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CZ:Proposals/Simplify Core Articles Initiative

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Driver: none

Complete explanation

A complete explanation would consist of a complete rewriting of the rules on CZ:Core Articles. However, a properly simplified and attractive version of those rules could be very short and therefore not too hard to write.

Based on a limited discussion with Larry and the original list, here are some ideas:

  • Give people credit for two-paragraph-long stubs.
  • Anyone may write his or her name next to an article to "take credit for starting it." This is not done by any editor or Core Articles Coordinator.
  • Get rid of the "stages" system. That means getting rid of the notion of "blessing" the list. Anyone can edit the article list, although as before, editors should enjoy extra latitude in refining the lists in their areas of expertise.
  • Make the list a list of all the top articles on a subject, not just the ones created after a certain date. Bonus: Core Articles becomes an excellent starting-point for the most important articles about the most important topics.
  • Open up the miscellaneous category to augmentation and organization ad nauseam by anyone.
  • Get rid of the point system. Or make it one point, one article.
  • Redo the points page.
  • Install a new Core Articles Coordinator who will post the latest points on Citizendium-L on a weekly basis, and generally act as cheerleader for the effort.

Some workgroups got quite thoroughly set up under the previous system, and it would be wasteful to undo all that work. Accordingly, most simplification proposals will be worded in a way which allows the more complex structures to remain, but does not require workgroups to implement the full proposal.


The Core Articles initiative appears to have stalled. Only a few workgroups have completely set up their sections as envisioned by the original initiative. Simplification will make it easier for people to receive credit for contributing the articles which should be most important.

One proposed change is to include "core" articles which had been created before the Core Articles initiative; this will provide a listing of what each workgroup's editors believe are the funamental subjects in their disciplines.


A practical "to do list" type explanation of how the proposal will be implemented, and who will implement it. If there is no one to implement the proposal (as, for example, with many technical or recruitment proposals), then it is automatically declined.


A discussion section, to which anyone may contribute.

I am very sympathetic to this simplification initiative, and I agree that a well-maintained Core Articles page could serve as a starting point for didactic purposes, thereby complementing the search and intralink functions. As for the practical implementation, I am wondering whether it would not be enough to count the number of links (and/or redlinks) to each article. The resulting ranking could then serve as an indicator of the importance of an article. Initially, the distribution will of course be skewed (e.g. loads of links to years and place names), but separation of name spaces and optional in- or exclusion of categories could help here, as could a colour-coding with respect to the stage of individual articles. -- Daniel Mietchen 09:11, 28 April 2008 (CDT)

As I see it, the main thing we need to do is to rewrite the instructions on CZ:Core Articles, and ask for input and reaction from the community (a post to Citizendium-L would be apropos at this point). I'll leave it to Jitse to say how this proposal is going to be decided. --Larry Sanger 10:01, 28 April 2008 (CDT)

I just played around with the r and pl templates a bit, combining them into rpl to produce

for the article Biophysics. Perhaps this might be useful for some most wanted lists. -- Daniel Mietchen 19:10, 28 April 2008 (CDT)

That's clever...

Anthony, or anyone, again, I think that all we really need to move this forward is to rewrite the instructions on CZ:Core Articles. You could put it on CZ:Core Articles Revised. Once we had that in hand, I believe (1) the proposal would be in a form that Chris could judge, and (2) we could actually start using it right away. That is the one substantive task that needs to be done...anyone want to give it a stab? --Larry Sanger 12:21, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

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