CZ:Editorial Council Resolution 0008

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The resolution

Whereas, A listing of contributors to an article, or other content page, may help motivate contribution; and

Whereas, Many Citizens have expressed an interested in having some sort of listing of contributors;

Resolved, That the Citizendium will engage in a two-month pilot project, limited just to the Biology, History, Anthropology, and Music workgroups, that will allow us to list article and subpage contributors, using CZ:Contributor Lists as the central statement of policy, using {{Contribs}} as a template for the contributor lists, and according to the following rules below (which will override anything on the previous two pages).

The purpose of this sort of proposal is neither to allow people to claim credit on a CV, nor to present a method for citing CZ pages. It is, instead, simply to give contributors some modest thanks for their work on a specific article. Also, if we credit the approving editor(s) in the same place, we give them some motivation to people to approve articles.

The contributor list would (for now) take the form of a template placed at the bottom of article pages. Here is the template, with just three names.

{{Authors|Martin Baldwin-Edwards|Meg Ireland|Russell D. Jones}}

Nothing displays.

Here is the template, with five names:

{{Authors|Martin Baldwin-Edwards|Meg Ireland|Russell D. Jones|Hayford Peirce|Warren Schudy}}

Here is how it displays:

Authors [about]:
Martin Baldwin-Edwards | Meg Ireland | Russell D. Jones | Hayford Peirce | Warren Schudy
CZ is an open collaboration. Please
join in to develop this article!

Features of the template:

  • The list is labelled "Contributors" and, if the article is approved, will include the names of the approving editor(s). [The template does not yet do this, but it will.]
  • Either small and unobtrusive print, or a by-default collapsed "infobox" style table. Perhaps the former will be used until the list gets too long, then the "infobox" kicks in.
  • Lists the contributors to an article strictly in alphabetical order.
  • Names will appear only if there are five names in the list.
  • Citizens may add their own names to the contributor template. They are instructed to take credit only if they believe they have contributed at least two substantive sentences to the article.
  • One Citizen may list another Citizen on the template, but if a Citizen asks not to be credited, his or her wishes must be respected. Generally we should ask permission before adding another person's name.
  • If a contributor does not want to claim credit, then it should be possible for contributors to add the words and other contributor(s) to the list of contributors, e.g., by simply writing |other [the template does not currently permit this, but it will]. This in effect means that, even if there are many people who do not want to claim credit for a specific article, there must be at least four contributors who do wish to claim credit, for any of them want to receive credit.
  • One may not argue about a Citizen's claim of credit. The Constabulary may edit author lists and is responsible for settling any objections to a particular author listing.
  • There would be a small notice wherever the template appears that pithily conveys the notion that, despite our having listed these names, the article is wide open and available to work on by any Citizen.
  • Contributor templates work precisely the same way for subpages, that is, each subpage uses its own contributor template.

Method of execution

The pilot project would be implemented by:

  • finishing designing the template, if necessary;
  • identifying a specific date to begin and end the pilot project. The pilot project will be considered to be concluded at the end of two months;
  • finalizing a page that specifically details contributor list policy (see CZ:Contributor Lists);
  • explaining to the Constabulary what their role in the pilot project is; and
  • announcing it using various CZ communication media, including cz-biology, cz-history, cz-anthropology, and cz-music, and asking people to start testing out the system by giving themselves credit.

Six weeks after after the pilot project is officially initiated, the Editor-in-Chief will, with the help of contributors, prepare a brief and neutral report to the community and the Council about the success of the program, or lack thereof. At that point, a new resolution must be created to continue or expand the program, although the pilot project may be extended through the voting time "by acclamation." If the program is not continued, the {{Contribs}} templates will be removed.


Regarding: "Names will appear only if there are five names in the list." Why "five"? Many articles have three or fewer authors, at least at the beginning, and after a Write-a-Thon. I'd suggest a minimum of three. I'd check articles with few authors and contribute if I have something significant to offer. --Anthony.Sebastian 20:00, 9 March 2008 (CDT)

This can all be discussed and if necessary amended, but please don't suggest amendments here before the original ("silent") discussion period is over. But the answer to your perfectly reasonable question is here. --Larry Sanger 20:14, 9 March 2008 (CDT)


Current status




Before it is added to the Agenda, these sponsors, but only these sponsors, may edit the text of the resolution. After it is added to the Agenda, it cannot be edited by anyone except via the amendment process.

Resolution history

  • Proposed: Sun Mar 9 16:34:09 CDT 2008
  • Entered queue: (bypassed)
  • Entered initial discussion: Monday Mar 10 10:30 hrs. UTC for 65 hrs.
  • Proposal to withdraw the motion until the new Editorial Council is formed: Monday Mar 10 11:01 hrs. CDT
  • Withdrawal accepted by the Chair for the Motion: Tuesday Mar 11 2008 02:00 hrs. UTC
  • Entered initial discussion again:
  • Entered public discussion:
  • Entered voting on resolution:
  • Close of voting on resolution:
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