[Cz-editcouncil] Resolution 0003: initial comments posted
sanger at citizendium.org
sanger at citizendium.org
Wed Jun 13 18:50:58 CDT 2007
Here are the comments received. Thanks to everyone who commented.
With the initial comment period concluded, I'm opening up to general
discussion. Please go to
for open discussion of proposal. I will be calling for comments on the
proposal from Citizendium-L as well.
I do not propose to set an ending date for the discussion period yet. But
we will discuss the resolution for at least a week.
>From Anthony Sebastian:
I worry a little about the project tying up for several months - the
semester lock - many topics that workgroup members have already begun
working on, either on the wiki or offline. On the other hand, those
workgroup members can get back to the topic after the semester lock.
Some articles written by graduate students might require a fair amount of
editing by workgroup experts. Students should clearly understand the wiki
collaborative concept, otherwise they might sow discouragement among future
students entering the program.
I present mostly potential problems, no solutions. I support the project
and can see its great promise for CZ.
A thought: While still keeping the 'semester lock', why not allow free
discussion on the article's Discussion page, so that others might comment in
helpful ways - suggesting reading (including sending PDFs via private
email), pointing out omissions, etc.?
>From Raymond Yee:
I don't see any reason to object. Sorin Adam Matei seems to be
qualified for the task and if he wants to do it-- all the more power to
(Is there anything more to this issue that I'm missing?)
>From John Moffett:
Eduzendium is an excellent idea. It may be hard to implement, but if it
works, it will make a huge difference. It may be a good idea to have each
existing editor and author who works at a university to make announcements
through the dept. chairs if possible.
Could we offer some type of university level credit for published work? That
would go over well with doctoral candidates.
>From Martin Baldwin-Edwards:
Whereas I agree that recruitment of contributors and materials is a good
idea, I have several serious reservations about this proposal.
First, it seems to give carte blanche powers. What exactly will the
coordinator be empowered to do? and what will be the nature of
collaborations with professors and students?
Secondly, my own experience as Founding Editor of an academic journal was
that initially we did not have a big enough reputation to attract enough
high-quality articles -- even though all major libraries of the world
stocked my journal even before it appeared. My co-editor and I recruited
articles, and we got into a terrible fight which nearly destroyed the
journal: certainly we both left it. This was because he insisted on
publishing second-rate papers [which frequently I had to rewrite, not merely
edit] allegedly to fill the journal, but in reality for personal gain. The
journal had become a career-advancing game, with favours handed out
[guaranteed publication] and returned favours were clearly visible to me.
I am concerned that you are asking the Editorial Council to cede control
over the policy about content, without our being clear about the nature of
this new structure. This is not to cast doubt on the intentions or abilities
of the personnel, but I really think some limits and rules are needed. As
things stand, I am unlikely to support the resolution.
>From Hassan Aref:
I believe the restriction to "research one" universities is somewhat
arbitrary and too restrictive. First, the classification into
research tiers among universities shifts somewhat over time. Second,
excellent work of the kind that can generate Citizendium entries is
also done at institutions that are not "research one", e.g., at elite
liberal arts colleges. Third, as a matter of principle, the quality
of Citizendium articles ought to be judged a posteriori by the merits
of the articles and their authors, not a priori by the affiliation of
>From Regina Bouillon:
Dr. Matteis suggestion is the first step towards recruitment. I cannot
see anything wrong in the basic ideas of eduzendium. As I understand it,
eduzendium member do not have any influence on citizendium decisions. The
editors still have the last word. I appreciate the idea of eduzendium.
>From Nancy Sculerati:
I think that
Eduzendium as it is proposed would fit beautifully with Citizendium if
there was a modification made to the structure of the wiki. Partition it.
That is- there could be a group of pages that are off the general
Citizendium wiki and called the Eduzendium that have this rule: any
professor in an accredited college or university in the English speaking
world can put up articles on the Eduzendium, which is a service sponsored
by Citizendium. The accredited colleges and Universities must be
recognized by USA. Canada, Britain, and...these are chosen to represent
the English speaking world of accredirted Universities, the sort of
seconadry school education that the governments of these countires will
lend money to attend, or otherwise recognize in a real way- a way that
they have a stake in. That way, we can avoid the "fly by night" group, and
also avoidf amending our rules for approval on Citizendium. Any of these
articles could be noiminated for approval by a Citizendium editor in a
pertinent workgroup- but being published on Eduzendium is a separate
thing. It should also attract those expert authors who would prefer to
work off the wiki. I'm suggesting this because I think it has the
potential to make Citizendium better without compromising it and also to
make Eduzendium fly.
>From Gary Giamboi:
My comment on resolution #3 is also that we need some more guidelines. I
like the concept. However, here are some issues that come into my mind:
a) If students contribute an article to citizendium as part of their course
work, how can what we do with the article not affect the student's grade.
For example, if one student's article is accepted as is without any
modifications and another's is rejected for whatever reason, can we believe
that this will not have some effect on the student's grade? Will that in
turn affect how we will view those articles and thus the quality of
Keep in mind that our standards for acceptance are not the same as the
standards for grading at academic institutions.
Do you remember how I had my article on I Liq Chuan removed by a constable
for seemingly valid reasons which I believe I showed were totally wrong. I
had my article removed for plagiarism from Wikipedia and the subject's home
page, but, I wrote the Wikipedia article and had permission to copy anything
on the subjects home page from its owner? Yet, if I were a student, my grade
may be in trouble (as it is, I'm just annoyed at someone acting without the
facts and then finding a way to justify his actions and making it too much
trouble for me to comply with his re-submitting requests).
So perhaps the articles can be submitted to citizenium after the paper is
graded (or however it is judged). In order to provide some incentive, maybe
the papers can receive some extra credit for acceptance as unapproved and
some more extra credit for approval. Indeed, this way the professors can do
some editing for us.
b) instead of tying articles into course work, does anyone think that an
on-campus citizendium club or society whose purpose is to write and submit
articles can actually attract members?
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