CZ Talk:Election July-August 2013/Referenda/6

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'Approved' articles are hard to modify, and many presently 'approved' articles are sadly deficient. So far as I can see, the notion of an 'approved' article does nothing to enhance CZ, but does result in a poorer quality of article being touted as prime examples of what CZ stands for. This entire conception should be abandoned, not made easier to institute. John R. Brews 13:29, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

You could propose your own referendum on that. :) It would have to be a Charter-modifying one, rewriting Articles 15 and 22. John Stephenson 13:48, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Maybe my reluctance to propose charter amendments is a carryover in habits from WP where no change is ever possible. In any event, I view this referendum as making the 'approval' of articles more common, and therefore to be avoided. John R. Brews 14:32, 23 July 2013 (UTC)


Wording should make explicit whether bullet-listed items are connected by "and" or "or". Peter Jackson 10:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)


In the olden days, there were fairly simple rules for Editor approval. Then the EC introduced a new system I find frankly unintelligible. Now Anthony's proposing this.

I don't think we should have been going along this route. WE shouldn't lower standards because of a shortage of personnel. In fact I think we should have fewer approved articles, not more. Approving Editors should set a time limit for the approval, after which the artilce would have to be reviewed to see whether it's up to date. If no Editor is available to review it, it should be unapproved.

What we could do instead is introduce a new grade below approved. Peter Jackson 08:58, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

I have supported Anthony's other referendum, which does away with /Draft and locked main articles, even though it refers to the current approvals procedure because those are two separate issues. Otherwise, I am inclined to agree with the above. I do not like the idea that, in effect, a set of non-specialist Authors and an Approval Manager perhaps with an Editorship unrelated to the article under review can actually approve an article. (Yes, contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be a subject expert to approve articles on Citizendium.) The original idea was to have expert oversight, i.e. for citable introductory general-readership articles such as CZ's, someone with a background in at least a related field and who is an Editor should have approved it. It's not enough to just have someone try to fact-check and see if the citations look scholarly. The current approvals procedure effectively sidelines Editors, reduces the workgroups to mere article lists, and hands the final say to EC members and AMs who probably don't know much about the topic. I've a mind to introduce yet another referendum... John Stephenson 01:36, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe that certain experienced non-fiction writers, especially but not exclusively academics at the professorial level, capable of critical study of certain CZ articles on distantly related topics with sufficient competence to certify them as 'citable' articles, or not. That critical study would include checking whether in-text citations support the assertions made, whether sentence pairs possess logical cohesiveness, whether that cohesiveness delivers coherence of paragraph narrative, whether the paragraph sequences within subheadings also cohere in narrative flow, and whether the article as whole is free of overt bias, and is understandable to an educated layperson, including high school seniors and college undergraduates.
We have such capable Editors. As Approval Mangers they could judge which articles they believe they can evaluate for certification as 'citable' articles, or not—with the consent of the Editorial Council. By bringing a non-expert perspective to the topic they would ask questions and offer suggestions of the authors that might lead to clarifications and other improvements to the article.
Furthermore, the Editorial Council can evaluate the Approval Managers' review report and thereby add a second layer of judgement.
To expedite generating 'citable' articles, we might need several carefully selected Approval Managers from multiple Workgroups, to share the load and minimize the burden to any one Approval Manager.
Someday, when, for numerous (hundreds, thousands) closely related topics, we have more than one expert per topic, then we can relieve the Approval Managers of the serious responsibility of certifying articles on their own evaluation as 'citable' articles, or not. Anthony.Sebastian 20:50, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't object to this sort of approval in principle, but it's not the same as subject expert approval, and shouldn't be given the same status. Peter Jackson 10:40, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

The approved article system doesn't work at the moment. Pompeii has been due to be locked down since 1 February, while the articles on steam generator, industrial cooling tower, liquefied natural gas, and Cowdray House have been nominated for approval for months, I've lost track how many. It's a case of man power. A constable hasn't been around to finish off the process for Pompeii, and for the other articles editors haven't been around to opine. Having an alternative system isn't a bad idea, but it could still fall into the problem of not enough people taking part. As mentioned in the background to the referendum, there are only a couple of dozen people editing this wiki and the process could become moribund very quickly. Richard Nevell 23:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

We're not dead yet; we band of brothers and sisters have too much passion for the project, and commitment to it, to let that happen. But I agree with you, Richard, the approval process needs a pragmatic workable methodology until we're in a position to fully express our idealism. R/6 and /7 are only first tries. Anthony.Sebastian 03:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Citable versus expert-approved articles

Peter and John: I would like to suggest that we distinguish between "citable articles" and "approved articles".

Citable articles would not have the higher status of an expert-approved article, but would contain the fact-checked assertions that readers could use to cite the article, or other aspects of the article that would be citable even though expert approval had not been obtained.

An example of a citable article that is not expert-approved might be one from respected periodicals such as Scientific American or National Geographic. Citizendium could have respected citable articles too.

We could have a qualifier in a green textbox that opens when the citable article subpage is opened. It could read something like this: "This article has been thoroughly reviewed by the Editors of Citizendium, who consider the article of citable quality. It has not been certified as approved by a subject expert.”

If and when the article is certified approved by a subject expert we could have a different wording of the qualifier textbox to so indicate.

Thus a citable article might start life with a higher status than a Developed article, and later gain status as expert approved, the two distinguished by the wording of the qualifier textbox.

The Main Article would always open first and remain editable. There would be no Draft subpage.

OK, think about how to redo templates, categories and main page. Peter Jackson 13:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, bear in mind that unless someone rescinds it, under a two-and-a-half-year-old Editorial Council regulation, we're supposed to label every article as one of 'insufficient', 'basic', 'extended' or 'comprehensive'... John Stephenson 13:48, 11 August 2013 (UTC)