Citizendium ( / ˌ s ɪ t ᵻ z ɛ n d i əm / SIT -i- ZEN -Dee-əm ; “the citizens’ compendium of everything”) [4] is an English-language wiki -based free encyclopedia project lancé By Larry Sanger , who had previously co-founded Wikipedia in 2001. [5] [6]

It was first announced in September 2006 as a fork of the English Wikipedia , [7] but this idea was abandoned prior to its March 2007 public launch in favor of original articles. The project aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by providing increased reliability. [8] It hopes to achieve this by requiring, by strictly moderating the project for unprofessional behavior, by providing what it calls “gentle expert oversight” of everyday contributors, and also through its “approved articles” . Approved articles have undergone a form of peer-review by topic experts with credentials, and are closed to real-time editing. [9] [10]

By 27 October 2011, the site had fewer than 100 active members. [2] As of August 2013 , it had 16,484 articles, of which 165 had achieved editorial approval, and around 10 contributors making at least 20 edits a month. [3] The managing editor was Anthony Sebastian, until the office was vacated in 2016. [11] dead link ]

Founder viewpoints

Sanger said in a 17 October 2006 press release that Citizendium “will soon attempt to unseat Wikipedia as the go-to destination for general information online”. [12] In August 2007, he captioned his pages: “The world needs a more credible free encyclopedia.” [13] The project began its pilot phase in October and November 2006.

On 18 January 2007, a change of plans was announced. CZ, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, “CZ”, and “CZ Live” Not all Citizendium contributors were supportive of this change, but Sanger emphasized that this deletion was “an experiment” and a new set of Wikipedia articles could be uploaded if the experiment were deemed unsuccessful. [14]

Planning for succession of editor-in-chief

In May 2009, Sanger reduced his direct activity to Citizendium, and, in a message on 30 July 2009, he reminded those on the Citizendium-l mailing list of his declared intention to more than two Or three years after the start of the project. [15] Sanger has reiterated his call for the Citizendium community to prepare an orderly process for choosing a new editor-in-chief. Sanger said that he was spending more time on his WatchKnow project, [16] partly because he needs to earn an income-he said “Citizendium project does not earn me a dime” -and partly because the Citizendium community had demonstrated that it Could function without his close, daily involvement, and because “there are squeakier wheels in my life just now”. He added that stepping aside may “precipitate something of a constitutional crisis, considering that we never adopt a proper charter.” [17] On 22 September 2010, Sanger stepped down as editor-in-chief [18] and subsequently gave up editorial powers and rights to the project. Sanger did not make a successor or interim editor-in-chief, and the project’s financial position did not become clear until after his departure. [19] Sanger stepped down as editor-in-chief [18] and subsequently given up editorial powers and rights to the project. Sanger did not make a successor or interim editor-in-chief, and the project’s financial position did not become clear until after his departure. [19] Sanger stepped down as editor-in-chief [18] and subsequently given up editorial powers and rights to the project. Sanger did not make a successor or interim editor-in-chief, and the project’s financial position did not become clear until after his departure. [19]

Nature of the project

Fork of Wikipedia

Selon statements and essays on Citizendium, [20] [21] [22] the project INITIALLY Was Intended to begin as a fork of Wikipedia, carrying a copy of Each section-under the rules of the GNU Free Documentation License -as it Existed On Wikipedia at the time of Citizendium’s launch. [23] However, after initiating the idea of ​​not forking, and then soliciting comments on the matter from Citizendium mailing list and web forum members, Sanger said that a complete fork was not a foregone conclusion. [24] On 18 January 2007, Sanger announced that the pilot would, as an experiment, only carry articles that had been, Worked on by Citizendium contributors, instead of a complete set of Wikipedia articles. He stated that “a redesign of our project is essential”. [14]

Citizendium is a French-language version of the French-language version of the French-language version. In a review of Andrew Keen’s book The Cult of the Amateur , Sanger comments ironically on Keen’s favorable treatment of Citizendium: “The first example of a solution is the Citizenship, or the Citizens’ Compendium, which I like to This article is about the Citizendium and the Citizenship of the Citizenship of Citizenship. Reference publishing? ” [25]

Project goal

The stated aim of the project is to create a “new compendium of knowledge” based on the contributions of “intellectuals”, defined as “educated, thinking people who read about science or ideas regularly”. [26] Citizendium to foster an expert culture and a community that encourages participants (to be called “authors”) to “respect” the expert contributions (by what he referred to as a “gentle process of guidance”).

