iNaturalist record replication speed and accuracy

Submitted by cubitmg on

I have had iNaturalist records appearing in iRecord after just a few hours of being created. In one case the observer made an identification (which was incorrect) and someone else agreed and it appeared in iRecord. There was really no time for the iNat community to provide the check-and-balance that I thought was the whole point of it? This is maybe an iNat 'Research Grade' issue, but needs some thinking about. 

I have now made a new identification suggestion and the record mentioned above now says just Hadena. What happens if and when the corrected species taxon becomes Research Grade - does it come to iRecord again? What happens to the reidentified record in iRecord?

Submitted by Gustav Clark on Wed, 25/05/2022 - 10:05


What you describe is the sort of scenario predicted when the whole idea of importing iNat records was suggested.  'Research Grade' may be the only quality control available but as you demonstrate it is pretty meaningless.  When looking for species occurrence in an area I just ignore iNat records - either it is so common that they aren't needed or if it is uncommon then I don't trust them.

Submitted by SWSEIC on Wed, 27/07/2022 - 12:42


Agree that the speed of sharing record to iRecord from iNaturalist is too fast, as it is too easy for an inexperienced person on iNaturalist to offer an ID and the orginal recorder to accept it, making it research grade before any experienced person in the community has even had a chance to look at it. There needs to be more of a delay, in order for the community identification to have a better chance of correcting obvious errors.

Submitted by pieris on Mon, 22/08/2022 - 13:09


Just trying out using iNat and agree that it is far too easy to get very dubious (totally wrong) records transferred too fast onto iRecord, especially of the many taxa that are not easy to identify from a single photo. Overall though it is better than I'd anticipated and it does make upload very easy. Frustrating to not be able to edit your own records though.

Submitted by apout on Mon, 10/10/2022 - 22:03


I have been using iNaturalist for a while and only recently became aware that many of these are now in iRecord. Confidential sites of my records in iNaturalist are assigned a random location in a 0.2 x 0.2 degree cell. However these have been simply carried over into iRecord as precise locations!  Also none of "my records" belong to me anymore because I have not imported them and there does not apear to be a way to filter on recorder. Not a very satisfactory situation.

Submitted by Barry Walter on Sat, 15/10/2022 - 20:38



Are you using iNaturalistUK or just plain iNaturalist? My understanding is that using the former means you agree to share all data with them, whereas the latter should not allow sharing obscured locations. In fact, I didn't think iRecord imported records with obscured locations at all from iNaturalist (as opposed to iNaturalistUK) - unless that has changed relatively recently. (NB: you can change your Network Affiliation in your iNat account settings).

If you are using iNaturalist (as opposed to iNaturalistUK) and you think your account settings somehow aren't being respected properly, you should report that to the iNat admins, as it would appear to be a breach of your privacy.

More generally, I think importing should be strictly opt-in, so that only users who explictly choose to join iNaturalistUK will have their records imported into iRecord.

Submitted by Giselle Sterry on Tue, 25/07/2023 - 11:22


The BRC are importing records from iNaturalist on a regular basis. Any changes made to a record in iNaturalist eg updating the observation licence to CC0, correcting a location or species ID will update the record in iRecord until it is verified. Once verified the observation record cannot be over ridden. 

The BRC are importing records from iNaturalist using the open API (See more here This means that the records being imported are as available to view by anyone on the iNaturalist / iNaturalistUK website. So if users have obscured their location / made private these wont currently be imported into iRecord. Read more on data flow

Although the BRC and NBN Trust as leads for iNaturalistUK do have access to 'enhanced' data from observers who have affiliated to iNaturalistUK eg exact locations for sensitive species these are currently not being imported into iRecord.