Unidentified specimens - when to ask for help with identification?

I have quite a few specimens unidentified for periods up to 12 months. Many are common species, which I believe should be easy to identify or verify. Is it ethical to ask a particular identifier(s) who are noted as the major identifiers of a particular taxa to have a look at a particular specimen?

Yes, go ahead. They will let you know if your request is inconvenient.

If it makes you feel better, roughly 55% of my “verifiable” observations are waiting for a 2nd or 3rd opinion (7,500 Needs ID and almost 3,000 of them at species level awaiting confirmation, but please don’t agree unless you are comfortable with the taxon).

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Thanks, I will give it a go. How do I do so? If I pick a particular specimen I want someone to look at, I see a list of the main identifiers listed. How do I “link” one of these people to this specimen?

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Type a comment “@so-and-so would you please help with this observation?” or however you wish to word it.

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Click on the names of the top identifiers and take a look at their profile to see if someone is closer to the location of your observation and to see if they have been active on iNat recently. That might save you some time.

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Thanks

Good idea. Thanks

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This thread has some additional comments from IDers about their preferences when being tagged (I think there are a couple of other threads on similar topics, but this is just the most recent):
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/requesting-an-i-d/51402

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then I would try to find an active and local identifier lower on the list - but not call on a taxon specialist unless the obs is unusual or interesting. The ones on top of the leaderboard may be overwhelmed with keeping up with their taxon already.

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For those who like the gamification aspect, this can also help those lower down to move up in the rankings.

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Thanks

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