- 1 About This Document
- 2 The Citizendium's Foundational Policies
- 3 Authors and Authoring Citizendium Articles
- 4 Author Conflict Resolution
- 5 Policy regarding Individual Editors
- 6 Editorial Workgroups and Management
- 7 Constabulary Policy
About This Document
Maintainers of this document
Currently, this document is maintained jointly by the Editor-in-Chief, and the Chief Constable; as specific people are invited, the list of maintainers will grow. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to declare a final resolution to disputes about this and other policy documents until responsible bodies are established.
Statement of Fundamental Policies takes precedence
The Statement of Fundamental Policies will be regarded as the supreme policy of the project prior to the adoption of the Citizendium Charter. The Statement itself will define certain fundamental conditions on the adoption of the Charter. A draft Charter is or will be under development at CZ:Draft Charter.
This Policy Outline is the Citizendium's policy "home page"
All major policies about the Citizendium will be summed up on this one page. Details may be removed to other pages, but the Citizendium Policy Outline will always contain a comprehensive and self-contained summary and set of pointers to further elaboration where necessary.
Mailing list and forum input
Comments are welcome on Citizendium lists and forums. The maintainers of this document will always monitor Citizendium-L, Citizendium-Editors, and other mailing lists, as well as the Citizendium Forums. These public arenas of discussion will be regarded as crucial in determining the shape of project policy.
Executive Committee not a forum for policy discussion
There will also be an Executive Committee that works privately essentially to advise the Editor-in-Chief, but it will be carefully enforced policy that that group handles only matters that need to be private--as, for example, grant proposals and partnership proposals that have not been reviewed. As a general rule, policy will not be discussed by the Executive Committee but in forums that have public archives.
The Citizendium's Foundational Policies
The role of the Statement of Fundamental Policies
The Citizendium community launched in September 2006 with certain fundamental policies articulated in an essay called "Toward a new compendium of knowledge." But in fact, that essay mixed some mere suggestions with some non-negotiable policies. Therefore, the Citizendium Statement of Fundamental Policies clarifies which policies are to be regarded as "non-negotiable." These policies may be refined, explained, and justified, but they will not be defended, and those who reject them, and particularly those inclined to work against them, will be asked to find another project to support.
The purposes of articulating non-negotiable policies
The purposes of articulating non-negotiable policies are: (1) the Statement gives a much-needed definition and focused purpose to a project that otherwise might drift aimlessly and accomplish little; (2) in an open, volunteer community, the statement allows persons to identify whether their own participation is appropriate.
Authors and Authoring Citizendium Articles
- Full exposition at Author Policy
- Author Sign-Up
Everyone who has a working account on the Citizendium wiki will be designated an "author." To become an author, a person must:
- Create a user account in either their own name or using an approved pseudonym,
- Provide an authenticated -mail address and an identifying image, and
- Certify that he or she has read the Citizendium Statement of Fundamental Policies, and understands that as a member of the community he or she is bound by these policies.
- Author User Pages
The purpose of user pages is to be helpful to the development of Citizendium and will be regulated by the Citizendium's constabulary. Authors are not required to provide personal information, but a statement about your personal interests and studies would be very welcome. Rough clues as to age and location might be helpful to other users but are, again, quite optional.
Among items that will not be permitted on user pages or subpages are minor's personal information, quotations, personal essays, "user boxes," or "barnstars."
Authors may not edit each others' user pages unless there is an explicit message to that effect on a person's page. Constables will have the authority to edit author user pages to make them in conformity with the above rules.
- Full exposition at Article Policy
These policies apply to editors as well as authors. Editors, when they create and make changes to articles, play the role of authors, and therefore the following policies apply to them as well as people who are not editors.
Articles are created collaboratively, and thus are unsigned. Authors of articles will not be listed either on the article or on the article's discussion page. The specific edits for which a contributor is responsible are listed in the article's history, however.
