdvanhem is 13th on that list, and presumably has a higher rank in many taxa).

Another possible solution: it should be geographically based. Don’t show anyone on the list who hasn’t ID’d 10+ observations within a certain distance, with the exact number and distance determined by the global number of observations in the taxon.



If it bothers you, then definitely ask them to not tag you. If they ignore you and continue to do it, you can block them so you don’t see the tags…

I like them because:

  • they get me looking at stuff I don’t otherwise review…
  • i occasionally learn something
  • I enjoy helping people
  • I like to “pay forward” all the help that I have had!

I dislike them because:

  • often they do it as soon as they upload the obs, not even waiting to see if it will get an ID naturally
  • there is often no indication that the ID is needed urgently
  • there is often no “please can you take a look at this”… making it feel a bit demanding

but if you do ask them to stop, please remember that we are international, and different cultures have different views on etiquette. For them it may not be considered rude, and to them you might seem to be the rude one if you were demanding them to stop!



Some marine species have a worldwide distribution, but iNat is way low in identifiers of marine species. I was very grateful when a New Zealand barnacle expert identified my Gulf of Mexico barnacles.



Rather than making new rules for who is listed as top identifier, couldn’t we just let individual identifiers opt out of being listed as top? That way the people with the problem would have the problem solved, without a lot of collateral damage.