I know that a lot of people that frequent iNat are considered experts in their fields and occasionally write or contribute to scientific articles, pamphlets, journals, guides, etc.
I was just wondering of the feasibility and potential benefit of adding a sort of promotion in the introduction to a publication, in order to get more people, many of whom would likely be highly experienced in their own right, to come to iNat.
I’m not saying to plaster the logo on the cover or mention it every chance you get. I just a quick nod to the app/site in a way that doesn’t interfere with the academic aspect of the writing would be beneficial to basically everyone involved. Experts already on iNat would gain others to help them with backlogs of IDs (especially of more obscure organisms) and have like minded people to check their observations that others may not know much about, more casual/generalist users would have the benefit of having their observations IDed faster/more accurately and would be able to learn more if the person is willing to explain, the new users would be able to access potentially useful data as well as have a casual/fun way to record their findings or study their selected organisms, and finally the iNat community (and hopefully funding/donations) would grow.
Just throwing a thought out there next time someone much more educated and dedicated than me decides to publish something. Sorry if there’s something I’m ignorant of that would make this an unfeasible or otherwise bad idea.
Most papers have sponsored research, so it really depends on if the sponsor cares, I think.
I can not speak for all researchers, but it is certainly the case that the researchers/authors of published papers who I know, and are in my field of research (SE Asian Fulgoroidea) do, indeed, mention iNat, usually in the ‘methods’ section, and in the References.
I am in the process of writing a paper, and I have mentioned iNat several times, when it is appropriate.
When it comes to helping with ids, it can be a time consuming process, and they often do not have the time.
If iNat data is used in a research paper then iNat will be mentioned.
Standard practice is that you mention where you get your data from and acknowledge any assistance you’ve been given by individuals or organizations.
As the others above have mentioned, almost all papers nowadays that involve iNat in some way (data use, IDs etc) will give at least a few sentences giving a broad overview of the platform, perhaps some brief stats and explanation of how it works. I’ve written 6-7 papers thus far that revolve around iNat/citizen science more broadly (3 published, others in review right now), and iNat gets a big mention in them.
As for the callout to experts to help recruit them, I’ve done that too :) You may be interested in reading An overview of the history, current contributions and future
outlook of iNaturalist in Australia which I recently wrote with Corey Callaghan. We specifically have an entire section on ‘Directions for the future of iNaturalist in Australia’, and one of our four main recommendations is ’ increased collaboration with taxonomic experts’, something we discuss throughout the paper.
I also have a paper I recently finished and is in review right now, and one of the two big angles/main messages in it is a call to arms for more experts to join (from an Australian invertebrate perspective).
That overview of iNat in Australia is fantastic!
“I was just wondering of the feasibility and potential benefit of adding a sort of promotion in the introduction to a publication, in order to get more people, many of whom would likely be highly experienced in their own right, to come to iNat.”
I have already done this in several of my publications.
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