How to clean up Wikipedia articles. We will be collecting important guidelines about how to clean up, mark up, strip down, and otherwise improve and prepare Wikipedia articles for the Citizendium on how to convert Wikipedia articles to Citizendium articles.
Do not make an article imported from Wikipedia "live" unless to improve it significantly. Authors are urged not to edit any article sourced from Wikipedia unless they are prepared to improve it significantly. Please do not merely "copyedit" or make small changes to articles that are not "live." Otherwise our "live" version of a Wikipedia-sourced might well become stale in comparison to the Wikipedia version.
Topic choice. Generally, we may write about whatever we like in the Citizendium. There are, however, at least two basic constraints on the choice of article topic:
- Redundancy. If one topic is quite similar to another--for example, is just a variant on the name--then the less common topic name should in many cases be redirected to the more common topic name. Thus, for example Great War redirects to World War I.
- Maintainability. There are certain classes of articles that it is unlikely will ever be completely filled out, high-quality, and well-maintained. The Citizendium will never have an adequate number of contributors to do the work. We should not write an article about an undistinguished, perfectly ordinary school unless we can write articles about all schools; we should not write an article about a county in Connecticut unless we can write articles about all counties in the United States; and so forth.
The standards of a good Citizendium article are complex, and only summarized here:
- Accurate. Articles are to be held up to a high standard of accuracy.
- Encyclopedic. Articles must resemble encyclopedia articles.
- Neutral. Articles must not take a stand on controversial issues. See the neutrality policy.
- Coherent. Articles must be coherent or unified, that is, integrated by a single plan and style.
- Well-written. Articles must not contain grammatical, spelling, usage, or other errors of poor writing.
- 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.
- Not original research. Articles should not "sum up" in ways that imply new theories or analyses that in academic contexts would require peer review for publishing. See the original research policy.
- Family-friendly. Articles should be appropriate for children. See policy regarding family-friendly content.
- Legal and responsible. Articles must not contain copyright violations, libellous statements, or grossly obscene information or images.
Author Conflict Resolution
The author conflict resolution process. Collaboration among strangers (even named strangers) via the faceless Internet can easily lead to conflict. Authors are, therefore, urged to remain calm when another author changes their work in a way with which they disagree. The policy resources of the project can help resolve many conflicts over content. For example, and especially, the neutrality policy requires that warring sides each be allowed to have a say sympathetic to their cause; thus, there should rarely be arguments about what which side an article should be made to favor, since it should not favor any side. When reference to the rules is not enough, authors are asked to follow the following "escalation path":
- Propose a reasonable compromise to the other party.
- If the dispute can be resolved by having a definitive answer to a content question, ask an editor who has previously either approved a version of the article or signed a decision about the article to make a decision on the dispute.
- If there is no such editor, or if the editor does not respond, contact the editorial workgroup in the (or a) relevant discipline.
When to call a constable. Authors should understand the relative domains of authority of editors and constables: editors handle disputes about content, while constables handle disputes about behavior. Constables should not be asked to settle disputes that can be settled by a definitive answer to a content question; in that case, an editor should be consulted. Constables should be called when the dispute does not turn on a content question. For example:
- An author is straightforwardly ignoring decisions made by an editor.
- An author is acting abusively in the discussion page.
- An author refuses to engage in any discussion about a disputed edit.
- An author is very obviously ignoring project rules, for example, someone simply deletes without explanation all information about a view with which he disagrees.
- Someone claiming to be an editor is very obviously not entitled to do so, for example, because the user page has no, nonsensical, or irrelevant links to evidence of qualification.
Deferring to editors. Generally speaking, authors are expected to defer to whomever is an editor for that article. This means at least two things:
- When an editor has expressed a decision on an article's discussion page, that decision must be followed by authors, even if it is under appeal.
- When an editor has made a certain edit, and has specifically requested that some limited portion of text should not be changed (or that it must not be changed in certain limited ways), then authors should respect the request. (Editors may not request that articles be simply left alone.)
