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This is a Council-initiated referendum. It may be modified only by Council members following a vote on the changes.

New governance

This referendum proposes to dissolve the Citizendium's current governance structure, reduce all current rules, policies and articles to the status of guidance, and establish a new community-driven system based on discussion and consensus among active members of the project, supported by a single ten-point policy document. As this referendum abolishes the Charter as a fundamental policy document, under current rules it will require a two-thirds majority of votes to pass. Voters could indicate 'yes', 'no' or abstain on a single question (see below). If passed, it shall come into force one week after ratification.


Should the Citizendium's current governance structure be dissolved in favour of the below policies, in which previous rules and the Charter are treated as guidance only?

Citizendium Policies

The following ten points shall be the only binding policies on the Citizendium, and placed at CZ:Policies:

The Citizendium shall be run according to the policies set out in this document.

1. Usage and eligibility

1) The Citizendium shall be open to all who endorse this document.

2) The Citizendium is a knowledge resource which shall be owned and managed on a non-profit basis.

3) Citizendium articles shall be free to access on-line via a wiki and available under a licence that permits reuse with attribution.

4) Citizendium contributors shall participate publicly under their real, verified names and maintain public biographical details about themselves; minors - who must be at least 16 years old - shall provide only brief details, and otherwise personal information shall be kept private and destroyed when no longer needed.

5) The Citizendium shall prohibit behaviours that restrict the activities of the project or its members, or damage its reputation, including but not limited to unauthorised advertising ('spam'), vandalism, harassment, copyright violations, libel, slander, use of the site for purposes other than providing a free knowledge resource, criminal activity, or use of material that is considered either inappropriate for minors or illegal.

2. Content

6) Citizendium articles shall be as neutral, comprehensive, accurate and comprehensible as possible while respecting the balance of scientific evidence.

7) While all article contributors shall be otherwise equal, there shall be special recognition for subject experts (who shall be individuals with any of: accredited research-level qualifications; three or more peer-reviewed publications; or equivalent practical experience as defined by existing expert contributors), who shall have the final say in any dispute over content, and shall have the right to close a version of a reasonably high quality article to further editing.

3. Governance

8) The Citizendium community or its representatives shall decide its own governance structure and who shall be responsible for administrative, financial, legal, content, behavioural and technical matters.

9) No Citizendium member shall be denied a fair, unbiased appeal process against a decision made against them on administrative, legal, or technical matters.

10) These policies supersede all previous articles, rules and decisions, which may be used as guidance where publicly-accessible, and this document shall be modified, abolished, added to or otherwise changed only via mandatory public discussion and when authorised by a two-thirds majority of participating Citizendium members; other rules and decisions may be made through voting, consensus or precedent, in as transparent a manner as possible.