Experts are required to verify their qualifications openly, for transparency and publicly accepted authority. [27] This contrasts with the open and broadly anonymous nature of Wikipedia, [28] where subject specialists have no verifiable special knowledge of their subject nor agreed special status. Sanger stated that editors would not have pre-approval rights over edits by ordinary authors, though editors would have somewhat undefined authority over articles that fall within their specific area of ​​expertise.

Policies and structure

Unlike Wikipedia, Citizendium does not allow anonymous editing. Participants must register under their real names with a working email address. Sanger decided that Citizendium administrators would be called “constables”, and needed a bachelor’s degree to qualify. He also instituted a minimum “maturity” requirement-25 years of age-for constables. [27] The “head” constable is the Chief Constable (D. Matt Innis), and the head editor is the Managing Editor . [29]

Originally, Sanger operated as Editor-in-Chief , the “individual hand in charge”, part of and answerable to a Board of Directors . Sanger stated that the final decisions on management will not be made “until more of the (future) primary stakeholders are on the scene”. [30]

Citizendium articles are subject to an “approval” process after they have achieved reasonable quality. An “editor” can determine when an article is ready to be approved. [27]

The project was carried out under the auspices of the Citizendium Foundation, [29] and was initially phased under the Tides Center as an incubator project. [31]


Citizendium original items are available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-SA). [32] “Articles that originated in part from Wikipedia are also available under the GNU Free Documentation License . [33] The decision was announced on 21 December 2007, about a year after the launch of the pilot project. [34]


Number of articles from the pilot project until late 2014.

Pilot project

The project was announced by Sanger on 15 September 2006, at the Wizards of OS 4 conference in Berlin . He gave no deadline for the full launch of the wiki . [35] [36] However, on 2 October 2006, Sanger released a pilot project announcement that envisioned a fully functioning wiki within “one to two months”.

In an apparent attempt to quicken the pace of the project, on October 2, 2006, Citizendium web forum moderator Peter Hitchmough suggested what he called an ” alpha test ” of the concept. Hitchmough: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Hitchhiker’s Guide [37]

Larry Sanger reacted enthusiastically to the idea and at first suggested his already existing Textop wiki as the site for the alpha test. Sanger later posted that Textop would not have a good choice in the proposal. He envisioned a “restricted-access” wiki where the idea could be further discussed. [38]

No access to the pilot version of Citizendium, even read-only, was allowed to the general public. Sanger stated: “Only invited people will be able to view and edit the pilot project wiki.” [39] Sanger also said that the constables for the pilot project will be chosen by the chief constable. [40]

In a press release on 17 October 2006, Sanger announced: “the fledgling Citizendium Foundation will launch a six-week pilot project open to potential contributors by invitation”. Several editors and other project leaders were named. It was also announced that the Citizendium Foundation had “started the process of applying for 501 (c) (3) status [non-profit status]” and had “received a firm commitment for a significant seed from a foundation, Small personal donations “. [12] In a follow-up post to the press release, Sanger said that the initial group allowed access to the pilot would consist of “ten editors, three constables, six authors, and me.” [41]

The pilot project began operations on October 23, 2006. [42] On November 8, Larry Sanger reported that 263 users had access to the pilot wiki, 183 articles on the wiki were “live” On them “) and there were about 300 total edits to the wiki on 7 November. [43]

Creation rate (articles per day) until late 2014.

In a 17 January 2007 post to the Citizendium forum, Sanger stated that “we have had only 10-20 (very) active people out of 500 accounts created”. As a result, Sanger decided to delete all items besides those marked “CZ live” from the pilot project in an attempt to motivate greater participation. [44] On 22 January 2007, Citizendium experimented with a new self-registration procedure: read / write access was granted automatically after creation of the account. [45] There were a few instances of vandalism after this change, though the vandalism was quickly reverted. [46] On January 19, Sanger announced the formal organization of Citizendium as a legal non-profit organization. [47]

On 16 February 2007, in response to rising website vandalism, automatic account establishment [45] Was put on hold while being white could Increased protections Were in place to counter vandalism. [48] The next day, moves were limited to constables as an additional measure against vandalism. [49] In addition, Sanger continued the process of a-forking the Citizendium from Wikipedia by inviting contributors to delete any superficially since it was imported.


Default style of the homepage through early 2008; Users can choose from a number of “skins”, or formats.