Note: expectation of deference applies only to an editor's own areas of expertise. There is no obligation to defer in this way to an editor when the editor is writing on a subject outside of his or her area of expertise. Of course, all authors should treat each other quite respectfully and, in that way, deferentially.
The Appeals Process: Notes for Authors
Authors--i.e., any contributor in good standing--have the right to appeal decisions of editors and constables. Such appeals must not, however, be made frivolously, or merely because one disagrees with a decision. Authors should attempt to appeal decisions only if they can clearly state precisely how an editor or constable has misused his or her authority.
Because of the open nature of the Citizendium project, and the potentially politicizable nature of the appeals process, controls must be in place to prevent abuse of the process. Authors should be aware that, while appeals may be rejected with no ill consequences, appeals with no merit whatsoever may be dismissed. The accumulation of dismissed appeals will be regarded by the Constabulary as evidence of participation in bad faith, and may contribute to an author's ejection from the project.
While records will be maintained of who has made what appeals, and their outcomes, it will be possible for authors to make appeals privately. It is hoped that that the option of private appeals will help protect authors from unfair retribution by editors or constables who resent their authority being questioned.
Policy regarding Individual Editors
- Full exposition at User:Aaron Brenneman/Sandbox3/PolicyOutlineEditorPolicy
Editors are entrusted with the content management of the Citizendium in their special areas of expertise.
In the "wiki" spirit of the Citizendium, our editorial system is set up to make it as easy as possible for new editors to join in the fun, and to be effective guides, without "breaking" the wiki process. To this end, we have adopted some unusual policies, with which potential editors should familiarize themselves.
Editors will perform three main functions: (1) decisionmaking and dispute resolution; (2) article approval; and (3) low-level administrative management of authors. The following explains these functions.
Decisionmaking and Dispute Resolution regarding Articles
Decisionmaking, or the establishment of policies for individual articles. Editors may, in areas of their expertise, establish policies regarding what the article should cover (and what should be covered elsewhere), the general structure or narrative arc of the article, the specific wording of definitions (or constraints thereupon), and other such general policies. In this function, editors are to take the lead in acting as planners or conceptualizers of the article.
Resolving content disputes among authors. Authors inevitably find themselves in disagreement about how an article ought to read, or about other questions regarding the article. Editors--whether when asked by authors, or on their own initiative--may undertake to resolve these disputes. But this function must not be exercised lightly: cavalier decisions can easily cause resentment among, or drive away, valuable contributors, or explode into a larger and unnecessary "flame war." Therefore, in resolving disputes, editors are encouraged to follow something like the following procedure:
- Read carefully what the parties to the dispute have written.
- Make your decision.
- In the discussion area, respond to the party or parties that lost the dispute. Concede where they were right, and explain carefully and respectfully where they were wrong.
- Finally, and in a separate edit, in the "decisions" area state briefly and sign (with four tildes: ~~~~) your decision. (This may not be necessary in every case, as for example when deciding to remove some idiosyncratic statement.)
Bear in mind that you need not go through this process when explaining every time you alter an author's work. But all authors, editors included, are generally expected to explain significant changes they make, on the discussion page, partly as good recordkeeping, but mostly to justify their behavior politely to other contributors.
The meaning of editorial approval. Editors may approve Citizendium articles, i.e., certify that they meet article standards. When an editor approves of an article, he or she is explicitly claiming that that particular version of the article meets those standards, and that he is willing to stake his professional reputation on that claim. The relevant standards are outlined in approval standards.
Cancellation of approval. If another editor, who is also expert in the topic of the article, believes it does not meet the standards, he or she may either (1) approve a new version of the article (recommended), or (2) "cancel the approval" of the article. The second editor may take this action without consulting the first; but if the first insists, the issue of approval is resolved by the relevant editorial workgroup(s) as any editorial disputes are resolved (see policy on resolving editorial disputes).
