When calculating the taxon page Top Identifier, have Improving IDs break ties

Each taxon page lists a Top Identifier – the person with the most IDs of this taxon (or its descendants). However, when there is a tie for the most IDs, it’s not clear who is chosen for this top spot. Based on previous discussions (e.g. here and here), I suggest that Improving IDs should break ties. In the example below, that would mean the Top Identifier would be luiscarlosrodrguezmndez. I don’t feel strongly about how to decide between users with the same total number of IDs and the same number of Improving IDs, but maybe others do?

i might even take this a step further and say improving should be weighted more in general, to discourage scoreboard behavior a bit?

i don’t disagree with the intent of the request, but i suspect that ties are rare enough events, with the default order being undesired in only some of the cases, that i would guess that the cost to query for this condition would outweigh the potential benefit.


Only if CV IDs (when a user selects from the dropdown list) aren’t counted with the full weight of “Leading” or “Improving”. As the CV becomes more accurate, the work of identifiers should fall more under confirming/supporting existing IDs, which is nearly indistinguishable from “scoreboard behavior” for busy taxa.


One thing about the example you give is it showed one person for what was a tie. Another solution could be to show multiple people or some message indicating something meaning “+ 2 identifiers.” Either way in other words, there’s a basic general problem with showing one person for a tie no matter how chosen. Anyway, I agree the identifier shown in that tie shouldn’t be the first shown. That said, ties aren’t that important to most probably. Because they could quickly change or can be made to change by IDing more. Similarly, if the taxon is very rare (small obs. number), then top identifier means little in general (e.g. I’ve been top identifier for only IDing 1-2 obs.).

This also naturally raises questions about whether stats (as a whole, not only in ties) should incorporate more, like improving IDs or how many ranks or to what specific rank they refine IDs to. I think stats should incorporate more, especially since many misread “top identifier” to mean “top expert for the taxon and finer taxa within it.” Often someone makes top numbers of IDs for a genus, while not IDing many of the species, but many assume they’re an expert for the species. Similarly people often assume top identifier means global knowledge, vs. the identifier has often only IDed in specific locations.