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{{Getting Started}}
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<center><div style="font-size: x-large">Let's get started!</div></center>
  
'''Welcome to the ''Citizendium'' beta!'''
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{|align="center" cellpadding="10" style="width:70%; border: 1px solid #aaa; margin:20px; font-size: 90%;"
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|You can find an array of ''Citizendium'' help pages here, all aimed at explaining "the basics"--what you need to know to get started as a Citizen.  Please explore and read, but bear in mind: you can learn a lot by doing, and no one will mind if you make a few mistakes as you do so.  Since this is a wiki, mistakes can be easily fixed.  [[CZ:Be Bold|Be Bold]]--and welcome!
  
This is a general orientation to contributing and becoming part of the community, for new contributors. Editors and authors alike should start here. This is a comprehensive summary, but it is ''just'' a summary; there are links to pages with more detail interspersed below.
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; Your "getting started" to do list
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:Things new Citizens should do:
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:* [[Special:RequestAccount|Sign up]].
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:* Read [[CZ:Quick Start|Quick Start]].  Short and sweet!
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:* Subscribe to the community announcement list, [https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/citizendium-l Citizendium-L.]
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:* Read some of the documents linked below, if you wish.
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|}
  
You might want a general introduction to the project, not just to contributing, first.  In that case, see our [http://www.citizendium.org/about.html about page] and the [http://www.citizendium.org/faq.html FAQ.]
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; Join us!
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: It's easy!
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:* '''[[Special:RequestAccount|Register]]''' - We are open to both experts and the general public.
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:* '''[[CZ:User Pages|User Pages]]''' - A bio goes on your user page.
  
== Your "getting started" to do list ==
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; Learn about us
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: Essential reading.  Don't miss these crucial documents.  (They're part of the [[CZ:Organization]] pages.)
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:* '''[[CZ:About|About]]''' - An introduction to the ''Citizendium;'' our goals.
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:* '''[[Help:Index|Help system]]''' - questions and answers to find the help you need.
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:* '''[[CZ:FAQ|FAQ]]''' - A lengthier, question-and-answer style introduction.
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:* '''[[CZ:Charter|Charter]]''' - The current "constitution" of the ''Citizendium'' community.
  
Things new Citizens should do:
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; How to get to work
* [http://www.citizendium.org/cfa.html Sign up.]
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: You don't need to read a thick manual before actually workingWe'd prefer it if you just dove in, which you can do, because wikis are ''easy'' (really!).  But the following documents should clarify your role as author or editor, and give you an idea of where to have your questions answered in the future.
* Read this guide.  It's essential background.
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:* '''[[CZ:Start Article|How to start a new article]]''' - There's an easy way--and it is ''very'' easy.
* Check your user pageBe sure <code><nowiki>[[Category:CZ Authors]]</nowiki></code> is on the page if you're an author (or an editor who wants also to be counted among the authors), and <code><nowiki>[[Category:CZ Editors]]</nowiki></code> if you're an editor. If you're an author, you can add other [[CZ:Discipline Workgroups|workgroup author categories]] to taste, such as <code><nowiki>[[Category:Philosophy Authors]]</nowiki></code>.  Note that only ''Citizendium'' management can add workgroup editor categories, such as <code><nowiki>[[Category:Chemistry Editors]]</nowiki></code>.
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:* '''[[CZ:The Author Role|The Author Role]]''' - Authors are the lifeblood of the project.  How to do your job.
* Sign up to the community announcement list, [http://www.citizendium.org/lists.html Citizendium-L.]
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:* '''[[CZ:The Editor Role|The Editor Role]]''' - "Editor" means something a little different here than what you might be used to.
* [[CZ:How you can help|Get to work]]!  Don't wait for assignments; this isn't a top-down project.
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:* '''[[CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians|Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians]]''' - We do things differently here, but not ''that'' differently.
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:* '''[[CZ:Essentials|A few essentials]]''' - Here are a few hints if you want to avoid common ''faux pas.''
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:* '''[[CZ:How you can help|How you can help]]''' - What to do. There's a lot that needs to be done!
  
