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- 1 New article approvals process, June 2015
This page contains a proposed referendum question, the existing rule(s) which the proposer and any supporters of the referendum wish to change, elaboration on the proposal, and the proposed new text.
New article approvals process, June 2015
Proposed by John Stephenson
A proposed referendum on existing rules follows. If it is voted on, Citizens could support or oppose the question by indicating 'Yes' or 'No'. Under Article 37, only a simple majority is required for this referendum to pass because it does not propose to modify the Charter.
To support the establishment of a referendum on this issue, sign here.
The way that versions of Citizendium articles are currently approved as 'citable' is detailed at 'Approval Process' and via this Managing Editor interim decision. Additionally, Article 15 of the Charter specifies that Editors shall have the right to approve content.
One of the main principles of the Citizendium project is that content shall be approved by experts as being of reasonably good quality, and be presented in such a way that it may be cited. This takes the form of a version of an article being nominated as 'citable' and, if this is approved, copied to a locked sub-page while the main draft remains available for editing. The current process to achieve this is unnecessarily complicated and may allow too much influence by non-specialists. It also invests the Citizendium Council with significant oversight when it may not include experts on the topic of nominated articles.
Under these new proposals:
- An Editor with the appropriate expertise must be involved in any approval;
- articles can be approved in as little as seven days if there are no objections;
- Editors may approve their own work, subject to extra restrictions;
- the Managing Editor may nominate articles for approval or de-approval, subject to restrictions which ensure that an expert is involved;
- The Council or the Managing Editor may reject nominations, but cannot take the final decision to approve an article without Editor endorsement;
- Any Citizen may ask the Council or the Managing Editor to intervene over approvals or de-approvals.
The current approval and de-approval process and interim decisions pertaining to it shall be superseded by the following:
A. Eligibility to approve or de-approve
- Only an Editor or the Managing Editor may commence the approval process, but a nomination by the Managing Editor must be supported by an Editor.
- A general Editor who nominates or supports a version of an article as 'citable' (status 0) must be a member of at least one workgroup in which it has been categorised, while a Speciality Editor must additionally hold their Editorship in a topic relevant to the article (See also 'Categories of Editorship').
- Editors may nominate their own work, subject to extra restrictions (see below).
- Articles must be 'developed' or already have a citable version to be nominated (statuses '1' or '0').
- An eligible Editor or the Managing Editor may nominate an article for de-approval.
- The Managing Editor may reject any nomination for approval or de-approval as an interim decision, but must publicly state their reasoning for doing so. This decision can be overturned by the Council.
- An Editor or the Managing Editor may withdraw their nomination at any stage.
B. Approval process
- Up to three eligible Editors or the Managing Editor nominate an unapproved version of an article (status '1' or '0') as 'citable' (status '0');
- Seven days are allowed for comments and objections, or 30 days in the case of Managing Editor nominations, during which time an eligible Editor must support the nomination;
- In the event that no other Editor in any of the article's workgroups formally objects to the approval during that time, any administrator may make the appropriate changes to pages, templates and page protection in order to switch the status of the article to citable ('0') and create a locked subpage for the approved version.
- Re-approval of another version of the article must undergo the same process as first approval.
C. Objections to approval
- In the event of an objection by an eligible Editor, the nomination fails unless a majority of eligible Editors (excluding the Managing Editor) support it. Each objection shall extend the time period for approval by an additional seven days.
- The Citizendium Council may block or overturn any approval by vote, as may the Managing Editor via an interim decision; the reasoning behind any rejection must be stated publicly.
- Any Citizen may ask the Council or the Managing Editor to intervene over approval.
D. Approval of own work
- An Editor may nominate an article including their own substantive work for approval, but the period for comments and objections shall be extended to 30 days, and their support does not count towards the majority requirement in the case of an objection (part C above).
- A nomination of own work shall be permitted for one article in any three-month period and no more than three articles per year.
E. De-approval process
- An eligible Editor or the Managing Editor may also nominate any 'citable version' of an article for de-approval, and should also state which status the article ought to changed to;
- 14 days are allowed for comments and objections;
- If no objections from eligible Editors, the Council or the Managing Editor are received after the above 14 days have elapsed, the status of the article is changed and any administrator may make the appropriate changes to pages, templates and page protection to switch the status of the article and remove the subpage.
F. Objections to de-approval
- In the event of an objection by an eligible Editor, de-approval fails unless a majority of Editors (which can include the Managing Editor) support it. Each objection shall extend the time period for approvals by an additional 14 days.
- The Citizendium Council may support or reject the removal of approval from any version of an article by vote, as may the Managing Editor by an interim decision if they have not nominated the article as Managing Editor.
- Any Citizen may ask the Council or the Managing Editor to intervene over de-approval.
- This process respects Citizendium's approval standards, as well as Article 15 and Part II of the Charter.
- The process is also designed to defend the nominations of Editors who may no longer be active on the project, by ensuring that any removal must have, at a minimum, the implied endorsement of the Managing Editor.
- The number of potential nominations is increased by allowing the Managing Editor to make them, but this must be supported by an Editor in the appropriate workgroup(s). An expert in the general area of the article must be formally involved at some stage.
- No specific offices relating to approval need be created or maintained by this process; consequently, the office of 'Approval Manager' is abolished and any duties not assigned via this process absorbed into the roles of Editor or Managing Editor as appropriate.