On 25 March 2007, Citizendium ended its pilot phase and went live, into its beta phase, and the site became publicly readable. [50] The launch coincided with a feature-length Associated Press Article Widely That ran, with a title in USA Today of “Citizendium AIMS Wikipedia to be better.” [51]

The day prior to launch, Sanger released an essay, “Why the Citizendum Will (Probably) Succeed” in Citizendium grew from 100 edits a day in the first month to over 500 prior to launch. [52] After the launch, on March 27, 2007, a press release quotes Sanger as saying “We can, in fact, Be open to all sorts of participants, but still hold people to higher standards of content and behavior as a community. ” [53]

Sometime after the launch, it was noted that Citizendium’s family-friendly policy would mean the project would likely tend to avoid articles on slang terms for sexual activity, and particularly explicit articles on sexual practices. [54] The Citizendium has a “professionalism” policy for editors, which Sanger is different from most online communities. [55]

On 29 June 2007, Sanger announced an initiative via the project-wide mailing list that he dubbed “Citizendium 2.0”. Characterizing his comments as a “project planning document”, Sanger, a series of initiatives designed to launch Citizendium into its next phase of development. The document outlined plans for a judicial board, an advisory board, a personnel manager, a new chairman of the editorial council, a participation in the project by volunteers, a system of subpages for articles, and an expanded article checklist. [56]

Later developments

Number of users making a decision on a given month, until late 2014.

At the project’s first anniversary in September 2007, Citizendium included 3000 articles written and revised by 2000 people. [57] A number of media reports about the anniversary of Citizendium. A story in the Financial Times quoted Larry Sanger Predicting strong growth for the project: “At Some Point, Possibly very soon, the Citizendium will grow explosively – say, quadruple the number of ict active contributors, or Even grow by an order of magnitude. And it will experience that growth over the course of a month or two, and its growth will continue to accelerate from that higher rate. ” [58] (See chart at right, active contributors slowly went up during the remainder of 2007,

Citizendium was honored on December 5, 2007, as a finalist of the Society for New Communications Research. The Society describes itself as a nonprofit global think-tank, dedicated to the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business, culture and society. The Society thing Citizendium for an award because it considers it “a leading organization” in these respects. [59]

Library writer Walt Crawford, in which the Citizendum has been published in a number of publications. [60] In August 2009, Richard Waters wrote in the Financial Timestechnology blog: “At best, Citizendum could be called a qualified success.” Launched in March 2007, as of August 2009 it had 11,810 articles – 2,999,674 fewer than the English-language Version of Wikipedia. ” [61] Mathieu O’Neil, Principal Researcher at the Australian Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, wrote in a March 2010 article on crowdsourcing that ” New participants to Wikipedia Becoming a Wikipedia editor is trivial and instantaneous; Since it lacks this immediate quality, Citizendium failed to attract the crowd. ” [62]

The project had a core of 25 contributors who made more than 100 edits a month, with 90 participants making at least one edit, during March 2010. [63] Median word count dropped from 468 words per article in October 2007 to 151 in May 2010. [63 ] in June 2010, the number of users making 1, 20 or 100 edits per month all were at Their lowest points since the project Went public in March 2007. [63] By October 2011, only about a dozen members made edits were typical day. [2] In September 2015, only seven editors had been active in the previous 30 days. [64]

In November 2016, a referendum was held to abolish the governing Citizenship Charter and the Council in favor of Wikipedia-style discussion and consensus. It attracted nine votes, and was passed. A new Managing Editor was at the same time, but there were no appointments. [65]