== What makes us different? ==
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; ''Citizendium'' culture
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: We're a community, and we have a culture.  Read about what "gets us going" and what "makes us tick."
 +
:* '''[[CZ:Why Citizendium?|Why Citizendium?]]''' - Why should you contribute at all?  There are many good answers.
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:* '''[[CZ:Be Bold|Be Bold]]''' - If no one is giving out orders, you're free.  Freedom requires boldness!
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:* '''[[CZ:Under Construction|Under Construction]]''' - This is a new wiki.  Things aren't perfect.  That's OK--for now.
 +
:* '''[[CZ:How to collaborate|How to collaborate]]''' - Collaboration with a global group of colleagues requires finesse.
 +
:* '''[[CZ:Group Editing]]''' - Commentary on how editing and writing as a group is much different than rough draft/final copy formats that most are used to.
 +
:* '''[[CZ:Professionalism|Professionalism]]''' - We're a pretty friendly bunch.
  
We're glad to have you here and hope you'll join our friendly little (but growing!) community as an active contributorWhat makes us different?
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; Learn more
 +
: This is just a getting-started page.  There's a lot more on the community home page, '''[[CZ:Home]].'''  Here are some other links to help you get started.
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:* '''[[CZ:How to edit an article|How to edit an article]]''' - The technical nitty-gritty.  WikiMedia markup, etc.
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:* '''[[CZ:Approval Standards|Approval Standards]]''' - A list of the qualities a good article should have.
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:* '''[[CZ:Article mechanics|Article mechanics]]''' - A guide to mechanics and style
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:* '''[[CZ:Subpages|Subpages]]''' - We're more than just an encyclopediaSee what else.
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:* '''[[CZ:Workgroups|Workgroups]]''' - How we organize ourselves by discipline.
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:* '''[[Citizendium]] by Citizendium''' - our article about ourselves.
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:* '''[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY Introductory Video]''' - A third-party video introducing the concept of [[wiki]]s.
  
Well, for one thing, we're contributing under ''our own real names''.  We take responsibility for our own work, and we like to think [[CZ:Professionalism|we're a lot more civil]] than your average Internet community.  If you didn't take our real names policy seriously, you've made a mistake, because we ''will'' permanently ban you from the website if we discover that you are using an unapproved pseudonym.  To apply for a pseudonym, please [[CZ:Const|ask the constabulary]].  Note, we don't permit pseudonyms on privacy grounds that apply to everyone.  Also, we do not permit pseudonyms in "signatures" on the wiki; if you want to use a "signature" other than your full name, make sure it is part of your real name.
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{{Getting Started}}
 
