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CZ:Leaving the project

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A user may leave the project at any time by simply ceasing activities. No special action or declaration is necessary on his or her part. Constables—representing the project for the purposes of this policy—will take no action either.

In some cases, however, additional issues may arise. This document covers typical situations and describes the relevant procedures.

General principles

Users who contributed to the project are reminded that any work is released under an open content license (Creative Commons or GFDL). Once freed, it is irreversible—a user may not retract his or her contributions.

One type of contribution, however, is special—the user page. Although it bears personal data, its purpose is to support the project. It plays a role of a real-life "signature" to the work an individual named person has done on the wiki, as opposed to pseudonym or an anonymous "handle" in a merely virtual world. As such, it must be treated with consideration.

Leaving users are often tempted to write a parting essay—to explain their motives for leaving or to express criticisms of the project. While Citizendium considers dissent a social good in its project, one may not employ the project's resources in a manner contrary to its ends or to undermine its reputation.

Below is a description of how CZ handles these issues.

User pages

Unless the user has made no contributions to the project, the userpage page may not be deleted. By default, the userpage is simply left intact. The user should not blank it. However, upon a user's request (sent to constables {at} citizendium.org), the page may be truncated to include only a brief summary.

In this case the summary is proposed by the user. For authors it should contain at least their educational qualifications (or student status, if applicable) and the period of activity. For editors who never approved an article, a similar rule is applied—but for those who have, more details concerning degrees/expertise and a recent affiliation are expected, since the project hinges upon the editorial authority the editor initially applied for. Editors who approved an article are expected to leave their userpages intact, at least until the article is re-approved by another editor.

Parting essays

A Contributor may wish to leave information stating why he or she is no longer active within the project. A short note stating only that, with no further comments, may be put on the user page.

A more elaborated essay, however, is allowed on the talk page. Even if a parting essay turns out to be well-meaning for the project, we adopt a general rule that it should be written at least one week after the leaving declaration, just to allow a cooling off period, if not for any other reason.

Needless to say, normal rules regarding talk pages apply. Objectionable language, personal complaints, uncivil remarks may be replaced by the usual constabulary templates. In addition the essay may be judged by the constabulary to be rant as a whole and entirely replaced by the {{NoRants}} template. The text generated by the template reads

An essay here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds that it constituted a rant. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks).

If the user fails to replace the template with an edited version of the text, the essay will be completely removed from the wiki, no longer accessible through the revision history.

Since in typical situations a parting essay is not neutral and is written from only the user's perspective, the project's perspective may be added below by a constable or collaborating constables. In this case the constables do not sign the text personally but on behalf of the Constabulary. Important: this is not meant to start a discussion. The departing user and constables may rework the statements for better presentation, but essentially each side is given a voice just once—to ensure that a possibly controversial situation is presented neutrally. Any further dispute will be removed.


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