New feature: "project members only" setting on collection projects

If you have ever wanted to create a project that only shows observations made by people who join the project, this is for you!

We just released a minor but impactful change that allows you to select "Only display observations from project members" for collection projects.

When you select this setting, the project will only show observations made by users who have joined the project (and meet the other requirements, like date, taxa, place, etc). To enable this feature, you can edit an existing collection project or create a new collection project. Note: This does not exist for umbrella projects or traditional projects.

We expect this will be especially useful for any group that wants to easily share their observations with each other, such as a botanical club that can't currently have in-person outings. Other use cases may be college classes moving to virtual labs or a project for fans of a podcast.

We don't recommend using it in combination with a specific list of usernames because in that case it will only display the observations that meet both criteria (i.e. observations from people whose usernames you added and who have also joined the project). However, you may want to exclude specific usernames, such as your own if you for some reason want your observations excluded.

Will this be useful for you? We'd love to hear how you plan to use this new setting.

Posted by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer, April 04, 2020 03:19

Comments

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will there ever be projects again that aren't just glorified search functions?
I regret not making a Bioluminescent Organism Project back in the day similar to the one for UV Fluorescent Organism project:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/uv-fluorescent-organisms
As I can't find a way to have a project that spans all taxa and users that is able to look at a non-geographical or non-taxanomic aspect like Bioluminescence. Even if projects could be made that keyed on an observation field or a tag would be a helpful work around.

Posted by damontighe about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@damontighe have you tried making a Traditional project (link at the very bottom of this page: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/new)? Or are you looking for something else?

Posted by humanbyweight about 1 year ago (Flag)
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There is a feature request made for having fields be accessible as criteria for collection projects, and there is the old traditional projects still available.

Posted by kiwifergus about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Yay, I think this is great. We had a hard time setting this up for conference group a couple of years ago because I had to add every person who joined to the user list manually.

Posted by jdjohnson about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Nice.
Could this not please also be made a filter criterion? For instance, I would love to be able to see observations only from joined members without disrupting the overall project or having to create a new "duplicate" project.

And more especially, to find users who are contributing significantly, but have not joined the project yet (and who would benefit the project by having it display on their observations, and who might benefit from News updates and feedback).
Or do these filters already exist?

Posted by tonyrebelo about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you very much, I think that such an update will help in motivating people or to know how people are really aware of the projects they are contributing to.

Posted by carlacorazza about 1 year ago (Flag)
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This will be helpful for some purposes. A traditional project seems to fit my class needs better because I'm using iNaturalist for graded work and want to limit who can join.

Posted by sedgequeen about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Great! This is going to be very useful for a "confinement bioblitz" we are organising in Italy.
I tried to play with this new feature but I cannot find it. In the settings of a new collection project or one which I'm already curating I only see this field:

With Annotation
Only display observations from project members (people who have joined the project)
list of annotations field to be selected

Posted by mattiamenchetti about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you @humanbyweight I didn't realize there was a live link still to the old way of building a project!

Posted by damontighe about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@mattiamenchetti you should see it above the "With Annotation" section of the Observation Requirements.

Posted by tiwane about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@mattiamenchetti some of the text was in the wrong place. If you check again it should work now.

@tonyrebelo, if your collection project doesn't have any user rules, it should be pretty straightforward to check the "project members only" box, save the project, look at the stats, then go back and uncheck the box, and save again. (You could do this if it has user rules too, it just might not be as helpful).

Posted by carrieseltzer about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@tiwane @carrieseltzer thank you! Now I see it.

Posted by mattiamenchetti about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Awesome! Very useful for competition-type projects.

Posted by reuvenm about 1 year ago (Flag)
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It would be wonderful if one could add only some observation to a project: collection projects collect everything is posted by a member of a project, even what is not interesting for the project itself.

Posted by carlacorazza about 1 year ago (Flag)
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You probably want a Traditional Project. You limit membership and they don't just vaccuum up everything.

Posted by sedgequeen about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@carlacorazza - alternatively to a traditional project, you may want to add more filters to your project and limit it to only those species and places that are of interest to the project.

Posted by tonyrebelo about 1 year ago (Flag)
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That seems like a better idea, @tonyrebelo

Posted by sedgequeen about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Yes, I know, i started with a small traditional project and then I converted it in a Collection project because the appearance was better :-). So i noticed that all the observations made by the member of the project are added and not only those of interest (I hope is not a big problem, since it is a project devoted to observation while stuck at home!). Now I know it is better I never convert a larger traditional project about roadkilled animals!

Posted by carlacorazza about 1 year ago (Flag)
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I can't find the widget of the project.

Posted by carlacorazza about 1 year ago (Flag)
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The widget tool is not displayed for collection projects.

Use this
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/widget?project_id=71621
and substitute the project ID.
if you dont know the project ID number, just type ".json" after the project name in the url and it will display the project_ID number for you.

Posted by tonyrebelo about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Sooo...I'm trying to create a Collection project for a known list of users, and for those users only, i.e., I want the membership model to be "invite only" by virtue of the user filter. I'm trying to save the user the extra step of having to put their observations into our project, I want them to go in automatically based on user and location (limited to a state). Is this possible with a collection project? It seems not, since I created a test one, and I was able to Join the project as a different user who was not in my list of user filters. I don't want uninvited users to join the project, I just want users who are in our user filter to be in the project. So, it seems I need to use a Traditional project for that, is that right? Sorry if this is the wrong place for this question, but here I was, trying to understand, and am now fairly confused...

Posted by sttpgh 7 months ago (Flag)
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anyone can join any collection project, as they are effectively just "saved searches", or a fancy way to filter observations. BUT, you can set it up so that only observations from your selected "members" are added to the project, which is more about what I think you are trying to accomplish. Think of all those who join that aren't part of the group you want it for, to be just spectators watching the game... they will be on the sidelines but not able to influence the play...

Posted by kiwifergus 7 months ago (Flag)
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If you want to be really rude or uncool, as manager of the project you could just remove all members that you dont want.
But if you explain it clearly in the project description that this is a closed project, perhaps most people wont be too offended.
But the real question is why do you want to be so exclusive? What reason do you have for not wanting other interested people to follow your project?

Posted by tonyrebelo 7 months ago (Flag)
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@sttpgh After experimenting with it, I think you need the "Include Users" filter at right on the the collection project create page, not the "only show for project members" option...

Posted by kiwifergus 7 months ago (Flag)
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@kiwifergus Yes, I agree that I want to use the "Include Users" filter, and not check the "only show for project members" option box. @tonyrebelo Great question, and I think the answer is (after giving it more thought) we do NOT want to be so exclusive, we do want others to follow the project, but restrict the observations to those in the project. So a collection project with a user filter may be just right. I think I wanted just to make is simpler for the maintainers of the group (I am not the owner, I am helping to figure this out) to know who is a member and who is just following the group with interest. But, since this is for a master naturalist group, I think that knowing who is interested, but not yet a master naturalist and therefore not able to contribute to the observations, may be a good way to gain insight into people who may be interested in the program.

Follow up question: to protect endangered species, obscured locations are only visible to the person who posted the observation in this project, followers cannot gain specific location insight by joining the project -- correct? I think so, but just want to be sure.

Thank you all for you your help with this!

Posted by sttpgh 7 months ago (Flag)
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Obscured locations are not visible to anyone - including curators and managers - on a Collectoin Project. To access obscured locations you need to be a curator on a Traditional Project to which the observation has been manually added AND the user has agreed to the data being open. .

Posted by tonyrebelo 7 months ago (Flag)

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