The sterling efforts by some users to tackle the mountain of invalid IDs is laudable, impressive and occasionally depressing.
But I find myself being - perhaps excessively - frustrated by IDs that are very probably right, but are beyond my skills; and have no notes to explain the distinctions involved. Example here:
The ID added takes the genus level to species. I’d agreed with genus (as had others).
What to do? Spins seems very knowledgeable, so is probably right.
Do I leave my agreement at genus, which helps block a more accurate (and probably correct) revision becoming “likely”? Or do I spend a good while reading up, trying to agree to a species I’m really not sure about?
In another post, https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/820792/salix-caprea
I questioned a comment by another user, that pointed to two species, again without rationale. In response, the reply was “Willows are much less difficult than most people assume, but you have to want to know.” Well, I do: but it would take me a lot longer to do so unaided than it would to follow up a hint (such as “look at [these features]” or “see [web address]”).
I appreciate that some experienced naturalists have spent a lot of time developing their skills, and may be unwilling to dispense their knowledge too freely: it’s a point of view I’ve encountered several times. But iSpot is about learning as much as aught else.
After that ramble: the actual questions:
- What’s a suitable, non-offensive way of asking for rationale?
- What’s the best protocol when you’ve agreed to a “broader” ID, and someone adds an unexplained, more precise, revision?
- Could iSpot consider doing more to encourage the use of notes to explain the choice made; say, by a dialog box or similar at the “how sure are you” stage (or similar point)?