For more details see, approval process.
Low-Level Administrative Management of Authors
Editors may not exercise constable authority over articles in their areas of expertise. As editor of a particular article, you may not exercise constable powers, even if you are a constable; that is, you may not use constable powers to resolve problems. Rather, you must call upon another constable. The reason for this "separation of powers," of course, is the same reason that executive and judicial authorities are separated in developed nations: it prevents abuse of authority and provides a layer of mutual oversight.
Managing problem users. Editors will encounter "problem users" and will certainly want to do something. As editor, while patience is greatly appreciated, you need not go to superhuman lengths to tolerate low quality or bad faith work, or abusive behavior. At the most extreme, you may recommend to the Constabulary that authors be banned. But there are many things that editors can do before going to this length. Just for example, if an author appears open to advice, you might recommend some background reading. Or, without actually getting a constable involved, you might ask an author to take a break for a time to get proper perspective. Finally, you might informally request that an author not edit an article, rather than "make it official" by involving the Constabulary.
Recommending content-based bans. Some authors will prove to be very difficult to negotiate with in this way. Therefore, if an editor feels that a certain author produces such a quantity of bad edits, which require so much "cleaning up" (if not outright deletion) that it would actually be better for the project if the person simply were not to work in an area (or on the project as a whole), then the editor may recommend that the author be banned from editing a certain article, from any of a group of articles, or from the Citizendium as a whole. Only editors (individually or in editorial workgroups) may make such a determination. The determination is privately given to the Constabulary, and what happens after that is determined by the Constabulary--see policy on content-based bans--not the editor, although the editor may be asked explain points and offer evidence. Note that extensive bans (such as bans from working on the entire website, or lifetime bans) will require testimony from more than just one editor; again, see policy on content-based bans.
Behavioral issues, not within the purview of editors. Bear in mind that editors are not responsible for making recommendations about behavioral problems, but only those problems that stem from the quality of an editor's good faith work. That is, editors may make enforcement recommendations based on the poor quality of work done in good faith, but their complaints about bad faith behavior will not be regarded as binding on constables in the way that content-based recommendations are. Furthermore, in either case, it is the Constabulary that ultimately determines the length and breadth of a ban.
Editorial Dispute Resolution: Notes for Individual Editors
Collaborative and collegial behavior expected. Editors are expected to work together collegially, as co-equals, on articles about which they can both legitimately claim expertise. As with disputes among authors, the first step toward resolving a dispute is to see whether the editors cannot reach satisfactory compromise.
Constabulary is not to be called to settle editorial disputes. The Constabulary should not be called, nor should it attempt to settle, disputes between editors of an article, unless it can be regarded as perfectly obvious that one person is not, in fact, an editor--that is, that it is obvious to a nonspecialist that one person claiming editorship has not established even a minimally plausible claim of possessing special knowledge of the topic in question. Then the Constabulary may be called to consider the question of "minimally plausible" editorship.
Disputes referred to editorial workgroups. When one editor (or both) has decided that a compromise is not in the offing, then one editor should inform the other that he or she is referring the matter to a particular editorial workgroup. What happens after that is determined by the editorial workgroup (see policy on resolving editorial disputes).
See also policy on resolving editorial disputes.
[This section will be completely rewritten in keeping with current practice.]
Editors self-register. Editors register themselves; there will be no editor selection process, though review and application processes may be used in unusual cases (see links here). The procedure for becoming an editor is as follows:
- Register as an author (per the above instructions).
- Edit your user page:
- include a link to a CV, online bio, or other information that proves that you meet the minimum requirements for editorship (see below); make sure that this Web page is hosted by a university, organization, business, or other entity that a reasonable person can recognize as objective proof of your credentials; and
- state the areas in which you claim editorship [use the Template:Editor template, link to instructions when written]. (See "what areas of editorship an editor may claim," below.)
