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CZ:External Links

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Revision as of 08:26, 24 July 2007 by Larry Sanger (Talk | contribs) (Guidelines for editing)

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What are Links pages?

Links pages list useful websites on a topic, divided into a variety of categories of types of information. They are guides to the best of the Web about a topic.


It is useful to have relevant and trustworthy links on a specific topic gathered in one place. Particularly if the links are vetted by experts, this achieves something that search engines cannot: 100% relevance and superlative reliability.

Heading and format standards

Guidelines for editing

Maintaining high link reliability

The most important rule to bear in mind in constructing Links pages is: is this information reliable? What distinguishes the Citizendium, its very reason for existence, is the aggregation of reliable reference material.

Therefore, all links on the Citizendium should be either created by sources known to be reliable, or vetted by reliable sources. So:

  • Amateurs who understand the basic standards of finding an expert-vetted source can link to those sources.
  • But websites that are written or edited by amateurs cannot be linked-to except by an expert who vouches for its reliability.
  • While we should be remain grateful to people adding information to the Citizendium, we should also, with a respectful explanation, remove links to unedited, amateur-created, and other websites unless those links were placed on the Links page by a editor in the relevant field, or by another person who is known to be an expert about the topic.

Guidelines for annotations

Annotations should be brief. But into that brief space you might put various useful types of information, if it is not clear from the title of the link or from the heading it's filed under:

  • What the website is. Is it a collection of essays? A search engine? A magazine? What?
  • Who created or maintains it.
  • Evaluative remarks. Particularly interesting or useful websites should be marked as such.
  • Pointers about what to look for at the website.

No self-promotion

You may not add links to websites you own, manage, or are otherwise closely associated with. See Policy on Self-Promotion.

Keeping links fresh

If you are a programmer, then consider writing a "bot" that will check our links. Basically, it should check the links on each Citizendium Links page on a monthly basis (but not all at once). If a link is unreachable, then it should be commented out (not deleted), and the Links page added to Category:Link Check.

After this bot is written and running, then we should do three things as needed:

  1. Double-check to make sure the commented-out links are no longer working; note that they might have been only temporarily unreachable, or they might simply have been moved to a different URL; often, you should look at the root URL (for example, instead of and see if you can locate the page from there, using Google's "Search Current Site" feature.
  2. Delete the links that really have disappeared, or if they have moved, change the links, and remove the comment-out code.
  3. Remove Category:Link Check from the page.

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