CZ:We aren't Wikipedia
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How is the Citizendium similar to Wikipedia?
- We aim to create a giant free general encyclopedia.
- We use MediaWiki software.
- We use wiki methods of collaboration, and we encourage everybody to work on articles in their area of interest and expertise.
- No particular qualifications are needed to participate as an Author.
- We rely on "soft security" to a great extent. We work on the basis of trust.
- We are committed to an objective, unbiased presentation of information.
- We have similar naming conventions, and some other style guidelines in common. See CZ:Manual of Style for the differences.
- The community and project was organized originally by one of the people who originally organized Wikipedia, Larry Sanger.
How do we differ?
- Except for a short period in which we permitted self-registration, we have had no significant vandalism.
- We formerly had experts in certain fields who were called "Editor". Every Editor was also an Author. Now, a few experienced Authors tend to help arbitrate editorial decisions.
- We have a method for producing citable articles that depends on the judgment of experts. This feature is also now mostly inactive.
- Article policies differ. Citizendium's aim is to craft compelling introductory narratives, not mere collections of data. We cite sources because doing so helps the reader. We usually do not cite sources to settle internal disputes, or to "prove" a point to contributors.
- Attached to every article is a set of "subpages" of supplementary information. These may include the standard tabs for related articles, bibliographies, and external articles, but also can be customized to include galleries, tables, timelines, tutorials, and signed introductory articles by experts.
- We use our own names and identities. We require people to sign in, to use their real names and to fill out a publicly readable biography. We also go to some lengths to verify identities. Our user pages are for brief, helpful biographies and are not intended as vanity pages. To join Citizendium, please fill out our application form (Google Account required).
- We are a community defined by shared principles expressed in our CZ:Policies. We expect professional behavior and have low tolerance for disruption. Our management team has some firm rules that require professionalism. We have rules against personal attacks and blatant violations of the neutrality policy. We enforce them by warnings (in most cases, and usually done privately) followed by bans, which can be rescinded only through appeal.
- Our community managers have mature judgment, and they oversee behavior and adherence to basic policies.
- The Citizendium community settles policies by discussion and (where necessary) votes by the community. The management team is supported, behind the scenes, by a private advisory group with long-term experience in wiki use and management.
- Works on Citizendium use the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC-by-sa) license.
- We take defamation seriously. This is why we have a Policy on Topic Informants and a Topic Informant Workgroup.
- We talk about maintainability (or feasibility), not notability. We have a Maintainability policy.
- We normally don't use categories on articles themselves.
- We don't use excessive acronyms. Using a lot of acronyms for every small point of policy creates a sort of in-group that makes the community insular and unintelligible.
- Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians
- How to convert Wikipedia articles to Citizendium articles
- Citizendium Blog post (Feb. 28, 2008): Who's more command-and-control, Wikipedia or CZ?