- Ask the Constabulary to give you article approval authority (see next item).
Authority to approve articles requires review by Constabulary. While an editor may register and immediately claim editorship (per the policy above), someone needs enable the new editor to approve articles within the system. As an initial policy, we will say that any constable may do this. But constables will also be required to refer any questionable cases to the relevant editorial workgroup.
Challenges to editorship claims. Anyone--author, constable, or editor--may (privately) request that the relevant editorial workgroup do a minimal review of someone's claim to editorship.
How to apply for editorship in special cases. If you are unable to provide links to online proof that you meet the minimum requirements for being a general editor, specialty editor, or topic informant (see below), you may apply to the editorial workgroup in your area. If your application is accepted, an editor will edit your user page and declare you to be a general editor, specialty editor, or topic informant.
See policy on editor review for details.
Categories of Editorship
What areas of editorship an editor may claim. General editors may claim editorship, if they can demonstrate that they meet minimum standards, over one or more of the following.
- General topics: any topics that are broad/general background knowledge in the discipline in which they have their expertise (e.g., in philosophy, "philosophy," "ethics," "history of philosophy").
- Mid-range topics: the broad/general topics associated with their subdisciplines (e.g., in ethics, "right," "good," obligation," "utilitarianism").
- Specialized topics: beyond such general claims, those quite specific topics on which a person has published, given presentations, or done other professional work (e.g., Kant's moral theory, "Kant's moral theory," "categorical imperative," "Kingdom of Ends").
General editors vs. specialty editors. Within a given discipline, such as Philosophy, History, and Engineering, we distinguish between general editors and specialty editors, with general editors for a discipline having general editorial authority over general and mid-range topics, and specialty editors having authority only over some relatively circumscribed, specialized topics.
Academic, professional, and non-academic (or hobbyist) fields. We draw the usual distinction between academic and professional fields, and we distinguish both of these from non-academic (or hobbyist) fields. Depending on the type of field, the requirements of editorship may differ. See below.
Standards for general and specialty editorship in academic fields. As a rule of thumb, general editors in academic fields are those who have recently done a substantial amount of research at a level expected of someone eligible for a tenure track position at a four-year college. This means both of the following:
- Having received, or being no more than six months away from receiving, the degree typically expected of college professors in one's field; typically a Ph.D. or M.D.; or having tenure or a tenure-track position at an accredited, recognized four-year institution.
- Having published at least three papers in peer-reviewed publications, or having given five presentations at academic conferences, within the past five years.
The precise standards for specific disciplines, if different from the above, will be worked out and posted later.
Specialty editors need not have as extensive experience in a discipline as general editors. But at the very least they must have a college education, and they must have demonstrable experience in their fields. For example (this is apt to vary from field to field), many traditional academic fields might require both of the following:
- A Master's degree or other post-graduate (in the U.S., graduate) degree; or three or more years in a mostly-research position, post-bachelor's degree.
- Having published at least three papers in peer-reviewed publications, or having given five presentations at academic conferences, within the past five years, on some specific topic (i.e., the topic of the specialty editorship); or having worked in a "hands-on" way with the topic of specialization for three or more years.
The precise standards for specific disciplines, if different from the above, will be worked out and posted later.
General editorship in professional fields. In engineering, law, medicine, journalism, computer programming, library science, and some other professional fields, frequently the "terminal degree" for professional work is not a doctorate, and expert members of these professions would not actually be employable as university faculty. Nevertheless, some active members of these professions are very plausibly regarded as quite expert in their fields, and quite able to speak with authority about them, based not only on "book learning" but on practical experience.