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[[Category:Getting Started]]
For another thing, there are editors working right alongside authors.  Editors can make decisions about articles in their areas of expertise, but for the most part, we collaborate just as folks do on Wikipedia--only, perhaps, with more collegiality.  Editors also have a special task here that doesn't exist on Wikipedia: they can ''approve'' articles in their areas of expertise.
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[[CZ:We aren't Wikipedia|We aren't Wikipedia]], and while [[CZ:WP2CZ|you can import Wikipedia articles here]], we encourage you to start from scratch.  We want to develop our own community, with our own rules and guidelines that might, in fact, be quite different from Wikipedia's.  There are already a few differences, apart from the real names requirement and the presence of editors.  For example, we do not use "in group" abbreviations like "POV."  We really do take our neutrality policy seriously.  We'll be revisiting all sorts of policies concerning categories, templates, and much else.  Also, we don't permit user boxes on user pages; nor do we permit personal essays linked from user pages.  Finally, our project governance, which is still under rapid development, will be quite different.  We have a number of [http://www.citizendium.org/fundamentals.html non-negotiable policies,] and new policies will not be adopted by an impossible "consensus" but by vote of representatives (selected perhaps by "choosing lots").
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== Be bold! ==
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{{be bold}}
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For more on the use of the "talk page," [[CZ:How to get started as an author#How_to_collaborate_on_an_existing_article_.28and_how_to_use_talk_pages.29|see below]].
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== And act professionally ==
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We have high standards of civility here, at least compared to the Internet at large.  We have summed up this policy on our [[CZ:Professionalism|Professionalism]] page.  The gist of it is that we expect the same sort of polite, collegial behavior that true professionals display.  This means that the Constabulary disallows personal attacks, disrespectful characterization of others' work, significant reversion and deletion without adequate explanation, and other similar unprofessional behavior.  To put it more positively, when necessary, we criticize work respectfully and without insults, and we justify significant edits on talk pages (see the "discussion" tab at the top of the page).
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So you're among friendly people here.
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== Under Construction, or, it's better to add something editable than nothing at all ==
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The ''Citizendium,'' like Wikipedia and virtually all wikis, could have an "Under Construction" sign on every page.  Wikis are not conducive to instant perfection; high quality is achieved iteratively, gradually, over time and usually after quite a bit of interaction with others.
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So what does that mean?  It means: ''go ahead, add something.''  It doesn't have to be perfect, it only has to be editable.  In other words, if someone else won't have to delete what you've added in order to make progress on the article, then add away!
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This means that we will tolerate what are called "stub entries" or just "stubs."  These are short entries, say between 50 and 250 words.  (Don't bother with anything ''shorter'' than that.)  Just please don't go around creating ''lots and lots'' of stubs.  It's all right to create a few.  But if you're motivated to do much work, please focus on just a few articles rather than making dozens of small ones.
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== A bullet-point intro to the software that runs this place ==
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For folks who haven't had experience with the software that runs CZ (that's an abbreviation for ''Citizendium''), called "Mediawiki," here are some helpful tips.  See how many you already knew:
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* The <u><font color=red>red links</font></u> lead to blank pages.  Click on one and you can start a new article.
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* When you're editing an article, you see a text box where the editing takes place.  Now look at the stuff that surrounds that text box:
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** See all the small buttons, '''B''', ''I'', and so forth?  You can use those buttons the same way you would a word processing program's controls.  (It adds in the code for you.)
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** Look below the text box.  Look for "Summary:"  That's where you can briefly summarize your changes.  It's a courtesy to others to fill this in, so please do.
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** "This is a minor edit": check it only if you're doing things like fixing spelling or adding an inconsequential word.
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** "Watch this page": like the "watch" tab, adds the page to your watchlist.
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** "Content is from Wikipedia?": ''do'' check this if you have copied in any content taken from Wikipedia.
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** Next, notice the three buttons at the bottom of the page.  "Save page" saves the page, closes the edit box, and displays the article.
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** "Show preview": a very handy button, press it and you'll see what the page looks with your changes.  This ''does not'' save the page, though.  So if you use this button much, ''be sure'' to click "Save page" when you're finished, or you'll lose all your changes!
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* When you're looking at an article, across the top of the page you see a bunch of tabs.  Here's what they do:
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** article: display the article
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** discussion: the "talk" page, where you go to discuss with others how the article should be edited
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** history: a record of all the edits of the article; you can view every single version ever saved!  Very handy.
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** watch: clicking on this adds the article to your "watchlist"; access your watchlist by clicking "my watchlist" in the upper right of the window.  Note that you can automatically add all articles you edit to your watchlist; look in "my preferences" (top of the page).
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* Next, look at the links at the extreme top of the page, on the right:
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** ''your name:'' click on your name to go to your user page.  Your bio should be there; note that we require a bio of all contributors.
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** my talk: that's your personal talk page.  Other people may post messages for you here.
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** my preferences: a huge array of settings to change (if you want).
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** my watchlist: all the recent changes made to articles you are "watching" (again, watch an article by going to that article and then clicking the "watch" tab)
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** my contributions: everything you've done!
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** log out: self-explanatory
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* Next, look at all the links on the left (these are changeable, by the way).  Beginning with the "citizendium" section:
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** Main Page: the homepage of the wiki
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** About: about the ''Citizendium,'' an introduction for users