  1. Jump up^ “ Site Info” . Alexa Internet . Retrieved 2014-10-12 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Lee, Timothy B. “Citizendium turns five, but the Wikipedia fork is dead in the water . ” Ars Technica . Retrieved 27 October 2011 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b “Welcome to Citizendium” , Citizendium. Retrieved 2012-08-16, and “Number of authors” , Citizendium. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  4. Jump up^ “CZ: About – Citizendium” . . Retrieved 2013-11-18 .
  5. Jump up^ Bergstein, Brian (25 March 2007). “Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia” . MSNBC . Associated Press . Retrieved 25 March2007 . The nascent Web encyclopedia Citizendium springs from Larry Sanger, a Philosophy Ph.D. who counts himself as a co-founder of Wikipedia, the site he now hopes to usurp. Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder. Yet the other founder, Jimmy Wales, is not happy about it.
  6. Jump up^ Moody, Glyn (13 July 2006). “This time, it’ll be a Wikipedia written by experts” . The Guardian . London . Retrieved 25 March 2007 . Larry Sanger is an online encyclopedia. Although his work has been carried out with the help of Jimmy Wales, he has been involved in a number of projects. […] “Career: 1992-1996, 1997-1998 Graduate teaching associate, OSU; […]” [Jimmy Wales] saw that I was essentially looking for employment online and he was looking for someone to lead Nupedia. 2000-2002 Editor-in-chief, Nupedia; Co-founder and “chief organizer”,
  7. Jump up^ Andrew Orlowski. “Wikipedia founder forks Wikipedia, More experts, less fiddling?” , The Register , 18 September 2006. In software engineering, a project fork is the development of a separate piece of software.
  8. Jump up^ “The Citizendium’s Statement of Fundamental Policies” . Citizendium. 6 September 2007 . Retrieved 25 February 2008 .
  9. Jump up^ McCarthy, Caroline (23 January 2007). “Citizendium: Wikipedia co-founder Sanger’s Wikipedia riva l” . CNET News . Retrieved 13 April 2009 .
  10. Jump up^ Anderson, Nate (25 February 2007). “Citizendium: building a better Wikipedia” . Ars Technica . Retrieved 13 April 2009 .
  11. Jump up^ “[Citizendium-l] New Managing Editor and reduced Council sizes” . The Mail Archive. 1 July 2012 . Retrieved 1 July 2012 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Larry Sanger. “Co-Founder to Launch Edited Version of Wikipedia: Pilot Project for the Citizendium to Launch This Week” , Citizendium, 17 October 2006.
  13. Jump up^ “CZ: Monthly Write-a-Thon” . Citizendium. 1 August 2007 . Retrieved 1 August 2007 .
  14. ^ Jump up to:b Larry Sanger. “OK, let’s delete the Wikipedia articles (an experiment)” , Citizendium-l mail list, 18 January 2007.
  15. Jump up^ Larry Sanger[Citizendium-l] My recent absence
  16. Jump up^ “WatchKnow” . WatchKnow . Retrieved 8 December 2010 .
  17. Jump up^ “CZ: Charter” . Citizendium, . 23 September 2010 . Retrieved 8 December 2010 .
  18. Jump up^ Larry Sanger blog post,Citizendium blog: Citizendium Charter Ratified
  19. Jump up^ Jones, Russell D.”Announcements”, Citizendium, 6 November 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  20. Jump up^ “CZ: DeWPify” . Citizendium. 26 April 2011 . Retrieved 1 April2012 .
  21. Jump up^ “CZ: FAQ – You’ve got to fork out of Wikipedia, why do not you start? . Citizendium. 27 February 2012 . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  22. Jump up^ “CZ: Statistics” . Citizendium. 4 March 2012 . Retrieved 1 April2012 .
  23. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Citizendium-l mail list, 29 September 2006.
  24. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Forking argument summary”, Citizendium forum, 29 September 2006.
  25. Jump up^ Larry Sanger (July 17, 2007). “Review of Keen’s” Cult of the Amateur ” ” . Citizendium Blog . Retrieved 21 May 2011 .
  26. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Toward a New Compendium of Knowledge”.
  27. ^ Jump up to:c Larry Sanger. “Citizendium Policy Outline” , Citizendium.
  28. Jump up^ Rosenzweig, Roy (2006). “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past”. The Journal of American History . 1 : 117-146. Doi : 10.2307 / 4486062 .
  29. ^ Jump up to:b Larry Sanger. “Constables, editors, and the Citizenship Foundation” , Citizendium-l mail list, 23 September 2006.
  30. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “How should we manage growth?” , Citizendium forum, 2 October 2006.
  31. Jump up^ “Project Directory: Citizendium Foundation” . The Tides Center . Archived from the original on 29 September 2007 . Retrieved 5 June 2007 .
  32. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (21 December 2007). “The Citizendium encyclopedia project picks a Creative Commons license” . Retrieved 25 December 2007 .
  33. Jump up^ “Citizendium: Main Page” . Citizendium . Retrieved 14 September 2009 .
  34. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (22 December 2007). “An explanation of the Citizendium license” . Retrieved 22 December 2007 .
  35. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Citizendium launch plan as of September 26,”Citizendium-l mail list, 27 September 2006.
