Why is this Observation Casual/Needs ID/Research Grade? - "Official" Topic

But only the first time. If someone else also votes it as not-wild, you’re out of luck. The downside of one person, one vote is that the person who was actually there and made the observation can be overruled by enough other people who were not there and didn’t actually see the organism. Rather like the absurdity of the “official” birth certificate being the one filled out by a county clerk who was nowhere near the delivery room at the time, rather than the one filled out by the obstetrical staff who actually delivered the baby. Things that make sense only to bureaucrats.

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I think I’ve seen people post in the forum to overturn malicious/trolling DQA votes.
You could also tag or PM people.

Barring those options, you can tag the downvoters to either:
A. get some conversation going & maybe convince them to withdraw
B. Make the post show up in the “Real Time Discussions” tab on iNat Home dashboard, getting more eyes on it

Another issue that I’ve caught recently is that there are differing criteria for different groups of organisms for what’s a sufficient “ Community Taxon” for something to be “Research grade”. Take these two submissions I just made:


For the green algae, “Community Taxon is precise”, in this case ID’d to genus, is a sufficient for it to be “Research grade”. OTOH, microbes like protozoans and diatoms have the higher standard of “Community Taxon at species level or lower”. This seems like a very bad criterion, as microbes are very difficult to get to species, generally requiring a high degree of speciality knowledge and access to a high resolution microscope. As a result, there are hardly any Research grade microbe observation on iNat. Is there any way of changing the criteria here?

There’s no criteria like that, everything lower than family gets 2 ids and then you click “as good as can be” and it gets RG.

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Can anyone help me understand why my observation at https://inaturalist.ca/observations/132217198, a monarch chrysalis, got listed as casual? The ID, map and date are all there.


Looks like a glitch, I forced a reindex and it’s now Needs ID. Also moved this to a megathread for this topic, check out the top post for explanations of various data quality grades.

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A few of my observations have been marked as casual by “Location is inaccurate” for the sole reason of being obscured to protect other nearby organisms.

If there’s a person doing this to your observations, just put your own counter-vote into the DQA and that should fix it. According to iNat staff, “location is accurate” just means the real location of the organism is somewhere inside the circle (or rectangle, in the case of obscured observations.) It doesn’t really imply anything about the size of the circle. However I’ve seen many site users down-vote location because they felt the circle was too large. That’s not really how the DQA line was meant to work.


I have also seen something like this, several times – for example, this observation has five IDs correctly identifying it as a domestic cat, and yet is still marked “Needs ID.”


(moved to a different topic)

In that case, the observer marked it as needing further identification in the Data Quality Assessment section. Their vote has been countered and it is no longer Needs ID.


Perhaps the observer knows it was a feral rescue, as sees it as ‘wild not captive’