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** Live articles: an alphabetical list of the articles we're working on
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** Random page: click it, it's fun
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** Our editors: a listing of editors who have signed up with us
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** Our authors: a similar listing, of authors
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** FAQ: frequently asked questions (more introductory information)
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** Donate: here's where you can donate to the cause; we could use your support!
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* Next, the "project pages" section (also on the left):
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** Project home: the homepage for the project, a jumping-off place for contributors to find information about the project
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** Recent changes: a table of changes recently made on this wiki; see "[[CZ:How_to_get_started_as an author#Get_plugged_in_to_the_community|get plugged in to the community]]" below
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** Help: how to do stuff on this wiki; how to use the software that runs it
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** Workgroups: a growing and changing list of the groups of editors and authors at work here
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** Bug tracker: here's where to report bugs in the software; probably, the most obvious bugs have already been reported
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** How to join: how to become a Citizen
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* For the links under "communication," see "[[CZ:How_to_get_started_as an author#Get_plugged_in_to_the_community|get plugged in to the community]]"
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* search: press "Go" to go directly to the page you name (if we have it), and "Search" to search through the text of all articles
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* Finally, the "toolbox":
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** What links here: click here for a list of all the pages ''that link to'' the page you're on
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** Related changes: a list of the recent changes made to articles that ''are linked by'' this article
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** Upload file: use this to add pictures and other files to CZ
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** Special pages: a whole bunch of other software functions; many different lists of pages
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* For a more complete rundown, and links to further help pages, see [[Help:Contents]].
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== How to start a new page! ==
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{{how to start a page}}
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== Wiki "markup" ==
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{{markup basics}}
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== What's a good article like? ==
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{{good article basics}}
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== How to collaborate on an existing article (and how to use talk pages) ==
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Many people spend their wiki time working on pages that other people have started.  If the page creator is still hanging around, you'll have to collaborate with that person, and anyone else interested, in crafting the article further.
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So, how do a bunch of strangers manage to create a coherent encyclopedia article?  It is one of life's mysteries, perhaps.  Generally, though, it's like this: you see that a sentence needs rewording; so you reword it.  Or the article needs a whole new section about something; so you add it.  Or the article has much flabby prose; so you make it concise.  Or you just know a lot about the subject and see much to change; so you go through and make a thorough overhaul.  Many people can do all of those things to the same article, and something excellent can result.
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Working so closely with others often requires sensitivity and finesse.  You might have deleted a sentence it took someone else five minutes to craft, so why doesn't the person become quite angry and stalk away, or abuse you?  Well, such unpleasantness ''can'' happen, and on Wikipedia, it too frequently does.  But it doesn't ''always'' happen (even on Wikipedia), and it doesn't ''have'' to happen.  Polite discussion is key.  We can avoid unpleasantness as a rule because we are all committed to working together.  We know, in turn, that working together means changing other people's work, making compromises, or (far better) coming up with a creative solution that satisfies everyone very well.  The fluid nature of the text allows for such creative, positive solutions, and it's precisely the expectation of such solutions that allows us to avoid conflict.
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To collaborate effectively, keep a few things in mind: look at the talk page regularly.  Be polite and respectful.  If you are angry, calm down and take a break before you write or do something rash.  And if you are dealing with a person who really is unreasonable, do not "take matters into your own hands" by cussing the person out, but ask a constable to intervene (at constables@citizendium.org).  That's what they're there for--to calm folks down and come to a sensible solution to complex problems of interaction.  They are also authorized to ban abusive people.
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== Introduce yourself: short biographies on user pages ==
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All Citizens are ''required'' to maintain biographies on their userpages.  Why?  Because we are taking real-world responsibility for our contributions and making real-world relationships with each other.  A name by itself conveys little information to others.  To edit your bio, simply click on your name at the very top of the screen.  Authors are required to provide a statement about their personal interests and education, preferably a few hundred words.  Rough clues as to your age and location might be helpful to other users but are optional.  Minors are asked not to include any personal information about themselves, including information about where they live, but they should still give some nonspecific information about their interests and education (no school names, please).  If a constable hasn't done so, be sure to add yourself to the list of CZ authors (which you see on the left--under "[[:Category:CZ Authors|Our authors]]") by putting this on your userpage:
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:<code><nowiki>[[Category:CZ Authors]]</nowiki></code>
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You should also add yourself to a workgroup or several ([[CZ:Discipline Workgroups|here's the current list]]), with a tag; for example:
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:<code><nowiki>[[Category:Games Authors]]</nowiki></code>
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(Editors are designated as such by CZ staff after you [http://www.citizendium.org/cfa.html apply.])
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Here's [[User:Gareth_Leng|an example of a biography of an editor]]; here's one of [[User:Sarah Tuttle|an author]].  For more info see [[CZ:Policy_Outline#Author_User_Pages|this section of the Policy Outline]].
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== Get plugged in to the community ==
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It's not hard to get plugged in to the community.  This will make your work here more fun.  But you'll probably need a few pointers about where "the action" is going on.
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All of the following links are to the left.