In view of these facts, it is Citizendium policy that the requirements for general and specialty editorship may also be satisfied in another way for the professional disciplines. In general, and this varies from field to field, general editorship in professional work may be satisfied by the combination of the following:
The terminal degree for professional work in your field (perhaps as defined by your leading professional organization); in most professional fields, not a doctorate. A professional specialization, and at least three years of continuous, responsible employment engaged directly in that specialization, post-degree. Professional certification (if it exists and is required for all practicing members of your profession) At least two of the following: three different professional memberships; at least three presentations in your field, or two papers in peer reviewed journals or well-respected trade journals in your field. The precise standards for specific professions, if different from the above, will be worked out and posted later. link here
There is no similar way to establish specialty editorship in professional fields; but bear in mind that non-academic professionals may be able to establish the requirements for specialty editorship listed above.
Editorship over "non-academic" or hobbyist topics. There are many topics that are of relatively little interest to academics, where the people in possession of the most knowledge about the topic are typically not university faculty at all. This is the case for much of popular culture, and popular movements generally. There are also many topics that are studied just as carefully by hobbyists as by academics--where the "experts" are just as likely to be non-academics as academics--such as, for example, kinds of folk music. Consequently, if a person can demonstrate substantial expertise about such topics, they may become specialty editors for those specific topics. Citizendium editorial staff will compile a table of such qualifications.
Merely as an indicative example, we might say that a person may claim a specialty editorship over a particular video game if he or she shows evidence of many of the following:
- Several articles published in leading magazines and journals about video gaming.
- Leadership positions in serious organizations about video gaming.
- Having achieved a high score, level, or rank within the gaming community.
- Writing modules, enhancements, etc., of the software.
- Employment with the company that produces the software.
- Topic Informants
The subjects of biographies, persons who have had unique and important experience of historical events; CEOs, politicians, etc, who are (or were) close to the subjects written about shall enjoy a special status as topic informants. They will enjoy two special privileges:
- The right of editorial dispute resolution - if they do not feel their case is being heard fairly, they will be able to take it to the relevant editorial workgroup.
- The special right to correct errors in the article, and collaborators, editors included, will be expected to respect and respond to these corrections promptly.
The Citizendium will offer a publishing service featuring exclusive interviews for the precise purpose of collecting edited data for Citizendium articles. No one may declare himself to be a topic informant; this status can only be conferred by the Topic Informant Workgroup. See the policy on topic informants.
- Other Notes for Editors
No exclusive assignments. It is not the case that there will be one editor per topic or subject. So there can be as many editors of an article as arrive: the more the merrier. All editors involved will be expected to work as co-equals, and via editorial workgroup mechanisms.
Editorship is always editorship of specific topics. There are no global editors, so to speak; there are editors only with respect to articles in their specific areas of expertise.
Editors should not record their editorship on the articles themselves. Editors should not place their names on an article in their purview, neither on the article itself nor on the discussion page, except as noted above, e.g., in signing a particular decision or in a particular article approval.
No authority by proxy. Editorial authority is not transferable.
Editorial Workgroups and Management
- Full exposition at Workgroups Policy
Editorial Workgroups in General
Editorial workgroups, their types and purpose. Editorial workgroups are collections of Citizendium editors tasked with loose oversight of sets of articles; Acting as a resource to, and arbiter of, contributors working in an area. Workgroups may set policy and standards that are appropriate for that are. Editorial workgroups are of two types:
- Discipline/Subdiscipline workgroups, for specific subject areas, such as philosophy or particle physics, and
- Project, for those classes of article overlapping multiple discipline and subdiscipline workgroups or that have special requirements, such as biographies of living people.
Workgroups reactive, not proactive; and other restrictions. Editorial workgroups do not direct the work done; that is, while they may establish policy for an area, its oversight is reactive, not proactive. Similarly, workgroup are not to make up new rules that apply only to the articles in its care that make it difficult for whole classes of people to work where, when, and as they want. In short, workgroups will not be permitted to make the wiki operate any less as a wiki.
