What is considered direct submission?

Unable to submit observation to a project, Message: * collection and umbrella projects do not allow direct submission

welcome to the forum :)

There are two main types of project on iNat:

  1. Collection (and umbrella, technically a type of collection) projects: these automatically collate observations into the project based on a set of defined filters (e.g. collect all observations of monarch butterflies from California). You do not have to manually add observations to these, and indeed you cannot manually add observations to these.

This is what your error message is saying; the project you were trying to add your observation to is a collection project. So your observation has already been collected by and is in the project, assuming it fulfils the criteria for that project. If it does not meet the criteria, it cannot enter that project.

  1. Traditional projects: these require manual addition (i.e. direct submission) of observations, typically because they’re themed around something for which filters can’t be set, e.g. observations of animals that have been hit by cars.

Might as well make this the solution to the topic, right?

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