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CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians

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Welcome Wikipedians and ex-Wikipedians!

Many members of Citizendium have experience of editing at Wikipedia, and have joined this project to try a different model of content development. We want to welcome you here to help us create it.

Before you start boldly contributing, please read this document. Many of Wikipedia's policies either do not apply here or have been modified.

Citizendium is not a mirror of Wikipedia. If you wish to import material from Wikipedia, see Article Mechanics and How to convert Wikipedia articles to Citizendium articles.

Differences in style, approach and tone

You're probably used to well-developed Wikipedia articles being divided into many short sections, full of bulleted lists. Some are written in dense prose that shows off erudition more than really introducing a topic.

We don't like to speak "encyclopedese." Rather, we want Citizendium articles to be lucid, highly readable introductions written in compelling, narrative prose. This doesn't mean our articles will have less information or be more lightweight. It means we simplify the difficult, engage our readers, and allow a narrative voice to come through.

For further information, see Article Mechanics. You might also want to have look at Sage advice on writing CZ articles, and examples of our expert-approved citable articles.

New practices

  • The "Content is from Wikipedia?" tick-box. If any content of an article at Citizendium came from Wikipedia and you aren't the sole author of that content, check the tick-box, above the "Save page" button. If you are the sole author, please make it clear on the relevant talk page and post a link to the Wikipedia article history giving evidence of such. The {{WPauthor}} template has been created for this purpose.
  • Workgroups, Workgroup Category Tags, and Workgroup Recent Changes. Anybody can edit any article but we want every article to have its editorial team assigned.

See We aren't Wikipedia for other new practices.

Acting professionally

Our professionalism policy is our cornerstone behavior policy and is about our intent to create — and enforce — a respectful, pleasant, and productive working environment.

  • Part of behaving professionally is signing with your real name on the wiki. You need not worry about your real name showing up all over the Net from CZ pages, since we use robots.txt to prevent that.

At Wikipedia, everyone has the same role when it comes to making judgments about article content. Here, participants play three different but complementary roles:


You already know we make a special role for experts. But this does not at all mean you cannot professionally argue your case with them; you most definitely should. To edit, editors must work shoulder-to-shoulder with authors and other editors. See CZ:The Editor Role.


Editors are authors too, but what can authors do? Almost everything. Authors can start articles, edit existing articles, talk things over on the talk page, and much else. Both authors and editors are represented on the Editorial Council. See CZ:The Author Role.


Our constables are Citizendium's "community managers" or "Sysops". They oversee adherence to basic policies, and settle behavioral problems whereas editors settle content disputes. Constables also review applications and create new accounts. See the Constabulary.


Any type of open content licensed images are allowable and preferred, although images from Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons and other image banks must pass a two-pronged test before you upload them to Citizendium. Fully copyrighted images are allowable in Citizendium if you place proof of permission in a Permission subpage of the image's talk page.

All images lacking clear copyright data are subject to speedy deletion by constables acting on their own recognizance. Citizendium editors will not nominate articles for approval if the status of their images is unclear.

See Images Help on Copyrights.

Article inclusion policy

We do not have a "notability" criterion for article inclusion, as different authors have very different views on what is notable. Citizendium's Article Inclusion Policy allows an article to be deleted by editorial decision in cases where all three of the following criteria are met: a) it has significant weaknesses; b) that deleting its content would remove nothing of importance from the project; and c) that the article is unlikely to be improved as there is no active interest from any member of Citizendium in developing it.

Don't spill alphabet soup!

We wish to avoid having an insular, unintelligible community. Accordingly, we don't use neologisms like "NPOV" and "POV", "RS", "FWIW", and "OR". Just use plain English on top of wikilinks or post them in full. In our informal discussions, however, CZ and WP are permissible.

And from Citizendium to Wikipedia

Since Wikipedia changed its license to CC-BY-SA 3.0, it can use material from Citizendium. A workgroup has been formed there, WikiProject Citizendium Porting, to coordinate this.

Further reading

Citizendium Getting Started
Register | Quick Start | About us | Help system | The Author Role | The Editor Role
Essentials | How to start a new article | For Wikipedians | Other
Getting Started Organization Communication Technical Help Initiatives
Policies Editor Guidance Content Guidance Article Lists Governance
Welcome Page