Ways to help out on iNat - wiki

Anyone can:

Curators* can:

*If you’re not a curator but interested in getting the tools to help with some of the tasks above, read through the Curator Guide and shoot an email to help@inaturalist.org. Please provide them with your username and how you would exercise your curatorial powers, such as an example or two of a taxonomic change you would like to make that abides by the policies in the guide.

This topic is a wiki, meaning you can edit it if you think of another way to help out on iNat! Please do. :leaves:


One thing I’d like to recommend people do is patrol the borders, and by that I mean look at the map of observations for species you know well and check out the observations at the edge of the range or well outside of it. Geographical outliers like this are often misidentified or should be marked as captive / cultivated. IMO, a far more productive use of one’s time than, say, arguing about mule deer subspecies.

Another way to do this is to run taxonomically narrow geographic searches within groups you know e.g. sphinx moths in California, and look for species you know shouldn’t occur there.


A “how to find out-of-range observations” would be a helpful tutorial I think. There are a lot of ways: just scanning range maps, creating and checking atlases, compare tool, observation search, recent_taxa, etc. With the opposite potential benefit too: finding cool range expansions.


One minor update i would make is your first point for curators is only valid for open taxa, many things are locked other than to the designated taxa curators


This is one of my favorite iNat data activities, I do this all the time. Glad to hear others are too. My old mode of ‘filter for all plants in Vermont and CA’ has gotten less doable over time as if i don’t do the newest ones only the hard ones are left (some of which i know but some are for experts beyond me in terms of taxonomy) and there is just so much more passing through than I can process now!


Added a little bit to your wiki. Thanks for starting it!


As an FYI - I deleted ‘* Add IDs and comments to observations by new users to close the observation-ID loop’ from the curators section as it is not restricted to curators, all users can do that, and it is covered by point 1 in the all users section.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Species Suggestions for the Wrong Continent

But I think only Curators have access to specifically filter for new users with observations via that link?

Maybe it could be reworked as “Seek out new users with observations to welcome them and add IDs.”

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Yes, that’s why I put it under Curator.

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OK, I am confused, nowhere on this topic, which is what I assumed this was about does it say it is curator specific : https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/account-creation-filter-added-to-identify-page/1991

In fact the word curator does not appear in the thread.

The link Tony had added to the wiki was:
https://www.inaturalist.org/users/recent?obs=yes (curator only access)

The new users filter on Identify works for everyone.

So basically, all users can do it, as I noted, just that curators have a 2nd tool that replicates the same functionality in addition to the one available to all ?

The curator-only tool has been available for a while now. The new filter on Identify is new.

The curator-only tool sorts users by account creation date. The new filter on Identify lumps in everybody together whose account is a week or less old.

I’ve found this one to be a really rewarding quality control task. :) People are generally really thankful the issue has been pointed out to them.

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I added one more thing to the post:

I put in the beginnings of a tutorial here. Maybe you could say a bit about how you use the compare tool and recent_taxa? Those aren’t methods I’ve personally used.


@jwidness it only took me 4 months but I added some explanations on those to your tutorial. Thanks for starting that!

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Is there a wiki that describes how to bulk edit?

I found a user with a bunch of observations missing location, and sent them a PM with that search string with &user_id= [the user’s name] added.

The user was responsive and asked how to fix their observations. I can’t figure out how to do it in bulk, so if there is a link that describes how, I would appreciate someone posting it so I could point the user to it.


Not yet that I know of, but I did recently describe the process in a different context here. Might be a topic worth fleshing out into a Tutorial here on the forum, if you are so inclined.

Some other topics here might be helpful too.