CZ:Editorial Council Resolution 0014

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The Resolution

Whereas the breadth of some workgroups is huge, and it makes sense to break them down into more natural subgroups; and

Whereas the academic disciplines have specialties and sub-specialties, there is also an interdisciplinary need for subgroups; and

Whereas having subgroups would encourage specialist experts in these fields to join the Citizendium; and

Whereas readers will be able to use the subgroup categories to focus on articles in a particular specialist field and will help readers come to learn the Citizendium's navigational tools;


Resolved, that the Editorial Council adopt the document "CZ:Proposals/Subgroups" as policy.

Method of Execution

The redirect at CZ Talk:Proposals/Subgroups be removed.

The page CZ:Proposals/Subgroups be moved to CZ:Subgroups.


  • None proposed.


Current status

  • Adopted by 16 votes in favor and none against with 5 members abstaining.


(From the proposal): Since the pilot Chemical Engineering Subgroup was initiated it has added 122 articles and 18 of them have been approved. A good many of those 122 articles include content that is overlapping with the Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences Workgroups demonstrating the potential for interdisciplinary collaborations within the environment of a Subgroup.

A Necessary Next Step

This proposal is long past due! It would open up welcome new opportunities for additional members throughout the social sciences. When I joined CZ nearly two years ago, I was assigned to the Sociology Workgroup, even though I am not now and never have been a sociologist, just because there was no other choice available. I requested membership also in the Politics Workgroup and the History Workgroup because I have core interests that lap into those fields as they do into some facets of sociology.

Then, the suggestions began that I had an obligation - which I have continued to ignore - to contribute basic articles in sociology before doing anything else in my own areas of interest! From a borrowed sociology textbook, I created a topic list and a list of sociologists, both of which are still there, but beyond that the real sociologists on CZ will have to fend for themselves, and they can pitch me out anytime there is somewhere else for me to land. My interests are exclusively in Applied social science: social work, social policy, public administration, regional science, philanthropy, or third sector studies and gerontology, all of which are recognized sub-fields of the social sciences and areas in which I have published. IMO, all of these would make worthwhile new work groups, and I support this proposal wholeheartedly. Roger Lohmann 15:16, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Does the Editorial Council really need to approve hundreds of subgroups individually as they come up? I would suggest that this proposal be amended to include a list of obvious subgroups that could be approved all at once, as part of this proposal, even if the subgroups are not created immediately. If the editors of various categories could submit ideas, we could generate a decent starting list quite quickly. David E. Volk 15:07, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
The proposal does not envision Editorial Council oversight on the creation of subgroups. Subgroups are mainly categorical and navigational in function, created by authors to facilitate collaboration among like-minded citizens. Russell D. Jones 16:05, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I may have misread the statement saying that new Workgroups need to approved from a top-down ... by the EC. David E. Volk 20:41, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Editorial Council oversight on the formation of new Workgroups is retained. Russell D. Jones 20:49, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Roger Lohmann that this proposal is long overdue and I very much endorse having subgroups implemented in Citizendium. It will be a very useful navigation tool and it will also encourage the registration of new users.
For example, we now have an Engineering Workgroup and engineering encompasses dozens of disciplines such as mechanical engineers, civil engineers, electrical and electronic engineers, chemical engineers, environmental engineers, petroleum engineers, safety engineers, industrial engineers, traffic engineers, aeronautic and aerospace engineers, etc.
Currently, John Doe. a newcomer to Citizendium who is an electrical engineer seeking informational articles in his discipline can only navigate to the Engineering Wiorkgroup and must search through the hundreds of articles there to find those that are devoted to electrical engineering. When Resolution 0014 is fully implemented, an Electrical Engineering subgroup can be formed ... and newcomers John Doe can navigate directly and expeditiously to that subgroup to find the Electrical Engineering articles.
The same is true of the Chemistry Workgroup which also encompasses many disciplines such as inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, chemical thermodynamics, atmospheric chemistry, nuclear chemistry, etc. I am sure that the same situation applies to biology, physics, history, healing arts and many, many other of our current workgroups.
The pilot Chemical Engineering Subgroup which was created some months ago, now has 122 articles in it and 18 of those are Approved articles. The pilot Environmental Engineering Subgroup which was created fairly recently now has 39 articles in it and 5 of them are Approved articles. Thus, it can be said that the subgroup concept works quite well.
Many of the articles in the Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering subgroups were also categorized (in the Metadata templates of the articles) in the Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Science workgroups as well because they are inter-disciplinary and authors from those workgroups did in fact provide some edits, critiques and collaboration.
In summary, subgroups will serve as a useful navigation tool, encourage newcomers to register as Citizens and will provide more opportunity for inter-disciplinary collaboration. Milton Beychok 20:27, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


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.

   * Sponsored by: Chris Day
   * Co-sponsored by Council members: Russell D. Jones, Milton Beychok 

Resolution history

   * Proposed: Mar 06, 2009
   * Entered queue: (bypassed) 
   * Entered initial discussion: For 7 days from Mar 06, 2009
   * Entered public discussion: For 7 days from Mar 13, 2009
   * Entered voting on resolution: For 7 days from Mar 20, 2009
   * Close of voting on resolution: March 30, 2009 
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