Duplication of records

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Peter Pearson
Duplication of records

I have been a recorder on iRecord for a number of years now, but am getting a little confused about where to record.

I have found iSpot very useful in identification and often used it. iNatiuralist too is very helpful with regard to ID. NBN is a mine of information when looking up where and when species are to be found and checking your own records against what others have recorded over the years.

Forgive me if I've got the wrong end of the stick , it now seems all this sites are pooling records. If this is the case surely it must lead to an awful amount of duplication.

How as a mere amatuer naturalist do I deal with this situation. I don't want to duplicate what is recorded as this would probably cause problems and give false information for future users of the records submitted.



James Emerson
Keep recording via iRecord

I think the short answer to this is to just keep recording on iRecord as you have been doing.

With regard to the other sites:

NBN Atlas is a portal that collects the data together, so as you say it can be useful to use to check distributions but only a few individuals with large datasets will be uploading records directly to it.

iSpot - is used to crowd source IDs for things, but as far as I'm aware there is no regular dataflow into iRecord. There was a trial in 2014 when some iSpot data was imported, but I've not heard about anything since.

iNaturalist does a similar thing as iSpot but with more resources behind it and  also uses AI to help identify things. Again there was a trial where some records were imported into iRecord, but I don't think that it happening currently. With iNaturalist if the record doesn't reach "research grade" it doesn't go anywhere, if it does reach research grade it goes to GBIF, a global database but not one used regularly by many recording schemes in the UK (and by going directly there the records don't get verified by UK experts beforehand).

So basically even if you are using iSpot or iNaturalist to identify things and then adding them to iRecord I don't think there will be much, if any duplication. Even if there was, it would be better to enter it here to ensure that it is recorded and there are cleaners for databases that can pick up on duplicated records, it is unlikely to cause any real issues.

Gustav Clark
NBN is the gold standard. 

NBN is the gold standard.  Data only gets in there after verification by experts.  What constitutes an expert and who they trust varies, but the target is reliable data.  It is unashameably elitist and delivers worl quality results.  iRecrd is similar but targets data acquisitio.  Anyone can submit records, but unless they are verified they will go no further.  It is also elitist, in that verification is in the hands of experts appointed by the specialist recoring societies.  Verifed data gos to thos societies and thence to the NBN.i

Spot and iNaturalist are different.  They do collect records but without quality control.  Verification is open to anyone (crowd-sourced), making it very fast, but there is a strong competitive element of peole just totting up a verification score.  For common species and groups it is very reliable but for others the identifications can be meaningless.  My favoutite example was an ant that had been given a 'Research Grade' identification.  If correct it would have been the first ocuurence in North America, but as it was 3mm ant photographed from half a meter away there was no way it could be identified.  What we need to dois accept these applications as tools for getting a rough ID after which the record can be submitted to iRecord.

On duplication - there is a strong movement arguing that iNaturalist data should be accepted into iRecord with verified status.  The major argument against was dulication, as many people do submit their records to iNaturalist for an ID and then go one to put it on iRecord.  Verification could be handled by accepting records from these sites as requiring verification.  There are other problems after that around traceability, as we need to know the name of the person who actually saw the speciment, not just their username on a site,  

Peter Pearson
Thanks James and Gustav,

Thanks James and Gustav,

That's it then "iRecord rules, OK"

I will continue to use the available sites as ID and iRecord  as my recording site.

I must admit that I have been concerned about some of the info and ID's seen on sites that shall remain nameless, one particularly on it's App, and have used not pinches but hands full of salt on many ID's.

iRecord has always proved to be reliable, with a really friendly and helpful group of knowledgeable, like minded people.

Thanks for putting my mind at rest.


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