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Help:Index/Editor/Metadata/Criteria

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This is a Citizendium help page
This help page is meant for help and guidance only. It can be edited by any Citizen and, whilst we try to ensure it is accurate, it may not fully represent current policy.
Further guidance can be found at the Approval Standards page.

The standards of a good Citizendium article are complex, and only summarized here:

  • Encyclopedic. Articles must resemble encyclopedia articles.
  • Accurate. Editors should review every substantive claim made by an article, and be of the opinion that the claim is well justified by the relevant evidence, before approving the article.
  • Neutral. Articles must not take a stand on controversial issues. They should report on controversies rather than engaging in them, reporting every side fairly and objectively. See the neutrality policy.
  • Coherent. Articles must be coherent or unified, that is, integrated by a single style and plan, or "narrative flow."
  • Comprehensive. Articles should cover most significant aspects of a topic, perhaps except those aspects that are included in articles about related topics.
  • Well-written. Articles must not contain grammatical, spelling, usage, or other errors of poor writing. See article mechanics.
  • University-level. Millions of topics can be treated at a level accessible to the average university student, or approximately the level of Encyclopedia Britannica or The New York Times. Certain topics cannot be treated except for specialists, and thus may be more advanced in presentation.
  • Not original research. While articles may sum up their topics in novel ways, they should not do so in ways that imply new theories or analyses that in academic contexts would require peer review for publishing.
  • Family-friendly. See policy regarding family-friendly content.
  • Legal and responsible. Articles must not contain copyright violations, libellous statements, or grossly obscene information or images. Persons found to have added such material to articles can be permanently banned from the project. In particular, biographies of living persons must be handled a special way. See copyright violation policy, libel policy, as well as biographies of living persons.


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These help pages are a work in progress and need developing. Some topics are not written at all yet. Feel free to edit this page, or any other within the help system, and contribute towards making this a useful tool to all. For guidance please contact Chris Key.
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