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The serious fun of wiki-watching consists largely of following developments on [[Special:recentchanges|the recent changes]] page, linked on the left under "project pages".  Virtually everything that goes on on this wiki can be observed from a God's-eye perspective there.  You can see what articles other people are working on.  You can see if articles ''you'' have been working on have been changed.  (Changes to an article will appear '''bolded''' if you "watch" the article: see the "watch" tab above every article.)  You can see ''who'' has been active (and when!).  And as a result of all this, you can join in with others!  If an article on a topic you're interested in is under development, you can add your wisdom.
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Talk about policy and community issues on [http://forum.citizendium.org/ the CZ forums.]  This is the big community discussion area.  There are hundreds of categories of topics; you're bound to find both something of interest to you and someone who will discuss it with you (there are many hundreds of members).  If you want to see the latest posts, scroll to the bottom of the front page and look for the little link titled [http://forum.citizendium.org/index.php?action=recent View the most recent posts on the forum.]
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To have all the latest project-wide announcements, make sure you're subscribed to [https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/citizendium-l Citizendium-L] and, if you're an editor, [https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/citizendium-editors Citizendium-editors].  For outward-facing announcements, as opposed to more internal sorts of announcements, there's a [http://blog.citizendium.org project blog.]  There's also a place for administrative notices for people working here on the wiki (e.g., "The wiki will be going down at midnight tonight"): the [[CZ:Notice Board|notice board]].
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If you have general questions, you can ask in many places, but one place we've set aside is a certain board on the forums.  Just [http://forum.citizendium.org/index.php?action=post;board=18.0 click here] and (after you've registered) type in your question.
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== Authors, Editors, Constables, and Workgroups ==
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If you're a participant, and you haven't been asked to be an editor, then you're an author.  (Editors are authors ''too.'')  So, what can authors do?  Almost everything.  Authors can start new articles, edit existing articles, talk things over on the talk page, and much else.  Editors can do all that, too.  Editors aren't distant overseers looking down from the Olympian heights.  To ''edit,'' editors must work shoulder-to-shoulder with authors and other editors.  So editors are authors too.  For more on author functions, please see [[CZ:Policy Outline#Authors_and_Authoring_Citizendium_Articles|Authors and Authoring Citizendium Articles]].
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Editors, who are experts in their fields, do have two special functions that authors do not have, however.  First, they may make decisions, where decisions need to be made, about how an article should read.  (This ''does not'' mean that editors must approve every change an author makes, which they certainly ''don't'' do.)  Second, they may approve specific versions of articles.  If you're an editor, and you want to know how to get started ''as'' an editor, please see [[CZ:Editor orientation|editor orientation]].  Some Editors are members of one of the governing bodies known as the [[CZ:Editorial_Council|Editorial Council]]
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Where do "constables" fit in?  Well, like their namesakes, constables are friendly, hard-working folks who make sure the community runs smoothly.  If you break a rule, a constable might gently tap you on the shoulder and explain what's wrong.  Constables are expected to be mature and kind and to make decisions solely about behavior, not about content, which is the domain of editors.  See [[CZ:Constabulary Home|Constabulary Home]] and [[CZ:Policy_Outline#Constabulary_Policy|Constabulary Policy]] for more.  If you need to "call a constable," send an e-mail to constables@citizendium.org
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Finally, [[CZ:workgroups|workgroups]] are collections of editors and authors who are interested in a particular discipline, or in some function of the project, such as copyediting or recruitment.  We know that our list of disciplines needs work, by the way; the Editorial Council will be expanding the list soon.  In the coming months, we're going to be expanding our governance apparatus, setting up many more workgroups as well as a general project representative council.  You, as a project member, may be asked to serve.
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== Want to get to work, but don't know quite what to do? ==
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Tasks on CZ are like children's games: there are endless numbers of them, you just need to know what they are.  Here is [[CZ:How you can help|a list of general tasks that "worker bees" can help with]].
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== A dozen things you should know about ==
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{{dozen essentials}}
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&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;13. Be '''absolutely sure''' to check the "Content is from Wikipedia?" box if it is so.
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::''It's a "baker's dozen"!''
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== Why work on the ''Citizendium''? ==
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We conclude with some motivational points.
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* CZ is fun!  Creating articles together and watching them grow to maturity is fulfilling and just plain fun.
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* CZ is educational.  How can you ''not'' learn if you're collaborating with experts on encyclopedia articles?  It's an unusual opportunity to learn that is hard to find anywhere else.
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* CZ is free.  People will be able to read this ''high-quality'' information free of charge.  That's tremendously valuable to the world.
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* CZ is gently guided by experts.  In time, we will have an enormous body of ''expert approved'' articles.  Again, that's tremendously valuable to the world.  Frankly, the world desperately needs more reliable information from the Internet.
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* CZ is nonprofit and participant-governed--and thus independent and neutral.  The information you find here will not be influenced by corporate or governmental interests.  We are totally committed to acting as a "neutral playing field" for the world's information resources.
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* CZ is growing and making progress on all fronts.  If we succeed well with the encyclopedia, we will start other expert-guided, collaborative, free information projects.  This is exciting and worthwhile.
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* CZ could change the world in at least two ways:
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** First, by pioneering a new way to use wikis, we are giving the world a new model of what can be done with this versatile system of content creation.  What will happen if the world has more expert-guided collaborative projects?
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** Second, and more importantly, a full-fledged ''Citizendium'' encyclopedia with millions of expert-approved articles would bring reliable knowledge to the world, and, in a small way, would help "enlighten" the world.  Imagine what education and research would be like with a really successful CZ.
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These are all great reasons to get involved.  So let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!
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Latest revision as of 13:30, 26 January 2014