  36. Jump up^ WOS video stream containing Sanger’s announcement
  37. Jump up^ Peter Hitchmough. “Proposal: Fork Wikipedia and launch with some A1-class model subjects”, Citizendium forum, 2 October 2006.
  38. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Administrivia: interesting pilot project proposal”, Citizendium-l mail list, 2 October 2006.
  39. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. Citizendium, “Call for applications to participate in the Citizendium Pilot Project.
  40. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Pilot Project Application Review Procedure”, Citizendium-l mail list, 13 November 2006.
  41. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Ad hoc steering group kicked off”, Citizendium-l mail list, 18 October 2006.
  42. Jump up^ Jason Potkanski. “Developers Wanted: Open”, Citizendium-l mail list, 23 October 2006.
  43. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Stats”, Citizendium blog, 8 November 2006.
  44. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Would you be willing to contribute more if the wiki were blank?” , Citizendium forum, 17 January 2007.
  45. ^ Jump up to:b Larry Sanger. “Self-registration begins!” , Citizendium-l mail list, 22 January 2007. The first act of vandalism was carried out by an account named ‘Chris Nguyen’, to vandalize three pages including the one and that of Larry Sanger, apparently before the announcement was made. The account was indefinitely blocked a little over half an hour after the first improper edit.
  46. Jump up^ Citizendium pilot wiki. “Main page revision history”, 23 January 2007.
  47. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. Upcoming announcements; Your help requested, Citizendium-l mail list, 19 January 2007
  48. Jump up^ Vandal Assault , at theCitizendium Blog ArchivedFebruary 27, 2007 at theWayback Machine.
  49. Jump up^ “Moves now require constable help and semi-automated hand-approval of new accounts?” , Citizendium-l mail list, 17 February 2007
  50. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “We have launched”, Citizendium blog, 25 March 2007
  51. Jump up^ Bergstein, Brian (25 March 2007). “Citizendium aims to be better Wikipedia” . Associated Press. Archived from the original is 25 March 2007.“This week, Sanger takes the wraps off a Wikipedia alternative Citizendium. His goal is to capture Wikipedia’s bustle goal this time, avoid the vandalism and inconsistency That icts are pitfalls.” – Brian Bergstein.
  52. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. “Why the Citizendum Will (Probably) Succeed”, Citizendium, March 2007.
    “Every day, a large variety of people from many fields sign on And do some work. “In addition, while it has received a fair bit of press, we have done very little in the way of Recruitment-but with good results when we have more aggressive recruitment is our trump card, which we have not played. “
  53. Jump up^ Larry Sanger. Citizendium Opens its Free Online Encyclopedia Project to the PublicCitizendium, 27 March 2007.
    “The modest success of our pilot project shows that it is possible that we can correct the kind of demonize Web 2.0 for,” said the project’s Editor -in-Chief, Wikipedia co-founder Dr. Larry Sanger. “We do not know what to do, but we do not want to do it any more. As a community. “
  54. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry. “CZ: Family-Friendly Policy” . Citizendium . Retrieved 7 June 2007 . Probably, we will not have graphic depictions of the sex act or photographs of human sex organs; We will have some articles about pornography; We will not catalog every sex position and every fetish; (Eg, crime scene photos); And so forth.
  55. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry. “CZ: Professionalism” . Citizendium . Retrieved 15 July 2007 . The Citizendium differs from the United States of America. For each and every one of us, we will be able to work with you.
  56. Jump up^ Larry Sanger (June 29, 2007). “Toward CZ 2.0” . Citizendium-l. Retrieved 29 June 2007 .
  57. Jump up^ (in French)How the web changes the world: the alchemy of multitudes, Francis Pisani and Dominique Piotet, ed. Pearson, 2008 (ISBN 978-2-7440-6261-2), p. 120
  58. Jump up^ Waters, Richard (5 November 2007). “Citizendium vs Wikipedia” . Financial Times . London . Retrieved 15 November2007 .
  59. Jump up^ Report: The Society for New Communications Research website: Also see Citizendium Blog entry.
  60. Jump up^ Crawford, Walt, Cites & Insights Volume 9, Number 5(April 2009), ISSN 1534-0937.
  61. Jump up^ “Citizendium founder ready to jump ship” . The Financial Times , . 25 August 2009 . Retrieved 8 December2010 .
  62. Jump up^ O’Neil, M., 2010: Shirky and Sanger, or the cost of crowdsourcing. Journal of Science Communication09 (01) C04.
  63. ^ Jump up to:b “CZ: Statistics” . Citizendium , . 28 March 2007 . Retrieved 8 December 2010 .
  64. Jump up^ “Recent changes” . Citizendium. 2015-09-25. Archived fromthe original on 2015-09-25.
  65. Jump up^ “Election November 2016” . 2016-11-08 . Retrieved 2016-11-25 .

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