Subject workgroups are divided into discipline and subdiscipline workgroups, but do not form a hierarchy. A discipline workgroup, such as philosophy or physics, may form workgroups for subdisciplines, such as ethics or particle physics, and assign classes of articles to those workgroups. While a discipline workgroup may establish policy and standards for all the articles in the discipline, that policy and those standards are interpreted by the subgroups; there is no chain of command or of appeal from subdiscipline workgroups to discipline workgroups.
Every article assigned to at least one workgroup. Every Citizendium article will be assigned to at least one workgroup. Some articles will be assigned to more than one workgroup; see the policy on shared articles.
Editorial Workgroup Formation and Function
The formation and operation of project workgroups. The Editor-in-Chief will, with advice from the community of editors on the Citizendium-Editors mailing list, form project workgroups. Each project workgroup will be managed by its own Project Leader, who will select the membership of the project workgroup, and to whom editors may apply.
Eligibility for workgroup membership. All subject editors are automatically eligible for membership in a discipline workgroup, i.e., the discipline that would typically teach their specialization at a university. Specialty editors are not eligible for workgroup membership, unless there is a workgroup that precisely corresponds to their specialization. But (unlike authors) they may represent their own positions in dispute resolution before workgroups that govern their specialization.
Workgroup proliferation. Note, we do not anticipate the indefinite growth of numbers of workgroups. But it is entirely possible that, as subdiscipline workgroups grow in size, members may feel that they can be optimally split into further and smaller groups. They are permitted to make this determination themselves, although subgroups may not be formed unless most of the anticipated subgroups would have quorums if constructed. Note that articles are then to be reassigned to new subgroups, they are not to be regarded as under the control of the parent group.
General policy against overstandardization. In making policies and standards, editors must constantly weigh the advantages of uniformity against the disadvantages of teaching and maintaining the policy or standard. Generally, a policy or standard must be shown "pay for itself" in terms of clearly expressed and obvious advantage for the project.
Chief Subject Editor responsibilities. For each discipline and subdiscipline workgroup, there will be a Chief Subject Editor, who is appointed for a one year term, and whose main function is to speak on behalf of the group, selected through a specific process of sortition.
- Full exposition at Constabulary Policy
Constables are members of the Citizendium community who maintain the site and enforce standards of behavior. While they can be authors or editors like other members of the Citizendium, they have additional resposibilites and tools.
Constable responsibilities and tools. In order for the constabulary to do their job, they need to have access to special tools that other members do not. These allow them to:
- Block access to the site,
- Delete pages,
- Limit editing to pages, and
- Perform one-click removal of edits.
Qualifications of constables. Ideally qualities such as maturity, honesty, wisdom, and understanding, are desiarable. These qualities are difficult to quantify, unfrotunately. Therefore, as a very rough metric constables must be a college graduate and over twenty five years old.
Selection of constables. To become a constable, a member must first be nominated for this position either by himself or by another member. Further, two other members must second this nomination. Finally, the nominated person must receive no more than one detractor. Such a simple system is appropriate for selection at the beginning.
No more constables than necessary. It is important that we do not have an "over-regulated" wiki, because that would damage the robustness of the collaborative process. Therefore, we will select as many constables as are needed to keep the project running smoothly, but no more. The Chief Constable will make the determination of the proper number of constables.
Constables should not rule in their area of expertise or in cases in which they are personally involved. In such a case, the constable is expected to recuse him/herself. This is in order to maintain a clear "separation of powers" between editorial and constabulary. Constables are also forbidden from banning users with which they have been collaborating, i.e., in cases in which they are personally involved. In such a case, a constable must call a different constable.
Right of appeal. Any user may appeal an action by a constable. Such appeals will be heard by a special group of constables. The appeal process may be public or private; this decision is made by the banned user. Further, if the user loses three appeals of constables’ decisions (and is banned temporarily and returns), he loses his right to appeal thereafter. Similarly, if a constable’s decisions are successfully appealed three times, he is put on probation. Any further loss of an appeal by such a constable will result in the dismissal of the user as a constable.