Let's get started!
You can find an array of Citizendium help pages here, all aimed at explaining "the basics"--what you need to know to get started as a Citizen. Please explore and read, but bear in mind: you can learn a lot by doing, and no one will mind if you make a few mistakes as you do so. Since this is a wiki, mistakes can be easily fixed. Be Bold--and welcome!
Your "getting started" to do list
Things new Citizens should do:
Join us!
It's easy!
  • Register - We are open to both experts and the general public.
  • User Pages - A bio goes on your user page.
Learn about us
Essential reading. Don't miss these crucial documents. (They're part of the CZ:Organization pages.)
  • About - An introduction to the Citizendium; our goals.
  • Help system - questions and answers to find the help you need.
  • FAQ - A lengthier, question-and-answer style introduction.
  • Charter - The current "constitution" of the Citizendium community.
How to get to work
You don't need to read a thick manual before actually working. We'd prefer it if you just dove in, which you can do, because wikis are easy (really!). But the following documents should clarify your role as author or editor, and give you an idea of where to have your questions answered in the future.
Citizendium culture
We're a community, and we have a culture. Read about what "gets us going" and what "makes us tick."
  • Why Citizendium? - Why should you contribute at all? There are many good answers.
  • Be Bold - If no one is giving out orders, you're free. Freedom requires boldness!
  • Under Construction - This is a new wiki. Things aren't perfect. That's OK--for now.
  • How to collaborate - Collaboration with a global group of colleagues requires finesse.
  • CZ:Group Editing - Commentary on how editing and writing as a group is much different than rough draft/final copy formats that most are used to.
  • Professionalism - We're a pretty friendly bunch.
Learn more
This is just a getting-started page. There's a lot more on the community home page, CZ:Home. Here are some other links to help you get started.


Citizendium Getting Started
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