Why do you identify on iNaturalist? - Poll

The great article posted earlier by @ram_k lists “Seven reasons to contribute to iNaturalist as an identifier.” Which one do you identify with the most?

Please browse The benefits of contributing to the citizen science platform iNaturalist as an identifier | PLOS Biology for clarification

  • Your contributions increase knowledge of biodiversity
  • The value of opportunistic records is increasing
  • You can contribute data on threatened, data-deficient, or invasive species
  • iNaturalist is a ready-made, free, and easy-to-use data collection infrastructure
  • You can partake in dynamic, real-time interactions around the world
  • You can engage with a broader audience
  • You can enjoy yourself

0 voters


You can pick only one? I don’t identify with one answer more than several others.


I think the list misses the educational aspect – you can improve your (preferred organism group here) identification skills: developing new ones and keeping your old ones from getting rusty,


That fits under “You can partake in dynamic, real-time interactions around the world” according to the paper’s descriptions

  • Discussing identifications is a way of honing and expanding your own skills, including the opportunity for more experienced experts to validate the identifications of less-experienced experts, training the next generation of identifiers.

What @m_whitson said. That is why I started ID’ing and why I keep doing it. I’m learning.


you can improve your (preferred organism group here)

+1 on this.


It’s too late for me to change the format now :slightly_frowning_face:

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I voted for the reason I started using iNat, which is the ready-made data collection infrastructure, but both the “broader audience” and the “real-time interactions” parts are also very important to me. As someone who researches broad patterns of natural history but doesn’t have the time (or the budget) to travel everywhere with potentially interesting organisms, identifying my taxa of interest (caterpillars) is a great way to get that information. Plus it’s just fun!


Correcting people on the internet is fun, and this is a productive way of doing that. :P
I also get to learn more about how to identify the group of organisms, which is enjoyable.
But being able to use my knowledge to help people is also very fulfilling and the most motivating.


I would say about a little bit of everything is why I identify.


My ideas for why i identify are a bit of most

  1. To learn
  2. To help others learn (and as an education tool)
  3. Biodiversity documentation for a specified area
  4. Building communities (interactions as an identifier during events)

PS - I am not one of the super identifiers but i am trying


Contribution to Science

Sooo i guess i wish i could vote for a couple of them. I picked RT discussion due to the clarification in thread and i guess thats it. Participation in ID process is certainly growing my knowledge base and i enjoy teaching others what I know too.


I voted for enjoying myself, as this in my opinion includes most of the topics, including one of the most important reasons for me - learning. More about what I myself observe by IDing stuff from others… And giving back what I like to get from the community :slightly_smiling_face:


For me, it’s none of these. Instead, I have these two reasons:

  1. To give something back, in return for all the identifications others make for me
  2. To help getting people interested in nature. Broad public support is the single most fundamental thing in long-term nature protection in my opinion.

Ultimately - pay it forward. The 2 people who lead our weekly Fynbos Rambles have taught me so much - in nature, with real plants, thru the seasons - bud flower fruit. Once #GSB22 deadline 14 November is done and dusted (I have 3K plants to skim). I will go back to - paying it forward - identifying Unknowns. First my easy familiars on the Cape Peninsula, then trying to help Western Cape beyond the busy city, and whatever I can for Rest of Africa beyond our border where the need is as vast as Africa herself (see the Peters projection ;~)).


PS I also enjoy the challenge of tracking down the right identifiers to move an obs from Unknown all the way to - we nearly have CID - who can I haul in for the One More Please casting vote. And the reality check of this higher ID is as good as it can be, for now. Partners somewhere between chess strategy, and graceful choreography.


I agree. The thing is, the article is aimed at people who are already experts in their fields, not at us learners-on-the-job. Mind you, experts never stop learning either :)


I think that fits rather nicely into 5 or 6.

My reason for being an identifier is to improve machine learning identification for spiders, but that doesn’t seem to be an option. I guess the closest is “Your contributions increase knowledge of biodiversity”.


My best option is " to know the species records distribution and abundance of a family / genus"

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