I’ve recently started posting observations and am finding the whole process inspiring me to increase my knowledge and understanding of what I am seeing in the natural world. Re iNaturalist, so far I’m only familiar with some basic functionality but am somewhat unsure of when or if to select “Agree”. I’m finding that most of my observations are being confirmed by others, in which case it seems superfluous to “Agree” (as the ID’er is actually agreeing with my inital ID). Am I correct in thinking that I should select “Agree” only when someone provides a different ID to which, after further research, I subsequently agree?
Welcome to iNat, and yup, that’s exactly how you should use the Agree button.
welcome to the Forum!
You are not the first to be asking this question. There has been tons of discussion surrounding the Agree button.
If you feel like diving in…
Welcome! The “Agree” button is a shortcut to adding an identification. Whenever you make an identification, regardless of the process by which it’s made and whether on your own observations or others’, you should be relatively confident in your choice and be able to explain it to others if asked.
Personally I have found participating in identifying on iNat to be a great way to learn more about the natural world through learning how to be confident in identifying different groups, asking questions when I’m confused, and reading conversations others have had on observations I come across.
I think the best practice is to only Agree when you can confidently rule out all other alternative species. There are many species that look very similar, and sometimes a photograph doesn’t capture the distinguishing features. If you’re not aware of all of the potential alternatives and what characteristics distinguish them, then it might be best to not select an identification (whether it’s agreeing or your first ID). A label of “Research Grade” doesn’t mean anything if the people giving the ID don’t know how to identify them–reaching that level shouldn’t be the goal in and of itself.
Agree only when you know it is what it is, ids provided by others may seem fit, but can be completely wrong, so, as others said, agree is a button for adding your identification, if you’re interested there’s a post of how-to id https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identification-etiquette-on-inaturalist-wiki/1503
Thanks all for the guidance, explanations and links, very helpful.
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