What to write on your profile

Me, too, actually most of them. Not only are taxon swaps included (example), but it seems also observations with IDs that I changed that I don’t think were ever mavericks in the first place (like this one, for example).


This is because of the definition of “maverick” (from the Help page):

Maverick: Taxon is not a descendant or ancestor of the community taxon. The community does not agree with this identification.

As soon as you withdraw or change and ID (or it is changed by a taxon swap), it no longer influences the community ID, so if it is not in the same lineage as the community ID it becomes a maverick (although not marked as such on the observation page because it’s been withdrawn). So, this is a pretty meaningless statistic.

As an example, this “maverick” identification:

Comes from this observation where the only change is a taxon swap, which apparently turned the original two identifications into mavericks.


However, this is way off the original topic of this thread, so maybe we should end this interesting discussion of false mavericks.


Or, Someone with lots of Mavericks may be using the iOS app, which has no Withdraw function.

I, as an iOS app user, did not know it was even possible, much less expected, to withdraw incorrect ID until a couple of kind users explained it to me in the Comments of one of my observations. Then I was flabbergasted to learn I could only do the withdraw by logging into the website.

Although, you still may be right about that indicating the level of expertise .


Mavericks would make a good separate topic.
Especially with the links and the explanations - which would then be easier to find in future.


I had a look, and couldn’t see a clean way to extract the maverick-related posts here into a separate topic without making a mess of this one.

But anyone, do feel free to start such a topic, and yes, let’s please keep further discussion on the meaning of maverick IDs to a separate topic.


I can see where the OP is coming from, but at the same time, whose business is it what we write on our profiles?

・Your expertise or special interest(s) (e.g. Birds, plants, specific species, etc)
・Types of habitat you are interested in (or just visit most often. Freshwater or marine, for example)
・Your broader interest, including the things you like but not specifically focused
・Geographical area you are good at (Not necessary only where you live)

Maybe someone is a network ecologist, whose main line of research involves the interactions of broad trophic groups. Or, maybe they’ve just been so interested in nature from an early age that they have a generalist knowledge. If you follow up my ORCID, you will see publications from various taxonomic groups and various geographic locations, because what I am interested in and good at constantly evolves. Rather than constantly update my profile, I prefer to focus on my outlook and approach to nature.

・Links to what you do on iNat (projects, notable observations, etc)
・Languages you speak
・Links to useful identification resources or useful threads on forum etc
・A bit of information about yourself (※Be careful when publishing your information online)
・List of equipments (cameras etc) you use

Honestly, the only part of this list that I am at all interested in putting up is an indication of languages; and that, I achieved by having different sections in different languages. None of these are translations of another; each says something different. Lists of equipment I use? This is not the “Methods” section of a research paper; what equipment I use is the least interesting part of my activity here. When you are at an art gallery looking at a painting, do you care which sizes of brushes and what brand of paints and canvas the artist used? Maybe, if you are a serious artist yourself, but most museum-goers wouldn’t.

Now that part, I can agree with. (Nice velvet worm pic, I might add. When I want to know about how to find velvet worms, I’ll know who to ask.)

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… it is a suggestion. And I think it is valid to think and discuss about it.


I’d feel this way if it was worded in an aggressive way but it wasn’t. If it became a necessity for me to have all the suggestions on my profile, I’d be more than a bit bothered, but just having a chat about what we all think about those suggestions is good fun. Perhaps educational for some. I’m real adversed to being told what to do so I would have a big ol’ bone to pick if that was what was going down, but nothing said made me think that’s what was happening.


I agree, seeing a discussion about what others find useful on profiles has been very interesting. Some people may leave it blank because they are either unaware that it exists or they have no idea what to write about. I tend to write some stuff (usually too much) when I join a community and then promptly forget about ever updating it, so having some prompt to go check what I wrote can be a good think. One change I’ve taken away from this discussion is adding a note about additional languages.


"Hello! My name is Jane, and I am an avid naturalist and birdwatcher. My main focus is on the birds of North America, but I also enjoy observing and identifying other taxa. I have a degree in ornithology from XYZ University and have been involved in several research projects on bird migration patterns. My main geographic focus is the northeastern United States, but I also enjoy traveling to different regions to observe new species.

I am a professional naturalist, but I am also open to feedback and am happy to help others with identification. If you have any questions or want to provide feedback, please feel free to contact me through a DM or by leaving a comment on my observations. I also want to make it clear that I am always open to disagreements and requests for IDs.

I am interested in other types of wildlife and enjoy exploring different habitats, from freshwater wetlands to coastal marshes. In my spare time, I also enjoy hiking, photography, and reading. To showcase my passion and expertise, I have also included links to my Instagram account @jane_birdwatcher and my blog at www.janebirdwatcher.com where you can follow my birdwatching adventures and see my photography.

In addition to my main focus, I am fluent in English and Spanish, and I have a basic knowledge of French. This will help in communication with other users who may speak different languages. To show this, you can find that on my profile.

For those who are interested in my photography, I am using a Canon EOS R and a sigma 150-600mm sport lens for most of my bird photography.

Lastly, I want to state that my tagging policy, I am happy to be tagged up to five times a day by a person, if more, I kindly request you to DM me as I might miss some.

Thank you for visiting my profile and I hope you find my observations and information helpful!"


Thank you for sharing! Nice profile.
Somehow I can’t access to http://www.janebirdwatcher.com. Are you sure it’s the right address?
EDIT: Never mind, it’s just an example


And is XYZ University an accredited school?

I believe this was meant to be an example profile.


Ahhhhhh you’re right, silly me XD

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To avoid this confusion, IANA has a specification, RFC6761 which lists some reserved domain names, which can be used for such examples:


Shorter is better. People will skim, not read paragraphs.


That sounds like an appeal to authority fallacy to me. “I’m right because I’m an expert. I even have a book to prove it.” This sort of thing invites people to agree without critical thought.

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Maybe not two sentencs, but some have profile bios that can take a good hour to read and visit all the links. Maybe if you already have a lot there, adding your favourite quotes is kinda too much.


Thank you @cthawley and @jdmore. My personal website has links to where people can buy the books but also has links to Google Books to see previews etc. And the blog page has current photos, some of which are repeats of photos loaded to iNat. Next time I update my iNat profile I’ll add the website link from an iNat perspective. If anyone feels it’s not appropriate I’ll be happy to remove it. It’s actually ages since I have completed a book but when I get my photo indexing project finished I do have several more nature-related books to come.


? people who read profile descriptions lack critical thought? That is an interesting spin.