Usability issues with the "Include Projects" criterion for Umbrella Projects

I searched for “umbrella project” “include projects” #bug-reports before submitting this. There were no results found.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): NA

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : NA

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: NA

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Edit an Umbrella Project

Step 2: For Observation Requirements select the Include Projects field (as you would for any Umbrella Project).

Step 3: Attempt to add the Project A Bee or Not a Bee?. (See first image)

Results: iNaturalist returns a list of 10 unrelated Projects with names that partially match the intended Project. The intended Project cannot be added. (See second image)

Expected Results:

  • iNaturalist will filter to just that uniquely named Project
  • iNaturalist will show all matching Projects (which could be hundreds or thousands)
  • If the Project name, or a unique portion thereof, is placed in quotes, e.g. “Not a Bee”, iNaturalist will search for that exact string to return matching Projects.


  1. iNaturalist provides no means to search for an exact string or sequence of characters. Even when enclosing the search text with quotes - a common idiom for “exact search” - a keyword search is done.
  2. The list of matching Projects is only 10 Projects long. There is no visible way to increase that limit, or search for more Projects.
  3. iNaturalist is only doing a keyword search. Projects with elements common to many projects - e.g.: “bee” - will never be found.

Circumvention: The only way I’ve found to circumvent this is to search for anything BUT the useful words in a Project name. For example, to locate the Project in this example, searching for “or not” returns a short (<10 items) list that includes the intended Project so it can be added: