Section A. Synonymizing relationship unknowns

Modified on Mon, 28 Nov 2022 at 10:05 PM

Table of Contents

First, navigate to the relationships unknown page for a taxon framework with a source as described in the Intro.



Step 1: Make sure the taxon is not flagged and has less than 100 observations

Check to make sure the taxon has less than 100 observations and is not flagged. If this is true, proceed to Step 2. If it isn’t, before proceeding it’s probably a good idea to participate in a discussion in a flag about the taxon’s relationship unknown status as explained in the “Adding a relationship” section.


Step 2: Committing a taxon swap

Usually on iNaturalist we don’t inactivate taxa directly. Instead we make a taxon swap. Committing the swap inactivates the taxon and moves all its content to the output taxon. To create a taxon swap click “New taxon change.” Creating taxon swaps is covered in detail in the "Resolving Taxon Flags Section B. How to respond to a flag requesting to change the name of a taxon" tutorial, but we’ve added an abbreviated summary of steps below.  Start by clicking on ‘New taxon change’.


Before filling in the taxon change form, you’ll need to do some research to determine what the output taxon is. Usually, this can be determined by exploring the taxon framework source linked from the relevant taxon framework page (e.g. Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes). For example, Ariosoma nigrimanum is a synonym of Ariosoma nigrimanus.


If you can’t find a species level destination use the finest node you can find (e.g. genus Ariosoma). If you can’t find a suitable destination and the taxon has no observations or identifications you can inactivate it directly from the taxon edit page rather than creating a taxon swap.


Fill in the taxon swap form with the source and the output taxon and save the draft. If the output taxon doesn’t exist you’ll need to create it following steps described here.



Click “Commit” to commit the taxon swap. This will inactivate the input taxon and move all its content to the output taxon. Once inactive, the input taxon will no longer display on the relationships unknown page.




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