Why are my ID suggestions being crossed out?

An observation post has my IDs crossed out (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/195293733).
This is a properly keyed out specimen with enough photo documentation to ID from published keys. I am still a green member and am trying to understand the system, but I am a qualified and experienced arachnologist.

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each of those crossed out IDs represents an ID that you withdrew yourself, or overrode yourself with a subsequent ID. On any given observation, each user can only have one ‘active’ ID. So every time you added a new ID to the observation, the previous one gets crossed out (but still visible for context)


iNat keeps all of your suggested IDs, regardless of whether you made them in error or later updated them, crossing out all but your most recent ID. Think of it as like pasting an ID on a herbarium sheet or specimen notes - it never really goes away. Rather than leaving “draft” IDs as you key, it might be simpler to wait until you’re pretty sure you’ve got it as good as you can and then leave an ID.


in all fairness, it is important to mention that you can also delete old/wrong IDs. But for the above-mentioned reasons, I would leave old IDs at least if you refine your identification so we can all learn from the process

You can delete it on the website itself (not sure about the apps). First, you click on the dropdown symbol (looks like a kind of arrow pointing down at the top right of the identification) then hit “edit”, then it shows a small delete at the bottom right of the window


Agreed. In general I think it’s best to leave a “trail” of IDs if they are changing over time, especially if other users have interacted with the IDs/observation. Deleting one’s previous ID entirely can make it very difficult to sort out what has happened, disagreements, etc. If it’s just a misclick and the ID is deleted right away before anyone else has interacted with the observation, deleting doesn’t pose a problem.


Here’s an FAQ I’ve been working on for this. Sounds like I should include “crossed out” in the text somewhere to make it more findable.


I do delete an ID - if it was a mis-click, typo, or very broad (and no longer useful).
If a glitch gives me the same ID twice - I will delete one. I like my list of my IDs to be tidy and useful. (For that obs I would leave one ID to each of the 3 taxa you considered?)

While not withdrawing an ID which is part of an ongoing - what is it - discussion.


I would also let you know that the same thing will happen when the taxonomy changes – unless you opt-out of taxonomy changes, your IDs will automatically update to the new name, which also will cross out the old one.

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