This page contains standards and regulations related to Signed Articles subpages.
What are Signed Articles?
Signed articles are introductory, overview, general review, and perspectival articles attributed to one person or a small group of people. Such articles have two fundamental requirements: first, they must be characterizable as reference material, and neither brand new research nor mere polemics; second, they must be crafted by people who are unquestionably experts on the topic in question.
The Citizendium, with the approval of its Council, may enter into an agreement with external organizations, which become Citizendium editors for the express purpose of using the wiki to host articles that are placed on Signed Articles subpages. Such organizations may then have their own homepage and categories on the wiki, in which they organize the presentation of the articles in their care. Again, all such articles must be placed on subpages of "signed articles" pages (see below). Furthermore, these organizations will not have any special, formal authority over the main (collaborative) Citizendium articles in their areas of expertise.
Furthermore, any Citizendium workgroup may play this role, if it selects a project editor according to a process the Council can regard as fair.
Finally, any individual or group of individuals, with the approval of the Council, may undertake to upload large sources of free content to signed article pages, if we do not plan to use them in the main namespace. For example, we might want to give this treatment to the 11th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica or the Catholic Encyclopedia—or even, in a future French Citizendium, Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie.
The central purpose of signed articles is simply to increase the store of expert-created, credible content available to readers for free.
An ancillary purpose is to give the Citizendium community a solid basis on which to enter into relationships with existing organizations. There are many professional organizations and other credible groups who might wish to use the resources of our wiki and community, while still allowing their members to take exclusive credit for a piece of work. This is convenient and advantageous for everyone. The Citizendium gains both free content and editors who might be won over to "the wiki way," while our partnering organizations gain a free host for their content and a ready-made community to help manage and promote it.
Moreover, there are often people who are willing to contribute content to our cause, but who—perhaps not understanding, or simply not agreeing with, the collaborative nature of our central endeavor—simply send us articles, or post articles to the wiki without realizing that others actually can edit them. When we come into ownership of such content, we would like a place to put it where others can benefit from it.
Heading and format standards
There are few heading or format standards for signed articles.
Signed articles on subpages only
The main namespace is reserved for collaboratively written, unsigned articles only. Articles signed by individuals and managed by partner organizations must be placed on subpages titled in the following format:
<topic>/Signed articles/<author or organization name>
Note, as you'll see if you click the above link, that at the top of the page, the title is automatically displayed as follows:
- Logic > Signed articles > Graham Priest
Note that it is recommended that you place, below that title line, the title of the article given by the author. It is not the case that every article filed under topic T will itself be titled "T."
There should be a common category for all articles that are under the management of a particular group. For example, if the American Wonkology Association is managing a set of articles, then all of those articles must be tagged with, say,
Such categories are not necessary for one-off contributions by individuals.
As long as the articles are free to read, the contributors of content may use any license they wish, or simply grant the Citizendium alone the right to host a copy of the content.
Guidelines for editing
Common editorial guidelines
Generally, we will allow organizations to set their own editorial guidelines. Nevertheless, as host of this content, the Citizendium has some common, very general requirements of its own to impose.
Generally speaking, only articles that are very clearly in violation of these common editorial guidelines will be removed (or de-linked) by Citizendium staff. In all other cases, the managing organization will make decisions as to what is included or excluded.
The articles we host should satisfy some of the enumerated Citizendium article requirements. In particular, articles should be accurate, coherent, well-written, not original research, family-friendly, and legal and responsible. While they are expected to serve as reference material, they are not required to be encyclopedia articles; for example, introductory essays and literature reviews are acceptable. Furthermore, as explained below, while we firmly reject polemics and propaganda, signed articles need not satisfy the rigorous requirements of our Neutrality Policy. Finally, articles need be neither comprehensive nor written at the university level. Signed articles written for experts and for children are acceptable, but they should be labelled as such.
The body ultimately responsible for making the determination about a questionable article is the most relevant Citizendium workgroup; their decision is to be made via majority vote.
Reviewed or edited articles only
Only articles that have been reviewed, or else professionally edited, may be included in the "signed articles" pages of the Citizendium. That is, there are two separate ways of ensuring the quality of signed articles.
First, an article may be--or may have already been--expert-reviewed. To ensure this, as part of its partnership agreement, a managing organization must have a clearly-stated and actually-implemented review process.
For articles submitted directly to the Citizendium, the most relevant workgroup will locate an appropriately expert reviewer, either from among its own editors or from an outside expert, and submit the article for a traditional double blind review.
Second, an article may be professionally edited. For example, the Citizendium may absorb the content of another encyclopedia if it was constructing according to generally accepted principles of professional reference publishing. The "professional editing" requirement is also satisfied if there is an editor who solicits content only from distinguished or otherwise unquestionably qualified and conscientious scholars.
The Council is responsible for making the determination whether a body of content or an organization have an adequate review or editorial process.
Articles that are submitted directly to the Citizendium
Candidate "signed articles" should not simply be uploaded onto the wiki, unless they are part of a set of articles, or a project, that has already been approved.
It is acceptable to upload an article to a subpage of one's own user page, assuming that one has permission/rights to do so.
To move an article onto the signed article page, it should be submitted (electronically) to a Citizendium editor. But not every editor will be aware of our policies regarding signed articles. Therefore, anyone who wishes to submit an article to us should also, or instead, at the same time send a copy to the editor-in-chief. We may establish a "signed articles editor" position to assist here.
Note that we may simply lack editorial resources to process signed article submissions if we receive many at once.
Assistance with article formatting
We may start an internship program to motivate high school or college students to help us format articles, as needed.
No polemics or propaganda
While signed articles may contain some recognizable bias and opinion-stating on the part of an author, the Citizendium will not publish anything that rises to the level of polemic, much less propaganda. Furthermore, in the interest of maintaining a solid reputation for ideological, political, religious, and other sorts of neutrality, we may refuse further articles on a topic from a certain point of view until there are more articles from alternative points of view. Both workgroups and the editor-in-chief may raise objections on this ground.
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