Identification Disagreements Are Now Explicit

We've made a slight change to how we handle conservative identification disagreements. Previously, if an observation was of a dog and you identified it as a mammal, iNat would assume that your ID was a disagreement, i.e. that you both thought the observation was a mammal and was not a dog. Personally, I've always thought this was a simple way to force disagreements to be constructive, but it's also caused a lot of confusion of the years. Now, if you add an ID of a taxon that contains the observation's community taxon, iNat will force you to choose whether you mean to disagree or not. It makes the identification process slightly more cumbersome, but hopefully less confusing, especially for new users.

Bonus: this also lets you add constructive identifications in situations where they would have previously been considered disagreements, e.g.

ID 1: Mammal (CID is Mammalia)
ID 2: Vulpes vulpes ssp. arabica (CID is Mammalia)
ID 3: Vulpes vulpes (CID is Vulpes vulpes)
ID 4: Vulpes vulpes ssp. arabica (CID is Vulpes vulpes ssp. arabica)

Before, that species-level ID would count as a disagreement with the subspecies ID before it, but now it can just be a "best guess" and the additional subspecies ID can shift the CID to subspecies.

Anyway, this is mostly just going to affect the hardcore identifiers out there. Hopefully it won't be too much of a problem for you folks. The apps do not yet support this behavior so IDs from there will continue to work like IDs before, i.e. IDs of taxa that contain the community taxon will count as implicit disagreements.

Posted by kueda kueda, January 03, 2018 19:42


Have any previous IDs been changed by this?

Posted by mws over 4 years ago (Flag)

No, nor should they. Previous disagreements should still be considered implicit disagreements. If you find any exceptions please holler.

Posted by kueda over 4 years ago (Flag)

Ok, will do

Posted by mws over 4 years ago (Flag)

I just noticed that you can't change whether IDs are implicit or explicit when you edit an ID. Is that on purpose?

Posted by mws over 4 years ago (Flag)

Semi intentional, certainly keeps things simpler, though we could certainly make that editable if it becomes a problem for a lot of people. You can always delete your ID and add another.

Posted by kueda over 4 years ago (Flag)


Posted by mws over 4 years ago (Flag)

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