From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Also See CZ:FAQ/Draft

This badly needs updating and expansion. Please do feel to dive in, folks. --Larry Sanger 12:42, 6 September 2007 (CDT)

Here's one that, as a newer contributor, I've been wondering about.... What exactly is the approval process? When are articles ready for that process, and who decides that?Joshua Knapp 09:25, 11 February 2008 (CST)

Also, this page is, IMO, a little hard to find. I didn't even know it existed until Stephen Ewen's e-mail in the CZ-L. I'm wondering, once the FAQ is closer to where it should be, could a link to it be added over on the left? Like with "Main Page" and "Random Page"?Joshua Knapp 09:46, 11 February 2008 (CST)

You can read up on the approval process here - CZ:Approval Process. Approved article standards are here - CZ:Approval Standards. --Todd Coles 10:34, 11 February 2008 (CST)

As someone who has recently been trying to come to terms with CZ culture in order to contribute, I think that an even more pressing problem than revising the FAQ is a) either restructuring the project pages sidebar or b) making the Help:Contents page significantly more useful. I have spent far too much of my recent life trying to find that page where I read something useful somewhere in the help pages.

As far as the FAQ is concerned, I think we need to radically rewrite the page to make it significantly more author- and noob-friendly. We should either archive all of the funding/project organization stuff somewhere else, or move it way down the page. (The Editor stuff is probably interesting to all, but only really useful to potential editors.) The CZ ethos is going to draw a few people into the project, but we really need to go out of our way to get authors writing and other people reading. That is where the future lies. (Perhaps we could include examples of some of the best flavorful CZ writing to date.)

Part of getting new people firmly on board is making hard decisions and clear pronouncements about original research (and a number of other policy issues). Personally, I do sort of worry-- not so much that things I have worked on will be edited mercilessly and checked over by Editors, but that they will be cast into oblivion by some future policy decision. I don't feel like there have been enough reassuring noises (or even unambiguous statements) about this sort of thing from those higher up in CZ's Great Chain of Being. Brian P. Long 20:44, 11 February 2008 (CST)


I'm going to be bold here and delete this phrase from the "what is CZ" FAQ. Here's my rationale and I saw this public reaction at a public lecture at which Dr. Sanger spoke. People feel that (1) the experts are in control so that CZ is nothing more than the university but this time online and, therefore, not open to or tolerant of people with lesser knowledge. Hey, I might know a little something about the Heavy Metal Umlaut, but the "experts" don't want that sort of thing on "their" encyclopedia. And (2) since people aren't "experts" they feel that they aren't qualified to contribute.

The main point I see that separates CZ from other encyclopedias is its commitment to credibility. Experts are just one of the means by which that credibility is established (real names is another). But I think that an emphasis on "expert-led" is leading CZ away from its participant base.

I am not criticizing the policies here. Experts should be editors and approve articles. But putting the whole "expert" issue in everybody's face is turning off a lot of people. My $1.25 --Russell D. Jones 12:18, 11 February 2008 (CST)

I agree with Russell's point—I don't actually even think Citizendium is expert-led, in the sense that the experts are driving the direction of the project—I think it is definitely "led" (in the sense most people will understand use of the word) by the grass-roots membership of ordinary author-contributors.
I think I know what the original phrase was trying to get at but I also think it was an unfortunate choice of words that misrepresented what Citizendium is about. Perhaps (in this and other places) we could use more carefully chosen words like "expert-guided" or something similar (and even then, always qualify it so people don't misunderstand it—something like "Citizendium is guided by experts but that doesn't mean that they make all the important decisions—the project is driven by you, the ordinary author-contributors"; that way I think people are motivated to contribute and feel that their contributions are going to be considered worthwhile). Mark Jones 06:16, 12 February 2008 (CST)
I concur too. What's most important about Citizendium, compared to Wikipedia, is the quality and dependability of the content. How we get there is not that important; whatever works. If it's consulting goat entrails, hey, I'm reaching for a knife. So having articles be vetted for quality and accuracy by editors, and all the rest, it's all just a means to that end.
And I think the point about discouraging potentially useful contributors is a really important one. To build that size a repository of knowledge in less than a decade will take, as Wikipedia has shown, one heck of a lot of help - and their standards aren't as high. So we can ill afford to dissuade anyone from pitching in.
And as someone who's professional expertise is in one area (computer networks), but who has significant non-professional expertise in a number of others which are totally unconnected (e.g. Japanese woodblock prints), I am personally deeply cognizant that 'amateurs' can really know their stuff, and bring a lot of energy and knowledge. J. Noel Chiappa 21:20, 24 February 2008 (CST)

External response

Should there be an email address that questions can be addressed to for non-citizens? I would think that would be the best way to develop a FAQ for external users. --Robert W King 10:14, 13 February 2008 (CST)


This is one of our most important yet underdeveloped documents. While of course anyone can work on it, I would especially like to encourage some editors or professional writers to take a crack at this--especially relatively new people, who have just started mastering what is going on, and can put it in a way that makes sense to new people. Those of us, like me, who are in the thick of things can sometimes be less able to word things clearly. --Larry Sanger 12:35, 20 March 2008 (CDT)

If surgery was like Wikipedia: Surgipedia.

Just came across this witty comment made eons ago that still feels up to date. Would like to use it somewhere on one of our FAQ/ About or so pages. Any suggestions? --Daniel Mietchen 21:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Regarding this edit, should we refer readers to other wikis? John Stephenson 14:55, 29 October 2010 (UTC)